Trans woman challenged to arm wrestle by deplorable politician trying to score points on ‘women’s rights’
A vice mayor in Florida is facing resounding criticism after she challenged a trans woman to an arm wrestle during a discussion on anti-trans legislation.
Heather Moraitis, vice mayor of Fort Lauderdale, was challenged by Carvelle Estriplet on her decision to vote against a motion condemning anti-trans bills in the state.
The motion, which was introduced in response to two anti-trans bills currently making their way through the Florida legislature, was passed by 3-1.
At a city commission meeting on Tuesday evening (4 May), Estriplet told the meeting: “You have to understand, as a trans woman, we face [discrimination], we are demonised, we are constantly ridiculed,” according to South Florida Gay News.
“It’s so disgusting right now that the conservative movement is going after trans women,” she continued. “To create issues that do not exist. What is the purpose of that? There’s no purpose for that.”
Estriplet went on to thank those who voted in favour of the motion before directly addressing Moraitis.
“It’s so hypocritical, vice mayor, that you champion yourself as a Christian, you champion yourself that you are for women’s rights. You champion yourself that you want to help the underdog, but you’re being hypocritical.”
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Heather Moraitis defended her decision to vote against the motion, claiming that she was protecting women’s rights.
She told Carvelle Estriplet: “I do have to say I think you have a physical advantage over me, being born a biological female. I have to look at Caitlyn Jenner, what she said this week. I have to look at people who also have experience and see what they say.”
Moraitis continued: “I mean, I’m looking at your body, do you want to stand next to me, and see how different you look?
“Do you want to arm wrestle me? I mean, I know you’re stronger than me.”
Estriplet told Moraitis that she doesn’t have any interest in competing in sports, to which Moraitis replied: “I do believe that men are biologically bigger.”
Responding to the shocking remark, Estriplet asked: “Are you calling me a man? That’s what you’re saying?”
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Estriplet used the incident to highlight continued violence against trans women, noting that as she spoke, at least 17 trans women, “the majority Black and brown”, have been murdered. That total continues to increase.
The controversy comes as anti-trans bills continue to make their way through state legislatures in the US.
Republican lawmakers are targeting trans youth in numerous states, with a spate of bills aiming to prevent trans girls and women from competing in sports.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, there are more than 260 anti-LGBT+ bills currently making their way through legislatures – an increase of 10 since last week.