Flat White New Zealand

Laurel Hubbard? No thank you

4 August 2021

4:32 PM

4 August 2021

4:32 PM

The footage today of three of the strongest women in the world politely declining to comment on the entrance of a male into their sport made my heart break for girls.   

Footage is going around of the three medallists in the 87kg category of the women’s weightlifting being interviewed. The women seemed happy at chatty at the interview until they were asked; “It’s an historic night here, with Laurel Hubbard competing as the first openly transgender in an individual event, I was wondering, you know, what you felt about that, and what you felt that it took place in your sport”.  

There was nine seconds of silence before the American’s Sarah Robles (33) leaned forward and said, “No thank you”.  Great Britain’s Emily Jade Campbell (27) had no comment. And it has been reported that Gold-medalist China’s Li Wenwen (22) has commented, “I have nothing to say, I just respect the rules”. 

Sarah Robles, the woman who’s “no thank you” is now doing the rounds on Twitter, is an American woman of Mexican decent.  Robles was the bronze medallist and has a deformity in her arm called Madelung’s deformity that leads to pain while she is lifting.  She also has Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, a condition I have myself.   

PCOS can lead to naturally elevated testosterone levels, and I have heard claims from the “gender woo” crowd that this makes people like myself and Sarah further on the spectrum toward male. This is of course complete nonsense. PCOS is a female condition, it leads to painful periods and difficulty falling pregnant, symptoms unique to women.  

The modern mythology that sex exists on a spectrum, means that many masculine women have to endure increasingly ignorant attitudes about their bodies. These attitudes limit the ability of girls to embrace the natural diversity that exists in women. Failure to provide a variety of gender non-conforming girls with powerful female role models is one of the most unforgivable consequences of gender theory because it encourages girls to medicate gender variance.  

Pretending that a person with a receding hairline, hairy armpits and the bulge of a penis is a woman may give progressives a warm fuzzy feeling, but girls know this does not look like them, nor does it look like their mother. Little girls see a middle-aged powerful white man that the female athletes have to shut up about. I, for one, refuse to lie about this.   

We are repeatedly told that we must present to girls, people who “look like them” as role models of power and success. Li, Emily and Sarah are three women of colour, who are gender non confirming in their choice of sport and who have tremendous success, but they don’t have cultural power.  We know it, and girls know it. 

Looking at the interview of the Olympic weightlifters I see three strong and powerless women asked to pay homage to the great wealthy, white male person.  They are asked a question that they cannot answer truthfully without crushing consequences to their careers. To their credit, they didn’t cower.  

“No thank you” are the words many young girls of colour and white girls alike, will have to say in their life when they want to say something much stronger, something louder, something ruder, something entirely prohibited. Congratulations Li, Emily and Sarah. We stand with you and all women in sport who say “No thank you”.  

Edie Wyatt has a BA Hons from the Institute of Cultural Policy Studies and writes on culture, politics and feminism. She tweets at @MsEdieWyatt and blogs at ediewyatt.com.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

Show comments