“Caster is a woman, she remains our heroine. We must protect her.” – SA Sports Minister Makhenkesi Stofile.
Tests on 800 metre world champion Caster Semenya are likely to show that she has an “inter gender” condition.
The same paper asks it’s readers whether she should be stripped of her medal – ATOW a small majority says no, she shouldn’t.
But can tests decide what sex someone is ?
Alison Redick is an assistant professor of women’s studies and a medical historian at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York and says, in this piece featured on the Fox News site ..
“Given that testosterone is not an exclusively male hormone — both male and female bodies produce testosterone and estrogen — where do we draw the line? -And trying to draw that line is always going to be a problem, regardless of what someone’s biology indicates”
Dr Wiebke Arlt is a professor of medicine at the University of Birmingham. He says it’s “rather silly” to imagine tests can verify gender. :
“Gender is determined by social as well as biological factors, how you perceive yourself and how you were raised,” she said. “Whether her chromosomal sex is XX or XY, Caster Semenya appears always to have identified as female, and tests are not going to change that.”
And even if the tests can prove something (or nothing) – hasn’t this case been handled about as badly as it could be ?
And some of the reporting of the case has caused offence and anger- try this blog for a taste .
And what about Caster herself ? How must she be feeling when every intimate detail is discussed (and in places, derided) in public ?
Santhi Soundarajan (right) was stripped of her 800 meters Asian Games silver medal after failaing a test, and later tried to kill herself :
” She should not undergo the same sort of humiliation and insults I have faced. This would affect her mentally and physically and she would not be in a position to hold her head high”.