More on Caster Semenya

// 26 August 2009

Just a quick one to say that Black Looks has posted a statement signed by a long list of feminists in South Africa about the decision to make Caster undergo a sex test:

Caster should not be having to deal with a world controversy over her win. She should be unreservedly basking in the glory of her and our incredible victory. No doubt she has experienced this humiliation and discrimination at other levels before and has become somewhat hardened to its effect, but we wish her, her friends and her family strength in dealing with this blatant gender discrimination. As Caster Semenya and our other gold medal winner, Mbulaeni Mulaudzi, return tomorrow – congratulations on your amazing wins and Caster, you have our full support. For the rest, to Caster’s detractors or apologists, hang your heads in shame for not ‘naming’ the issue for what it is and for perpetuating gender stereotypes and discrimination in her individual case and in society as a whole.’

As we once again approach the 16 days of activism against violence against women, let us bear these issues in mind and not mouth platitudes in our struggle against gender inequity and discrimination.

Read the full statement here

Comments From You

Kez // Posted 26 August 2009 at 5:33 pm

That’s a great statement.

In a way I hope she has become “somewhat hardened to its effect” (although obviously I don’t really, because nobody should be put in the position of having the experiences which would cause you to become that way), but anyway I don’t know whether anyone could really be hardened to the effect of having what sex you are suddenly becoming a subject of massive international speculation.

I’m really shocked by the whole thing, and the IAAF clearly has some major questions to answer about their handling of it.

Rita // Posted 27 August 2009 at 12:14 pm

Agreed. The premature rumours were out of order. It could have been discreetly done without malicious gossip. Those who breached the confidentiality practise should be held responsible.

Ruairidh // Posted 27 August 2009 at 2:24 pm

It appears the rumour started because a fax (I think from the IAAF to the ASA) was sent to the wrong number.

I think the statement is terrible though. It basically says you cannot question her performance because she is a black woman. It wasn’t the pitch of her voice or her looks that lead to the gender test it was the exceptional levels of testosterone in her body.

Rita // Posted 28 August 2009 at 10:37 am

But the malicious gossip was based on her looks and voice and physical build. Which is why the whole thing has led to race, and everything else that it should not have, in the first place. South Africans have just come out of apartheid and i can understand their reaction. Plus the cultural differences that seem to be clashing.

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