I’m crossing over into being part of the problem. Not everyone cares about this situation and certainly fewer people are informed but when it seems to be everywhere more and more people get drawn into believing they’re informed and taking a side.
But I cannot stop thinking about this and neither can a lot of people and it seems to me that I’ve wound up on a side and some people I like and respect feel different and wound up on the other.
So here’s the article that convinced me. A Victory For Female Athletes Everywhere I agree that Caster’s biological advantage takes away the reason we have a female designation in sport. If we don’t set aside a space for women in sport then men would dominate everything and this is actually an insidious case of that happening.
I see it as a case of The Needs Of The Many, yes it feels unfair to Caster and it’s natural people want to protect her, but it’s also unfair to every other woman running at the elite level and it’s the organizations job to protect the space those women inhabit.
If Caster isn’t allowed to compete and it fucks up the trajectory of her life that’s tremendously sad but she does have options. If she is allowed to compete it fucks up the trajectory of an uncountable amount of women’s lives, women who have no recourse.
I want to snip out a few quotes from an article in The Cut:
Semenya has elevated the bar of speed toward which all women runners can gaze, and hope to one day beat.
The problem is that all women can’t hope to beat it, not even elite women can hope to beat it. Because:
most females have about 0.12–1.79nmol/L of testosterone in their bodies versus males, who have 7.7–29.4nmol/L. Caster falls within the latter range.
and apparently there are some people who believe:
No conclusive evidence exists to suggest that testosterone correlates to enhanced performance.
Which is insane. The conclusive evidence is that we ban taking exogenous testosterone in sport. Shout out again to my review of The Virility Paradox, testosterone will make anyone better at almost anything. Bankers, investors, lawyers, soldiers, and oh yeah athletes of either gender show that more testosterone leads to more success.
My mind is zooming out to an uncomfortable place but it seems that some people are arguing at once that gender oppression is a problem and that gender doesn’t exist.
I guess what the line of thinking in the Semenya situation is, for my friends, we should protect anyone who identifies as female from anyone who doesn’t. And for me it’s how to do we protect those who identify as female from someone else who identifies as female?
What does it mean to identify as female if female doesn’t refer to anything? If it doesn’t mean testosterone levels or reproductive capabilities? Is it, at this point, just to belong to what you see as the out-group of a patriarchal society?