As usual has Karnythia has written this topic up much better than I can but I had to get my two cents worth out there…I’ve not said a lot about Caster Semenya and her treatment by those who apparently couldn’t lose gracefully but attacked her “questionable” gender because she beat other runners in the 800M category. Apparently because she looks “mannish” the losing coaches decided to contest whether or not Caster is even female, and she was subjected to Gender Testing. Mostly because I couldn’t believe that in this day and age a young lady would be subjected to such testing because she was too good.
I admit my ignorance about such things, and I didn’t even know athletes could be forced to undergo such testing if a competitor coach/trainer/other sports folks demand it. Besides the fact that its humiliating to have your gender puzzled over in a public forum, this has now become an international media circus that has thrust a young woman into the public spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Instead of being celebrated for her performance, she has been mocked, derided and stripped of the dignity all people deserve by having her medical issues trotted out for the world to see.
I don’t care if Caster is cisgendered, intersexed or whatever she feels the need to call herself, but being forced to prove she’s female to satisfy a sore loser’s ego is wrong, wrong, beyond wrong. She is not public property to be examined to everyone’s satisfaction. She is being treated as Sara Baartman was back in the days of slavery. Baartman or Hottentot Venus as she was also known was treated as a literal specimen and freak show by those who could not believe that she was human because of her differences from Europeans of the time.
I feel that Caster is being treated to the same freak show mentality of an overly-curious public that seems to think they have a right to know her medical history and how dare she keep such things from the public. News flash, no one has a right to know about your medical history and splash it all over the news, or even spread it as idle gossip with friends and family.
What really took this over the edge for me is that Caster was not informed of the results of the tests before it was leaked to the media. Let give you that one more again; Caster was NOT INFORMED OF THE RESULTS BEFORE IT WAS LEAKED TO THE MEDIA. Someone’s fucking greed and treatment of another human being as a curiosity was more important than medical confidentiality.
Now Caster is under a suicide watch and if this young lady kills herself, her blood will be on the hands of everyone involved in this debacle. Especially the greedy, heartless bastards that leaked her results before she was informed of them.
For those who want to support Caster and send words of encouragement, you can contact her via one of the agencies below: (list courtesy of LJ Community Blackfolk )
Women’s National Coalition
Tel: +27 (0) 11 429-0000/1
Fax: +27 (0) 11 838-9871
Postal address: P O Box 62577, MARSHALLTOWN, 2107
Physical address: 31 Queen Street, Newtown, JOHANNESBURG
Physical Address: 31 Quinn Street, Newtown Johannesburg, South Africa
Postal Address: PO Box 62577, Marshalltown, 2107
Phone number: +27 11 429-0000
Fax: +27 11 838-9871
Department of Sport and Recreation South Africa
Queen & Vermeulen Street, No. 66 Regent Place Building, Pretoria, 0001
Telephone: (012) 304-5199
Fax: 086 535 1477
U.N. – Division for the Advancement of Women
Address: 2 UN Plaza, DC2-12th Floor, New York, NY 10017, USA
Gender DynamiX South Africa
+27 21 6335287
Saartjie Baartman Centre
PO Box 347
Intersex SOUTH AFRICA
PO Box 12992
Cape Town, South Africa
Tel: +27-(0)21-447 6290
Email: coordinator “at” intersex.org.za
For those that want to make their displeasure known:
International Association of Athletics Federations
17 rue Princesse Florestine
Tel: (+377) 93 10 8888
Fax: (+377) 93 15 9515
International Olympic Committee
Château de Vidy
Tel : (41.21) 621 61 11
Fax : (41.21) 621 62 16