Thursday, August 20, 2009

Andrei Gender issues in sport

The 1936 Olympic games were held in Berlin. In Nazi Germany it was a matter of pride to show the superiority of the Germanic race and several scandals resulted.

One of the lesser known scandals was that of Dora Ratjen who placed fourth in the women's high jump. Later on Dora Ratjen went on to set the women's high jump record in 1938 at the European Championships in Vienna. Shortly thereafter it was revealed that Dora Ratjen was in fact Hermann Ratjen, a male.

So began the long saga of top female athletes being accused of being male. And some athletics careers have been cut short as a result. Gender testing was mandatory in the 1960s right through until the 1996 games when several competitors failed the tests but all were later ruled as female.

Here is the latest Athletics gender controversy. South African runner Caster Semenya who cleaned up the field at the world athletic championships in Berlin last night has a very masculine appearance and athletics authorities have ordered gender testing. If she fails she will be stripped of her title and that will be that.

Two things puzzle me about this.

Firstly if there is ambiguity about Caster Semenya's gender why didn't the South African Athletics authorities get it resolved before sending her to Berlin. That would seem a no brainer, much less harmful and painful for her if she failed before going than if she fails now.

Secondly the IOC ruled in 2000 that transgender Athletes can compete as their new gender provided the reassignment occurred more than 2 years before the event and they are taking their hormones . It hasn't come up yet but it will.

Whatever the truth about Caster Semenya's real gender unless she is an actual fraud like Dora Ratjen she must surely have a greater claim to being female, having lived as one since birth than trans gender mountain biker Michelle Dumaresq, for example, who seems to have disappeared from sight after winning the 2006 Canadian Downhill Championships in a storm of controvery.

4 comment(s):

Anonymous said...

i have same this topic..
please read Dora Ratjen - irina press | stella walsh | santhi soundarajan | caster semenya | irina i tamara press

Skyman said...

The should also check some of the competitors in men's figure skating to make sure they are really men.

BunBun4life said...

Dora Ratjen was not found to 'be a man' but was found to have 'ambiguous genitalia' and probably was intersexed LIKE CASTER SEMENYA. However, Caster Semenya has testes and does not have ovaries or uterus. He is a man. He was shown to have pseudo male hermaphrodism, which affects people who are biologically MALE but makes their outer genitalia appear more female due to either extremely small or ambiguous penis. Just because you are born without a penis and ''feel'' like a woman does not make you a woman. He should not be allowed to compete against women. He is biologically a man. The committee was more worried about being called racist than the careers of these women who have worked so hard and THEY know it's unfair. For god's sake, HE is obviously a man even without the stupid test. Just because their 3rd world doctors say somebody without a penis is a woman does not make it so.

This particular genetic disorder is being observed in great numbers in the Gaza Strip due to inbreeding. The boys are then raised as girls but when they hit puberty, they get chest & body hair, deep voices, and the families just cut their hair and say 'you're a boy' - it's a big problem for everyone.

BunBun4life said...

Oh also,since your article it turns out South Africa DID have him tested and just lied about not testing him in order to 'protect her privacy' - so after the initial information that there was gender ambiguity of SMH they since said test results are 'secret' or some crap.

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