So says World Rugby at least and they’re right too. There are times when discriminating among – or against, between, how you wish to put it – the cis and the trans is entirely the correct thing to be doing.
As PJ O’Rourke put it about sex rather than gender. The difference between men and women isn’t all that important when trading bonds, it’s vital when making babies. The task thus is not to insist that we shall never discriminate along these or any other lines. It is to work out when it’s sensible to be discriminating.
To use a currently prevalent subject. Those with higher skin melanin contents are currently being advised to up their Vitamin D intake in this time of the coronavirus. Yes, that is discrimination purely based upon the colour of the skin. It’s also just and righteous. Further, anyone who didn’t discriminate based upon the colour of the skin when selecting makeup foundation would be an idiot.
Discrimination can be – note the can – righteous and just and even jolly sensible as well:
Trans women set to be banned from women’s rugby
The point being that having gone through puberty with the use of testosterone has effects that do not fade away:
Research results, which included the conclusion that female players face “at least a 20-30 per cent greater risk” of injury when they are tackled by a person who has gone through male puberty, were accepted by all parties.
The working group considered evidence that, after testosterone reduction, strength was reduced by between five per cent and eight per cent, which only represents a small proportion of the 30 per cent to 40 per cent strength difference between biological men and biological women.
The review also considered evidence that showed lean mass was reduced by between zero per cent and eight per cent after a year of testosterone reduction whereas lean mass differences between biological men and women is typically in the range of 30 to 50 per cent.
Rugby is a contact sport. These differences are sufficiently large to be important. There are parts of the world (New Zealand for example) where the lower tiers of rugby are segregated on such issues as weight – weight classes – for exactly the same reason. It’s a contact sport. Boxing has long worked the same way, obviously.
The cry of “No Discrimination!” doesn’t work. There are times when discrimination is vital. There are others when it’s vile. The trick is to determine which are which – exactly the thing that the demand for no discrimination ever doesn’t allow.