Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar (MN), like her fellow freshman congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY), has hit the ground running with all kinds of radical causes — and, as reported by The Daily Caller, she’s got a new one that’s about as social justice-friendly as you get: Allowing biological males to compete against females in powerlifting because, she insists, the notion that “trans women have a ‘direct competitive advantage’ over women” is a “myth.”
In a letter sent to Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, a fellow far-left Democrat, Omar called for an investigation of USA Powerlifting for what she said is a violation of human rights laws by not allowing biological males to compete in women’s events. Here’s the letter posted on Instagram and confirmed to TheDC as legitimate by Omar’s representatives.
“I am writing to express my concern over a recent decision by USA Powerlifting to bar participation by my constituent Ms. JayCee Cooper, because she is transgender,” begins the letter posted online by Cooper, a biological male who identifies as a female, OutSports reports.
“Under the Minnesota Human Rights Act, discrimination against anyone based on their gender identity is illegal,” Omar’s letter continues. “This includes in public accommodations and in Minnesota, organizations such as USA Powerlifting. In fact, just last month a Minnesota jury awarded Ms. Christina Ginther $20,000 after the Independent Women’s Football League refused to allow her to participate because she is transgender.”
Omar then condemned banning biological males from competing with females as “discriminatory” and “unscientific,” citing the “myth” that men have a physical advantage over women.
“I urge you to reconsider this discriminatory, unscientific policy and follow the example of the International Olympic Committee,” she stressed. “The myth that trans women have a ‘direct competitive advantage’ over women is not supported by medical science, and it continues to stoke fear and violence against one of the most at-risk communities in the world.”
Omar ends by calling on Ellison to “investigate this discriminatory behavior.”
Omar’s letter was sent in response to USA Powerlifting announcing in January that men who identify as women cannot compete in their categories; women who identify as men can, though various hormone bans apply.
So is Omar correct that it’s “unscientific” to say that “transgender women” have an advantage over women? USA Powerlifting sure thinks so. After explaining it follows “policies as defined by the IPF Medical Committee which impact the participation of transgender individuals,” the organization notes: “Through analysis the impact of maturation in the presence naturally occurring androgens as the level necessary for male development, significant advantages are had, including but not limited to increased body and muscle mass, bone density, bone structure, and connective tissue. These advantages are not eliminated by reduction of serum androgens such as testosterone yielding a potential advantage in strength sports such as powerlifting.” While the International Olympic Committee added inclusion of transgender athletes, USA Powerlifting explains, it “also allows sports to determine the impact on fair play through such inclusion.”
In his coverage of the story, Jazz Shaw points out that the current Olympic record holder for the snatch, clean and jerk in the men’s heavyweight division, Georgia’s Lasha Talakhadze, lifted 1,043 pounds (473 kg) in the 2016 Olympic Games. The women’s record holder, China’s Zhou Lulu, lifted 734 pounds (333 kg) in 2012. That means the strongest male lifted 410 pounds more than the strongest female, or 80% more than the strongest female. A male of smaller stature, Shaw points out, the 152-lb max men’s champion, lifted more than the 165-lb weight limit of Zhou Lulu.
Among the scientific studies finding that men do naturally have a physical advantage over women, a 2005 study by the Clinical Research and Regional Bone Centers, Helen Hayes Hospital, found that “males have larger skeletal size and bone mass than females, despite comparable body size.” An Ohio University researcher found that men have “higher aerobic capacity [VO2max], on average, which is due to their typically having less body fat, more hemoglobin and muscle mass, and larger hearts and lungs than women.” That natural physical advantage gives men an average of a 10-20% greater performance rate in running than women.
Below is a video that went viral in 2018 featuring two male-to-female sprinters beating the females in a girls high school 100 meter dash: