There's a Dark Side to FINA's Transgender Swimming Ban That Most People Are Missing


When FINA, the international governing body for competitive swimming, updated its rules for transgender athletes on Sunday, conservatives may have viewed it as a win. However, there is a dark provision in the new policy that could prove to be damaging to children.

According to the Daily Caller, the policy bans men from competing in women’s events unless they “transition” before the age of 12. Over 70 percent of FINA members voted in favor of the new policy.

Initially, it was leftists who were outraged at the announcement, which they characterized as an attack on women.

“Banning swimmers who are trans is discrimination,” transgender activist Jackie Turner wrote on Twitter.

“None of the research on this has been done on elite athletes. FINA have made this decision bc of the misogynistic hate campaign directed at Lia Thomas by the anti-trans lobby. Her career has been ruined by this decision.”

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This argument is nonsensical, because allowing men to compete in women’s events is actually more harmful to women than the alternative. Lia Thomas has the biological makeup of a man, so allowing him to defeat women in the name of “inclusion” is incredibly harmful to all female athletes.

Are you happy with FINA's new policy?

FINA’s new policy also opened the possibility of a third open category for transgender individuals, but leftists were still not satisfied.

“This is essentially a ban of trans women from swimming entirely, unless they start transitioning under the age of 12,” leftist social media influencer Erin Reed wrote. “No Olympics. They’ll create a ‘separate category’ which will basically have a single swimmer per race by themselves. This is terrible.”

While this policy would prevent athletes like Thomas from unfairly winning championships in the future, it is not great news for conservatives, either.

Instead of banning males from competing in female sports altogether, FINA made an exception for males who “transition” before the age of 12. In doing so, the governing body has incentivized minors to take puberty blockers or even undergo surgery at an extremely young age.

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As some conservatives celebrated the policy as a win for women’s sports, The Daily Wire’s Matt Walsh pointed out the hard truth.

“Hate to rain on everyone’s parade but this is not the win you think it is,” Walsh wrote. “The new rule is that males *who started their ‘transition’ after age 12* can’t compete against females. This will only be used to push for younger ‘transitioning.’”

FINA spokesman James Pearce attempted to throw cold water on this concern, the Daily Caller reported. He ensured the policy was not meant to encourage early “transitioning.”

“This is not saying that people are encouraged to transition by the age of 12,” Pearce said. “It’s what the scientists are saying, that if you transition after the start of puberty, you have an advantage, which is unfair.

“They’re not saying everyone should transition by age 11, that’s ridiculous. You can’t transition by that age in most countries, and hopefully, you wouldn’t be encouraged to. Basically, what they’re saying is that it is not feasible for people who have transitioned to compete without having an advantage.”

Yet if that were the case, why would FINA include a caveat about males who “transitioned” before the age of 12? If their goal was to appease the left, the outrage from activists over the new policy has proven it did not work.

If FINA wanted to protect both children and women’s sports, it would institute a policy that males simply cannot compete against females under any circumstances. Any further caveats are both unnecessary and potentially harmful to young children.

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Grant is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He has five years of writing experience with various outlets and enjoys covering politics and sports.
Grant is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a bachelor's degree in journalism. He has five years of writing experience with various outlets and enjoys covering politics and sports.