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  1. #1
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    Semenya Gender Tests-800 Meter race in Berlin

    I have been following this story for sometime-the revelation you will read in the link is no real surprise, but for me the story is about a very very basic concept-what constitutes someone's gender? If she is, possibly, a hermaphrodite, should she be allowed to race in the gender of her choosing? Should she be given special consideration and privileges based on her "disability" ? I think the story is a fascinating one, but it must be very painful for her. South Africa could have anticipated this outcome and hopefully prepared her for the possibility.

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/SPORT/09/19/...ene/index.html
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  2. #2
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    I believe that one of the biggest concerns officials may have regarding her gender is that she is reported to have testosterone levels 3x as high as a female should. They may consider that it is unfair advantage.
    I hate that any of this information was made public. That poor child, yes CHILD.

  3. #3
    I have to agree with sleutherontheside in hating that this was made public. Since deciding to do this gender verification process, they have made it a big "scandal" and a very public matter. In my opinion, it could have been done behind the scenes. By making such a huge deal about this, not only are they opening her up for future criticism, doubt, hate, etc., but they are also putting her in danger. I've seen many, many online comments full of hate, and that's not okay. They need to take the steps to now protect this young athlete, no matter her gender.

    And since it is now out in the open, it would be a very good opportunity to educate people about the gender spectrum, the fact that it's not a binary, and about transgendered and intersex individuals. This isn't just a question of being male or female. She could be genetically female. She could be born male but legally transitioned to female. She could be intersex. She could be male / a hoax. It's not just black or white, and people need to get that....

    Another thing to consider, and I'm not saying this is my opinion, just something to think about. From a gender equality standpoint, should these events be about the best overall competitor? Not the best male and the best female? Should there be a separate category for intersex individuals? For transgendered individuals? There are a lot of questions and issues here with no easy answer.

    I will be very interested to see what they decide to do. I hope that they do not ban her from competition altogether.

  4. #4
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    I love the perception of what is "fair" here. I suppose there has to be a measure of "femaleness" and I suspect it will be determined as to whether or not she has the organ structure of a woman. If that is the yardstick and she passes the test, then she wins fair and square as long as they can be fairly certain that she did not take testosterone to BECOME this way. This is my opinion. I do not believe she should be isolated as "intersex." I think she is mesmerizing in her own way and hopefully her talent will take her far in her life rather than being boxed into the woman who has extra testosterone...She could be representative of evolution-perhaps women will take on more male charecteristics as we move through the years...bringin' home the bacon AND fryin it up in the pan, right?
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  5. #5
    Join Date
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    I wonder what her chromosomes SAY. XX or XY?

    Some people are born with rare combinations of XXY, or XYY, or XXXY, but most of the time they have predictable anomalies elsewhere. There are XY individuals born without an ability to make one of the kinds of testosterone, which results in a female genital appearance, with testicles in the abdomen instead of ovaries and a uterus. They are genetic males, which appear as females until puberty. The book "Middlesex" by Jeffrey Eugenides is a novel about the life of a boy (raised as a girl) who didn't know he was a boy until puberty, when all hell broke loose in his body. If this subject interests you I highly recommend the book.

    I too feel badly for the publicity and the reactions. Such a thing to be known for . . . the ambiguity of your genitals and your gender.

    I imagine the transgender community is quite interested in this, and how it will play out . . .



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