The latest reports that South African runner, Caster Semenya is an hermaphrodite, with internal testicles and no ovaries raises a simple question: what is an hermaphrodite?
This definition ( "an animal or plant that normally possesses both male and female reproductive systems, producing both eggs and sperm") suggests that Caster doesn't quite make the grade. Similarly, this definition of a male ("designating the sex producing gametes [spermatozoa] that can fertilize female gametes [ova]) - suggests that she may not make the grade, technically, as a female either.
Not that there is anything wrong with identifying as a woman - unless, perhaps, you use your biological advantage unfairly in athletic competition.
Here, by the way, are some of the quotes from Caster supporters in South Africa prior to the latest reports:
"This smacks of racism of the highest order. It represents a mentality of conforming feminine outlook within the white race,": the Young Communist League.
"We condemn the inconsistency of the IAAF for conducting physical tests and genital screening on Semenya a few hours before the final," it said."It shows that these imperialist countries can't afford to accept the talent that Africa as a continent has.": SA football association.
"Cosatu rejects the attempts by those who tried to undermine her success by raising groundless queries." - Cosatu Trade Union Federation.