In late April, controversy hit the sport of women’s powerlifting. A dude…I’m sorry, I mean a man who wants us to believe he’s a woman…who goes by the name of Mary Gregory basically rewrote the record books as he took nine medals and shattered existing records.
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What a day, 9 for 9! Masters world squat record, open world bench record, masters world dl record, and masters world total record! Still processing, full meet recap to come a bit later but I do want to thank a few people!💜 – From our initial consultation I told @savvysavit that I wanted to cut to the 82.5kg class, go 9 for 9, and set some records- we did it!!! I don’t think she was happy with me cutting but she was there offering her support. When I needed a pick me up or advice she was there! Thank you coach!💜 – A huge thank you to @raw_powerlifting_federation_ , from the bottom of my heart! As a transgender lifter I was unsure what to expect going into this meet and everyone- all the spotters, loaders, referees, staff, meet director, all made me welcome and treated me as just another female lifter- thank you! And thanks to all the fans in the audience who cheered me on and congratulated me!💜 – Thank @rrrrachele for making the trip out to support me today, video my lifts, and cheer me on!💜 – And thank you to all the peeps on Instagram who reached out to offer your support!💜 – Now for 🍷 and 🍕!!! – #transgenderwoman#sharetheplatform#transrightsarehumanrights#lgbtq#bemoreawesome#upliftandliftheavy#morefemalestrength#richmondbalance#liftlunchlearnrva#squat#bench#deadlift
Needless to say, a lot of actual women athletes were upset:
This is a trans woman a male body with male physiology setting a world record & winning a woman’s event in America in powerlifting. A woman with female biology cannot compete.. it’s a pointless unfair playing field. https://t.co/sI9i3AFANB
— Sharron Davies MBE (@sharrond62) April 28, 2019
Its a bloody joke and all getting ready for biological women to boycott certain events.Have a trans category if need be but even better a trans games.Otherwise i’m starting to worry about the backlash and abuse that the trans community will get from spectators. It will happen!
— Kelly Holmes (@damekellyholmes) April 28, 2019
The reason we have men & women’s races are because we are biologically different. Performance 100% confirms that. The reason steroids (including testosterone) are on the banned list is because using them gives you an advantage. FairPlay is racing by biology by sex not by gender
— Sharron Davies MBE (@sharrond62) April 29, 2019
“Mary” has only been using drugs to emulate feminine characteristics for 11 months.
Gregory is a construction worker, and said she lacks the insurance coverage for bottom surgery. Although she is a lesbian, she said she isn’t in any hurry to get it.
Okay. Hold it right there. Time for intermission.
Now back to the story.
“Perfect world, under perfect situations, probably, yes, I would have the surgery,” she said, “because I’m not that attached to that part of my anatomy. It doesn’t define who I am, but I don’t hate it. I don’t need it to be gone to be able to live my life and be whole. It’s more of a case that it’s inconvenient that it’s there.”
Besides, she said, having a penis or not plays no part in lifting.
“It’s very hard to tuck and lift in a singlet, but I figured it out!” Gregory laughed, revealing that instead of tape, she wears up to three pairs of underwear.
Since beginning powerlifting, she’s significantly lost weight, from 270 pounds almost four years ago to 179 now. But Gregory notes that while lifting has helped her transition, it’s actually hurt her athletic performance.
She posted on her Instagram profile that prior to starting on hormones, she could lift 408 pounds in the squat, 298 in the bench press and 507 in the deadlift. Now, since starting HRT, those numbers are drastically lower: 314, 233, and 424 pounds.
She says that as far as appearance goes, she’s like any other woman: “100 percent female. I get my hair styled female. Ears pierced, nails painted. But I don’t wear makeup.”
This is the problem with the whole fetish of allowing men to compete in drag. Male musculoskeletal system and muscle composition are different from women. While there are few outliers among women, by and large, men are going to be taller and stronger than women. A woman will only have 60% of the lean muscle mass as a man. This result carries over into all sports and is the very reason that we have women’s sports and men’s sports because without the different categories there would only be men at the elite levels of sports. I made this observation some time ago:
Let’s put it in perspective. The Olympic gold medal winner in the women’s 800 meters in the 2012 London Games was the Russian, Mariya Savinova, with a time of 1:56.19. If her time was ranked alongside the times recorded by high school boys in the State of California she would have finished in 88th place and would have been beaten by a couple of dozen high school sophomores and juniors. The women’s world record in the 800m would have been good for 16th place.
At some point, the sugar high this powerlifting league had gotten from “Mary Gregory” trashing all existing world records wore off and they were confronted with the obvious problems. First, no matter what “Mary” called himself, he was a dude and he was competing with women. Second, if that was acceptable then women’s powerlifting was over because no actual woman could match his records, this spelled the end of the sport. Cooler heads prevailed and science was consulted:
1. The lifter identifies as female, and so entered the contest (with no prior consultation with the Meet Director or (100% RAW officials). Our rules, and the basis of separating genders for competition, are based on physiological classification rather than identification. On the basis of all information presented to the Board of Directors for this particular case, the conclusion made, is that the correct physiological classification is male.
2. Since the lifter’s gender classification for the purpose of our rules is not consistent with female, no female records will be broken by these lifts.
3. The lifter was uncontested during the event therefore no female lifters were denied a place finish. The lifter will be placed in a different category once the Transgender Division is introduced with a new policy.
4. Drug testing results have not been completed and will take about another week to come back from the lab. As a drug test failure invalidates the lifts, we will need to wait for the results of the drug tests to determine if the lifts can be counted at all under our current set of rules.
I think this is right. Whatever Mary Gregory may imagine himself to be, he is incontrovertibly male. If he wants to compete, it must be as what he is, not what he imagines himself to be.