Are CFA’s 145-Pound Women’s Tourney Athletes Overshadowed by Transgender Controversy?

March 24, 2013
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CFA LogoIn the weeks since the first round of the CFA women’s 145-pound tournament in March, the media surrounding the event has quickly shifted from MMA to social commentary with the admission that one of the women fighting in the tournament, Fallon Fox, is a transgendered former man.

While statements have been issued by people involved with the CFA and both inside the sport and out, up until now, tournament favorite Peggy “Daywalker” Morgan has kept quiet.

“I feel like we all worked really, really hard and put a lot of time into it and we went out there and did what we needed to do to win, and I feel a little perturbed because I feel that Fallon should have disclosed that she was transgender before getting in,” said Morgan. “I feel like she must have known that it was going to cause an issue with the commission.

“By not disclosing her medical history before competing she was really kind of showing a lack of respect for the promotion, commission and the fighters who trained really, really hard to be in that position by kind of derailing the whole thing.”

Because Fox’s status as a transgender athlete was not cleared by the Florida State Boxing Commission, her licensing has come into question and because of such, the tournament’s second round was in limbo until the recently released May 24 date could be confirmed.

Morgan told one of the biggest issues that she feels has lacked in the discussion has been that of the tournament’s seven other fighters’ rights and safety.

“I understand it’s necessary to protect (Fox’s) rights and make sure that she’s being treated fairly,” said Morgan. “And I do think that is something that should happen, but I feel like our safety should be protected as well.

“There have been some people who have been very vocal about protecting our safety, but I don’t feel like I’ve been hearing enough of that from every corner right now. It becomes very different if it’s your friend or girlfriend, your sister, your daughter or your mother who is going to do it. I feel like there are a lot of people out there with an agenda and they’re not thinking about our physical safety.”

Morgan hopes that going forward the press surrounding the CFA will once again focus on the tournament itself and showcase the remaining fighters in a positive light as opposed to what seems to have been a decidedly unpleasant turn the coverage has taken of late.

“I’m not doing this for attention, but I do feel like it’s put a negative spin on it,” said Morgan. “I don’t feel like the press this tournament is getting is the kind of press I would personally like. I’m not liking the kind of press we’re getting, not so much that I’m angry that I’m not getting more attention.

“I know I’m fighting Ashlee Evans-Smith and I’m training as though it’s happening next. I still have the same goals that I had going into it. It’s not getting to me; it’s just been kind frustrating and aggravating.”

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  • ArRoN

    Peggy Morgan’s video staement

  • $16211431

    Just to be clear:

    A transgender person is someone who’s gender presentation (the way they think, talk, act, dress etc.) does not meet our expectations of someone of their apparent physical sex. That includes people like men who act very feminine and wear woman’s clothing. We can all agree that someone like that would be dangerous because they would effectively be a physical man. Fox is no longer transgender.

    Before Fox transitioned she was transgender only because she was raised to believe she was a man when in fact she was a transsexual woman.

    Many transgender people have a brain sex that is the same as their genital sex. They are not transsexual because a transsexual, like Fox, is born with a Female brain in a male body (or vice versa). For someone like Fox there is a disconnect between the body she had and what her brain was wired to expect. Hormone treatment and surgery brought her body to a form closer to what her brain was wired to expect. She is therefore no longer transgender because her brain and body are both as close to female as medical science can come.

    There are changes in the relative sizes of her bones which happened as a result of having testosterone in her body through puberty. Her hands and feet are larger, shoulders wider and hips narrower, however all of her soft tissue and her brain are exactly like any other woman. She does not have any of the strength advantages etc. that she would have had before transition.

    We must then acknowledge that unless bigger hands or wider shoulders can be shown to give her an unfair advantage, she is just one more hard working MMA female competitor and not any more or less dangerous than any other female competitor.

    • Cuban VooDoo

      You wouldn’t be saying this if you were scheduled to fight her.

    • Saucefactor

      You cant be serious. Brain gender? I would love to see the double blind clinical studies proving that brains have genders, that is nonsense propaganda. I will conceed that for whatever reason people “feel” out of place and “choose” to resolve these issues through reassignment. But to buy into this idea of a brain being female all along is just a bit of a stretch for me. I have absolutely no problem with the transgender, or as you so eloquently clairified, the newly female. But I think its a fairly large logical oversite to admit that a life of testosterone resulted in a different bone structure, but somehow all of the effects on the musculoskeletal system vanish upon hormone therapy. Muscle Memory? Slow twitch/fast twitch ratio? These effects and more are at the core of why you are wrong. Yes whatever manly overdrive from high testosterone might have vanished during hormone therapy (however I am still skeptical and would love to see clinical studies comparing strength before and after), but all of the physiological changes leading up to gender reassignment are not lost, and to think so shows how emotionally your considering this issue. I understand we are all very concerned about the rights of LBGT, but I will need to see a coherent scientific argument before you are going to convince me that someone that lived over 70% of their life as a man does not have some level of advantage over someone who never had that physiological opportunity.

      • saucefactor

        I really still cant get over the lunacy….. Lets say i even concede (which i don’t) that her current muscular system is that of a woman. The weight of your hands plays a big role in punching power. You have conceded her hands would be that of a man and not change due to hormone therapy. Shouldn’t alarms then go off in your head when her first two victories are vicious first round knockouts? I am all for compassion, but it is misplaced when your compassion is for someone doing immense harm to others.

  • Richard

    Just as steroids are an illegality because it gives an individual an advantage physically, do not forget that being born a man, gives physical strength advantages over female competitors. Just looking like a woman does not take away this advantage. Please be fair to the woman competitors.

  • guacamole

    I think people need to take responsibility over their choices… if you choose to transition into a woman, you have to realize you must give up certain types of competitive sporting. : Sorry, it’s just not fair physically. Either don’t compete, or pick a different sport where there is either no competition or sex doesn’t matter. Or I guess if you really want to compete, find some people who will fight you outside of official competitions. You picked to prioritize your body over your sport, so live with it.