Transgender Discrimination AFL Lawsuit

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Roby

Norm Smith Medallist
Jul 27, 2008
8,882
6,414
Melbourne
AFL Club
Hawthorn
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.
Why is the allowed to play at lower levels then? Shouldn't she be banned from those too?
 

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Scotland

TheBrownDog
May 5, 2006
57,931
62,535
AFL Club
West Coast
What about on the grounds of safety. A trans woman doesn't want to undero surgery, but still identifies as a woman. Just something to think about.
Safety for female participants? Or safety in general in terms of weight and age classes? I consider the latter under fairness. The AFL for example says if you are good enough you can play at 18. Matt Rowell and Sam Walsh are ducks to water. Others are fish out of water and plenty of young players (Rowell included) get injured early on competing against men with multiple pre-seasons under their belt.

As for a 'trans woman who doesn't want to undergo surgery'. As far as I'm concerned, that's a case of tough (prosthetic?) titties. Harsh, but it's not impinging on someone's rights to not elevate their want over the needs/wants of many others. If you want to live as a women and wear dresses and call yourself she more power to you, but it's not an individual choice to join a women's team then go into the locker room with a big ol' dick.
 

RobbieGray17

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 19, 2007
11,684
6,100
adelaide
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Safety for female participants? Or safety in general in terms of weight and age classes? I consider the latter under fairness. The AFL for example says if you are good enough you can play at 18. Matt Rowell and Sam Walsh are ducks to water. Others are fish out of water and plenty of young players (Rowell included) get injured early on competing against men with multiple pre-seasons under their belt.

As for a 'trans woman who doesn't want to undergo surgery'. As far as I'm concerned, that's a case of tough (prosthetic?) titties. Harsh, but it's not impinging on someone's rights to not elevate their want over the needs/wants of many others. If you want to live as a women and wear dresses and call yourself she more power to you, but it's not an individual choice to join a women's team then go into the locker room with a big ol' dick.
I don't quite agree with your point on surgery. I'm not referencing the sport aspect of it, but surely someone can identify as trans and not have surgery.
 

RobbieGray17

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 19, 2007
11,684
6,100
adelaide
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
So unfair to all the women that have busted their arses to be in those teams. How would you feel being the 23rd person on the list just missing out on selection.

95% of women would be against Hannah Mouncey playing in a women's league.
Watch her handball highlights. There are some of her team mates looking less than enthusiastic. In reality you wouldn't expect everyone to agree with it.
 

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Bjchan13

Club Legend
Jul 23, 2018
2,320
2,190
AFL Club
Essendon
So unfair to all the women that have busted their arses to be in those teams. How would you feel being the 23rd person on the list just missing out on selection.

95% of women would be against Hannah Mouncey playing in a women's league.
I dont think it would be anywhere near 95%. But even if it was 5% the league would have a dilemma on its hands. Are they willing to turn away any percentage of women from the game to accommodate trans women? Would be interesting to see the results of an anonymous survey.
 

burge13

Premiership Player
Jan 25, 2019
4,216
7,605
AFL Club
Adelaide
I dont think it would be anywhere near 95%. But even if it was 5% the league would have a dilemma on its hands. Are they willing to turn away any percentage of women from the game to accommodate trans women? Would be interesting to see the results of an anonymous survey.
Overwhelming majority would be against it if anonymous. They cant risk say anything publicly, obviously.
 

Dogs_R_Us

Space Traveller
May 3, 2001
13,773
14,212
Sirius - the Dogstar
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Going forward the best way to deal with this is to stop identifying people by their gender and identify people by their sex only.

As gender seems to be a pointless and ridiculous concept in 2021 we need to go back to basic and go with the real science.
You mean, XX and XY? It's the only way.
 

flyinghi64

Club Legend
Dec 7, 2006
2,936
2,220
perth
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
Perth Scorchers
Anyone who can look at those highlights and honestly believe that is fair are kidding themselves.
The only reason, I can see, Hannah is able to play in the VFL is because the person or people making that decision were to afraid to upset the 2-5% who believe it to be fair.

Just watched Southpark and this was pretty much Heather Swanson.
 

The_Wookie

Queenslander
Jul 2, 2010
33,512
31,275
Scamander
AFL Club
Carlton
Anyone who can look at those highlights and honestly believe that is fair are kidding themselves.
The only reason, I can see, Hannah is able to play in the VFL is because the person or people making that decision were to afraid to upset the 2-5% who believe it to be fair.

Just watched Southpark and this was pretty much Heather Swanson.
It depends on what the AFL defines as "elite competition". They Equal Opportunity Act only allows exceptions for this (or for religion).
  • Section 72(1): You can lawfully discriminate against a person on the basis of their sex or gender identity if strength, stamina or physique is relevant.
  • Section 72(1A)-(1B): You can lawfully discriminate against a person on the basis of their sex if running a single-sex competition is necessary to progress to an elite level competition or is intended to facilitate the participation of people of a particular sex in your sport
 

Bombermania

Norm Smith Medallist
Dec 18, 2007
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Counting premiership cups
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Essendon
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It depends on what the AFL defines as "elite competition". They Equal Opportunity Act only allows exceptions for this (or for religion).
  • Section 72(1): You can lawfully discriminate against a person on the basis of their sex or gender identity if strength, stamina or physique is relevant.
  • Section 72(1A)-(1B): You can lawfully discriminate against a person on the basis of their sex if running a single-sex competition is necessary to progress to an elite level competition or is intended to facilitate the participation of people of a particular sex in your sport
Those provisions don't appear to help Hannah because the AFLW has a policy in place that provides Hannah with the ability to play women's footy and her complaint seems to be that she can be rejected by a side or competition without being given a reason which doesn't sound like strong grounds because every year players are rejected without always receiving a reason.
 

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