The ban on trans women in chess isn’t just about transphobia; it’s deeply rooted in misogyny. The claim that transness grants them chess superiority falls flat, as it’s their assigned male status that’s highlighted. Conservative backlash often targets trivial matters, but this time, it led to a harmful ban.
The International Chess Federation’s (FIDE) decision to bar trans women from women’s chess events sparked outrage. Strangely, FIDE also planned to strip trans men of titles. This sends a clear transphobic message, but other factors contribute too. The belief that trans women threaten cisgender women’s integrity stems from enduring misogyny.
FIDE’s argument of physical endurance favoring men is baffling, considering chess is sedentary. This reasoning lacks logic and is rightly questioned. The ban’s misogyny becomes evident when only 2% of competitive chess players are female, decades after the setting of ‘The Queen’s Gambit.’
FIDE’s platform inadvertently exposes the misogyny within the anti-trans movement. Such activists often tie immutable sex and intellectual superiority, perpetuating false ideas about men’s inherent advantages. Embracing diverse expressions of womanhood, including trans women, is crucial for empowerment.
In the evolving landscape of womanhood, rigid cages are shattered. Women from all walks of life excel, including chess. The chess ban underscores the urgent need to dismantle both transphobia and the underlying misogyny.
Re-reported from the article originally published in LGBTQ Nation