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Gender tests on South African gold medallist sprinter Caster Semenya

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  1. The C*nt of Monte Crisco 20 Aug 2009, 7:26am

    God forbid they ever let us butch lesbians take part in athletics otherwise we’ll be here for an eternity waiting for us to have these tests done – she’s a woman, albet a bit masculine, leave her alone!

  2. It will be very interesting to see what they come up with as a definition. Might it lead to a policy of having the person actually recognised in their own right rather than as part of a binary system, which we know isn’t the reality for many?

  3. Sister Mary Clarence 20 Aug 2009, 10:09am

    Can’t imagine how unpleasant it much actually be for the woman at the moment.

  4. Poor woman. How ever senstively this is done, there seems to be something demeaning about it.

    “It’s very complicated, you need a panel of scientists to debate the result of the test.”

    Nice to see them admit that things aren’t always so simple to decide.

  5. Fascinating situation. On the one hand he’s a fraudulent man, on the other hand she’s a person who has always thought of herself as a woman . . . when suddenly she is catapulted into public prominence and her entire identity is questioned!

    But surely this can’t be the first time the question has been raised. Did other little children at school not whisper. You know how children so cruelly say the truth. And all through puberty and her teenage years, did people not say things or imply things?

    So I guess she has experienced this situation before. If this IS a genuine woman, then it’s pretty embarrassing nevertheless. Makes all those bosomy creatures on the pages of gutter press and the front of cheap glossy magazines look like freaks!

  6. so how are they going to define if she is a man? Has she had the op or is she undergoing reassignment? I would have thought the obvious would have been to look down below and see whats what?

  7. Glad to see pink news is back to ‘sex=gender’ language, that little foray they had into being polite about us scared me /sarcasm.
    You know what, if she lives as a woman, identifies as a woman and *thinks* she’s a woman, she’s a woman (regardless of genes and hormones).

    @Mike: I think the implication is that she is some type of female-presenting intersex, but with male secondary characteristics.

  8. I reckon her facial hair etc is more likely as a result of steroid abuse at some point. I would think that most high level athletes are using or have used growth steroids to improve their performance.

  9. With the facial hair and muscular physique they mention she could just be a woman on steroids, not necessarily a transexual

  10. vulpus_rex 20 Aug 2009, 2:52pm

    “You know what, if she lives as a woman, identifies as a woman and *thinks* she’s a woman, she’s a woman (regardless of genes and hormones).”

    Hmm – might be a woman trapped in a man’s body but that does not alter the fact that a male body may be competing against female bodies (notwithstanding any surgery) and I think that confers an unfair advantage.

  11. It smacks of sexism to me. How dare a woman be muscular & really good at sport – she must be a man!

  12. Charlene – it’s far more likely that she has abused steroids which would account for the facial hair and muscular physique.

  13. @vulpus_rex (post 11)
    If she’s a pre-*hormone* transwomen, then you have a point, but after about 18 months hormone therapy she’ll have pretty much no advantage (and frankly, if she is a transwomen and it’ll take months for a “gender verification test” to be completed, she’s been on hormones for a hell of a lot longer than 18 months). I agree that before pre-hormones, there is very dodgie ground when it comes to compeating in gender-split sports.
    Actually though, I was referring to the articles casual use of ‘not a woman’ and ‘might to a man’. You’d think a queer news websight would show a little more awareness of, not to mention tact towards, gender issues.

  14. Look up Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome and you can learn how a person may be totally unaware that they are chromosomally a male. We were taught in school that males are xy and females xx but no one taught us that there are people who are xxy and xyy etc. It is so complex but I am saddened this individual will learn the truth in such a public way.

  15. Wendy, I recommend the Argentinian film “XXY”. Very moving. Beautifully done. Really touches on the problem these people go through.

  16. This woman has no issues about her gender. She considers herself female and has only female genitalia. Her parents have said she is a woman. Why should we look for a ‘hidden male’ that she does not herself realise/know, in her? Isnt that because he does not exist?

  17. blackghost 20 Aug 2009, 7:55pm

    her name is anagram: caster semenya = yes a secret man

  18. Mihangel apYrs 20 Aug 2009, 9:00pm

    whatever the truth (or whatever they pass fo it) she didn’t deserve to be treated thus. There are uncertainties but surely confidentiality and duty of care to protect a young person was demanded. Sensitivity oround issues sexual are a must, especially in Africa

  19. Brian Burton 22 Aug 2009, 4:24pm

    I feel so disgusted and angry about this victim, I cannot comment further.

  20. Brian… you feel disgusted and angry; and I stand disgusted and angry at your side.

    The treatment of this girl should be criminally actionable. I want nothing to do with sport, ever again.

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