Swimming ban a blow to courageous trans athletes

Vintage Wilcox

Illustration: Cathy WilcoxCredit:

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Transgender ruling
We can talk about the science and issues of inclusion and exclusion (“Experts query trans swimmer ban”, The Age, 21/6). But just for a minute can we think about the years of potential stigma, discrimination, hardship and inner turmoil that many trans and gender diverse people have experienced when people around them cannot affirm their gender? And then to think that they can actually overcome all of that and still manage to get seriously good at a sport; good enough to compete at the highest level? Wow. Any sports psychologist would tell you it takes more than a strong body to do that. This sounds a lot like overcoming significant disadvantage and yet daring to succeed. Can we talk about that?
Trish Thompson, Northcote

Acknowledge diversity
So almost all trans women must be banned from international swimming because their long legs and big feet are claimed to give them an unfair advantage. But why stop there? There are cis women in basketball and netball with remarkably long limbs giving them a huge advantage on court. All because they were lucky in their genetic makeup. There are male athletes like Mason Cox and Ian Thorpe with unusually long limbs and big feet that give them a huge advantage on the football field and in the swimming pool. Perhaps we should ban all those with unusual physical attributes that give them an advantage over the rest of us. Then again maybe we could just resolve to admire their achievements.
Bob Muntz, Ascot Vale

Insulting label
Please stop referring to natal women as cis as you did several times in your stories on transgender in sport. We are women, simply. Those who transition are trans women.
Stop insulting women; you don’t seem to do it to natal men so why to women?
Megan Peniston-Bird, Kew

What if it were your family?
With respect to your correspondent and all those bleary-eyed early morning swimmers like your granddaughter (Letters, 21/6), I presume they love swimming, and given that many kids don’t understand their gender incongruence until around puberty, and far fewer become elite swimmers, how would you feel if at 13 she starts to question her gender? (Now that’s despair.) Would you be happy for your grandchild to thereafter swim in their own lane? Or what if your granddaughter was trans, how is it fair that she can’t swim (maybe one of the few things she enjoys), but perhaps her best-friend can?
Name withheld

One-way traffic
Why is it that the only transgender athletes making news for excelling compete in women’s competitions? Where are the trans men in men’s sports?
Josephine Bant, Collingwood

Embrace the natural curve
The transgender issues challenging sporting bodies are a symptom. The real challenge is transitioning our minds from simplistic dichotomies to statistical normal curves. Let’s hope most can achieve this before puberty.
Joan Segrave, Healesville

FINA just the beginning
Congratulations to FINA the international swimming body for their good sense in banning trans from participating in major swim meets. My hope is that all other sporting bodies follow suit. There has to be some push back against the activists who enable the so-called trans community to get so much attention. There are one in 3000 babes born with gender ambiguity. Social media has promoted transgender-ism to such an extent that it has become a craze among the easily influenced young. Some sanity has returned, so thank you Cate Campbell (“FINA’s trans policy balances inclusion, fairness”, The Age, 21/6) and the others who have been brave enough to tell the truth.
Stanley Burgess, Healesville


Source of this energy mess
During the election the Labor Party accused the Morrison government with being “all announcement, no action”. Yet again the truth of this has been shown in the failure to follow through with their grand energy supply promise in 2019 (“Coalition’s $1 billion energy promise fails to power up”, The Age, 21/6). That along with their now infamous “gas led recovery” has starkly demonstrated their incompetence. When the history of the achievements of the Morrison government are written, the back of a postage stamp should provide sufficient space.
Ross Hudson, Mount Martha

Safe and secure
From the planet’s perspective, it was sad to read that coal-fired power plants are to be switched back on in Europe ensuring that greenhouse emissions and global warming will trend up rather than down (“Coal returns as Putin gas cuts loom”, 21/6). And while many Australians struggle to make ends meet, the news that in the UK bills are on course to “surge to as much as £3000 ($5200) by the end of the year” is shocking. While Australia is not dependent on Russian gas, we are dependent on other countries for more than 90 per cent of our refined automotive fuel. Moving to renewable energy and electrifying our transport system will go a long way to ensuring Australia is more protected from global events.
Ray Peck, Hawthorn

Energy exports
Regarding your correspondent’s wish that Australia export power generated in the outback, this is already going to be done. Power will be exported to Singapore from a solar farm in the Northern Territory via a 4000 kilometre undersea link to Singapore. Work begins in 2023, with Singapore switching this power on in 2027.
Doug Springall, Yarragon

Burning anger
It is crazy that we have given overseas companies carte blanche to exploit our natural resources and charge us a premium for our own gas, oil and minerals. Any business suffering an energy induced crisis needs to look no further than the government that regarded itself as the best “to manage the economy”. Labor will have to sort out this mess – really fast.
Paul Chivers, Box Hill North

Fraudulent claims
Donald Trump’s belief that the US election was stolen from him, resulted in his supporters storming the US Capitol. Innocent people were killed, and if the mob had caught former vice president, Mike Pence, they would have hanged him. Now, Clive Palmer says the UAP would be highlighting election fraud (“Palmer’s man scores Senate seat”, The Age, 21/6) but offers no evidence. Right out of the Donald Trump playbook.
Chris Burgess, Port Melbourne

‘Unfairly targeted’
Former federal MP Gladys Liu claims her seat of Chisholm was heavily and unfairly targeted in the election (“Liu sets sights on state upper house”, 21/6). Hopefully that doesn’t mean we are heading down the slippery slope to where politicians feel free to claim any election they lose is “unfair”. It’s happened in the US and isn’t working out well there.
Lawrie Bradly, Surrey Hills

Political complacency
“My political career was terminated prematurely …” There’s Gladys Liu’s problem right there. One of the many things voters showed at the recent election was that they are sick of “career” politicians. They want politicians to fight for causes not personal ambition.
Margaret Callinan, Hawthorn

Loss had its reasons
Liu needs to reflect on her loss in Chisholm. Voters remembered the questions raised about campaign funding at the 2019 election and the Vote 1 Liberal posters in AEC colours. She scurried about to disconnect herself from the former charge, and said she didn’t know about the latter. Not good enough. In her unsuccessful campaign to retain Chisholm, she distributed a 12-page A5 booklet to every residence in which the word climate was not mentioned once.
Elaine Hopper, Blackburn

Raw deal
It is hard to feel any sympathy for Greg Mirabella (“Unluckiest Liberal”, CBD, 21/6) when his demise was brought about by his own Liberal Party allocating their second preferences in the Senate to Clive Palmer’s UAP in return for UAP preferences in the House of Representatives. Turned out to be a lose/lose strategy.
Hugh Halliburton, Carnegie

Cover your eyes Pauline
Pauline Hanson wore a burqa into Parliament in 2017 as some kind of protest or joke. She will be there to witness an Islamic Labor senator, Fatima Payman, wearing a hijab into Parliament in July 2022. It is no joke it is reality, Australia has come of age, Hanson must be enraged.
John Rome, Mt Lawley, WA

The bigger problem
The AFL hierarchy are out of touch with the community. The leader in today’s Age (“Protecting AFL and players a balancing act”, 21/6) shows De Goey being ostracised because he acted like a brat in Bali, in his own time. The back page tells the story of Tim English suffering a delayed concussion after being slung to the ground during a game, leaving him to potentially miss several rounds of football. Which incident shines a bad light on the AFL and discourages participation?
Margaret Raffle, Keilor East

Paid to cause havoc
Isn’t it strange that someone can have so much fun, in their private time, and the only fun ex-footballer media figures can have is looking on with long faces, shaking their heads and “tut tutting”? Some will say that he is a role model. To borrow from NBA star Charles Barkley, “He’s not a role model. Parents are role models. He’s paid to cause havoc on the football field.”
John Lyons, St Kilda

An image to uphold
It is laughable the stance of those defending footballers embroiled in controversy, saying “let the young be young” (Letters, 20/6). When a player signs up there is an image that they must uphold. Just like a teacher will be reprimanded for improper behaviour displayed outside of school hours, players such as Bailey Smith and Jordan De Goey disregard their responsibilities to the game while clearly indulging in the privileges.
Alex Giang, Balwyn

Make an economic case
The head of Victoria’s anti-corruption commission, Robert Redlich, QC, wants more power to deal with corrupt behaviour in politics including pork barrelling (The Age, 20/6). He could start by investigating the Andrews government’s extension of the grand prix contract for a further 10 years, a decision made without any proper economic assessment. The real value to Major Events Minister Martin Pakula is the political support his party gets from the hospitality industry and the dedicated motor racing fans.
Peter Goad, Middle Park

Flagging an idea
Apart from the outrageous $25 million cost, the move by NSW to fly the Aboriginal flag on their harbour bridge has merit. However there is a better idea. Replace the Union Jack on the flag with the Aboriginal flag. Less costly and more meaningful – it would be a true symbol of unity.
Ian Braybrook, Castlemaine

Mince, my word
Yes, there are cost of living pressures on food, but don’t treat mince as a second-class citizen (“Mince on the menu as food, mortgage bite”, Business, 20/6). For many of us who love to cook, mince is the go-to of choice: lasagne, spaghetti Bolognese, Greek meatballs, chilli con carne, enchiladas, Lebanese Kibbeh, hamburgers, meatloaf, meat pie. It is without doubt the most flexible meat.
Claire Merry, Wantirna

Funding shortfall
As a former business manager of a primary school, I certainly agree with Parents Executive officer Gail McHardy’s opinion (“School programs face chop as voluntary payments drop”, The Age, 21/6) in that until the schooling resource standard is fixed by reducing the over funding of non-government schools and increasing the funding to government schools things will not change. The present funding agreement is unjustifiable.
Jeanne Hart, Maryborough

A nation reformed
Contrary to the view expressed by high-profile human rights barrister Jenny Robinson, Rwanda has earned the right to host the CHOGM conference in the capital Kigali (“Rwanda’s right to host summit questioned”, The Age, 21/6). To visit Rwanda today, as I have done on several occasions, is to witness first hand the dignity, industry and resilience of a Central African country that has not allowed the horrific Tutsi genocide in 1994 to define its future. In the course of one generation, the tiny African country has turned itself around. Its initiatives on climate resilience lead the world and you won’t find a plastic bag or litter anywhere. Maybe it’s time others visited Rwanda to see for themselves.
Nick Toovey, Beaumaris

Unfair process
I wonder how your correspondent would feel if as an Australian citizen, they were to be extradited to the United States, charged with crimes that don’t exist in Australia and facing a prison sentence of up to 175 years.
This is not how international legal processes work. They are only working this way in the case of Julian Assange because he has drawn the ire of some very powerful people in our supposed closest ally, the United States.
Richard Barnes, Canterbury

Assange anti-American
As a matter of interest, it is difficult to reconcile Geoffrey Robertson’s admirable excoriation of the Kremlin’s war crimes, (“Putin’s censure a badge of honour”, 21/6), with his legal support for Julian Assange whose close links to Russia have spanned the past decade. Most egregiously, in WikiLeaks’ release of documents during the 2016 US Presidential election to undermine Hilary Clinton and assist Donald Trump who was perceived as pro-Putin.
Jon McMillan, Mount Eliza

And another thing

Federal election
Oh, poor Gladys Liu; a politician who lost her seat at a federal election, felt “unfairly targeted” but won’t say how. You would think she would realise that’s the fate of an MP at election time.
Garth Mitchell, Euroa

Illustration: Matt GoldingCredit:

I do not understand Liu’s assertion that her seat was “unfairly targeted”. Does she mean that the seat was hers by right?
Les Aisen, Elsternwick

Brand new UAP senator Ralph Babet claimed Australia’s election result would be fraudulent. Will he refuse to take up his seat on principle?
Peter Brady, Mt Martha

How long will it take for Clive Palmer to tap Babet on the shoulder and suggest he steps away and create a casual vacancy?
Grant Nowell, Bowden, SA

Ralph Babet is Clive’s “Hundred Million Dollar Man” … “we can rebuild him”.
Eric Kopp, Flinders

While encouraging awareness about the objectionable term “incentivise” (Letters 21/6) can we please stop the stampede of all those “going forward”.
Edna Russell, Ocean Grove

Has your correspondent incentivised the non-use of “incentivise”?
Adrian Tabor, Point Lonsdale

The vexing problem for De Goey and the Pies is that his “consensual” antics were filmed and posted on social media. Keep your iPhones in your pockets.
Glenda Johnston, Queenscliff

Our attitude to America reminds me of Oliver Twist: “Please sir, can I have some more?”
John Laurie, Riddells Creek

Twenty-five million dollars to put a flag pole on the harbour bridge. What’s it made of?
Ron Mather, Melbourne

If the ABC news service is as respected, factual and objective as claimed by your correspondent, why does it rate so low compared to other news broadcasts?
Martin Newington, Aspendale

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