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Should Fallon Fox, a Transexual Woman, Be Allowed to Compete in Female MMA?
Fallon Fox is a born male transgender, who recently underwent surgery to hormonally, legally, and physically change her sex from male to female. While this is not the forum or article to address the merits/morality/legality of surgically changing your own body, I would like to address the legality of the fact that she fought in MMA and would like to continue to do it. The debate is whether this is fair to its adversaries and whether it raises major security concerns.
Just looking at Fallon, she has the physique of a man, or at least in a combative sense. She has a reach of 70 inches, similar to Jose Aldo’s and has a similar body composition to men fighting at a similar weight. Her arms have a similar intonation to elite men, and despite her breast enhancement, she has the attributes of most men fighting in the UFC. She has bigger hands, lungs, ribcage, thighs, heart, jaw line, and a masculine body that give her natural height advantages. The question remains, should MMA follow the precedent already set by transgender competitors in other sports?
Fox is at the center of the controversial issue, but she wouldn’t be the first trans athlete to make the switch. Commissions from the Olympics, boxing, NCAA, PGA Golf, Pro Tennis, BMX Racing and beyond have all allowed trans women to compete in women’s competition after the transition, but should MMA continue to allow it? Personally, I think it shouldn’t be legal.
Although I believe in a person’s right to be able to change sex if they identify as the opposite sex, I believe that in competitive sport, the fact that a person has gone through puberty with male hormones gives a huge advantage against women in track and field. I have no hatred towards these people, but despite the reassignment surgery and taking hormone pills, there are some things about being a man that just won’t change.
While I think unequal competition should prohibit transgender women from competing in any sport, I’m also particularly nervous about allowing transgender people to compete in combat sports in particular. Can you imagine Kimbo Slice or Johnny Hendricks changing gender and being allowed to compete against women? The results would be heinous and extremely dangerous.
I’m not usually one to believe in exclusion/segregation in all facets of life, but on this particular issue, I find myself on the side of the segregationists with safety and, ironically, fairness in mind .
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