Mike makes a good point. Even though I generally agree with the author’s conclusion, the arguments made are easily defeated. Let’s take this one about the fact that so few trans people are medal holders. Basic statistics tells us you have to correct for population size when you have great differences in populations. This argument only holds if the number of people in the trans population is roughly the same and the cis-population from which you are selecting the athletes. It is for this reason very large high schools don’t compete with small schools. The larger school is likely to have a higher number of gifted people, even though the ratio of gifted people in the population is the same for both schools.
Also, there is no such thing as a binary distribution. A binary when there are only two conditions, e.g. black/white, on/off. It is by definition, not a distribution in itself (though you can count the number of things in each group to see how something is distributed, but that is unrelated). Binary distribution is a term related to software. So, no, no educated person thinks there is a binary distribution of sex because just one intersexed person proves there isn’t. A basic understanding of biology shows us that sex exists in nature on a continuum. For humans, there is a very strong bimodal distribution. The vast majority of people cluster around two modes we call “typical female” and “typical male”. We all know there are extremes and people in the middle too based on phenotype and genotype standards. That said, in the arena of athletics there is significant overlap between the elite women and the typical man — in many sports. If the US had 150 million trans women to select from, there would be virtually no cis-women in many sports.
Sports is not a human right, by any serious convention on human rights I am aware of. Plus, no one is saying trans women can’t compete in sports. It is their right, even if not a human right. The question is only whether they should be allowed to compete against cis-women. Saying people are treating them as “not fully human, and thus not deserving of the same human rights as everyone else”, is being melodramatic. You just turn people who might be allies off with such rhetoric.
You think “[c]ompetitive sport isn’t fair. It never has been. It’s not meant to be”. Actually, I’d say that it is nature that isn’t fair. Nature does not have fairness as a goal. Sport is perhaps one of the fairest things there is in life, given that reality. That is why we love it so much. There is no more meritocratic system and it is the desire for fairness that gets people riled when they sense something isn’t fair.
So, here is what I think we should do, based on my belief that everyone should be treated equally:
First, no unnatural performance enhancing. All sports are open to all comers to compete at the highest level, regardless of sex. Call it open category sports. Then set up other categories. For example, for anyone with t-levels lower than a certain point, for some sports where that matters. For people below a certain height, weight, age, etc. in other sports. It will vary by sport. Then people can get medals in those categories too.
Let’s face it. Everyone will care the most about the open category, just like they do today with women’s sports. Look how great the women’s US soccer team is, but we hardly ever hear about it.
Who won’t like this? 1) TERFs, but that’s being hypocritical, isn’t it? After all, if women have equal rights, why are they entitled to have sports that exclude men. 2) Non-feminists, might not like it either because they just want to win in an arena where men will usually perform better. But, I say we keep things like title 9 and work to create the categories for these sports where predominately women qualify. This might require a combination of factors to create a category. Say, basketball tier two. This requires that players be either low T-level or shorter than 5 feet 8 inches. Why is it bad to discriminate against women, but fine to discriminate against short men? Today, in many sports, women have the right to compete in the male category, but not the other way around. This will resolve that inequality too.
Not a perfect solution. Sorry to say, there isn’t one. Do you have a better idea? I’d love to hear it, but explain how it is the more fair and equal for all, not just your side.