Transgender female golfer Mianne Bagger might’ve made history when she competed against biological females in the 2004 Women’s Australian Open, but she now says that she doesn’t believe that trans women should be allowed to compete against biological women in sports.
Bagger, who began hormone replacement therapy in 1992 and had sex reassignment surgery in 1995, told News.com.au Wednesday that she supports the proposed Australian lawmaker’s bill that would prohibit trans women from competing in female sports.
“These days, [the dynamic] has crept into what’s called self ID or self identification: male-bodied people presenting as women, who live as women, with varying degrees of medical intervention and in some degrees, no medical intervention, which is just — it’s crossed the line, in my view, it really has… It’s a slap in the face to women,” Bagger said.
Bagger added that she was fine with being labeled a hypocrite over her stance. She then emphasized that there’s a difference in being inclusive in society and in sports.
“In everyday society, of course we want an inclusive, egalitarian [society],” Bagger said. “We want equality, lack of discrimination, and of course every single person should have equal access to life and services and work in society. Of course, we all want that, and so do I.
“In sport? It’s different. Sport is about physical ability. It’s not just about discrimination, it’s not just about equality and equal access. It is a physical ability. Now, if you’ve got one group — males — that are on average stronger, taller, faster, as opposed to women, there has to be a divide. There has to be a division.”
Bagger’s assertion comes as the subject of biological males competing in female sports has reached a fever pitch in the U.S. Penn transgender swimmer Lia Thomas, who won a NCAA Division I national championship in the women’s 500-yard freestyle event last month, has been the focal point of the chatter.
Athletes who are opposed to Thomas being allowed to compete have begun to speak up in recent weeks. Women’s tennis legend Martina Navratilova told the New York Post last month that she couldn’t imagine being a biological female and having to go up against Thomas.
“Imagine being a biological female going up against Lia,” Navratilova said. “A top woman swimmer has to literally be unbelievable to beat an average male swimmer who identifies as female. The hormone suppression therapy doesn’t mitigate the advantage they have over biological women.”
Bagger also took aim at the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) decision to forgo the policy that made it mandatory for trans athletes to undergo “medically unnecessary” procedures or treatment.
“Anyone with any basic understanding on biology and the difference between men and women knows it’s ridiculous. It’s male puberty that really grants boys and men that physical performance in sport,” Bagger said. “And I think it’s irrefutable — it’s ridiculous to suggest otherwise.”
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