Once again, South Park seems to have predicted the future. A male powerlifter – who identifies as a female – set a women’s national record at a championship in Brandon, Manitoba, on Sunday. Going by the name Anne Andres, he appeared at the Canadian Powerlifting Union’s 2023 Western Canadian Championship and (not surprisingly) crushed the competition.
In what the LGBTQ supporters are calling a victory, many on the conservative side of the ledger are hailing it as a farce. Andres participated in the Female Masters Unequipped category, finishing with a score of 597.5 kilograms, which was over 200 kilograms more than the runner-up, SuJan Gill, who held a 387.5 kg score.
Anne Andres is allowed in women’s powerlifting competitions since the gender self-identification policy is in effect. This allows athletes to compete based on their preferred gender alone… without requiring them to submit information about their hormone levels.
Andres shared videos to Instagram, where the athlete can be seen competing against females, while wearing pink socks and sporting blue hair.
Anne Andres, a male who identifies as a woman, won first place in a Canadian women’s powerlifting championship yesterday. pic.twitter.com/7BtEGyjB2J
“I don’t care about records,” Andres said, following the competition. I care about being there with my friends… Thank you for having me friend. I am always honored to be there with you. I hope I earn it.”
Despite the kind remarks, that hasn’t stopped the backlash from many who continue to fight against the idea of male-born athletes who claim to be women, or in Anne Andre’s case, not being forced to identify at all.
Those critics have argued vociferously that crossing the gender lines in the field of play is not only unfair to female competitors but also potentially dangerous. Several girls’ teams on the youth and amateur level have boycotted certain events, rather than compete against a squad that has a biological male on its roster.
Linda Blade, the founder of the International Consortium on Female Sport, has condemned the Canadian Powerlifting Union for allowing Anne Andres to be included in these women’s competitions. She penned a letter earlier this year, imploring the CPU not to allow the travesty to go on any longer.
“Since we became aware of Anne Andres’s unethical participation in CPU female powerlifting in January of 2023, we have written letters, helped affected athletes obtain legal representation, and worked very hard to convince CPU to align with its own international federation to ensure fairness for Canadian women,” wrote Blade, who holds a Ph.D. in Kinesiology.
“The CPU insists on championing this unfairness and we condemn it wholeheartedly.”
For now, we have to ask the biggest question of our lifetime: Is South Park a reflection of the world today or a forecast into a bizarre tomorrow?