August 19, 2009 in the Olympic Stadium at Berlin, the gun sounded and a group of female athletes began racing. The group of runners were tight for the first half of the race, but at exactly the halfway mark things changed drastically and the world would watch in shock as 18 year old Caster Semenya, a young South African runner, stretched out what appeared to be miles ahead of the other racers to win the world championship. Watching the video below, it is understandable why during the race it became undeniable to the world that Semenya was not a normal woman. And so began the controversy of Intersex Athletes in Women’s sports.
What is an intersex competitor? It is basically a person who looks like a man, and talks like a man, and acts like a man, and runs like a man, while competing as a woman. A man/woman who has no penis, no ovaries and no uterus, but instead has internal testes and an unusually high testosterone level.
Caster Semenya is one such person. Described as intersex, Semenya claims her body does not conform to traditional male or female physiques and instead says she has a condition known as hyperandrogenism, which causes some women to produce higher levels of male sex hormones such as testosterone. Since testosterone is one of the key ingredients contributing to an athlete’s strength and speed, many felt Semenya had an unfair advantage. Others feel Caster is a hermaphrodite because although Caster has no ovaries and no uterus and apparently no penis, Caster does have inner testicles. Still others feel the entire thing is bullshit and that Caster is simply a man who’s penis did not develop fully, or who is lying about not having a penis. No one knows for sure because the world has never seen Castor naked and it is the South African team that apparently did the tests.
Following the world championships, the IAAF (track and field’s world governing body) barred Semenya from competition and she was supposedly subjected to gender and sex tests by the South African team, the results of which have never formally been made public. The following year, the IAAF introduced a new set of regulations that restricted the eligibility of females with elevated levels of natural testosterone. That was then challenged by another Intersex runner 19-year-old Indian sprinter Dutee Chand who had been barred from competing in numerous events because of her elevated testosterone levels. Toronto lawyer James Bunting represented Chand at the hearing said “The regulation is clearly discriminatory. It discriminates against certain women in the female category,” Bunting says. “It was also discriminatory between men and women, as men aren’t subject to the same regulations. They can compete with testosterone levels as high as they wish.”
But the world of women athletes are not buying it and instead feel people such as Semenya should not be allowed to compete at all because the difference is simply undeniable. By all accounts Semenya is a man unfairly competing in women’s sports. Runners in the 800 final in Rio had suspicions about the testosterone levels of all three runners who reached the podium, including silver medallist Francine Niyonsaba of Burundi and bronze medallist Margaret Wambui of Kenya. All three of the women looked, talked, acted and ran like men, not women. Following in the footsteps of Semenya there seems to be an explosion of athletes coming out of the closet claiming to be women but with all the features of men.
What makes it even more difficult is that many feel Semenya and other Intersex athletes are using reverse racism as a way to stop them from being kicked out of women’s sports. “These are usually black or east Indian men and so immediately cry racism the moment anyone criticizes them for actually being men” said one female athlete. “This Transgender bullshit has to stop because it will soon destroy womens sports around the world. God made us Adam and Eve, not Adam and Fucked Up. I am sorry he was born a man without a penis, but that doesn’t mean he has to compete against normal women in sports as payback for what he doesn’t have. Go get an operation and then run as a man. If it was a white person doing the same they would be kicked out of women’s sports, but because it is a black person doing it all while crying Transgender no one can say anything without being called racist.”
Many also feel Semenya is now deliberately throwing some races to try to take away some of the controversy and investigation into his/her life, then of course winning the most important races by a mile, an act few are buying into. “It really is disgusting. The fact that Semenya continues to run as a woman shows both his dishonesty and his lack of integrity and dignity as a human being. And what makes it worse is the judges do nothing to stop it.” said another competitor. She continues “Because you are born without an eye does not automatically make you a pirate and because you are born without a penis does not automatically make you a woman.”
“The fact that the world of sports and its governing bodies refuse to stop it shows cowardice and lack of appreciation for both women and the future of women’s sports and many feel the very real possibility is that soon normal real women will stop competing in women’s sports because they simply cannot compete. There needs to be a global boycott of normal real women from women’s sports so this stupidity can be brought to an end,” said another female athlete.
Whatever the case, it appears the future of women’s sports is in serious jeopardy as long as intersex athletes are allowed to compete.