Transgender pro-golfer says ‘male-bodied’ competitors in female sports is ‘slap in the face to women’

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The first transgender athlete to participate in a professional golf tournament reportedly now maintains that allowing “male-bodied” individuals to compete in women’s sports is “a slap in the face to women.”

Danish golfer Mianne Bagger, who made history when she played in the March 2004 Women’s Australian Open, is apparently supporting pending legislation in Australia called the “Save Women’s Sport” bill that would ban transgender athletes from competing in female sports.

Bagger, who transitioned in 1995, told that  “These days, [the dynamic] has crept into what’s called self ID or self identification: male-bodied people presenting as women, who live as women, with varying degrees of medical intervention and in some degrees, no medical intervention, which is just — it’s crossed the line, in my view, it really has … It’s a slap in the face to women.”

Bagger, 55, who resides in Australia, dismissed claims that she was engaging in hypocrisy and drew a distinction between equality in day-to-day life vs. what occurs on the playing field.

“In everyday society, of course we want an inclusive, egalitarian [society]. We want equality, lack of discrimination, and of course, every single person should have equal access to life and services and work in society. Of course, we all want that, and so do I,” she explained.

“In sport? It’s different. Sport is about physical ability. It’s not just about discrimination, it’s not just about equality and equal access. It is a physical ability. Now, if you’ve got one group — males — that are on average stronger, taller, faster, as opposed to women, there has to be a divide. There has to be a division.”

Bagger also called out the International Olympic Committee for no longer requiring gender reassignment surgery and bringing down the ineligibility period (measured by the lack of testosterone) from two years to one, describing the decision-making as “absolute rubbish” and that “almost denies the impact of testosterone on physical performance.”

She claimed that “Anyone with any basic understanding on biology and the difference between men and women knows it’s ridiculous. It’s male puberty that really grants boys and men that physical performance in sport. And I think it’s irrefutable — it’s ridiculous to suggest otherwise.”

The golfer also seemed to contrast scholastic sports with those on a professional level. “You’ve got money, medals, world records — there’s a whole different dynamic at play,” she observed.

Bagger suggested that a 2003 IOC policy that required surgery “could be a workable solution” to the ongoing controversy that has consumed political and media echelons as well as sports leagues.

“I just don’t agree with the current, softened policies that are requiring less and less medical intervention of a male-bodied person entering women’s sport. And if people don’t like that, calling me a hypocrite, I’m like, well, bad luck. I’m sorry, but be reasonable,” she asserted.

About 15 U.S. states have banned transgender athletes from participating in girls’ sports, with some states extending that to women’s sports at the college level.


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