Gender inequality has been a problem for a long time in sport but recently, several issues involving transgender athletes have emerged. Rachel McKinnon, a Canadian trans woman cyclist who won the world cycling championship last year was singled out by tennis player Martina Navratilova. Navratilova boldly claims that transgender athletes are ‘cheaters’ and ‘unfair.’
Navratilova claims that this is an unfair advantage due to a male’s natural body, which is larger and stronger than the average female body. Athletes, such as McKinnon, must self-identify as a transgender for a specific time period before even being allowed to compete. During this time, transgender athletes must work to meet several requirements, for example, following steps to lower their hormone levels such as testosterone.
Just because an athlete is born in the wrong body, why does the athlete get harassed and bullied for trying to change that fact and express their true identity? An athlete who was biologically born as a woman but possesses a high testosterone level must also take steps to lower their hormone levels, so why is it consider ‘cheating’ or ‘wrong’ if a transgender women must follow the same steps?
According to a recent study, when it comes to motivation during a sport, there is one difference that separates men and women’s motivation. Men are motivated at a higher level when it comes to satisfying curiosity, and women are more motivated by relieving stress. Men and women are similar in mind-set during sport, their main differences exist is body structure and build. But if transgender women are following steps to quell these differences, why can they not compete without judgement from others?
Featured image: Martina Navratilova