What Makes a Woman?

October 26, 2017

Picture: Kym Smith

What defines a woman? Is it our ability to multitask, our biological tendency to menstruate or our supposed desire to man-hate? With millions of stereotypes and stigmas floating around, it’s no wonder the world has got a skewed perspective on what it means to be a woman. What’s even harder is that transgendered women are not receiving the respect and validation that they so rightly deserve all because of further preconceptions around what it means to be a woman.

Just last week, transgender woman, Hannah Mouncey was denied the chance to play women’s AFL at a national level. With a group of AFL commissioners declaring her ineligible for the AFLW national competition in 2018.

The AFL’s statement read as: “The subcommittee carefully considered all of the information provided by Hannah, as well as the available data on transgender strength, stamina, physique along with the specific nature of the AFLW competition.”

Regardless of stamina or strength, if Hannah identifies as a woman then she should have every right as any other female on that field and according to the Herald Sun, an athlete’s testosterone level should be below 10 nanomoles/litre. Hannah’s levels were half this amount.

Hannah was a former champion handballer, playing in the male team before her transition back in 2015. It’s also interesting to note that handball has allowed her to play in the women’s team but AFL just aren’t budging. Is it due to the fact that it’s a highly publicised male sport compared to handball’s minor following?

This proves that more awareness and support needs to be made for transgender individuals to receive the rights and the acceptance to live as the gender they truly are. It’s the 21st century, it’s about time prejudices about gender were abandoned.


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