A topic of contention in Australia is gender and the role it plays in society. What do you think? Interested in people’s thoughts.

Some leading questions if you need them:

Should workplaces hire the same number of men and women?
Or do you hire the best person for the job, regardless of their gender?
Should the AFL be renamed AFLM to be in line with AFLW?
Do we need women only carriages on trains?
Should we use gender neutral language?
Should transgender athletes be allowed to compete in sport against people who were not assigned the same sex at birth as them? (for example, a male who transitioned into a female competing against other females)

Discuss away…

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I don’t know.

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Do you mean sex or gender, because they’re two different things and using the terms interchangeably generates a whole lot of confusion.

Sex, by biological definition is typically male/female (although sometimes chromosomes don’t always do what they’re told).

Gender, by sociological definition, is a continuum where masculine traits increase toward one end and feminine traits increase toward the other. The bit in the middle is fairly flexible, and hardly anyone is absolutely at either end.

Many people, govt departs etc use Gender as a “nice” way to state sex (thinking that’s smutty or something), when 9/10 times they’re asking for sex rather than what someone identifies as (on the continuum), which in itself isn’t a polar answer (M or F, but usually somewhere in between).

People should feel comfortable to be themselves, no matter how they position themselves on the continuum or if they were born male, female or they fit into the rare chromosomal category (historically for-right-or-wrong, these people were catagorised as men). But people love to pigeonhole others, they love to hate those different to them (generally because their worldview feels threatened), and they tend to not think enough before they engage their mouths… so unfortunately the percentage of people who do feel comfortable with themselves is sadly small (and that’s right across the continuum and includes both sexes).

In regards to the “leading questions,” I can only offer this: If you want to change the world, you’ve got to do it yourself in everything you do everyday. It’s the same with Climate Change; getting angry isn’t going to solve anything, it’s only going to make people less willing to listen.

Look at the name of the thread.

I think workplaces should be strongly encouraged (and be given incentives by the government) to strike a 50/50 gender balance, but I don’t believe there should be a mandated quota on how many men and women need to be employed at the one company. The best person for the job is the best person for the job IMO, whether that be a man or a woman. People shouldn’t be employed simply based on their gender.

I don’t think it’s really necessary if i’m being totally honest, but I wouldn’t be opposed to it.

No. That would be discriminating based on gender.

I believe gender neutral language should only be used when referring to someone who identifies as non-binary and feels more comfortable being labelled as they/them.

Yes IMO, but there should be a height/weight requirement which they should meet first.

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Hire the best person as long as everyone applying is treated equally regardless of gender (and race, sexuality, disability etc).

Sure, why not. They’re just the names of two leagues who play Australian Rules Football, either AFLM or drop the W.

No, who’s proposing that?

Depends on the context. Regarding personal pronouns, if someone wants they/them we ought to respect that.

Something I learnt long ago was not to address a group of work colleagues as “guys” in group settings or emails.

At the highest level under current IOC protocols of course they should. Why should they be excluded? I appreciate at community levels it may be more difficult, but unfortunately these things aren’t black and white.

Look at the leading questions. They mix sex and gender quite a lot.

Depends how many apply for the job.


No, keep it in line w/ NRL, BBL, NBL etc.

Weird question, but no.

I don’t know.

Yes. But could be height issues for some sports.

I actually don’t mind the idea of women only carriages. I know a lot of women, especially late at night, who feel unsafe on trains.

Political parties should have quotas, that work has a unique need to be representative of the population. Workplaces should have strong incentives to balance the numbers, i don’t mind if an underrepresented gender is given an advantage in employment, but not strict quotas.

A lot of industry gender imbalances can be traced back to university imbalances, which can be traced back to high school. Too many women never consider engineering because they dropped physics in year 10. That’s where the efforts need to be taken, remove the stigma of boys’ and girls’ subjects among 13-15 year olds.

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Yes this. I’m all for equality and agree wholeheartedly that there isn’t enough diversity in most workplaces, but I don’t agree with quotas and ‘token’ appointments. If a man is better than all others for a position, then give it to him. If it’s a women, give it to her. It shouldn’t be about who you are, just what you can bring to the table from a skills and experience POV.

No, just call them both AFL (with it being alternatively being referred to as “The men’s/women’s AFL champions…”)

wat? Where would this come from? Back to segregation I see…

Sure, but in context. Don’t change just because.

No. It is dangerous. Unless the sport already allows males v females (think MLB or NFL) then it’s ok. Someone born with a dick competing against people born without one is of course going to be stronger and it is then dangerous for their competitors.

I think if you look at this more deeply and critically it’s not about segregation rather than safety. I’m not sure if you have seen ads directed at men staring at women on trains. We have also seen a number of rapes and murders because men have stalked women home and prayed on their vulnerability.

It’s an interesting debate - do you let her compete with women who were born female because it could be discriminatory to exclude her, or should she not be allowed to compete with other women because of potential physical advantages she may have?

Forget about the advantages for a second and think about the greater good it achieves allowing someone to participate as the gender they identify as.

I’m quite divided on it. The personal empowerment someone would receive from getting to participate as the gender they identify as would be huge, but at the same time, would the other women who miss out on first place feel robbed?

Banning transgender women from athletics undermine inclusivity and compromises benefits that youth get from sports.

And you say they have benefits from being transgender? What about the prejudice and abuse many have received?

Many medical professions have stated being trans shouldn’t disqualify you. A persons genetic make up shouldn’t be a determining factor in qualifying someone to participate.

If you are on the fence maybe put yourself in someone’s shoes or do some research. This shouldn’t even be a question.

Wouldn’t someone feel more robbed for not participating against the best women in the world?

Just to clarify, what I meant by them having a physical advantage is the testosterone they would have and obviously the bigger physique, which the women who were born female wouldn’t have. I think a lot of women who were born female would feel upset if they missed out on a medal, competing against a transgender athlete who is bigger in size and had an advantage.

You do make some great points about inclusivity and keeping the youth involved in sport no matter who they are, both of which I agree with. It would be a great feeling for a transgender athlete to feel they’ve succeeded after the hardship they might have gone through.

Going only on that article it’s sounds like the NCAA may have more relaxed rules than FINA. That said no issues with her competing against women, it’s not like she would be competitive against men.

Aren’t all people different sizes anyway? There are taller women who will be better in high jump etc. this paints a completely different argument.

I’m quite divided on this.

I am supportive of LGBTQI+ rights. But I don’t know that transitioned females should be allowed to compete at the highest level of sport.

Elite sport isn’t about inclusion. It’s about success and it needs to be a fair playing ground at the same time, hence we don’t allow people to adjust their make-up with steroids or PEDs.

If anyone wants to listen/hear more, I recommend this podcast from a couple of sports scientists.
This really isn’t the same as saying Michael Phelps has big feet etc so people of all sizes and shapes should be accommodated.