Dr. McKinnon and the Paralympics

We have the Paralympics. Which have complicated classes for disability. Cognitive lacks play over here in one class, limb lacks over here in another, sight there and so on. There are even classes within classes to that we get swims where everyone is called Bob.

We already classify by the exigencies and happenstances of genetics and accident. Because it is entirely obvious to all that those without the brain to tie their own shoelaces aren’t going to do all that well against Magic Johnson. That those with the one and only functioning limb will, by the very nature of these things, paddle slower than Duncan Goodhew. Even at the ages of those two sportsmen.

There will, in fact, be no sport unless we do classify.

None of this is about righteous nor just. It’s about this simple point that sport requires uncertainty. It must be possible for there to be the race.

Male musculature as against female? What race? Therefore we should indeed distinguish and classify.

And don’t forget that by drawing a line there will always be some unfairly on the one side of it. Internal testicles making one not a woman for the purposes of racing? High testosterone levels in an Indian sprinter?

OK. The alternative being the demolition of women’s sport as a category as the male physique conquers.

Someone’s going to get screwed, sure, but who should it be? Probably the few, right? Not the all?

25 comments on “Dr. McKinnon and the Paralympics

  1. “There will, in fact, be no sport unless we do classify.”

    Not quite true; there will be nothing but fit youngish men’s sport.

    Sure, there’s a few exceptions; I think horse riding and yachting is mixed, and I’ve heard reasonable arguments that women’s tennis is actually a more interesting game than men’s, because it’s slower.

    But mostly we don’t really need the separate women’s sports; it’s generally just a benefit for female competitors, a special needs class to allow them to compete but generally not of much interest to non-competitors.

  2. After I saw who was taking part in the ‘special Olympics’ I had more respect for those being sent to fight when I heard that ‘special forces’ had been deployed in Afghanistan

  3. O/T re the sport side of this, but it increasingly gets to the stage where the nutters will win come what may, because we have no balls.

    https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2019/10/how-a-chicken-shop-was-cancelled/

    … according to Reading Pride who led the campaign, the food outlet’s charitable donations to ‘anti-LGBT’ organisations such as The Fellowship of Christian Athletes and, God forbid, The Salvation Army, was indicative of their unforgivable bigotry.

    Now, barely a week after the chicken shop began serving British customers, Reading’s mall, The Oracle, has announced that it will not be renewing the company’s lease. ‘We have decided on this occasion that the right thing to do is to only allow Chick-fil-A to trade with us for the initial six-month pilot period, and not to extend the lease any further,’ The Oracle said in a statement, noting that it seeks to ‘offer an inclusive space where everyone is welcome.’

  4. Sure, there’s a few exceptions; I think horse riding and yachting is mixed

    At youth and national levels in single handed dinghy sailing most events are mixed but, there are generally prizes for the first women/girls as well. If its an event with 2 crew they might have a girls and mixed prize as well as overall.

    Although they are open my observation is that high performance dinghies tend to be predominantly male

    Over a week long regatta weight and strength even out because in light winds a light crew does well and in strong winds a bit of extra weight and strength helps.

    There’s been a bit of a fuss over some of the endurance sailing and the Volvo round the world tried to get more women involved:

    In previous races, an all-male crew could be made up of eight members.

    But such teams are now restricted to seven, while mixed crews can be made up of 10 sailors, and female-only teams can feature 11.

    “This is giving more opportunity to the very best female sailors in the world to compete on equal terms,” Volvo Ocean Race chief executive Mark Turner said last year.

    “We’re using the crew rules to incentivise skippers to bring one or more female sailors onboard.

    “I really hope that it’s not necessary to have any rule at all in the future – but it seems it’s the only way today to ensure we can maintain progress.”

  5. We have the Paralympics. Which have complicated classes for disability. Cognitive lacks play over here in one class, limb lacks over here in another, sight there and so on. There are even classes within classes to that we get swims where everyone is called Bob.

    And they are heavily ‘gamed’. Those taking part want to be classified as having the worst possible disability as that gives them the best chance of winning their class. Something similar happens automatically in veteran athletics, where there are classes by age. A friend who does this at international level is looking forward to his next birthday, because he’ll then be the youngest competitor in the next class up, rather than the oldest in his current age-group.

  6. Perhaps there is a case for T’s to be in the paralympics as a class of their own. If you accept that their gender is as they claim, they clearly have a disability of sorts (such as lack of a womb).

    The fact that disability makes them better at sports rather than worse is almost incidental. A lot of the amputee blade runners are better on blades than they would have been on full legs.

    And we shouldn’t claim that this is a demotion, as that would be looking down on the differently-abled.

  7. OT but along the equality lines.

    It turns out that the famous study that looked at blind auditions for orchestras wasn’t as conclusive as we’ve been led to bevel.

  8. I like some women’s sports because they’re more elegant. Tennis is a good example, when they’re not grunting. Which the men tend not to do. Ice dancing as well.

    But I suspect the real value to spectators of women’s sports is sexual more than athletic. An attractive young woman in tennis kit is pleasant to watch. Sexual is not quite the right word. It’s aesthetically pleasing, in a way that the raw vigour of men’s strength and speed is not.

    Do I want to look at sheer athletic excellence, or something less timekeepingly perfect but attractive in a different way?

    Sometimes it’s one, sometimes it’s another.

  9. I’m not far from Reading, I will go and have Chick-fil-A. I never had any in TX, couldn’t get near the place for Christians boycotting the boyvott.

  10. Women have lost an intersectional battle with another more favoured minority, who were (a) more up for it, despite vastly inferior numbers, (b) are backed by money and absurd human rights laws, and (c), the most important reason – they fuck up Western society more than women’s rights do, so the Left automatically favours them, which means most of the media.

  11. Lud

    “An attractive young woman in tennis kit is pleasant to watch … It’s aesthetically pleasing, in a way that the raw vigour of men’s strength and speed is not.”

    Kournikova didn’t achieve those viewing figures on the competency of her backhand …

  12. ‘The alternative being the demolition of women’s sport as a category as the male physique conquers.’

    Not my job, mon. Why should we men be more concerned than women are? The patriarchy must save the women!

    Women are fully capable of protecting their sports. That they don’t seem to be doesn’t make it men’s job. Until women’s sports leaders come out against it, it’s none of men’s business. We should support them if they do. We should not be making our own fight. It’s not our fight.

  13. @PF

    Disgraceful behaviour by The Oracle. Chick-fil-A will not make enough profit in six months to cover store fit out; I hope they sue – religious discrimination?

    Time for some fire and brimstone shareholder emails to Hammerson’s David Tyler (Chairman) and David Atkins (CEO)

    @rhoda

    Any “No chlorinated chicken” campaigners?

  14. “But mostly we don’t really need the separate women’s sports; it’s generally just a benefit for female competitors, a special needs class to allow them to compete but generally not of much interest to non-competitors.”

    Ditto, spazzers.

  15. It was Sharon Davies who when she spoke out said that there are many women in sports that aren’t happy about the situation but are afraid to speak out because of the damage to their careers. As she was retired she was happy to say something.
    To pinch someone else’s concept we are never going to have a proper conversation about this until people stop accusing one side of being trans/homo-phobic just for expressing a reasonable concern.

  16. @Andrew C

    You owe me a new keyboard.

    @Edward Lud

    Love-thirty, love-forty, oh! weakness of joy,
    The speed of a swallow, the grace of a boy,
    With carefullest carelessness, gaily you won,
    I am weak from your loveliness, Joan Hunter Dunn.

  17. “But I suspect the real value to spectators of women’s sports is sexual more than athletic. An attractive young woman in tennis kit is pleasant to watch. Sexual is not quite the right word. It’s aesthetically pleasing, in a way that the raw vigour of men’s strength and speed is not.”

    It’s more about grace, and that’s what women admire in women, not raw physical strength.

    Ice dancing is one of the few sports (if we want to call it a sport) with a professional career for women. Do the Olympics, then you do the ice shows for 10 years to a crowd paying reasonable money. The audience is pretty much women and gay men.

    They should go back to wooden bats for tennis. Women’s tennis was ruined by plastic bats. All these muscular biffas came into the sport instead of graceful women. Seriously, who wants to watch the Williams sisters?

  18. “To pinch someone else’s concept we are never going to have a proper conversation about this until people stop accusing one side of being trans/homo-phobic just for expressing a reasonable concern.”

    You can’t debate with fanatics; you’re not disagreeing, you’re a heretic.

    See: Global Warbling, Communism for details…

  19. Meh. Men are misogynist if we tell women they have to in include trans women and we are transphobic if we tell trans-women they aren’t women.

    Most credible answer is to stay quiet and let them sort it out. Women being equal can fight their owns battles.

  20. “But I suspect the real value to spectators of women’s sport is sexual more than athletic.”
    Not only the spectators, but also the sponsors and the relevant governing bodies knowing that sex sells.
    In women’s beach volleyball, the dress code is tiny bikini briefs, the side of which is to be no more than one inch wide. The top is a tight, crop top type of covering. The sponsors know that few people will watch these games if the women are wearing the same type of shorts and loose vests as the men. More viewers, more money, both for the sponsors and the governing bodies. The same with women’s athletics, marathons, and volleyball. Even in tennis, few, if any, women wear shorts while playing, short skirts now being the accepted style of dress, though the sight of female tennis players in beach volleyball outfits may make me start watching Wimbledon again.

  21. @ PF October 21, 2019 at 4:27 pm

    “The Oracle said in a statement, noting that it seeks to ‘offer an inclusive space where everyone is welcome.’”

    Except Chick-fil-A and their staff, obviously.

    DP

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