‘I just want to run naturally, the way I was born,’ says Caster Semenya. The Olympic star lost against the IAAF’s gender-biased rule. She must now medicate herself with unnecessary drugs to compete. Caster is forced to decide between altering her natural body or walking away. And South Africans are furious.
‘Will it be simpler for you if I stopped winning?’ Semenya asked in Nike’s video. The answer appears to be ‘yes’.
The Sexism of the Rule
The rule is those female athletes must take drugs to lower naturally high testosterone levels if they want to compete. This rule only applies to women. There is no similar kind of rule for male athletes. This rule also only applies to women middle-distance runners. Seems pretty obvious that it exists specifically to target Caster.
And get this, the IAAF is calling it “necessary discrimination”, Sports24 reports: “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”.
WTAF?! Are they actually defending discrimination? Yip.
Natural genetic advantages are usually a good thing in sports. It was for Michael Phelps. Why not for Caster? Because she’s so successful it’s become inconvenient or uncomfortable?
Michael Phelps has a body that naturally produces half the lactic acid of an average person, but everyone calls him an amazing athlete. Caster Semenya has a body that naturally produces high testosterone levels and she gets punished. The misogyny and racism of it all is awful.
— Penny Moore (@precociouspenny) May 1, 2019
Sex-testing rules have shown a disproportionate bias against women of colour for years. Caster has been mistreated, interrogated and questioned for her appearance and excellence throughout her career. Now they want to police her body.
A Human Rights Violation
The UN is calling the discrimination a potential human rights violation. Now, the UN rarely even gets involved in sport, but this verdict is so messed up, they had to make an exception. The UN Human Rights Council says the rule is “unnecessary, humiliating and harmful”.
In addition, scientific experts argue that testosterone “is an arbitrary and unfair measure for determining gender”.
I thought sport was about NOT putting hormones in your body. The IAAF’s ruling on #CasterSemenya is beyond outrageous. A NATURALLY strong women is scares them. This is ridiculous. How many judges were men?
— Jeanine Cameron (@J9Thinks) May 1, 2019
The Outpouring of Support with #HandsOffCaster
South Africans and people around the world are outraged and have voiced their support for the star. Caster, who has kept amazingly composed during all this unfairness, tweeted this in response:
— Caster Semenya (@caster800m) May 1, 2019
She also says:
“I know that the IAAF’s regulations have always targeted me specifically… For a decade the IAAF has tried to slow me down, but this has actually made me stronger… I will once again rise above and continue to inspire young women and athletes in South Africa and around the world.” – The Guardian.
Your country is behind you, Caster.
Can someone balance me really quickly here!!!
— S A B E L O M Y E Z A (@SABELO_MYEZA) May 1, 2019
white women’s tears endanger the lives and livelihoods of black women.
lynsey sharpe came in 6th in rio, didn’t have a piss icicle’s chance in hell of winning dust let alone a medal but blamed her failure on caster semenya? pic.twitter.com/1jF48HY56g
— GIFLord DanielléDASH (@DanielleDASH) May 1, 2019
The whole of South Africa stands united in support of you!
— Kass Naidoo (@KassNaidoo) May 1, 2019
Much solidarity and strength, you’re a fucking superstar and I’m sorry this is happening to you.
— Another Angry Woman (@stavvers) May 1, 2019
Wr are not walking away sister . PLEASE pic.twitter.com/7kqxcyIAgy
— MR LUTHANDO (@therealyossit1) May 2, 2019
— Dianne Bayley (@dibayley11) May 2, 2019
Please don’t give up , we love you Mokgadi pic.twitter.com/Rfqi1GVN7J
— Rae (@Rae57885375) May 2, 2019
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