Mountain Bike ‘Groundhog Day’ as male rider Sylvia Castaneda sweeps Women’s division of Vittoria Eastern States Cup
July 12, 2015
In a story that will sound like ‘Groundhog Day’ to those familiar with the Michelle Dumaresq saga, a male competitor named Sylvia Castaneda was given the green light by mountain bike racing sponsor Vittoria Tires to compete in the prestigious Eastern States Women’s Cup on the basis that he claims to feel that he is mentally female, or has an internal female essence.
Like Dumaresq, who became the male Canadian National Women’s Champion of Downhill Mountain Bike Racing for three years under a similar policy until his retirement, Castaneda ran his first race in the novice female rank and swept the entire division, and just like Dumaresq, beat the top time of the entire elite female professional category by more than two seconds.
“Sylvia Castaneda of Boston, racing in her very first downhill event, was easily the biggest shock of the weekend. The fast and fearless Castaneda not only won the female beginner class by a whopping 41-seconds, she was also the fastest female on the day, beating the women’s pro division winner by more than two seconds. Talk about starting off with a bang,” reported PinkBike, who opted not to mention the fact that Sylvia is in fact a male competitor. A fairness complaint, left as a comment on their post by an event attendee was also not responded to. Castaneda would have placed 2nd in the male novice category for the 19-29 year old age group in the June 14 Pats Peak New Hampshire event. He would not have placed at all in the professional male category.
Sylvia Castaneda is a man named James “Jamie” Hargreaves, with a history of competing (and not placing) in male races, sources report to GenderTrender. He works as a bike mechanic for a large shop in Boston’s west end. He has also used the alias “Jamie Liddell”, adopting the surname of his apparent life-partner, another transgender male.
Boston’s Community Bicycle Supply, “Sylvia’s” official sponsor, opted not to mention or celebrate their sponsored rider’s “shocking” winning sweep on either their main business or their several times daily updated facebook site. Not a whisper for their triumphant “female” champion.
Like Michelle Dumaresq before him, Castaneda/Hargreaves does not believe that his male physiology, bone structure, musculature, and history/socialization as a male athlete advantages him over the females he is competing against, says a source who knows him (and who wants it stated that they are a strong supporter of LGBT people with many beloved friends and family members falling into that category). Sylvia/James truly believes that he has a “female mind” and that this mind-set makes him unquestionably female biologically. He believes that males who are predisposed to “femininity” are not physically male because femininity is the definition of womanhood and the mind overrides corporeality. Or something.
Perhaps like many transgender male athletes he views himself as a “disadvantaged” due to the social stigma he receives as a male who embraces “femininity”, and dominating in competition against female athletes is an entitlement that “equalizes” that “disadvantage”. Or perhaps, like Dumaresq, his narcissism is so great that he believes his male biology has disappeared under his command (and some hormone pills!), and his sudden fabulous win streak in athletics is based on the fact that he is simply one very, very special lady.
Vittoria Tire, sponsors of the Eastern States Cup, agrees with this definition of “female athlete”: any man can be one. Rather than support women’s sports and the kick-ass female mountain bike division, they opted to prioritize the rights of any men who “identify” as “male-bodied females”.
After ignoring women’s fairness concerns following the male rider’s sweep of the women’s division, Vittoria responded by licensing James/Sylvia for his second race in the women’s division for round two of the New England Cup on July 4, in Killington, VT, this time in the top rated amateur women’s category. To no one’s surprise, he again swept the women’s division, besting all actual female amateur competitors and also all of the women’s professional category, except the #1 elite top women’s rider Mary Elges, who bested him by over three seconds. James/Sylvia would have failed to place at all in his top male amateur category at this event, much less the pro male category. Funny how PinkBike didn’t even mention “Sylvia” this time in their report of his second event.
What is striking beyond the extraordinary “Groundhog Day” synchronicities of the previous Michelle Dumaresq and the current Sylvia Castaneda incursion into women’s downhill mountain bike racing, (both sweeping the entire female division on their first novice race, both exhibiting utter entitlement to do so as men who feel “disadvantaged” by the existence of female sporting events), is the larger “Groundhog Day” of the male sporting authorities, media and sponsors shitting on women’s sports in general: Male sponsors like Vittoria Tire blatantly tokenizing and disrespecting elite women athletes. Male sponsors like Boston’s Community Bicycle Supply robbing female athletes of their right to compete fairly against other women. Male licensing boards prioritizing male feelings over basic female rights to licensed women’s athletic competition. Male sports media ignoring and censoring coverage of women’s sports. “Transgender” policies adopted by male sports authorities which solely benefit male competitors, to the sole detriment of female athletes. Rinse and repeat. Endlessly. Groundhog Day.
December 2, 2014
GLBT and liberal media pundits scrambled today to refute an ad sponsored by the right-wing Child Protection League group, but found themselves unable to produce a single point of contention. The paid ads were published in multiple Minnesota newspapers (Star Tribune, St. Cloud Times, Duluth News Tribune, among others) yesterday and claimed that the proposed transgender policy for student athletes will:
- Allow boys and young men to compete against girls and young women for limited slots on female sports team rosters.
- Allow boys and young men to compete “as females” on girls and young women’s sports teams based on nothing but declared “gender feelings”.
- Allow boys and young men to access girls and young women’s school showers and locker rooms previously sex-segregated to protect the privacy of girls and young women from vulnerability in areas of public nudity.
Unfortunately for transgender advocates, all of the claims in the ads are true. These are exactly the desired effects of the proposed policy. In fact, these are the outcomes the proposed policy is designed to achieve. Multiple liberal news outlets and writers are calling the right-wing ads “misleading” but not a single one has produced a statement outlining why. Because they can’t.
Media Matters calls the ads “misleading” (six times), and “false”, but fails to explain why, instead calling the ads “hurtful” (to the feelings of males), “based in ignorance” (although they don’t explain why), and “fear-based” (of what, they do not say). The total lack of rebuttal is remarkable… unless you read the policy, which actually does allow male students to do all the things the ad states.
OutFront Minnesota, the GLBT lobbying group accuses the ads of “spreading misinformation and fear” but offers no correction or rebuttal (because there isn’t one). Instead they frame the ads as “attacking transgender youth”. Presumably they mean transgender MALE youth, because forcing transgender FEMALES to compete against male-bodied persons -or to choose between their transgender identification and their participation in female sports- is the result of this policy. The policy under debate broadens rights for males only, and decreases the rights of all females, including those who identify as “transgender”.
Pink News, no rebuttal. Because there isn’t one.
The so-called “LGBT Sports Coalition”, a nebulous Nike, Inc. funded organization “composed of thirty organizations and individuals” helmed by transgender “male lesbian” and ESPN reporter Christina (Chris) Kahrl was quoted in the New York Daily News calling the ads “controversial” “hateful” “fear-mongering” and “pushing out false facts” but again failed to present a rebuttal to the accurate claims made in the ad.
You can read some of the disgustingly anti-lesbian and hideously sexist output of the Nike-funded ESPN journalist and “male lesbian” Kahrl’s group here: http://www.outsports.com/2014/11/12/7197635/tina-hillman-shot-put-iowa-state
(Quote: “athletes like Venus and Serena Williams, Brittney Greiner and Layshia Clarendon have blazed their own trails, finding success and stardom by simply expressing themselves and their creativity with every thread of clothing they wear.
Stereotype dictates that shot putters be massive, masculine athletes – something out of a Hans and Frans sketch. The women in the sport are overweight, wear short, “butch” haircuts and have sweatpants permanently attached to their hips.”)
Ugh! Homophobic and sexist! What are you thinking ESPN and Nike?!
NBC Sports writer Aaron Gleeman wrote that the ads were “misleading, bigoted” on Twitter but was unable to articulate why. I asked him myself. Several transgender activists responded that biological sex should be determined by hormone usage, but medication is not a factor, or even mentioned in the proposed juvenile athlete policy. Which I guess means that even transgenders reject this policy. And why would trans activists think it would be a good idea for kids to be pressured to take unnecessary medication as a qualification to play school sports? One transgender activist even tried to convince me that sexually dimorphic reproduction in mammals, including humans, is a myth. Oh my!
Lesbians and Feminists obviously don’t support the anti-gay and anti-woman agenda of the right wing, but we can certainly spot a sexist, lesbophobic policy designed to infringe on the rights of girls and young women when we see one. One designed to erode the rights of female student athletes, including females who “identify as transgender” (Title IX already allows female athletes to compete in male sports if they qualify, regardless of “gender feels”). This policy does nothing but restrict their right to compete.
Lesbians and Feminists and those who support us can also spot the Nike-funded ESPN-style sexism of a policy that limits participation in women’s sports by adherence to what is now apparently about to be state-sanctioned sex stereotypes.
It seems the simple solution – and one that is fair for females as well as males- is to prohibit discrimination against transgender student athletes who wish to compete in sports. That is to say, for example, that males who “identify as” transgender should not be kicked off of the football team because they have long hair or paint their nails or believe that folks have a “mental gender”. Female athletes should not be forced off female teams because they reject the female “sex role”. Not only is that a progressive, feminist view, but it allows all students to compete equally and fairly. Including the female ones.
September 18, 2014
On Saturday September 13, in a “cage” in the Springfield, Illinois Convention Center, a crowd gathered to watch something that happens thousands of times a day worldwide: a man battered a woman.
Fallon Fox, a 38-year-old ex-military man and father, caused what many are calling career-ending injuries to his female mixed martial arts opponent, Tamikka Brents. In less than three minutes, Fox inflicted an orbital bone fracture, a concussion, and soft tissue injuries to Brents’ head so extensive that they required 8 surgical staples to close. This level of brutality, this male on female violence, is unlike anything previously seen in Women’s MMA.
In addition to the horrific level of bodily injury inflicted by a male onto a female competitor, the atmosphere surrounding this event was notable for the bizzare sexism and anti-lesbian public sentiment expressed by Fox and his fellow transgender community members leading up to and following Brents’ injuries.
Some mainstream observers outside the “LGBT” are mystified by the level of cruelty and bloodlust displayed by Fox’s transgender male supporters against female MMA fighter Tamikka Brents, an out and proud lesbian. Those not savvy in the social and political dynamics of the LGBT community may not be aware of the fact that, in some ways, the public battery of Tamikka and the bloodlust exhibited by the transgender community is emblematic of the ongoing violence and hostility of heterosexual male “transwomen” towards lesbians in general. The public at large may be unaware of the fact that Fallon Fox devotes his ample free time to the posting of anti-gay screeds online which center on the “unfairness” of lesbian women declining relations with males like himself who are transgender. Those unexposed to transgender politics may be shocked to learn that Fallon Fox publicly promotes the creation of an online “registry” of women, modeled on one operated by the “Men’s Rights” group affiliated with Elliot Rodger, that would list the names of every lesbian, feminist, and woman who recognizes that biological sex exists (!) so that men like Fallon Fox can target them for god knows what.
June 12, 2014
January 18, 2014
I’m starting a thread here for anyone who wants to discuss this article:
Sample of text and formatting from Dr. V’s Website: Read the rest of this entry »
A few recent governmental flip-flops on policies enshrining gender (the social stereotypes based on sex that ritualize male dominance and female subordination) illustrate the politics involved in passing such broad-sweeping yet ill-considered measures.
The first odd policy reversal was the decision in Nova Scotia, widely reported by CBC news and other sources, that the Health Ministry had decided not to fund radical cosmetic surgical procedures based on gender roles. From the CBC:
“After studying the issue, Health Minister David Wilson said in a letter last week that the province has decided not to fund the surgery.
“When we must decide which areas to fund, there are a number of items to consider. For example, what does the best available research tells us, and are we able to fund a service within our limited healthcare budget,” said Wilson.
“The department has given the matter of gender reassignment surgery considerable consideration and we went through a careful policy review, including extensive research and consultation with other jurisdictions.”
The CBC reported:
“Wilson said there’s a lack of high-quality research about the effectiveness and long-term outcomes of sex reassignment surgery.
He said the decision to deny coverage came after a careful policy review and is declining interviews until after he meets with NSRAP [Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project] on Wednesday.”
The very NEXT DAY the policy was reversed. From CTV Atlantic News:
“The Nova Scotia government says the province will soon fund gender reassignment surgery .
Health and Wellness Minister David Wilson said he came to the decision after reviewing the medical evidence and the policies of other provinces that fund this procedure.
“Based on the values and direction this government has taken on the issue, I am happy today to confirm funding for gender reassignment surgery,” said Wilson.
“Last November, the province enshrined transgender rights in legislation. We don’t permit others to discriminate against transgender people, and the funding of this surgery is an issue of dignity, and equality for transgender Nova Scotians.”
Wilson said he met with members of the LBGTI community about the decision on Wednesday.”
The other big recent flip-flop involved the sweeping change to school athletic programming in Nebraska. Following widely reported news that sex-based protections for female athletes were being eliminated state-wide and replaced with “sex-role” or “gender” guidelines, it turns out that no such policy was ever approved after all. From Nebraska Watchdog reporter Deena Winter:
LINCOLN – Turnabout, it seems, doesn’t always equal fair play.
The head of a Nebraska board that governs school activities said the board has not yet voted on a policy protecting the rights of transgender athletes, a statement that appears to contradict what she told national media outlets such as the New York Times and Deadspin.
The group’s executive director, Rhonda Blanford-Green, had said the Nebraska School Activities Association passed a policy in December outlining a process to allow transgender student-athletes to change teams.
She now says her board of directors did not vote on the policy, as reported, and will do so in August.
Nebraska Watchdog reported last week the NSAA passed the policy, which sets up procedures for schools if transgendered students want to participate on the team they identify with – if a male student identifies as a female and wants to play on the girls’ team, for example.
But a member of the NSAA’s board of directors – the entity that supposedly passed the policy – told Nebraska Watchdog on Monday the transgender policy was discussed at the December meeting, but wasn’t voted on.
“We did not take action,” said Bob Reznicek, superintendent of schools for Boys Town schools. “Our understanding was we were going to vote on it in the spring.”
Reznicek, who has served on the NSAA board for 13 years, said the board typically discusses a policy one month and votes on it the next. He said he got a brief email from Blanford-Green on Monday confirming there was no official vote taken, so a vote would be taken at the board’s Aug. 21 meeting.
That is contrary to what Blanford-Green told multiple reporters. But this story has been odd from the start.
Stories about Nebraska’s transgender policy first appeared in the national press while few people in Nebraska seemed to know anything about it, until Nebraska Watchdog’s report came out last week. The policy was nowhere to be found in NSAA agendas or meeting minutes, although the policy itself could be found online.
But that online post has since been removed and replaced with a message from Blanford-Green saying the policy will be on the board’s August agenda to “eliminate any confusion on the transparency of the association or myself to formally address procedures for transgender participation within our board procedures.”
After other Nebraska media followed up on our story late last week, Blanford-Green told a Lincoln Journal Star reporter she proposed the policy to the board in November because she wanted to get it in the books before she appeared at a national conference on transgender student participation in sports.
Then, she told the Omaha World-Herald although the policy is on the books, it doesn’t appear in meeting minutes and would come back for “another vote” July 11 “to ensure that it is placed on official meeting records.” That date apparently has since been pushed back to Aug. 21.
Reznicek tells a different story.
“Yes, we did discuss it, but no, we did not vote on it,” he said. “Whenever we take official action, it should be in our official minutes.”
Whether this is the first or second vote on the policy – which apparently is up for debate – does he think it will pass?
“I don’t want to speculate on that,” he said. “I don’t think anybody’s necessarily opposed to it.”
When asked why the vote wasn’t recorded in meeting minutes, Blanford-Green told Nebraska Watchdog via email she wasn’t sure. “There was a discussion and acceptance,” she wrote, and the situation “will be rectified.”
Asked about Reznicek’s statement that the policy had not yet been approved, Blanford-Green said, “You spoke with a board member and they have provided you with the answer. I don’t think an additional comment from me on a board member’s response is necessary.”
The other seven NSAA board members did not respond to phone calls seeking comment.