OPINION: In The Battle For Strength, It Helps To Be A Man In A Woman’s World

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 09: Laurel Hubbard of New Zealand competes in the Women's +90kg Final during the Weightlifting on day five of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games at Carrara Sports and Leisure Centre on April 9, 2018 on the Gold Coast, Australia.
Scott Barbour/Getty Images

After being selected as part of New Zealand’s Olympic weightlifting team for this summer’s Tokyo games, Laurel Hubbard became the “first openly transgender person to participate in the Olympics.”

As The Daily Wire’s Tim Pearce noted, the male-to-female transgender weightlifter is the oldest weightlifter to be competing in the games. 

Hubbard transitioned in 2013, and became eligible to compete in the Olympics after the International Olympic Committee changed its rules in 2015, allowing transgender athletes to compete with athletes of the gender of which they identify “as long as the athlete’s testosterone measured below 10 nanomoles per liter for at least a year prior to competing.”

Of course, it doesn’t take a scientific genius to understand that there is a competitive advantage provided to those who develop as a man, and then transition later. If such chronology didn’t matter, then presumably there would be no physical difference between those who received various hormone therapies before or after going through hormone therapy.

For example, The Guardian reported in December 2020 that “A groundbreaking new study on transgender athletes” indicated that “trans women retain a 12% advantage in running tests even after taking hormones for two years to suppress their testosterone.”

“The results, researchers suggest, indicate the current International Olympic Committee guidelines may give trans women an ‘unfair competitive advantage’ over biological women,” The Guardian added.

Hubbard, who was born in 1978, is 43-years-old, meaning that the transgender athlete was in their mid-thirties when they transitioned. In other words, Hubbard experienced decades of developmental growth as a male before recently ensuring that their testosterone measured below some given limit. If we assume that this wouldn’t drastically “undo” any biological benefits when compared to biological women — such as muscle growth — we could well explain Hubbard’s meteoric rise in the women’s sport.

While the notion of gender “affirmation” treatment for consenting adults whose transition doesn’t threaten the livelihoods of others is subject to objective medical and moral debate, the embrace of an additional competitive layer simply cannot be accepted by a society which claims to protect women, particularly when such competition provides biological men with an inescapable advantage.

As a middle-aged man, Hubbard was an unknown entity in the world of international sports, whose greatest — admittedly impressive — achievement in the field of weightlifting was a junior national record in 1998 while competing as a male. 

As a middle-aged biological man celebrated by certain elements of society as a woman, Hubbard appears to be a likely Olympian.

For Hubbard to emerge victorious this summer, all it will cost is the right of women to compete on a level playing field with other women.

Ian Haworth is an Editor and Writer for The Daily Wire. Follow him on Twitter at @ighaworth.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

The Daily Wire is one of America’s fastest-growing conservative media companies and counter-cultural outlets for news, opinion, and entertainment. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.