This won’t be a popular opinion forthcoming, but I have a lot of empathy for people. Sympathy? No. If you got fired from your job for jerking off into someone’s coffee over a period of several months (no really, this actually happened), then no – no sympathy for you. Play stupid games, win stupid prizes. But if you got fired for, say, telling a customer their hair looks like it was cut by Michael J. Fox riding a shakeweight when they asked you for an honest opinion and you happen to work in a hair salon, well…then I feel for you.
That being said, I have a slight bit of empathy for 39-year-old Lauren Hubbard. You see, Lauren is a transgendered weightlifter from New Zealand who just pissed off a lotttttt of people by beating the snot out of her competition. How bad did Lauren crush them? Well, she lifted 590 pounds. The runner up? Only 491 pounds.
Lauren beat the competition by almost 100 pounds.
I feel for Lauren in that she’s trying to figure out where she belongs in the world and just wants to be accepted by others. I was like that in middle school when I’d forget to wear deodorant and all the kids would run away from me at recess. But should Lauren be competing in a female weightlifting competition?
No. That’s bullshit.
According to Daily Mail, Lauren crushed her competitors despite passing the International Olympic Committee’s criteria for athletes, which include being required to identify as female and show her total testosterone level via serum “has been below 10 (nanomoles per liter) for at least 12 months prior to her first competition.” Normally I’d be like “Ok fine whatever, if she passed all their criteria then people are just whining about sour grapes,” but dude come on – she won by nearly 100 pounds. That’s not a difference in skill in training, that’s called “I was a dude for 30 years.”
Some weightlifters who had competed with Lauren felt slighted, saying that “We all deserve to be on an even playing field. It’s difficult when you believe that you’re not. If it’s not even, why are we doing the sport?” However, not all felt like Lauren had an unfair edge, with sports writer Phil Gifford coming forward to defend her.
“Some very enlightened sports administrators made a rule which is very straightforward,” he explains, “…she is completely entitled, I believe, to compete and anybody who says otherwise is either being, I think, very prejudiced, which is the main thing I would imagine, or jealous of the fact that maybe this woman has come along and she’s better than the female competitors.”
“It is nevertheless a fact that in years when she was competing as a male weightlifter there would be, I’m sure, some residual strength left from that.”
There’s being open minded and accepting, then there’s burying your head in the ground and just regurgitating all the PC-bullshit you know you’re supposed to say, regardless of whether or not it’s accurate. Did Lauren pass all the testosterone tests? Yes, but come on – years of weightlifting as a man left her with “residual strength”? Way to downplay it as much as you can. The fact of the matter is, Lauren already had muscle built from when she was male and managed to win the competition by practically 100 pounds. That’s not fair. It’d be one thing if she squeaked out a narrow win, but that’s not the case here.
What do you think? Should Lauren have been allowed to compete because she passed all the criteria for competing as a woman, or should she have been prevented from ever getting on stage?