Observations of the Random sort

User avatar
Warren
Posts: 30050
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 17:03
Location: Goat Rope MO
Contact:

Re: Observations of the Random sort

Post by Warren »

JD wrote: 10 Sep 2020, 09:01
Jennifer wrote: 09 Sep 2020, 12:42 I recall reading Michael Phelps has unusually large hands and feet for a person his size, which help to paddle/propel him through the water more quickly than an identical person with "normal" size appendages
IIRC he also has some kind of mutation that causes his muscles to generate much less lactic acid than most people's, which allows his muscles to continue working at higher efficiency for longer, or something like that.
He was "doping". ;)
THIS SPACE FOR RENT
User avatar
Jennifer
Posts: 25965
Joined: 28 Apr 2010, 14:03

Re: Observations of the Random sort

Post by Jennifer »

JD wrote: 10 Sep 2020, 09:01
Jennifer wrote: 09 Sep 2020, 12:42 I recall reading Michael Phelps has unusually large hands and feet for a person his size, which help to paddle/propel him through the water more quickly than an identical person with "normal" size appendages
IIRC he also has some kind of mutation that causes his muscles to generate much less lactic acid than most people's, which allows his muscles to continue working at higher efficiency for longer, or something like that.
Oh, yeah, I remember reading about that too. IMO what they're doing to Semenya is as bullshit as telling Phelps he can't compete unless he, like, takes lactic acid supplements so that his lactic acid levels fall (or rise to) within "standard human norms."
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b
User avatar
D.A. Ridgely
Posts: 20373
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 17:09
Location: The Other Side

Re: Observations of the Random sort

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

All of which goes to my position that sports are unimportant, top athletes are already freaks of nature and therefore we should permit the use of any sort of chemical or surgical enhancement any athlete is willing to subject his/her/its body to. M2F transsexuals want to compete in women's competitions -- never mind whether athletic competitions 'should' be segregated by sex in the first place -- fine with me. Guy gets a cybernetic arm capable of throwing a fastball 150 mph? Too bad for batting averages.

There's no such thing as the purity of the sport or integrity, especially at the professional level (a level which includes Olympics and varsity college sports), so put an asterisk by their names saying what advantages they had or, hell, handicap them like horses and let slip the dogs of war. If that causes people unwilling to fuck up their bodies to stop competing or causes erstwhile fans to stop caring and watching, well, so what?
User avatar
Eric the .5b
Posts: 15044
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 16:29

Re: Observations of the Random sort

Post by Eric the .5b »

D.A. Ridgely wrote: 10 Sep 2020, 14:03If that causes people unwilling to fuck up their bodies to stop competing or causes erstwhile fans to stop caring and watching, well, so what?
I'm losing track of the sarcasm loops. Isn't this what already happens anyway, particularly with "erstwhile" fans?
"Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."
Cet animal est très méchant / Quand on l'attaque il se défend.
User avatar
D.A. Ridgely
Posts: 20373
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 17:09
Location: The Other Side

Re: Observations of the Random sort

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

Eric the .5b wrote: 10 Sep 2020, 16:28
D.A. Ridgely wrote: 10 Sep 2020, 14:03If that causes people unwilling to fuck up their bodies to stop competing or causes erstwhile fans to stop caring and watching, well, so what?
I'm losing track of the sarcasm loops. Isn't this what already happens anyway, particularly with "erstwhile" fans?
When you stop caring you become an erstwhile fan. Does that seem incorrect to you? Should I have said people stop caring and become erstwhile fans? Meh.
User avatar
Eric the .5b
Posts: 15044
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 16:29

Re: Observations of the Random sort

Post by Eric the .5b »

D.A. Ridgely wrote: 10 Sep 2020, 16:47
Eric the .5b wrote: 10 Sep 2020, 16:28
D.A. Ridgely wrote: 10 Sep 2020, 14:03If that causes people unwilling to fuck up their bodies to stop competing or causes erstwhile fans to stop caring and watching, well, so what?
I'm losing track of the sarcasm loops. Isn't this what already happens anyway, particularly with "erstwhile" fans?
When you stop caring you become an erstwhile fan. Does that seem incorrect to you? Should I have said people stop caring and become erstwhile fans? Meh.
Only in the sense that "the dead people stopped breathing" would seem like a weird way to phrase things. Between that and that people unwilling to fuck up their bodies are leaving sports, I wasn't clear whether you were being sarcastic or not.
"Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."
Cet animal est très méchant / Quand on l'attaque il se défend.
User avatar
thoreau
Posts: 30286
Joined: 06 May 2010, 12:56
Location: Back to the lab again

Re: Observations of the Random sort

Post by thoreau »

D.A. Ridgely wrote: 10 Sep 2020, 14:03 All of which goes to my position that sports are unimportant, top athletes are already freaks of nature and therefore we should permit the use of any sort of chemical or surgical enhancement any athlete is willing to subject his/her/its body to. M2F transsexuals want to compete in women's competitions -- never mind whether athletic competitions 'should' be segregated by sex in the first place -- fine with me. Guy gets a cybernetic arm capable of throwing a fastball 150 mph? Too bad for batting averages.

There's no such thing as the purity of the sport or integrity, especially at the professional level (a level which includes Olympics and varsity college sports), so put an asterisk by their names saying what advantages they had or, hell, handicap them like horses and let slip the dogs of war. If that causes people unwilling to fuck up their bodies to stop competing or causes erstwhile fans to stop caring and watching, well, so what?
We've been over this before: Even if one doesn't personally care about sports, if being fair about opportunity is a value then there are stakes here. And there are even stakes whether you're on the side of including transgender people among the group with which they identity, or if your paramount value here is giving women a chance to compete without having to worry about domination by males (or people whom you consider males at least in some sense, since so much of the argument hinges on the definitions here). If nothing else, if tomorrow a niece were raising funds for a sports league, whether or not I donate might be affected by whether her league is unfairly denying opportunities (however one construes fairness here).

There's a lot to be said for free-for-all competition, use whatever enhancements and upgrades science can offer, and let the best enhanced human entity win. There's also something to be said for competition with certain things disallowed. Every sport has out-of-bound gear, tactics, etc., because sport is physical competition with rules. (War is physical competition without rules.) Still, by all means, have the league for people with hormone shots and gene therapy and prosthetic limbs with built-in motors and performance materials better than human bone. Cyberpunk all the way. If this is what people's kurves demand then let the pharmathletes play and let the people watch. Great.

But free association yadda yadda means that there will be a league for those who don't want any of that. And that's fine, and whether they can actually enforce it realistically and actually keep the doping out is their problem and nobody else's.

And all that's great, until somebody points out that in the All-Natural League the winners will basically never be female. And there's a Demand Kurve for an all-female league, so there will also be an all-female league. But then that runs into the question "What's a woman?" And everyone's fine with the idea that the woman with two normal X chromosomes and standard-issue genitalia is a woman, even if she has a mutation that enhances her lung capacity or gives her bigger arms or whatever, provided that her mutation is on one of the other 44 chromosomes. It's uncontroversial because those other 44 chromosomes don't separate men from women.*

But then you run into people who blur that line and there's a Hard Question. Because the whole point of having 2 competitions instead of 1 was to carve out a place for women, and when somebody is in an arguably gray area (at least by some definitions) you have a problem.

I'm not writing this to argue against Semenya (if she was born and raised as a woman, I think it's shitty to exclude her from the tribe of women), but to point out that it's not as easy as some people out there want to make it. A whole separate tier of competition was carved out because many aspects of human anatomy really are sexually dimorphic. Once you carve out a tier of competition on that basis, you need a line, and that's what makes this shitty and inevitably painful for someone. Because even a line that includes Semenya will surely exclude someone, and a line that excludes that person will surely exclude someone else if we search hard enough.

*I don't think that's entirely true; genes on other chromosomes can affect sex-specific traits, but that's a detail for now. I'm using "other 44 chromosomes" as a shorthand for "causes of phenotypes that aren't sex-specific."
" Columbus wasn’t a profile in courage or brilliance despite the odds, he was a dumb motherfucker that got lucky. Oddly, that makes him the perfect talisman for the Trump era."
--Mo
User avatar
D.A. Ridgely
Posts: 20373
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 17:09
Location: The Other Side

Re: Observations of the Random sort

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

Professional sports is all about making money, not about being the best naturally or otherwise. Being the best is just how you get the money. If there's no market for cyberarmed pitchers or M2F basketball players -- not that I think a large enough number of men would undergo sexual reassignment surgery to make up a team, let alone a league -- then, fine, professionals can tune their rules accordingly. But they're still freaks to begin with and anything that gets average people to stop believing even for a moment that "those people are just like me" is a good thing. Kinda like the way you'd like stupid college student to think about majoring in physics.

Intramural sports, hell, even high school varsity sports other than revenue sports, okay, maybe you want to draw the line genetically even though it's almost certainly false that the average intersexed or transsexual who also wants to compete with her (because it will always be females that people care about) self-professed and medically assisted sex is going to per se be stronger, faster, etc. Regardless, there isn't any such thing as fairness in nature. We just decide whether it's fair to permit or not permit people to use steroids or allow transsexuals to compete athletically and that decision is ultimately arbitrary. If cis-Jane who used to win all the gold medals starts coming in second because of trans-Betty or fourth because of trans-Betty, trans-Sally and trans-Audrey, well, the only people who should care more about Jane than Audrey is Jane and her Uncle Thoreau. But denying Audrey isn't any less fair than admitting her. It's just a decision and which facts we decide to give more weight to will drive that decision.
User avatar
Eric the .5b
Posts: 15044
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 16:29

Re: Observations of the Random sort

Post by Eric the .5b »

thoreau wrote: 10 Sep 2020, 17:19But free association yadda yadda means that there will be a league for those who don't want any of that. And that's fine, and whether they can actually enforce it realistically and actually keep the doping out is their problem and nobody else's.

And all that's great, until somebody points out that in the All-Natural League the winners will basically never be female....
That's the organizers' voluntarily accepted problem.

As I said over in the last conversation about trans women in sports, people should be able to set up whatever segregated sports leagues they want, up to and including White Men's Basketball. They just have to deal with the fallout of being a whites-only basketball league or a "women-only" league that pisses off enough people with their definition of "woman".
"Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."
Cet animal est très méchant / Quand on l'attaque il se défend.
User avatar
Twba
Posts: 75
Joined: 25 Jun 2010, 15:06

Re: Observations of the Random sort

Post by Twba »

Jennifer wrote: 09 Sep 2020, 16:33
Aresen wrote: 09 Sep 2020, 15:11
Jennifer wrote: 09 Sep 2020, 12:42 pretty much every Olympic athlete (except perhaps a couple of horseback riders, where IMO it's the horse doing the work)
I thought we were friends. :(
Oh, I don't deny horseback riding and horse-handling is a skill, and one which I entirely lack; still, the fact is the best jockey in the world can't win a race with a lame horse, nor could the world's greatest polo player so much as enter the game with one. The only way to fairly and accurately determine which human is actually the "best horse racer" or "best polo player" or best other horse-based sportsman would be to somehow remove the "horse variable" entirely; say, if technology reached the point where we could make realistic robot/android horses, all programmed to have the exact same speed, strength, agility, reactions, "temperament," etc., then see which human jockey can win a race, when everybody is in effect riding "the same horse." That way, we'd know for certain any performance differences are due entirely to the skill of the human, and have nothing to do with that human having a better horse than everyone else.
But what about those claiming races where every horse is lame? OK, that was a little unfair.

The most recent running of the KY Derby was won by the best jockey. The best horse finished second.
User avatar
thoreau
Posts: 30286
Joined: 06 May 2010, 12:56
Location: Back to the lab again

Re: Observations of the Random sort

Post by thoreau »

Eric the .5b wrote: 10 Sep 2020, 18:49
thoreau wrote: 10 Sep 2020, 17:19But free association yadda yadda means that there will be a league for those who don't want any of that. And that's fine, and whether they can actually enforce it realistically and actually keep the doping out is their problem and nobody else's.

And all that's great, until somebody points out that in the All-Natural League the winners will basically never be female....
That's the organizers' voluntarily accepted problem.

As I said over in the last conversation about trans women in sports, people should be able to set up whatever segregated sports leagues they want, up to and including White Men's Basketball. They just have to deal with the fallout of being a whites-only basketball league or a "women-only" league that pisses off enough people with their definition of "woman".
Well, the sorts of people who don't care about the fallout are not my concern here. But there are people who do care about the fallout, do want to be as inclusive as possible, but ALSO care about the biological issues. They're torn, so all options will feel inadequate. Because this is all about drawing a line between two halves of the human race, and there's no way to draw that line without either letting in some men acting in bad faith or excluding a bunch of people whose sense of self lines up much more with the feminine half of the human race.

Because you can't have a "Let this person in rule." That's not a rule. That's a dispensation. You have a "Let in anyone who meets these criteria" rule, and then somebody comes along who meets those criteria yet wasn't what you had in mind, because you're by definition dealing with the outliers of the human race when you try to draw a line that lets in women who are really, really, REALLY athletic yet have low levels of whatever hormones.

I'm not saying this to argue for exclusion, but to say why it's a tragic issue: Every solution will have some pretty serious shortcomings. (Yeah, everything in life has shortcomings, but sometimes the shortcomings are minor. Here, it seems like they're pretty serious.)
" Columbus wasn’t a profile in courage or brilliance despite the odds, he was a dumb motherfucker that got lucky. Oddly, that makes him the perfect talisman for the Trump era."
--Mo
User avatar
thoreau
Posts: 30286
Joined: 06 May 2010, 12:56
Location: Back to the lab again

Re: Observations of the Random sort

Post by thoreau »

I think I can explain what's tragic here:

There are a few different dimensions to competition. One, of course, and the most important for most purposes, is to get everyone to push everyone else so that everyone trains harder and tries more and does more, and that's great. But another purpose is to answer the question "Who's the best?"

And we accept that the answer to the question "Who's the fastest man?" is "This man with special muscle physiology" (or whatever). Because that man has the best muscles, and the whole point was to see whose leg and heart muscles could drive him to run the fastest.

Then you ask "Who's the fastest woman?" and I think people could accept if the answer was "This woman whose muscles handle lactic acid differently." (Or whatever.) Because it's similar to the answer for men, so it feels like women faced the same situation as men and won in the same way, while also competing separately from men for reasons that everyone understands. The fastest woman is special among women in the same way that the fastest man is special among men, and that just seems right. It fits with the ethos of giving women opportunities comparable to those enjoyed by men.

But if the answer comes back "This woman whose biology is closer to a man's..." and not in the way of "Because just like the fastest man she has special muscles" but rather in the way of "Because she has a bunch of things in common with men in general..." it feels wrong. There's a reason why 3.8 billion men were excluded. If the fastest woman handles lactic acid in a special way, well, she's as special among women as the fastest man is among men. So there's some parity. But if the fastest woman got that way by being similar to typical men, I get why women feel like it defeats the purpose of having a women's competition.

I AM NOT SAYING THAT THEIR OBJECTION IS GOOD ENOUGH TO JUSTIFY EXCLUDING SEMENYA. I REPEAT: I AM NOT SAYING THAT THEIR OBJECTION IS GOOD ENOUGH TO JUSTIFY EXCLUDING SEMENYA. What I am saying is that this is why the thing is tragic: Because there's probably no way to draw the lines that achieves the intended purpose without excluding a whole bunch of hard-working and motivated people who have experienced this world as women do.

And however much biology Caster Semenya has in common with men in general, she's also obviously a great athlete who works hard and trains hard. Testosterone alone doesn't do it. She has had to work hard to leverage her biology. No doubts about it. And excluding her means excluding a woman who has worked as hard as any other competitive woman.

So I think the tragedy here may be that women have to live in a world where the answer to the question "Who's the fastest woman and why is she so fast?" will often be "A woman who has some biological similarities to men in general" rather than "A woman whose muscles were as special as those of the fastest man." That's got to be kind of depressing from a certain perspective. Women want their own leagues so their best can be as special as the best men, and then it turns out that their best are similar to a lot of men.
" Columbus wasn’t a profile in courage or brilliance despite the odds, he was a dumb motherfucker that got lucky. Oddly, that makes him the perfect talisman for the Trump era."
--Mo
User avatar
Twba
Posts: 75
Joined: 25 Jun 2010, 15:06

Re: Observations of the Random sort

Post by Twba »

Caster is not female. She is intersex. Caster has a Y chromosome. That's the way the ball bounces very infrequently.
User avatar
Eric the .5b
Posts: 15044
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 16:29

Re: Observations of the Random sort

Post by Eric the .5b »

thoreau wrote: 10 Sep 2020, 19:16I'm not saying this to argue for exclusion, but to say why it's a tragic issue: Every solution will have some pretty serious shortcomings. (Yeah, everything in life has shortcomings, but sometimes the shortcomings are minor. Here, it seems like they're pretty serious.)
And I'm saying life is hard, but it's a lot harder for the people getting excluded on fine, arbitrary lines than the excluders, no matter how well-meaning they are.

So, they can and should take heat from the people who don't like their exclusions. It's not only acceptable, it's what the organizers accepted by taking the job. If they can't stand the criticism, they should change their standards or quit.

I can't work up pity for the tragedy of being a gatekeeper.
"Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."
Cet animal est très méchant / Quand on l'attaque il se défend.
User avatar
thoreau
Posts: 30286
Joined: 06 May 2010, 12:56
Location: Back to the lab again

Re: Observations of the Random sort

Post by thoreau »

My pity isn't for the league administrators. It's for the athletes. There's a reason 3.8 billion men were excluded. Either a few women get excluded as well, or the other women are in a competition that seems to be violating the spirit of male exclusion. It sucks either way.
" Columbus wasn’t a profile in courage or brilliance despite the odds, he was a dumb motherfucker that got lucky. Oddly, that makes him the perfect talisman for the Trump era."
--Mo
User avatar
Eric the .5b
Posts: 15044
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 16:29

Re: Observations of the Random sort

Post by Eric the .5b »

thoreau wrote: 11 Sep 2020, 11:21 My pity isn't for the league administrators. It's for the athletes. There's a reason 3.8 billion men were excluded. Either a few women get excluded as well, or the other women are in a competition that seems to be violating the spirit of male exclusion. It sucks either way.
Not everyone's going to agree on the nature of that dilemma. And if the excluders insist on taking taxpayer money, they're going to find the process of making those exclusions very tricky indeed.
"Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."
Cet animal est très méchant / Quand on l'attaque il se défend.
User avatar
Shem
Posts: 8466
Joined: 27 Apr 2010, 00:27

Re: Observations of the Random sort

Post by Shem »

Dark Side of the Moon is the greatest Pink Floyd album ever, and it's not close
"VOTE SHEMOCRACY! You will only have to do it once!" -Loyalty Officer Aresen
User avatar
thoreau
Posts: 30286
Joined: 06 May 2010, 12:56
Location: Back to the lab again

Re: Observations of the Random sort

Post by thoreau »

My point here isn't to argue for exclusion, but to say that I think the other women deserve more than a little sympathy. They compete to answer the question "Who is the fastest woman?" and too often the answer that comes back is not "Someone with muscles as unique as Michael Phelps'" but "Someone who has a trait in common with ordinary men." It sucks, and not just in the way that losing always sucks. It sucks because they already knew that men run and swim faster and jump higher and whatnot, and they got their own leagues so they could get beyond that. And then their races are often (but of course not always) won by people who get close to the border between masculine and feminine, rather than people who are as feminine as anyone else but nonetheless unique.

It is, of course, a moral necessity to let Semenya and others like her into women's leagues, but I think the other women deserve sympathy rather than scolding. They set out to do something that is not only understandable but worthy--to find the strongest and fastest of their tribe, without domination by males. And the answer that came back was suspiciously close to the boundaries of masculinity. That's got to be profoundly dispiriting, and seeing it entirely through the lens of "They're excluding" misses some very understandable emotions.
" Columbus wasn’t a profile in courage or brilliance despite the odds, he was a dumb motherfucker that got lucky. Oddly, that makes him the perfect talisman for the Trump era."
--Mo
User avatar
Eric the .5b
Posts: 15044
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 16:29

Re: Observations of the Random sort

Post by Eric the .5b »

thoreau wrote: 11 Sep 2020, 12:43My point here isn't to argue for exclusion, but to say that I think the other women deserve more than a little sympathy. They compete to answer the question "Who is the fastest woman?" and too often the answer that comes back is not "Someone with muscles as unique as Michael Phelps'" but "Someone who has a trait in common with ordinary men."
What does "too often" even mean, there? I mean, unless all women were weaker and slower than every man, that would inevitably happen. What is the horror or injustice, here, aside from social standards not matching human biology?

What are all these other competitors losing that I should have any sympathy for them? Most of them are going to be forgotten mediocrities whether or not Caster is allowed to win, and a very few experience any tangible difference whatsoever.

If people feel like this is unfair to cis-women-of-particular-hormone-levels or some other group of competitors, they need to figure out other ways to divide up competitions and make those divisions explicit ahead of time, as opposed to letting people compete and lobbying for take-backs on "but they aren't really women!" grounds if they win.

I can't stir up more than a trivial amount of sympathy for the aggrieved. I've heard white parents gripe about the unfairness of their athlete kids (male or female) having to compete with black kids too often, and all of the grousing sounds exactly like that. (And it doesn't help that the offending female athletes in all these stories recently are ever-so-coincidentally black.)
"Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."
Cet animal est très méchant / Quand on l'attaque il se défend.
User avatar
thoreau
Posts: 30286
Joined: 06 May 2010, 12:56
Location: Back to the lab again

Re: Observations of the Random sort

Post by thoreau »

And I've heard all too many white parents complain about their kids having to compete with Asian kids. And that's bullshit too. I'm with you here.

I guess the thing is that I started off thinking the male-female line shouldn't matter, people are people, treat everyone the same, yadda yadda. There's no essential male or female nature, we're all the same. Over time, I've been persuaded that the male-female line is one that has to be respected. Women sometimes need their own events and groups, women-only awards and grants, they have needs beyond a few obvious things tied to reproduction (e.g. maternity leave). I may not fully like it even now, but this is a line that we have to draw, we have to respect it, I can't argue with it.

And if there's any place where I would find that line unobjectionable, besides maternity leave and pumping rooms and whatnot, it would be sports, because sports are segregated on the basis of sex for obvious reasons. And female athletes of my acquaintance seem to derive particular benefit having an all-women team that they bond with and train with and they come away confident and feeling the Girl Power and yadda yadda. It seems all too positive to just write them off as "Forgotten mediocrities." They're better than that, and they're getting something better than that.

So the problem is being torn between wanting to include people in that (because it's so obviously good) and wanting to respect the male-female line that is so necessary for that. And if the fuzzy exceptions to that line are rare, well, whatever. I guess everyone can live with them. When they come up more and more, it just strikes me that after spending a few decades learning to say "Yes, women get their own things" in the name of tolerance, now I have to say more and more "Women need to be open to the fuzzy boundary between masculinity and femininity."

I could just say "Fuck it, there are no more men things and women things, just people things" but I've spent decades learning that that stance is wrong. And I'm getting tired of constantly upgrading my PC (to mix metaphors).
" Columbus wasn’t a profile in courage or brilliance despite the odds, he was a dumb motherfucker that got lucky. Oddly, that makes him the perfect talisman for the Trump era."
--Mo
User avatar
thoreau
Posts: 30286
Joined: 06 May 2010, 12:56
Location: Back to the lab again

Re: Observations of the Random sort

Post by thoreau »

Cuz, I mean, let's face it: For a few decades I've been learning moral lessons premised on men being the tribe with all the advantages, so we're the tribe that should give and women are the tribe that should take. I'm still learning to rewire my moral compass around the notion that someone could be disadvantaged by being excluded from the female tribe instead of the male tribe. I'm still learning to rewire my moral compass around the notion that it's women who have to accept people into their clubhouse in the name of progress.

And it still feels like a trap, like at some point I'm going to get on board with "Yep, women need to make concessions" and think I'm being progressive, only to discover that in the newest rulebook edition I'm a pig for saying that. And I do NOT want to fail a "Save vs Misogyny Charge" roll.
" Columbus wasn’t a profile in courage or brilliance despite the odds, he was a dumb motherfucker that got lucky. Oddly, that makes him the perfect talisman for the Trump era."
--Mo
User avatar
Eric the .5b
Posts: 15044
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 16:29

Re: Observations of the Random sort

Post by Eric the .5b »

thoreau wrote: 11 Sep 2020, 15:23I may not fully like it even now, but this is a line that we have to draw, we have to respect it, I can't argue with it.
Thoreau, I get your frustration, but why not just here, on a libertarian forum, say what you think instead of struggling over "upgrading your PC"/what's advantageous or not to say at your job? You already have to mouth a vast amount of bullshit you don't remotely think, there.

We can take this under the veil if you like.
thoreau wrote: 11 Sep 2020, 15:23And if there's any place where I would find that line unobjectionable, besides maternity leave and pumping rooms and whatnot, it would be sports, because sports are segregated on the basis of sex for obvious reasons. And female athletes of my acquaintance seem to derive particular benefit having an all-women team that they bond with and train with and they come away confident and feeling the Girl Power and yadda yadda. It seems all too positive to just write them off as "Forgotten mediocrities." They're better than that, and they're getting something better than that.
Alright, if we're ignoring the competitive aspect that's the usual complaint (and the complaint here up to this point), I'll bite. How does not shitting on Caster and other competitors cost them this? How does she take away their camaraderie and girl power?

Especially when it apparently didn't take away camaraderie and girl power when she was allowed to compete in the first place. It only became a problem when she won.
"Better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."
Cet animal est très méchant / Quand on l'attaque il se défend.
User avatar
thoreau
Posts: 30286
Joined: 06 May 2010, 12:56
Location: Back to the lab again

Re: Observations of the Random sort

Post by thoreau »

It's not just the competitive aspect, it's both. I don't think training alongside a person on the periphery of femininity undermines much of anything. I think it's instructive that complaints come from competitors, and not just because of the selfish angle, but because people who aren't training with Semenya (or some other person in the gray areas of the sex boundary) haven't developed any camaraderie with her. If they had spent time with her in training, not just at competition, they'd surely feel differently. And I think that the camaraderie and confidence that come from training on a team are the best reasons to include people on the team! It's the strongest argument that the inclusion side has.

At the same time, people train with the hope to have a shot in fair competition. They do all of that work together with the hope that they have a fair chance (however slim it might be in a tough competition) of winning. And "No boys allowed" is the one rule of exclusion that is (or at least can be, depending on the definition of "boys") deemed reasonable. It's the whole premise of women having their own leagues. If somebody loses in a competition where all rules were followed, well, they have nothing to complain about. If somebody loses to a person who seems to be on the edge of the one rule that defines the league, I get why they feel cheated. They had this thing that is for women, their fair chance to compete is premised on it, there's a reason that half the population was kept off, a reason that we respect (at least in most cases), and then somebody wins after seeming to stand on the thin edge of that rule.

Again, the whole premise of women's sports is that male biology is different, that it's a thing. If we accept that premise, if we accept that men should be kept out, then we have to at least have some sympathy for women who feel cheated when somebody in or near the gray area wins. Yes, a lawyer would say that winning on a technicality is still winning, but that just speaks to what has to happen, not to how anybody else needs to feel.

So that's the dilemma. The whole premise of women's leagues (no boys allowed) is up against the best thing women's sports (or any sports) have to offer--camaraderie of training and working together. I want Caster Semenya and women like her to enjoy the best thing that women's sports have to offer. And I feel for women who feel like the whole premise of their enterprise should be honored. And when these two things are in conflict, I feel bad for both sides. If you push me to pick, well, I can pick, but that doesn't mean I'll be terribly happy with the choice.

It's like some other things we debate on the gryll: If there are two options and one is better than the other then it is by definition better and what's there to complain about, right? The rational choice was made and what else did you expect? Well, to me this is a conflict of two ideals that I want to respect and we find a case where we can't uphold both.
" Columbus wasn’t a profile in courage or brilliance despite the odds, he was a dumb motherfucker that got lucky. Oddly, that makes him the perfect talisman for the Trump era."
--Mo
User avatar
Warren
Posts: 30050
Joined: 26 Apr 2010, 17:03
Location: Goat Rope MO
Contact:

Re: Observations of the Random sort

Post by Warren »

Shem wrote: 11 Sep 2020, 12:41 The Wall is the greatest Pink Floyd album ever, and it's not close
Fixed
THIS SPACE FOR RENT
User avatar
Shem
Posts: 8466
Joined: 27 Apr 2010, 00:27

Re: Observations of the Random sort

Post by Shem »

Warren wrote: 11 Sep 2020, 16:17
Shem wrote: 11 Sep 2020, 12:41 The Wall is the greatest Pink Floyd album ever, and it's not close
Fixed
The Wall is seven or eight amazing songs submerged in a too-long pile of gimmicky crap. The only reason anyone thinks it hangs together is because the movie pounded it even more one-dimensional and served up tits to keep things interesting. Meanwhile, Dark Side of the Moon covers similar subject matter but actually respects the listener enough to not beat them over the head with the points it's making.
Post Reply