Thursday, September 10, 2009

the latest Semenya Saga

time for a rant....

recent reports out of Australia claim that sex testing results on Caster Semenya have been leaked and that the test results conclude that she has testicles, a clitorus, a vagina, no penis, no ovaries, and no uterus.. hence, making her intrasexxed.

first of all, these reports are from unreliable australian sources. i am ashamed that the national post and other supposedly respected publications are covering this story based on tabloid rumors ... and shame on the IAAF for allowing this apparent leak.

....the global societal presumption that everybody in the world is either 100% male or 100% female is what i like to refer to as 'societal discrimination' that folks like myself and Caster have to deal with every day.

Caster is a SHE. Gender is not a matter of biology, but a matter of self-identity.. to refer to her as him or it would be extremely disrespectful..

in terms of sex, most reports i have studied indicate that approx 1.7% of the human race is intersexxed in some manner, meaning that these people carry some combination of both male and female parts, either internally and/or externally... this in addition to the 0.005% of the population who identify as transsexual.

if these reports prove to be true, it is likely she won't compete against females again until/unless her male (testosterone-producing) parts are surgically removed and her hormone levels (both estrogen and testosterone levels) return to what is considered the female norms for at least 2 years.

what makes this most upsetting is the way the situation has been handled.. i know only too well what it feels like to face societal discrimination on a daily basis for falling somewhere outside of the so-called global sex/gender identity and expression 'norms'.. the emotional scars that Caster will face from all of this will be extremely tough to deal with, and these scars may be enough to drive her out of the spotlight for life.. heck, most intrasexxed and transsexual people stay out of the spotlight for their entire life. i can tell you it takes real courage to stand up and be yourself in a situation like this..

finally, these athletic sanctioning bodies better do their research on the difference between 'gender' and 'sex' ...if they insist on using the word gender, then they better continue to allow Caster to compete.. she may not be the fastest 'female' in the world, but she's no doubt the fastest 'woman'

if the IAAF really wants to consider themselves the World Championships, then they gotta find a way to keep her in the line up, either in a 3rd category, or as a 'woman' who is 'participating' but won't be eligible for 'female' awards.. it may be unfair for her to compete against females, but it would be unfair to her to ask her to compete against males. yes she has high testosterone levels compared to females, but no where near male levels.. bottom line, you can't really call it a world championship if 1.7% of the world population is disqualified from being there due to no fault of their own.. to only allow 'males' and 'females' to be involved would be highly discriminatory. if any athletic body denies her the opportunity to run, she should take them to court.. if these sanctioning bodies don't want to be taken to court or the human rights commission by her, or me, or anyone else, they better hurry up and put together some protocol to determine when and how an intersexxed athlete can be deemed 'good enough' to 'deserve' to be included in an elite-level track meet.

notice how every time i ask a marathon to let me run, they have always found a way to do it. whether they classify me as '3rd sex' or as 'woman who will run with females but not win awards.' if they excluded me, they know they would potentially face a law suit or human rights complaint....


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