Parkrun and gender protests

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Grumble
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Parkrun and gender protests

Post by Grumble » Sat Sep 02, 2023 6:27 pm

Today at Parkrun there was a group of women protesting that men should not be allowed to self-ID as women and claim Parkrun records. Even granting that this is something that happens and that it shouldn’t, I’m not sure what Parkrun can really do about it. It’s a web based registration and you can claim to be called anything and tick whatever boxes you want. It’s not athletics, there’s no drug testing or looking at medical records. Not sure what they expect to achieve really. Parkrun by definition is set up to be easy and open access for all, getting records is not the point of it. Seems to be a manifestation of anti-trans sentiment for no real purpose. They claimed to be protecting my daughters, against what? The ability to claim a Parkrun record?
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Re: Parkrun and gender protests

Post by FlammableFlower » Sat Sep 02, 2023 8:45 pm

Yeah, does sound odd. Generally the whole point is you're doing it for your own benefit. When you've got people from teens to the over 90s doing the same course, with a tail-walker to accompany those at the back, it doesn't matter where you come. Heck, I've frequently forgotten my parkrun barcode so don't get a recorded finish time. Don't care.

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lpm
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Re: Parkrun and gender protests

Post by lpm » Sun Sep 03, 2023 12:06 am

There's no such thing as a Parkrun record, surely? All courses are different and won't be precise distances.

The only "records" are attendance awards - buy a t-shirt saying you've done 100 runs, that sort of thing.

Probably just straightforward transphobia.
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Re: Parkrun and gender protests

Post by Bewildered » Sun Sep 03, 2023 12:06 am

I know I can Google it but surely I am not the only one who has no idea what parkrun is ?

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Re: Parkrun and gender protests

Post by lpm » Sun Sep 03, 2023 12:21 am

Parkrun is: hey guys let's meet in the park and run. We'll do 5k, everyone welcome.

Evolved into a charity with barcodes and a website showing your time and personal best, happening in thousands of parks across the world, run by local volunteers.
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Re: Parkrun and gender protests

Post by Bewildered » Sun Sep 03, 2023 2:44 am

Thanks!

It does sound like it is straight forward trans-phobia stripped of the complications regarding fairness based on physical differences.

Maybe they are not smart enough to realise the thin-veneer is removed in this context.

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RoMo
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Re: Parkrun and gender protests

Post by RoMo » Sun Sep 03, 2023 6:20 am

lpm wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2023 12:06 am

The only "records" are attendance awards - buy a t-shirt saying you've done 100 runs, that sort of thing.

Probably just straightforward transphobia.
Nope, the Parkrun website has a whole webpage of course records split by male and female. They also have age based records, so maybe the women could self ID as 12 year olds to be able to win a category.

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Re: Parkrun and gender protests

Post by lpm » Sun Sep 03, 2023 8:35 am

I don't think there is anything to "win" in a category?

From memory, the web page celebrated anyone who got a Personal Best as a "winner".

The people who really impress are those who have a PB of 40 minutes - but who have completed 100 Parkruns. That shows far greater abilities than someone who can run it in 16 minutes.
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Re: Parkrun and gender protests

Post by Lew Dolby » Sun Sep 03, 2023 8:58 am

The whole trans-women-in-sport can get really silly, with people just parroting stuff some idiot on t'interwebs posted.

Not long ago, I heard someone saying all trans women should be benned from all sports. WTAF - this is obviously somone who hasn't consider ALL sports. For an eg: wheel-chair rugby league is played by mixed teams. You don't even have to be disabled - just play in a wheel chair. But what's the reasoning for banning anyone from a sport played by mixed teams. Defies all logic !!

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Re: Parkrun and gender protests

Post by Fishnut » Sun Sep 03, 2023 10:56 am

Lew Dolby wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2023 8:58 am
The whole trans-women-in-sport can get really silly, with people just parroting stuff some idiot on t'interwebs posted.

Not long ago, I heard someone saying all trans women should be benned from all sports. WTAF - this is obviously somone who hasn't consider ALL sports. For an eg: wheel-chair rugby league is played by mixed teams. You don't even have to be disabled - just play in a wheel chair. But what's the reasoning for banning anyone from a sport played by mixed teams. Defies all logic !!

/rant/
FIDE recently banned trans women from playing in women's chess tournaments.

You may ask why chess has gendered categories in the first place. From what I can tell, it's because chess is full of sexist and misogynistic men who think that women are automatically inferior and so create a really hostile environment that prevents girls and women from wanting anything to do with the sport. In an effort to encourage women into the sport they created separate women's leagues. But they still can't stop thinking that anyone identified as male at birth is automatically intellectually superior than anyone identified as female at birth and so to 'protect' women from their superior male chess brains they are preventing trans women from partaking in competitive chess.
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Re: Parkrun and gender protests

Post by bolo » Sun Sep 03, 2023 11:54 am

High level bridge used to have men's, women's, and mixed. Decades ago, under threat of a U.S. lawsuit, the men's became open. Women's events still exist, though demand is shrinking. Afaik, the issue of trans women hasn't arisen. Or, for that matter, the issue of trans men wanting to play with a woman in a mixed event.

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Re: Parkrun and gender protests

Post by lpm » Sun Sep 03, 2023 7:00 pm

I would have thought this forum would strongly support positive discrimination.

If only 15% percent of university places went to girls we'd want opportunities where boys were excluded.

Women are only about 15% of top chess in the US, 2% globally and 1% of the extreme elite level. Obviously there needs to be gendered categories. That's how past discriminations gets addressed and how we short cut to increased involvement of women.

We once had a similar discussion on how to accelerate the end of male dominated elite orchestras.

And when you look at the causes of the huge disparity in chess you immediately see the social pressures - girls not welcome in the boys club and giving up even when they love the game. That suggests a reason why transwomen should not get to benefit from the positive discrimination.

Comparisons to bridge are invalid. 60% of US players are women, even if the very top of the game is weighted to men. There does not appear to be any reason for positive discrimination for gender in this case. Racism might be another question.
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Re: Parkrun and gender protests

Post by discovolante » Mon Sep 04, 2023 12:40 am

Trans women are welcome in the boys club?
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Re: Parkrun and gender protests

Post by Woodchopper » Mon Sep 04, 2023 4:58 am

I found a chess ban to be bizarre so I looked up the new regulations, looked at a thread on the Chess subreddit and read some of the press commentary.

It doesn’t look as if there is a blanket ban on transwomen playing in women’s chess tournaments. Instead it seems that there is a temporary ban on people who after the regulation was passed change their registered gender from male to female. This appears to be in order for FIDE to verify that they are actually transwomen (eg by checking other documentation). I’m unsure as the regulations are not written clearly and a lot of the press coverage isn’t clear either.

Based on press comments it appears that FIDE was concerned about a sudden increase in the number of requests to change players’ gender registrations. Reading between the lines there could be a concern about cis men maybe trying to take part in women’s competitions.

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Re: Parkrun and gender protests

Post by IvanV » Tue Sep 05, 2023 12:54 pm

lpm wrote:
Sun Sep 03, 2023 7:00 pm
Comparisons to bridge are invalid. 60% of US players are women, even if the very top of the game is weighted to men. There does not appear to be any reason for positive discrimination for gender in this case. Racism might be another question.
Most bridge is mixed, and most players are women. Nevertheless, why is it that the top echelons of bridge are so dominated by men, when they largely play together, there is nothing holding women's players back, and there seems to be no particular reason for it? I don't have an answer.

It's a bit hard to find a realistic ranking system to estimate who are the current leading bridge players. In the WBF master point bridge ranking system, your score from last year is diminished by only 15%, so it is rather more cumulative and historical than it should be for a current rating. Also, the more ranking tournaments you play, the more master points you can earn. So it is partly a score for how much you turn up. A difficulty with this rating system is that many leading players need to do things that earn them money, distracting them from master point accumulation. The players currently at the top of the ranking system are sponsored by couple of them Pierre Zimmerman and Frank Multon, who are very rich, and so can play more ranking tournaments and do less of the more lucrative money-earning things bridge players can do. Most tournament prize money is not as lucrative.

Pierre Zimmerman of Switzerland is top of the current rankings. That's not a name I would have thought of as likely to be the world's current leading player. Though actually he has been part of a team that won the Bermuda Bowl, the biennial national team world championship, 4 times, including the most recent event. He previously represented Monaco, and in the most recent event he represented his true home nation Switzerland. Originally Frank Multon, a Frenchman, constructed a team from international stars, and got them the residence that enabled them to represent Monaco together where they could arrange to ensure the international stars were the national team. But that fell apart when two of the players, Italians Fantoni and Nunes, were caught cheating. So now Zimmerman has left Multon with is damaged goods in Monaco, and put together a new team of international stars to represent Switzerland, which had its first serious outing in 2022, winning the Bermuda Bowl, even though the Norwegian stars Geir Helgemo and Tor Helness are still part of the Monaco set-up with Frank Multon. A few years ago Helgemo and Helness were often described as the world's top bridge players. They are still high up in the MP rankings. Some slight cloud hangs over them, as they suffered a temporary exclusion from the Norwegian team due to some administrative connivance - they faked the results of a match to the mutual convenience of their opponents, so avoiding having to play it - but they have never been caught cheating at the table. The Fantoni-Nunes affair brought to light several other cheating players, including members of the Polish team, as the detection methods devised were applied more widely. All the other admitted it, but Fantoni-Nunes didn't and actually won a CAS court case on a technicality. But when they turned up again to represent Monaco at the next European Championship, everyone refused to play them and they had to withdraw. I recite this as it demonstrates another problem with the high ratings of players who historically played in teams with these cheaters.

The top woman in that masterpoint list is the German Sabine Auken, at number 60. But she is past her best these days. I think a few years ago Sabine Auken and her one-time partner Daniela von Armin were in the top 25. But that was a rare showing by women in the top 100.

Despite the domination of top echelons by men, most bridge is played in mixed events. There are some prestige women's events available, notably the biennial Venice Cup which is the World Championship for women's national teams as the Bermuda Bowl is for open teams, played at the same time so you can't compete in both. There are also regional qualifying events for that, which act as European Championship, etc. A few years ago Sabine Auken and Daniela von Armin were part of the Germany open national team (of 3 pairs) for several years, competing several times for the Bermuda Bowl, and often doing quite well. They were considered among the world's leading players at that time.

Meanwhile the leading English women players have consistently preferred to play in the Venice Cup, whilst you'd find them generally playing in open competition outside of a handful of prestige women's competitions. I think this is because of late they usually get at least to the semi-finals of the Venice Cup - indeed they have been in the top 3 for each of the last 6 iterations of the event, though always pipped at the post when in the final. That's much better than the English open team manages, which has only occasionally got that far in the Bermuda Bowl since the 1960s, when Terence Reese and Boris Schapiro got caught cheating. In fact it doesn't even reliably do well enough in the European Championship even to qualify for the Bermuda Bowl. The last top 3 performance by England/Great Britain was in 1987. I think it is sometimes said that some of these leading women players would likely get into the England open team if they made themselves available for it. But it seems that winning, or nearly winning, the Venice Cup is more fun than playing in a team that doesn't even reliably qualify for it.

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Re: Parkrun and gender protests

Post by lpm » Tue Sep 05, 2023 3:10 pm

IvanV wrote:
Tue Sep 05, 2023 12:54 pm
Most bridge is mixed, and most players are women. Nevertheless, why is it that the top echelons of bridge are so dominated by men, when they largely play together, there is nothing holding women's players back, and there seems to be no particular reason for it? I don't have an answer.
It's not a mystery. Women have to go off and work, men can sit around studying bridge games.
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