Why is the allowed to play at lower levels then? Shouldn't she be banned from those too?Nope. See, what we should do is simply set the eligibility criteria based on biological sex. That ensures a level playing field in the sense that women are not expected to compete with those who've enjoyed the benefits of male puberty. It also ensures that females who happen to be unusually tall, fast, strong etc are not punished for their physical prowess: that really would be discriminatory.
This argument that Mouncey is being unfairly treated unless we're also prepared to exclude biological females of a similar height, weight etc is really silly. For one thing (as others have pointed out), a biological male will be considerably stronger (more muscle mass, higher bone density) than a biological female of the same size. For another thing, it simply misses the point about the way in which eligibility settings function. A couple of analogies may help:
- I'm now an adult. This means I"m ineligible to play in the local Under 17s team - eligibility is restricted by age to create something of a level playing field, given the on average physical difference between 16-year-olds and fully-grown adults. Still, it's not like they test my height, speed, strength etc to make sure that I'm ineligible: my age is all that matters. Nor will it do any good for me to point out that there are kids in the team that are bigger than I am (though it's quite likely that there are.)
-Suppose that I take steriods. This means I'm ineligible to play in the AFL; in fact it probably means i'm ineligible to play football at any level. The performance enhancement that comes with steroid use would give me an unfair physical advantage. Again, note that nobody is interested in seeing how fast I can run before rendering me ineligible: the steroid use is all that matters. My complaining (following testing positive) that even with the steroids i'm not half as fast/strong etc as Lance Franklin will do me no good whatsoever.
Key point: if someone has a set of physical advantages due to naturally occurring physical prowess (e.g. Lance Franklin, the hypothetical 7ft tall AFLW player), then more power to them: sport is partly celebration of that naturally occurring physical prowess. If someone has a set of physical advantages due to their falling on the wrong side of eligiblity conditions in restricted categories, then that person is, you know, ineligible. It wouldn't matter if Mouncey were only 150cm tall: she's biologically male; hence she's not eligible to play in category restricted to females.
Fwiw, I genuinely sympathise with Mouncey and other trans women. Unfortunately, someone has to lose out here: fairness to female players requires that this be the trans women seeking inclusion in elite competitions.
p.s "AFL" is not a sport. "Football" works fine.