Miss Semenya, sexuality in sports

posted by MsAkiba, a Women Talk Sports blogger
Friday, August 21, 2009 at 12:03am EDT

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First off, I am not politically correct however, I am sensitive towards certain subjects. I am not going to apologize for any offensive on insensitive statements that I may make, It is just my observation and my opinion, having said that... 

Sexuality in sports...how deeply complex is this issue? I remember this gay marriage/sexuality debate I had with my parents, sis and grandmother. My father is a Liberal Feminist, yes my DAD. My sis, I would like to thank the Obama's who saved my sister from becoming a Republican, she rides the fence. My mother, has grown from a religious conservative Democrat, to a errrr christian democrat, a little more open minded ( she gets so offended when I call her a 'religious right', though I just say it to witness her almost lose her religion on me). My Grandmother, is just a straight up hard core christian, what the Bible says..goes. I am the free-spirited spiritual Liberal! Our Political debates are fire!!!  Gay marriage, it was 2-2, my sis, in the beginning, was on the fence (now we are 4-1, grandma aint budging), Grandma says about sexuality, "your either man or woman, its that simple, men belong with women...." My response, "oh yeah, explain hermaphrodites or middle sex then and who do they belong with" ? Her response..." hermaphro WHAT? what is that? I've never even heard of such a thing." It was the funniest thing ever.FYI, I have a old school grandma with MADEA tendencies! since then, sexuality in sports has gotten a lot more complex.

Ms. Caster Semenya, a 18-year old 800 meter runner from South Africa, who recently just won the title of being the 800m World Champion, is undergoing a Gender test to prove that she is a woman! Not that she is being accused of cheating drug doping, or DNA altering, but being accused of being a young man, a dude, OUCH. My thoughts on this...

Pandora's box has been opened, that box was opened back when both the IAAF & IOC both ruled in favor of allowing transgender & intersex athletes to compete, but not before giving certain guidelines. This is not the first, nor will it be the last time that we will hear of this and as time goes, this will become a more frequent issue. I do not like how Ms. Semenya, is being thrown out there and judged. Perhaps she is of the middle sex, inter sex or a hermaphrodite, then her gender is not her fault. She still is a young impressionable 18 year old sensitive girl, who has most likely dealt with this all her life.. But now she has been thrust onto the world spotlight at 18, you guys...she's 18, that alone should put a lot of things into perspective, she's a kid, stop bullying the damn girl, if she hadn't won, this would not be an issue, but people are angry. Lets play devils advocate and say that she was born a male and is now living as a transgender, transsexual and meets the IOC & IAAF standards of being a "woman" the she is still LEGAL & ELIGIBLE  to compete. I sincerely doubt that the South African Federation would knowingly enter a male in a female competition, for the sake of wining a medal, knowing that this was going to cause a huge disruption and embarrassment for them if indeed, she is a he.

Most semi-educated people are aware that sexuality is far more complex than people want to accept or imagine. This world is NOT entirely Male or Female, even within animals and plants Hermaphrodites exits, so clearly this is not some chromosome mishaps or defect, People are born biologically different, in fact 1 in 1500 to 2000 births resulted in some form of intersex variations from  1955-1998, and continues to grow. so the question is...if proven that she is of inter sex, middle-sex, or hermaphrodite, what do you? Clearly it is unfair that she competes against women because she has a clear and obvious advantage, she can't compete against men, cause she has a clear and obvious disadvantage. There are "special" races and Olympics for the mentally disabled, There are the "para" races and Olympics for those who are missing limbs. Am I suggesting, the intersex have their own races and Olympics "intersex Olympics"...Absolutely NOT, society is not mature enough, tolerable, nor accepting enough to handle it! They will be subjected to such ridicule, torment and danger..so what do you do? can a decision be made that will be beneficial to all? is she just assed out? or are the other athletes? 

Say the test come back that she is 100% woman, then what? She wears cornrows, doesn't shave, wears no make up, wears the long tights- not the briefs or boy cuts, no jewelry, and flexes her muscles rather than blows kisses to the crowd...thus far this is her only crime. Ok, she is not as feminine as most want her to be, so what? Does that make her any less of a woman? She doesn't  do any of the sometimes "feminine" things that some athletes do, cause trust there have been many discussion and gossip about other athletes who wear "too much" make up during competition... and that is fine too, thats how they feel comfortable. But this whole "she's come out of nowhere" comment that I keep hearing, hmmm these past 2 years have been full of people who "come out of nowhere". Hey is track the only sport where women wear makeup during competition? hmmm sounds like another BLOG title.

HMMM I wonder what my grandmother world say?

I found this very interesting article about the history of transsexuals, transgender, hermaphrodites...whatever the term is, in sports, check them out!



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