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FINA's ruling for female athletes and new 'gender inclusion policy'

Julie Reeder


Last weekend I was at the park with my family when I heard a young girl on the merry-go-round, about 11 years old, proclaim to the other younger children around her, "I have no gender." I looked at the other adult with me, wondering if he just heard what I heard.

"They have no idea what they are saying,” he said. “They have no idea what they are talking about."

Where did this little girl hear this? Maybe she was just throwing out controversial statements for shock value to children on the merry-go-round who did not understand what she was talking about. But what adult is responsible for planting that idea in her mind and starting that confusion? She was clearly, unmistakably a girl and clearly too immature to make life-altering decisions for herself.

I witnessed this the same day that women athletes and their parents who have fought for the right for women to compete only against other biological women in women’s sports were celebrating. Federation Internationale de Natation, or FINA, the world governing body for aquatic sports such as swimming, diving, waterpolo, synchronised and open water swimming, made the decision to ban transgender women from competing in the women’s events, starting immediately.

This was certainly a win for women athletes. Biological males, whether they wear lipstick or not, typically have larger shoulders, muscles, lung capacity and hearts. Girls who have trained for years have the right to those medals and scholarships that are legitimately theirs without having to unfairly compete against boys and men which was the whole reason for girls sports in the first place.

In a Newsweek online forum, journalist Abigail Shrier cited stats from the website and wrote, “Allyson Felix, a contender for the title of fastest female sprinter in the world, holds more Olympic medals than even Usain Bolt. Her lifetime best for the 400-meter is 49.26 seconds. Based on 2018 data, nearly 300 high school boys in the U.S. alone could beat it.”

Shrier’s best-selling book, Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters (2020), was named a "Best Book" by the Economist and the Times (of London). It has been translated into five languages.

So while it’s a win for female athletes, what caught my attention was also the rest of the policy. The Associated Press reported, “FINA members widely adopted a new ‘gender inclusion policy’ Sunday, June 19, that only permits swimmers who transitioned before age 12 to compete in women’s events. The organization also proposed an ‘open competition category.’

“This is not saying that people are encouraged to transition by the age of 12. It’s what the scientists are saying, that if you transition after the start of puberty, you have an advantage, which is unfair,” James Pearce, who is the spokesperson for FINA president Husain Al-Musallam, told The Associated Press.

Holy cow, so I get what they are saying, but what the heck? This can’t be good, especially with children’s minds being influenced by activists and cultural icons.

I expect we’ll see more children making life-long decisions about their sexuality, of which they have inadequate maturity and understanding. And adults will be there encouraging and affirming them, rather than counseling them, which in some states is illegal. The mental health crisis will get worse and the suicide rates will increase.

While female athletes celebrate, my hope is that the children who have transitioned and regretted it will gain more of a voice so that woke parents who may be truly trying to do the right thing for their child will have more information from children and adults who wish they would have had less affirmation and more sound counseling.


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