Jon Pike Profile picture
@OU_Philosophy, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy. Political Philosophy, and the Ethics and Metaphysics of Sport. Co-convenor @OU_GCN Runner. Lefty.
Chris O Profile picture 1 added to My Authors
4 Aug
LH thanks the IOC for its 'courage and moral leadership'🧵
I see things differently. Courage would reside in the IOC sticking with fair sport and the principle in the 2015 statement I've quoted elsewhere.
The stance they have taken does not show that sport is an activity...
1/ ...'open to all.' It was not open to #RovielDetenamo, who wanted to live *her* life authentically and as she is: a competitive female weight lifter. But she was excluded from the female weightlifting competition.
2/ The language of inclusion and authenticity and openness is denied to #RovielDetenamo. This does not show moral courage, but something else: ignoring the science, backtracking on principles of fairness, in search of some sort of (inauthentic) political credibility
Read 6 tweets
2 Aug
I've written just now to Dr Budgett, of the IOC and I'll say here if I get a reply. It is, ofc, essential that women athletes and advocates who are affected by the 'framework' drawn up in the next 2 months are properly consulted.
But I will also try hard to get my say...🧵
Reason: Lots of people are saying nice things about the @WorldRugby work. That's to their (RW's) credit, but I'll claim some small influence on the method they used. I'm asking to explain that method to the IOC, against the 'balancing' metaphor that is easy but inappropriate...
For policy geeks: when you are targeting three incommensurable values (S,F, and I) you can't use a synchronic approach. You need a step by step (diachronic) one. You need to establish priority relations: what trumps what.
My rough view is that safety trumps fairness trumps...
Read 4 tweets
2 Aug
@FondOfBeetles reference to 'sliders' draws my attention to this paper by Yannis Pitsiladis.
In particular, look at the figures (1) and (2) which, in my view, misrepresent the argument. Pitsiladis constructs a 'slider' with safety at one end and inclusion at the other...
But ask yourself: what is the common metric that can vary along this sliding scale scale? (I'll put the figure in the next tweet)
Here, we are getting close to the nub of the issue, and imho, the Pitsiladis et al paper gets it wrong. This is where the balancing metaphor gets you, and it is incoherent because there is no shared metric. Image
Read 5 tweets
1 Aug
Because we’ve discussed it here before, I hope @RogerPielkeJr will not mind me saying a few words about his statement that the argument about the fairness of LH in the female category is “100% a subjective argument”🧵
1/ First, note that no one really makes the statement he’s denying. Certainly, I don’t say: LH’s inclusion is unfair *and that’s 100% an objective fact about the world* (It’s not clear to me what a 62% objective argument would look like, either).
2/ Instead, I think, and say, that LH’s possession of male advantage is a fact about the world, and I think and say that the point of the female category is to exclude male advantage.
Read 16 tweets
24 Jun
On 'pies' and 'spaces' (They’re connected) #MoralMaze
@AdamWagner1 argues that ‘rights are not like pies’. To spell things out, boringly, his point is that rights are not a zero-sum game, that it is possible to increase one right or set of rights without reducing ...
another right or set of rights.
I think that he is correct, about some rights, and his example of equal marriage is a pretty good example.
But I think he is wrong about other rights, and especially about the rights in question.
Consider the pie metaphor. It’s supposed to be powerful because it conveys the idea that we are talking about big, abstract, social rules, roles and institutions, not something as simple as a pie.
As simple, material and *spatially constrained* as a chunk of pie. 3/
Read 9 tweets
24 Jun
Nonetheless... (thread)
@AyoCaesar foregrounds Non-Domination. (ND) She points to the fact that there is only one trans competitor in Tokyo (ignoring the alternate, and the 9 (?) para-athletes... 1/
What does ND show about trans-inclusion into women's sport (TI)? Some candidate answers:
A) ND shows that TI is fair
B) ND shows that TI doesn't matter...

I'll take these in turn
A) is a category error. Whether a contest is fair or not is independent of the results of that contest. Fairness (in sport) is a matter of procedures, not outcomes. To see this, consider the difference with a criminal trial. There's a fact of the matter that the trial ...3/
Read 15 tweets
9 Jun
OK, I'll try to explain how I see things, recognising that this might not be right, and that others here can put things better and/or differently
1) The rights that women have fought for and won are collective rights, and in a lot of cases they are sex-based rights.
2) Sex -based rights are grounded in and justified by the fact of sexed bodies. Sexed bodies do not always count for grounding rights, - eg. for the right to vote they are irrelevant - but sometimes they do.
Read 11 tweets
8 Jun
This is an interesting new paper with which I don't wholly agree, (especially in the case of archery)... /1

Integrating transwomen athletes into elite competition: the case of elite archery and shooting…
Beyond the details, though, look at the overall logic. Here's the antecedent of the conditional:
*If* a sport is sufficiently sex-unaffected, such that the minimal physiological changes made by x-sex hormones do not affect fairness... /2
Here are two consequents:
A) *Then* it's fair to integrate transwomen
B) *Then* that sport should be unisex.

Which should we go for?
Pitsiladis et al favour (A), but I favour (B). I don't see why the argument for (A) isn't an argument for (B) .../3
Read 12 tweets
29 Mar
This is interesting (Thread) My article below has been edited, after publication, without my knowledge or agreement. 1/

Why the World Rugby guidelines banning trans athletes from the women's game are reasonable via @TC_Africa…
The main change, on a quick look, is from 'male' and 'female' to 'assigned male' and 'assigned female'.

I don't use those terms because I'm concerned with sex as a biological fact rather than as the outcome of a social process.
This is an important distinction, and making distinctions is my job.
Read 5 tweets
6 Jan
Philosophers on Twitter getting push back about The Letter: here are some candidate actions, and some evaluations (by me) of those actions (thread):

i) Say nothing, refuse to engage
Evaluation: You have made a public stand: this makes you publicly accountable.
ii) Try to laugh it off.
Evaluation: This is a serious matter (you accept). Please don't ridicule those who disagree with you. You want to be taken seriously: take your interlocutors seriously.
iii) Straw-man your critics.
Some people will tweet that you are an effing misogynist. But other people will make polite and serious objections to the text of your letter: address the strongest objections to your claims, not the weakest.
Read 8 tweets
5 Jan
(i) P'raps I'll spell out the dialectic here. In the letter, @jichikawa elides 'trans-exclusive' and 'transphobic'. I'm coming up with a counter-example to that elision. My (philosophical) view is that trans-women should be excluded from women's rugby. Of course, I don't think
(ii) that trans-women should be excluded from rugby as such, but that they should play in the category of their birth sex (it's slightly more complicated than that, but I'll stick the paper at the end.)
(iii) On most normal understandings, this is a trans-exclusive (no scare quotes) view, in philosophy, which I argue for quite explicitly. I argue for it, because of the difference in bodies between males and females, which, I think, has ethical consequences.
Read 13 tweets
8 Dec 20
Here's an important development - and a thread...
1) This is an important new paper in @BJSM_BMJ (Roberts et al. 2020) for all those following the debate. Others better qualified than me can run through the science @FondOfBeetles, @Scienceofsport
2) In this thread I want to look at the upshot for the debate on trans women competing in women’s sport:

What does this new information do? What arguments does it close off? What possible moves in the debate does it open up?
Read 18 tweets
6 Dec 20
@EthicsInSPORT p.20 "Nonetheless it is recognized that *transfemales are not males who became females.* Rather these are people who have always been psychologically female but whose anatomy and physiology, for reasons as yet unexplained, have manifested as male...
The EWG therefore, in parallel with the Dutee Chand decision, opt against any ruling that might render a female ineligible to compete due to intrinsic factors that are beyond their control"
So 1) This is 'born in the wrong body' nonsense
2) This is (crap) Cartesian nonsense
3) This is antiscientific ('for reasons as yet unexplained')
4) psychology trumps physiology, so physiological fairness is trashed.
5) This is TW are *female* - which is, er, a *striking* claim.
Read 4 tweets
4 Sep 20
1/ Thread: there is a lot to say about this irresponsible statement, but I have an appointment with the Col du Peyresourde tomorrow. So I'll just point out one element
2/ Rugby Canada's submission says they included "documented *lived experiences* of Canadian rugby trans participants"

My question: what *status* do these "lived experiences" have in trying to sort out an ethical policy? How should it feed into the policy process?
3/ Trans women players will presumably have said the following things:
A 'I get a great deal out of playing rugby, and it is important to my sense of well-being.' This is fair enough, and uncontested. Everyone accepts this.
Read 8 tweets
20 Aug 20
It is still a shock to people like me - who fought Section 28 when it was Clause 27 - to find ourselves pitched against this mendacious propaganda from
Here are a few areas where this tweet is wrong (thread)
First, and most obviously, the proposals from World Rugby *do not* exclude anyone from playing Rugby. They *do* exclude Trans women from playing women's rugby: they do so for sound reasons to do with fairness and safety.
either @stonewalluk care about safety and fairness or they don't, either they will engage with the arguments there or they won't - that's up to them. But pretending that this is just about 'rights' and 'inclusion' in this faux-naive way just shows them up as bad faith actors.
Read 9 tweets
3 Aug 20
1/ In the tweet below, and the attachment, @outsports names and identifies - including giving locations - 300+ women athletes who have written to the @NCAA to voice their concern about the inclusion of trans women in women's sport.
2/ Obviously, the intent is to provide information so these women can be hassled, pressurised, and intimidated into changing their views, or withdrawing their names. But it is reasonable for competitive women athletes to object to their sports being opened up to people with
3/ male physiological advantages - they will, unreasonably, be edged out of teams, off podiums, denied medals, and opportunities.
The tactic is despicable. But it shows up something else: those of us who are *not* competitive women athletes have an obligation to argue this...
Read 5 tweets
22 Oct 19
1) I’ve been trying to work out the philosophical position on trans inclusion in sport of Rachel Mckinnon and I think I have made some progress. Here’s a thread:
2) It’s important to notice that RMs position in favour of trans-inclusion is not, in the end, an empirical or contingent matter. Despite spending some time on empirical data, RM’s position is not constrained by scientific data. It's an in principle position.
3) But it’s important to notice that RM is not against separate classes for men and women. There is a (fairly) respectable position in sport ethics, supported by Tännsjö, Foddy and Savulescu, for assimilation of sex classes. This is not RMs position.
Read 19 tweets