Regarding Caster Semenya

I would like to see Semenya to  continue living as a woman and be the gender she prefers to be. But if she went through puberty with a full force of man’s testosterone, then she should not be competing against women.

11 Comments »

zima wrote on September 11th, 2009 at 2:47 PM PST:

Chromosomes can fall in between, for example here.


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Eugenia wrote on September 11th, 2009 at 2:57 PM PST:

I read the article, and it says that this is a male condition. So even if she has that syndrome, she would still classify as a male.


zima wrote on September 11th, 2009 at 3:34 PM PST:

Well, the controversy is all about the possibility of her being male after all… (concievably somebody could be XXY with slightly damaged/dysfunctional Y and largely indeterminate sexual characteristics; how we would classify the gender of such individual?)

Since I haven’t really followed this controversy I also quickly checked wiki article on Semenya herself. Among external links was this: (“…has defended her looks and taken part in a makeover in a magazine”).

Now…the above makeover might have been not such a good idea – to me the photo in BBC article screams “crossdresser” (though my perception might be influenced by the context)


Ray wrote on September 11th, 2009 at 4:58 PM PST:

It seems rather naive that \she\, being 18 years old, did not realize that \she\ was quite different than the majority of females \she\ observed.
Additionally, the race officials ignorance of her real condition make this a prime time publicity stunt!!!

The hips tell the story for any male!!!!


ojimenez wrote on September 11th, 2009 at 10:18 PM PST:

It’s not a case where she got a sex change operation to compete against women. Just because she doesn’t look like a barbie doll does not mean she is not a woman. For crying out loud, she was born that way. It is artificial like those athletes taking performance enhancing drugs, now THAT is cheating. Leave her alone.


ojimenez wrote on September 11th, 2009 at 10:20 PM PST:

CORRECTION: “It is NOT artificial like those athletes tking performance enhancing drugs!


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Eugenia wrote on September 11th, 2009 at 10:46 PM PST:

Nobody said that she is cheating. What we do say, is that it is POSSIBLE that she is actually a man at a *biological* level, and even herself might not knew about it (since her *external* reproductive organs were female).


ojimenez wrote on September 11th, 2009 at 11:19 PM PST:

Despite the seemingly innocuous clinical term *biological man* there is a strong underlying theme here (no hips, cross dresser) which is rather alarming.
If it is determined that she is a man at a *biological* level should she not be allowed to use women’s restrooms?


sondela wrote on September 11th, 2009 at 11:31 PM PST:

Do you know about testicular feminization?

It’s about you being genetically a man but your phenotype it’s that of a woman. As woman they are sometimes very pretty and know about her condition when they’re sorry because they don’t have period. This is a story about such a girl.


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Eugenia wrote on September 11th, 2009 at 11:47 PM PST:

>If it is determined that she is a man at a *biological* level should she not be allowed to use women’s restrooms?

Yes, she should, because as I said above, that’s the life she knows. But when it comes to COMPETING with others, which is an action that has CONSEQUENCES in the careers and lives of the other athletes, then no, she shouldn’t be competing against them, UNLESS proven to be a woman somehow.

>there is a strong underlying theme here (no hips, cross dresser) which is rather alarming.

Oh, come on. Don’t try to make this thread about us. It’s not. It’s about discussing an issue that is very real, and we have to take into account all facts. Ultimately, it’s about being FAIR to both Semenya and the OTHER athletes.

>Do you know about testicular feminization?

The links you included are interesting. It shows that even biology can’t determine for sure who’s a man and who’s a woman genetically.

But ultimately, a medical decision must be made. Is Semenya mostly a woman, or mostly a man? Should she compete with men, or with women? Because as much I would love gender equality, if Semenya is mostly a man and she’s allowed to compete against women, then we should also be having Usain Bolt running against women too, and I am sure this is not fair to the women.

And if the doctors get her classified as a hermaphrodite and nothing else, then maybe IAAF should create a new gender class. One that fits between men and women, so this way this is fair to both hermaphrodites who want to compete, and women athletes who simply can’t compete against someone who is half-man.

Personally, I would be pissed if I was busting my ass 6 hours a day at the gym since the age of 4, and then have someone steal the medal from me just because she happens to be a half-man (or mostly a man) that gives her a tremendous advantage. However, I wouldn’t mind it as much if doctors said that this person was mostly a woman. I would live with that decision, even if the athlete still had an advantage. But someone who might be MOSTLY a man (someone, somehow, will have to quantify that), no, I wouldn’t agree to run against. It wouldn’t be fair.


Phil wrote on September 12th, 2009 at 9:28 AM PST:

This whole episode has been handled badly by the IAAF, and the South African government are making the most of it.


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