Fairness doesn't always mean inclusion – but it often means exclusion in women's sport, says Mercy Muroki

Excluding biological men from women's sport is not inclusive but it is fair

Published

My daughter is fortunate enough to have swimming lessons as part of her curriculum.

Ask her what her favourite subject at school is and her eyes light up, a big ear-to-ear grin appears on her face and she says loud and proud: "Swimming."

It's a rather obscure hobby to have in my family. None of us can swim, and none of us particularly like swimming. But I take her swimming anyway because she loves it. It makes her happy.

She works bloody hard at it and I am proud of her.

Now, I've brought my daughter up telling her she can be whatever she wants to be.

Because I have full faith that in Britain, she will have a fair crack at the whip if she works as hard as she can.

Transwoman and swimmer, Lia Thomas.
Transwoman and swimmer, Lia Thomas.
Mercy Muroki
Mercy Muroki

Currently she wants to be something between a vet and a paleontologist. Dig up dinosaur bones in the morning and mend puppies' broken paws at teatime. What's not to love?

But if she turns around to me and says "Mummy, I want to be a professional swimmer", that would fill me will horror.

Because women's sport is fast becoming the least fair career to pursue. Trans ideology has encouraged on any sense of fairness for female athletes, bolstered by pseudoscience, denial of biological reality, and what I consider a sinister attempt to erase the achievements of women.

Can you really look a budding female swimmer like my daughter in the eye and say that it is fair that Lia Thomas, a male swimmer who identifies as a woman, has thrashed female records six times fair and square?

Can you look at the female cyclist who recently won third place because she was beaten by two trans women – biologically male – and say that having her place taken by two biological men was in the name of fairness?

And what about Alana MacLaughlin?

A former US Army Special Forces soldier, who now identifies as a woman, and who beat bloody a female MMA fighter in a professional fight. Is it not sinister that a man would consider physical combat with a woman as 'sport'. Well, it's fine I suppose because it's in the name of equality and inclusion... right?

Fairness doesn't always mean inclusion. In fact, fairness often entails exclusion.

Excluding biological men from women's sport.

And it's not even necessarily about the physical advantage – although that of course is a huge problem.

It's the principle, too.

You could get the skinniest, scrawniest man, standing 4 foot 10 high, with arms like spaghetti and legs that have never seen the inside of a gym ... and I still wouldn't think it's fair for him to compete with even the strongest, world-leading female athletes.

Because he's not a woman.

Which is why I'm pleased to see that FINA, swimming's world governing body, has voted to stop transgender athletes from competing in women's elite races if they have gone through any part of the process of male puberty.

It is a huge step in the right direction but not a step far enough in my opinion.

But at least if my daughter does indeed turn to me and say she wants to pursue a career in swimming, I can sleep better at night knowing that she may, just may, be given a fair chance.