Stonewall Still Trying To Kick Women's Safety Into Touch
Nancy Kelley's support for a male demanding to play rugby on a women's team is disgraceful. But it is 'on brand'.
Rugby can be a dangerous sport.
In August 2018 a French rugby player, Louis Fajfrowski, a forward for Stade Aurillacois, died as a result of a heavy tackle during a game. An investigation ruled that he died from a lethal fibrillation. A blow to the chest received during the tackle had disrupted the rhythm of his heartbeat. He was twenty-one years old.
Tragically, Fajfrowski was one of four young French players to die while they were playing rugby in the space of just eight months.
Of course, no sport is worth the loss of life of its players. Neither is it worth the serious injury of its players. And that is why we ask sports’ governing bodies to take every possible precaution to protect the safety and wellbeing of those who compete.
To that end, in February 2020, rugby union’s governing body, World Rugby, held a landmark transgender workshop. Leading independent experts from the areas of performance, science, medicine, risk, law and socio-ethics presented the latest research and studies surrounding the inclusion of trans-identified male rugby players in the female game.
A 38-page document produced by this working group recommended that the then guidelines, which allowed trans-identified males to play on women’s teams, were not fit for purpose. World Rugby then announced that it would review its policy.
"The latest peer-reviewed research confirms that a reduction of testosterone does not lead to a proportionate reduction in mass, muscle mass, strength or power. These important determinants of injury risk and performance remain significantly elevated after testosterone suppression… This presents a clear safety risk when transgender women play women's contact rugby”.
That announcement sent the trans lobby into a tailspin. Ignoring the female players whose opportunities were being stolen and whose safety was being jeopardised, trans groups and their enablers were protesting the potential exclusion of males from women’s rugby.
Unsurprisingly, Stonewall was leading the charge, proving beyond doubt that their trans agenda is more important than women’s lives. They claimed that trans-identified males playing on women’s teams were “The most vulnerable people in the community”.
In 2019 BBC Sport Wales reported on trans-identified male, Kelly Morgan, who, at the time, played rugby for the Porth Harlequin Ladies team.
Morgan, 34 years old and over six feet tall, worked as a lorry driver. In the article, the team captain described how Morgan once “Folded a girl like a deckchair” during a match. The team’s founder, Brian Minty, told the BBC that Kelly is going to be a good player for several years, “As long as we can stop her [sic] injuring players in training”.
He really doesn’t sound like one of the “Most vulnerable people in the community”.
Stonewall turned off the comments on the above tweet, perhaps to avoid someone pointing out that there is a 20%-30% greater risk of injury to a female player when she is tackled by a male. Or perhaps to avoid someone pointing out that all of the scientific evidence demonstrates that, even after reducing testosterone levels, males retain numerous physical and physiological advantages over women and any loss of muscle mass and strength is negligible.
In September 2021, the Sports Councils Equality Group published new guidelines for transgender participation in sport which concluded the policies in place were not adequate. "For many sports, the inclusion of transgender people, fairness and safety cannot co-exist in a single competitive model".
Of course, Stonewall reacted with predictable science-denial and hyperbole.
No, the report did not ‘make assumptions’, it reached a conclusion based on facts. There is plenty of evidence that trans identified males ‘already participating in sports’ have not only stolen medals, opportunities and places from women, they’ve seriously injured them. Yes, sport is for everyone. That includes women. Nobody is suggesting the exclusion trans-identified males from sport; they can compete in the appropriate class for their sex.
In October 2020 World Rugby acted on all the expert advice and research garnered at the landmark transgender workshop held earlier that year. It updated its transgender policy to prevent trans-identified males from playing on women’s teams, “Because of the size, force- and power-producing advantages conferred by testosterone during puberty and adolescence, and the resultant player welfare risks this creates.”
Of course, Stonewall bemoaned this decision and talked of trans-identified males being ‘shut out’ from the sport.
Nancy Kelley’s statement involved the now customary hyperbole, misinformation and hand-wringing about ‘trans women’ being barred from World Rugby competitions.
As usual, Stonewall totally ignored that trans-identified males are not being excluded from playing rugby; they are at perfect liberty to play on sex-appropriate teams with other males.
Or they could form their own teams. As women had to do.
In July 2022 the RFU, the governing body for rugby union in England, ruled that trans-identified males cannot participate in women’s contact rugby.
“Trans women, irrespective of if they have played contact rugby previously, will no longer be able to participate in the female category for contact rugby.”
In September 2022, trans-identified male, Julie Anne Curtiss, instigated legal action against the RFU because of this policy. Curtiss is a 52-year-old father from Brighton who had played for amateur women’s side, Hove RFC.
He claims that the RFU’s policy violates the Equality Act 2010. However, the RFU believe that their policy is validated under Section 195 of the Equality Act 2010 which states that participation in a ‘gender-affected activity’ can be restricted to ensure ‘fair competition’ or the ‘safety of competitors’.
Curtiss’s solicitors have issued a pre-action letter to the RFU asking it to explain why its new policy is lawful. The RFU is intent on defending its policy and a spokesperson commented, “We believe any potential claim is without merit and we will robustly defend the case”.
Curtiss, who operates a Twitter account with the handle @tigergirl_70, launched a crowdfunder to help fund his legal action. The link to the crowdfunder was shared on social media by Stonewall’s CEO, Nancy Kelley, this week.
This is who Kelley and Stonewall are shilling for, a male who denigrates and insults lesbians if they dare to speak up in defence of their same-sex attraction.
Curtiss writes a blog called My Life and Other Animals. In a post entitled ‘My Story Part 2’, Curtiss discusses his distaste for the gay men he describes as ‘fairies’. “I do get frustrated with the “fairy” type of gay person though”, he writes. “Having never felt the need to strut around the planet affirming my hetero-sexuality, I see no need for people to strut around the world affirming their homo-sexuality. To me the “fairies” also fit into my swinging dick category”.
Women’s rugby is still in its infancy. The first official Women’s Rugby World Cup was held only 24 years ago. Funding is precarious and opportunities to play professionally are scant. But Stonewall advocates that women should give up their places and opportunities to males like Curtiss. Worse still, Stonewall is putting the safety - even their lives - of female players in jeopardy by campaigning to include males in their sport.
What kind of a civil rights organisation thinks women’s sports, achievements and safety are acceptable prices to pay for something that isn’t even fair or reasonable to ask for in the first place? Stonewall has access to all the same information and research that we have, yet they ignore it, tacitly admitting that their vision of ‘civil rights’ is impossible without the cost of dead or disabled women.
You cannot include men in the category of women - full stop. All this discussion on testosterone and fairness is tedious. We want no men in women's sport and that's that. We shouldn't have to justify that with any other reason that men are not women.
Lady Macbeth tells her husband to ignore his own sense of justice and morality for personal gain.
Strangely enough, that's exactly what trans activists do, regarding sport (and a whole load of other things.) Anyone who instructs others to ditch their inherent grasp of right and wrong and fairness is guaranteed to be up to no good. No other "good causes" do it.