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  • The Semenya "gender question" (split)

    Originally posted by jumplove
    Can a women that wants to become a man and does all the medical procedures in that direction, compete in IAAF WC or Olympics as a man?
    Any woman can compete in a men's competition if she's good enough and wants to, whether or not she's had medical procedures in that direction. A number of them do it at the high school and college level in various sports, and occasionally we even see them at the professional level in men's golf.

    Whenever athletes of a sport are separated by age, weight, height, and/or gender because of the commonly accepted advantages of those characteristics, the ones in the "disadvantaged" category are generally not prevented from competing in the more advantaged category if they want to and are good enough. 17-year-old in an open-age competition against adults? No problem. 25-year-old entering a junior competition? No can do.

  • #2
    Originally posted by cacique
    this was on bbc:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZmQvNuq28w

    (who's the woman in the panel with MJ and colin?)

    a
    :shock: How can you not know one of the most amazing athletes in the history of the sport. :wink:

    It's Denise Lewis, Sydney Olympic champion in the heptathlon, former partner of Patrick Stevens (Belgian 200m runner, and mother of his children. Now, BBC eye candy and very good punter. Well I enjoy her, anyway.


    In fairness to MJ, I know he seemed a bit ignorant, but I don't think they have been given the full facts.

    Comment


    • #3
      I think all this talk about Semenya is pretty disgraceful actually. It's clear she's not trying to "cheat" the system and if something IS amiss, it's something she herself doesn't know about and is going to be massively upsetting and confusing to her.

      Furthermore, there are people sat here saying "She's 18 and she obliterated the field, she must be a man" (I paraphrase, but you get the gist...)- well so did Pamela Jelimo last year and I seem to remember a fair bit of talk about her sex. I fail to understand why all this has kicked off now...

      And another point, BY GOD I hate Brendan Foster on the BBC. He goes from bad to worse. "Jenny Meadows executed the perfect race"- er, no she didn't, or she would have won. "She timed her run to absolute perfection"- er, she clearly could have had silver there, so again, utter bullshit. The bit where he said she was a "few seconds off the pace" at 400m made me laugh too. Get rid of this imbecile. Not to take anything away from Meadows though, bravo girl, well done! I DO love a surprise medal...

      Comment


      • #4
        Sprintbox you sure? Can a women gymnast compete in men gymnastics????Because there are some "events" where they would definitely win over the guys. I think

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        • #5
          Originally posted by jumplove
          Sprintbox you sure? Can a women gymnast compete in men gymnastics????Because there are some "events" where they would definitely win over the guys. I think
          I used the word "generally" ... I acknowledge there might be a couple of exceptions. I don't know if gymnastics is one though.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by lalala
            I think all this talk about Semenya is pretty disgraceful actually. It's clear she's not trying to "cheat" the system and if something IS amiss, it's something she herself doesn't know about and is going to be massively upsetting and confusing to her.

            Furthermore, there are people sat here saying "She's 18 and she obliterated the field, she must be a man" (I paraphrase, but you get the gist...)- well so did Pamela Jelimo last year and I seem to remember a fair bit of talk about her sex. I fail to understand why all this has kicked off now...

            And another point, BY GOD I hate Brendan Foster on the BBC. He goes from bad to worse. "Jenny Meadows executed the perfect race"- er, no she didn't, or she would have won. "She timed her run to absolute perfection"- er, she clearly could have had silver there, so again, utter bullshit. The bit where he said she was a "few seconds off the pace" at 400m made me laugh too. Get rid of this imbecile. Not to take anything away from Meadows though, bravo girl, well done! I DO love a surprise medal...
            The whole thing is sad and tragic on so many fronts. This person is just a kid. Terrible, terrible. The IAAF should have had this cleared up a long time ago. They dropped the ball IMO.

            Comment


            • #7
              From Page 50 of Track and Field: The East German Textbook of Athletics

              2.4.3.9 Intersex Types and Sex Controls

              "It is wrong to believe that the limit between the male and the female sex is completely plain and easy to determine. There are, on the contrary, transitional forms which are recognized by a more or less marked difference of the sexual cells, the exterior and interior genitals and all exterior sex characteristics; these forms physiological science has attempted to classify. These intermediate sex types have become known in sport. They are physically superior to ordinary women and their participation in female competition entails a real disadvantage for ordinary women. For this reason sex chromatine determination tests have been introduced which, beginning in Mexico-City, are compulsory for all women performers..." "...This chromatine check has given good results, but there are also intermediate types which, according to the nucleus, are female or could be assigned to either sex. In such cases much more complicated examination of the chromosome stock have to be carried out. Only thus can real disadvantages for other female athletes be avoided."

              The East Germans were a lot of things, but there weren't ignorant. This situation is a lot more complex than people suppose, I think.

              Comment


              • #8
                As noted above, this idea that Semenya has some chromosomal abnormality has escalated from hearsay to truth at a very concerning pace

                No offence meant to various folks around here, but I don't see sports journalists, administrators and Josef Publik as appropriate arbiters on this issue.

                Here's a possibilty: perhaps Semenya is just yet another of a long line of oddities/outliers, being over-endowed with physical abilities that manifest in her appearance, in the same way that Valerie Vili, Allyson Felix, Carolina Kluft and Blanka Vlasic don’t look like many people I seeing down the shops but are very, very well positioned to out-compete less endowed humans. But gee, that's a pretty dull story isn't it...

                And layoff on the deep voice criteria. There are no shortage of little blonde 19 yo things wandering around this here campus who open their mouths and sound like more like Tom Waits impersonators than sopranos (or should that be more like Sopranos than sopranos?)...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Caster is now lead story on Yahoo front page. Story clarifies what's going on.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 3a
                    Originally posted by cacique
                    this was on bbc:

                    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZmQvNuq28w

                    (who's the woman in the panel with MJ and colin?)

                    a
                    :shock: How can you not know one of the most amazing athletes in the history of the sport. :wink:

                    It's Denise Lewis, Sydney Olympic champion in the heptathlon, former partner of Patrick Stevens (Belgian 200m runner, and mother of his children. Now, BBC eye candy and very good punter. Well I enjoy her, anyway.


                    In fairness to MJ, I know he seemed a bit ignorant, but I don't think they have been given the full facts.
                    This bit of MJ is from after the race. They'd been following the story all day and what he had to say overall was very fair I thought. The general gist was that Semenya appears to be an innocent victim in all this and that the IAAF have dealt with this incredibly badly, to put it mildly.

                    If I didn't know better I'd think that the IAAF leaked this story before the race to guarantee more headlines. Further, why have they never been able to sit on the results of a positive "A" sample before doing the "B" test? Why do they always fail to follow their own protocol? Is it because they can garner more headlines that way with two announcements? It's really starting to look that way to me.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      There are dozens, maybe hundreds of genetic conditions and prenatal exposures that lead to "intersex" humans. Human physical gender arises from the interplay of dozens of hormones, whose timing and interaction varies across the species, resulting in a variety of outward forms and inner chemistries. The mere presence of a Y chromosome (or an X) doesn't always determine what is born, and further doesn't explain everything that happens in puberty. There is no fine line to be drawn between male and female in these intersex regions, any line would be arbitrary. So what to do?

                      For the purpose of track and field, I expect that intersex conditions in which the human makes large amounts ("male" amounts) of muscle-growing hormones will be classified as non-women, and thus men, as horrid as that is. If there is to be a women's division of track and field at all, intersex competitors who make lots of testosterone will be excluded, unfair or not.

                      I reread what I've written, and I must say I really don't agree with myself. We must accept the reality of humans who do not fit into the easy Male-Female dichotomy. Since we have a male-female dichotomy in sports, we must address where these humans fit. Maybe the creation of lots of testosterone is just as arbitrary as anything else, like having certain chromosomes or certain outwardly appearing organs.

                      This seems very complex territory, and certainly nothing funny here.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Actually I don't mean to be a scold, and there are truly lots of jokes about gender benders. Some of them, I might even laugh at. But the laugh would come from the discomfort I (we all?) feel when stepping outside the 2-gender comfort zone. When we have to seriously deal with the intersex issue, it gets complex really fast.

                        The matter is further complicated in Europe and America by surgeries to "correct" (or mutilate?) intersex babies, for over a century, very common. Some are never told what happened.

                        S J Gould commented that in biology, wherever we try to draw a strict line, nature will provide in-between cases. He was discussing lines between species, and lines between single individuals vs colonies. Wherever he tried to draw the lines, which were clear at each extreme, nature provided examples that were in-between, and unclassifiable. He concludes that we have to accept this as a feature of nature, that it presents us with a continuum, and even though we can set up useful classifications, there will always be these in-between cases.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by tjallen
                          This seems very complex territory, and certainly nothing funny here.
                          Yes, it certainly is very complex territory, but in this instance, I can't help but think that the "intersexed" word is being thrown around like truth when in fact this is all just speculation. As AS said, having masculine characteristics does not mean you are "intersexed", it is just a genetic advantage. TDB for the competition. Having said that, like you said, it is a complex issue and once reviewed there may be genetic unfairness to the point where something must be done. We will have to wait and see what the experts say. It is just a shame that they could not have had their say before all of this, so we all could have had some educated clarification (as opposed to having every sports pundit, fan, and message board poster dropping in their idiotic 2 cents), and saved the runner and sport this terrible embarrassment. Suffice to say I am pissed at the IAAF. They have to be on top of things like this.

                          I was impressed with Semanya's ability to focus on her race while all of this was surely rattling her. I don't know if I would have been able to hold it together. She even was able to attempt to celebrate after the race like a normal winner, which was more than could be said of the spectators.

                          On another note, all of this sure has taken the spotlight off Maggie Vessey...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by AS
                            Here's a possibilty: perhaps Semenya is just yet another of a long line of oddities/outliers, being over-endowed with physical abilities that manifest in her appearance, in the same way that Valerie Vili, Allyson Felix, Carolina Kluft and Blanka Vlasic don’t look like many people I seeing down the shops but are very, very well positioned to out-compete less endowed humans. But gee, that's a pretty dull story isn't it...

                            And layoff on the deep voice criteria. There are no shortage of little blonde 19 yo things wandering around this here campus who open their mouths and sound like more like Tom Waits impersonators than sopranos (or should that be more like Sopranos than sopranos?)...
                            Completely agree, AS, along with "manly faces", "manly behaviours" and moustaches. You only have to wander down any street in any country in the world and if you look for instances of these characteristics, you will find them.

                            The harsh fact is that most of the women competing in the WC that members of this board are clearly in lust with are considered masculine by the 99% of the male population whose arse they could kick in their competition event.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by tjallen
                              Actually I don't mean to be a scold, and there are truly lots of jokes about gender benders. Some of them, I might even laugh at. But the laugh would come from the discomfort I (we all?) feel when stepping outside the 2-gender comfort zone. When we have to seriously deal with the intersex issue, it gets complex really fast.

                              The matter is further complicated in Europe and America by surgeries to "correct" (or mutilate?) intersex babies, for over a century, very common. Some are never told what happened.

                              S J Gould commented that in biology, wherever we try to draw a strict line, nature will provide in-between cases. He was discussing lines between species, and lines between single individuals vs colonies. Wherever he tried to draw the lines, which were clear at each extreme, nature provided examples that were in-between, and unclassifiable. He concludes that we have to accept this as a feature of nature, that it presents us with a continuum, and even though we can set up useful classifications, there will always be these in-between cases.
                              Why does a good God allow this kind of shit to happen? Life is hard anyhow, even if you're dealt a royal flush. Why can't a person be born a male or a female. And healthy. I can handle all the bullshit after that. And why couldn't God let this happen to a lesser sport such as swimming or basketball? This is just so sad. I don't sleep well anyhow, but for sure not even a wink tonight.

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