Congratulations Caster Semenya, you just won the world title in the 800 meters! Now we want you to submit to a gender test. Do you think it might have anything to do with her race? Where the heck is Al Sharpton?
Just one day after winning the finals of the 800 meters with a time of 1:55.45, beating a world class field by more than 2 seconds, the powers that be in track & field are asking her home country of South Africa to test her for her gender. Now, I’m just wondering, if she were white, would this be happening?
While this may seem strange, this has happened before, and rather recently. In 2006, in the Asian games, an Indian 800 runner was stripped of her medal after she failed a gender test. It also happened again in the 1932 Olympics when a Polish runner in the 100 meters had her medal recalled.
Now this begs the question, what exactly happens in a gender test? Well, I guess they check out their genitalia. What happens if (and it has happened) the genitalia is ambiguous? Yah, that could be a bit awkward. Well they also test hormone levels. So what if her adrenal glands produce too much testosterone hormone? Now we have a problem, Houston.
So what exactly defines one as being female? What if her genitalia is normal but her testosterone level is too high through no fault of her own? According to her own school headmaster, he wasn’t aware she was a female until grade 11. He stated that she always played rough, played soccer with the boys, and never wore a dress to school. Can you blame the officials in track & field for questioning her gender?
Her father states that there is no question–he raised her–she’s Daddy’s little girl. So you would think he would know. Either way, that’s gotta kinda be a bummer. Yo just win the world championships in your event and quite possibly have the best race of your life on the best day of your life.
Then they ask you to pee into a cup, er, well, uh…something like that. What if she were a white girl from the U.S.?