South African runner Caster Semenya won her first 800-meter world title yesterday amid speculation that she is not biological female. As for the coverage of it, all I have to say is “Fail!”
How does one test for gender? Do you use a product such as this?
“About three weeks ago, the IAAF asked the South African athletics federation to conduct the gender test after Semenya burst onto the scene by posting a world leading time of 1 minute, 56.72 seconds at the African junior championships in Bambous, Maruitius.”
Because she did so well she must be a man? No woman could ever do so well?
“’What can I do when they call her a man, when she’s really not a man? It is God who made her look that way,’” Semenya’s paternal grandmother, Maputhi Sekgala, told the South African daily The Times. ”
Seriously? I don’t even know what to say to this. I suppose this quote isn’t the media’s fault, but really?
“While Semenya’s case has attracted a flurry of attention, it’s not the first gender controversy in track and field history … Perhaps the most famous case is that of Stella Walsh, also known as Stanislawa Walasiewicz, a Polish athlete who won gold in the 100 at the 1932 Olympics, who had ambiguous genitalia.”
So if you are intersex you can’t compete?
People go their entire lives as intersexed because by all outward appearances they seem normal. One out of every 1,666 people born have neither XX or XY chromosomes.
If every athlete – not just those that are amazing successful or appear gender-variant – had to submit to these tests, I bet a lot more people would be disqualified for not being technically female or male.