Friday, September 11, 2009

Troubling news for Semenya

And troubling news all around really. Unofficially, the "gender tests" Caster Semenya underwent during and after the World Championships indicate that she has internal testes and no ovaries or womb. She has pulled out of a race in South Africa that she had said she would compete in.
It seems doubtful that her gold medal from worlds will be taken away from her because it was not a doping case and because so many in South Africa have come out in support of their new superstar. (The apparent contradictions in South Africans' behavior on gender and sexuality have been noted including their early denial of the AIDS crisis and its effect on women and the problem of "corrective rape" against lesbians.)
Words such as hermaphrodite and normal are being thrown around rather problematically. It is so very unfortunate that the issue of intersex is so misunderstood (Oprah did very little to shed light on it when she tried to address it a few years ago) and that Semenya's privacy has been utterly demolished in this process.

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