So, this is an interesting case.
As you may know, there is increasing controversy in the cases on male-to-female transgendered individuals being allowed to compete- and therefore win- in women’s sports.
While many continue to argue that they have no physical advantage over their genetically female peers, it seems pretty clear that the vast majority of these athletes find themselves ranking significantly higher as women than they do as men.
Hmm. Why might that be?
Anyway – I think this case brings in a whole different set of complications because, despite her genetic makeup, Caster Semenya was never a “male.”
Caster was identified as a female at birth, she was then raised as a female. Testing later proved she was a biological male in that she does have XY chromosomes.
Semenya was legally identified as female at birth and has identified as female her whole life. But the IAAF says she is one of a number of female runners in elite athletics who have medical conditions known as “differences of sex development” and who were born with the typical male XY chromosome pattern. That gives them some male biological characteristics, male levels of the hormone testosterone after puberty, and an unfair athletic advantage over other female athletes, the IAAF says.
Semenya, who has been fighting the IAAF ever since she was embroiled in a gender verification test at the world championships 10 years ago, says the rules should be discarded and she should be allowed to run in her natural form. She disputes that she has a significant performance advantage.
Many argue that this is simply not the case – and that individuals in this situation must take medical steps to rectify their hormonal advantage.
According to Fox News:
The governing body of track argued in court that Olympic champion Caster Semenya is “biologically male” and that is the reason she should reduce her natural testosterone to be allowed to compete in female competitions, according to documents released publicly for the first time on Tuesday and which provide new insight into a bitter legal battle.
The documents released by sport’s highest court show that Semenya responded by telling the judges that being described as biologically male “hurts more than I can put in words.” The 28-year-old South African runner said she was unable to express how insulted she felt at the IAAF “telling me that I am not a woman.”
The IAAF’s stance on Semenya and other female athletes affected by its new testosterone regulations — and Semenya’s outrage at the biological male claim — was revealed in a 163-page decision published by the Switzerland-based Court of Arbitration for Sport. It details parts of the courtroom exchanges that were held behind closed doors when Semenya challenged the IAAF over the highly contentious hormone rules in a five-day hearing in February. CAS had previously released only short excerpts of the final verdict when it was announced last month.
Tuesday’s fuller court records, which were still redacted, show the IAAF referred to the two-time Olympic and three-time world champion as one of a number of “biologically male athletes with female gender identities.”
Arguing that Semenya and others like her should be subject to its hormone limits to ensure fairness in female competitions, the IAAF stated: “There are some contexts where biology has to trump identity.”
Yes- as in issues of PHYSICAL COMPETITION.
I can identify as a baby all I want. It still seems rather unfair to allow me to compete in a baby arm-wrestling tournament.
The IAAF won the recent case at CAS by a 2-1 majority of the panel of judges, allowing it to implement the testosterone limits.
But in the latest legal twist, Semenya appealed the CAS verdict to Switzerland’s supreme court on human rights grounds. She won an interim ruling to temporarily suspend the hormone regulations and the Swiss supreme court will hear her full appeal.
The rules only apply to certain races, from 400 meters to one mile, but they include Semenya’s specialist two-lap event.
To be allowed to compete under the rules, Semenya and other affected athletes must medically reduce their testosterone to below a specific threshold set by the IAAF. The IAAF gives three options to do that: A daily contraceptive pill, a monthly hormone-blocking injection, or surgery.
Semenya says she doesn’t want to take oral contraceptives, as they have made her gain weight and feel sick in the past.
YEEAH… welcome to womanhood, Caster.
At the end of the day, we have to ask ourselves this: If biological men are not at a physical advantage over women, why do women’s sports exist?
Despite all of this – I do hurt for Caster. She didn’t ask for any of this, and she certainly didn’t bring it on herself. So all being said, I wish her the very best.