Fair warning, this case and the larger problem of transgenders stealing athletic opportunities from women, has me in a bit of a snit. Caster Semenya is a South African track and field Olympic champion, born with a difference in sex development (DSD). She is a natural, biological woman with naturally higher levels of testosterone due to her Hyperandrogenism. But she just lost an appeal: if she wants to continue competing as a woman, she has to reduce her testosterone levels through therapy. Meanwhile, male-to-female transgenders can just steal opportunities from women?
Athletics’ governing body’s new regulations will now require any athlete with DSD who wishes to compete in international track and field events from 400 meters to the mile to reduce their testosterone levels, should they want to continue competing as women.
So now male and femaleness is being determined by testosterone levels. Am I understanding that correctly?
A CAS statement said the panel was unable to establish that the DSD regulations were “invalid.” Though it did find the policy was discriminatory to athletes with DSD, CAS said “such discrimination is a necessary, reasonable and proportionate means of achieving the IAAF’s aim of preserving the integrity of female athletics in the Restricted Events.”
Well, I’m glad the IAAF is concerned with preserving the integrity of female athletics. Except for their policy on transgender athletes, men competing as women, is a little blurry here. Tell me if you spot a problem:
The female category in sport is a protected category. For it to serve its purposes, which include providing females opportunities equal to males, it must have eligibility standards that ensure that athletes who identify as female but have testes, and testosterone levels in the male range, at least drop their testosterone levels into the female range in order to compete at the elite level in the female classification.
Ah, so I guess according to the IAAF, all you need to compete as a lady is not as much testosterone as a man. According to the above paragraph (emphasis mine), we’re now defining femaleness against maleness based on how much testosterone she doesn’t have in comparison to a man.
Can you see why, as a woman, I’d find this offensive, demeaning, unfair, and dare I say it, sexist and patriarchal? Any time some prominent feminists and athletes want to chime in here, the water’s boiling hot. Martina could use some backup. Read Tennis Legend and LGBT Member Martina Navratilova says Trans Athletes Are Cheaters.
Semenya’s case is a tough one, I’m not saying it’s an easy fix. But she’s a woman. And if the IAAF sees she has an advantage over other women because of what occurs in her body naturally, why would the same IAAF allow a man born a man compete with women ever, since his body has been athletically primed his entire existence?
Excuse me, I need to go punch something.