Vogue magazine has recently stirred controversy by featuring transgender cyclist Emily Bridges as the sole sportswoman on its list of the top 25 “powerhouse” women. Here’s the full story.
The Transgender Cyclist
In the magazine’s September issue, Bridges shared the spotlight with accomplished individuals from various fields, including pop star Raye, BBC broadcaster Naga Munchetty, and fashion designer Sarah Burton.
However, the decision to feature Bridges as the only representative of sportswomen has prompted criticism from gender-critical campaigners and female athletes who feel other accomplished women were overlooked.
World Athletics Championships Is Taking Place
Among those who questioned the choice were outspoken campaigner and former Olympian runner Maya Yamauchi, who pointed out that the World Athletics Championships were taking place at the same time, featuring numerous “fabulous female athletes” in Budapest.
There Are Many Female Athletes Out There
“In other sports too, thousands of fabulous female athletes British Vogue could have chosen,” she added.
A Kick in the Teeth
Fiona McAnena, director of sport at Fair Play for Women, expressed her disappointment, stating that the decision to include Bridges over other deserving female athletes was a “kick in the teeth for women.”
She It Not a Successful Cyclist Yet
McAnena said, “Emily Bridges is not yet a successful international cyclist so it’s hard to see why Bridges is there. Katarina Johnson-Thompson became the World Champion in the heptathlon– she is a world champion in a really tough event. She should be in there, not Bridges.”
Absences of Elite Female Athletes
McAnena highlighted the absence of women athletes who have excelled on both national and international levels, questioning Vogue’s choice to spotlight Bridges, who does not represent the elite category of female athletes.
Responding to the controversy, Bridges shared her thoughts on her inclusion in Vogue’s list.
Cycling Was a Part of Her
She explained that competitive cycling had been a significant part of her life for over a decade but mentioned that she is currently in the process of distancing herself from the sport.
It’s Very Scary
Bridges also addressed the criticisms she has faced saying, “It’s very scary at the moment, but I genuinely believe that we will win.”
Bridges pointed out that those who oppose trans-inclusion often come from a position of minimal interest or involvement in the sport.
She suggested that these critics use the issue as a means to engage in the larger culture war and promote anti-trans rhetoric.
Social Media Users Shared Their Views
Several social media users expressed their thoughts on the incident.
One Twitter user wrote, “Vogue insults every woman on the planet. “Powerhouse” female & what exactly has he achieved as a woman, when he’s a pathetic excuse of a man.”
How Can This Happen
Another User wrote, “I’ve just read this article in The Times and quite frankly couldn’t believe what I was reading. How can Emily Bridges be ‘one of 25 women who define women in 2023’? Makes your blood boil!”</span
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Rocksweeper. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.