I find the popular media Caster Semenya coverage horrifying. I wonder if most of the columnists are just firing off snap reactions without really understanding the situation or what. Reading the NYT, as an example, you’d think Semenya was just a woman who was being discriminated against because she happens to have higher than normal T and happens to look a bit butch.
Back to Semenya. She has XY chromosomes. This was acknowledged in the CAS report, and this is why they made the decision they did. IN FACT, the new rules apply ONLY to athletes with XY chromosomes. So if Caster was XX, it wouldn’t matter if she had elevated T.
It’s typical for female athletes to have elevated T, but there’s a range women fall in, and a range men fall in, and the two don’t overlap. It’s one of the fundamental differences between the sexes, which is why Semenya, with XY chromosomes, no ovaries, and testicles, has such high T. I actually think it’s generous and unfair to XX women that she be allowed to compete at all.
In the last Olympics, XX women were shut out of the medals in the 800 m. I think feminists sometimes get carried away in the “men and women are equal” mantra. Sadly, men and women are NOT equal. Women have the privilege and burden of being designed to carry children. This makes us vastly inferior athletically, especially in certain arenas. The 800 m happens to be one of these. An above average high school boys’ runner could win a gold medal in the Olympics. A high school runner! (High school girls do not compete in the Olympics in T&F, to be clear. This is not gymnastics. It does not reward child-like body shapes.) My brother was a fairly average runner at a small school. He never won anything of note, but he would have been national class had he elected to compete as a girl. In fact, he could have been national class at a number of events – the mile, the 800 m, the 5K, and so on.
Anyway. The incomplete coverage is making me crazy. But I am thankful that the playing field has been leveled again, and the XX women who have been shut out for the last decade will once again have a chance to compete.