And so is the expression “unfair advantage.”
The comment that “it is the typical regulating of women” is correct, but it is attempt to regulate to provide some women who aren’t as competitive with an unearned benefit; it is an attempt to lower the bar for some women, yet disguised, by presupposition, as a disadvantage and some form of harmful discrimination.
I’m all for having unisex male, female and intersex competitions. Let us have weight lifters and sprinters, swimmers of any configuration compete with one another as athletes, rather than a given sex. Perhaps another way to do it might be to compete by weight classes, as do boxers.The problem with the conversation being held, is that they are focusing on one issue: the type or quantity of testosterone. Much of it is lawyerly nit-picking to score political points. There are many factors that make male-like bodies superior in some sports: generally quicker reflexes, the physical construction of our bodies that provide beneficial mechanics and so on.
Tangentially, if we are to place limits on how much testosterone a woman can have to fit in a certain class, shall we also test, to ensure that men have a minimum level of testosterone?
If “equality” and “fairness” means anything, and we wish to be non-sexist, and truly impartial, then let us allow the playing field to be what it is, and not trying to shape it to some ideological notion. This having been done, however, none may complain should men or “high testosterone” people win the majority of the competitions, then spin it off as another instance of “male oppression.” Lack of special treatment is precisely what unbiased, impartiality, fairness is.
Feminists usually claim that Feminism is about women being equal to men. “No special exceptions to anyone” is equality of opportunity. Equality of outcome requires partiality and bias.The term “fair competition” is an oxymoron.
I wasn’t a powerfully strong boy, but I’ve always been strong in slow endurance tasks. I can lift 100lbs more times than most, but 300lbs less times than most and my light and long endurance isn’t all that strong. Shall we make a special class for my body type?
As a male, I’ve never been afforded “special treatment” (called “privilege” by some) or offered a special category to compensate for my weaknesses relative to other humans, in fact, as a man, I am expected to compete with those that have superior skills or abilities. I have no problem with this, it is part of becoming a stronger, better, more skillful and more reality based person.
I have limitations. As one who is colour blind, none have ever made exceptions for me. I cannot pilot a helicopter, for example, yet, I do graphic design nonetheless. When I need to play with colours, I ask for help.
Why, I wonder, is it that society has never created a special category of colour-blind helicopter pilots? Should the government create special programs for me? Adapt their entire military to cater to one of my physical weaknesses, one that is quite common?
I don’t think so. Part of life includes dealing with limitations. Part of adulthood is is accepting them, and working around them. It is a virtuous discipline that one calls “character development.” I recently spoke to Mike Buchanan; he observed that the women at the Detroit Men’s International Conference were a true pleasure to be around. The women were strong, thoughtful and confident (dare I say “empowered”?) This is the by-product of choosing to live life on reality’s terms, to be an adult with character.
If someone thinks they can compete, let them enter the arena of their choice to succeed or fail, let them accept the credit for their success and responsibility for their losses. Let them live their lives and live collaboratively, to do anything else is little more than infantilizing people.