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Friday, September 11, 2009

Caster's kick in the goolies

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.


blogstrop said...

Semenya? How'd I miss that?

daddy dave said...

why the hell has this enquiry been conducted so publicly? This has been done with no consideration for the person in question at all.
even if she wasn't eligible to run, it was appalling that the newspapers broke the story before she was even told of the results of testing and her biological gender status. (she had no idea before, and simply identified as a woman).