What is it about?

A heated debate is occurring between those who would ban trans women athletes from all women's sports (the excluders) and those who would include trans women athletes, under certain conditions, in women's sporting competitions (the includers). This paper uses a feminist analysis of male power in different sporting contexts to argue that inclusion of trans women athletes in some contexts is useful to the broader feminist cause, and exclusion in some contexts is also useful to the broader feminist cause.

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Why is it important?

The current debate is not only heated but also bogged down. Excluders are accused of being transphobic and includers are accused of intrusion into protected women's spaces, which women have long fought for. This paper hopes to move the debate by offering a different perspective for consideration.


This is a feminist position. It is not a transfeminist position. It is about increasing the power of women in, and through, sports. Sports offers evocative images of changing gender relations, and arguments about the inclusion or exclusion of trans women can both alter the dominant relations, or solidify the existing relations, between men and women in sport and society.

Dr. Michael Burke
Victoria University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Trans women participation in sport: A feminist alternative to Pike’s position, Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, March 2022, Taylor & Francis,
DOI: 10.1080/00948705.2022.2043754.
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