April 9, 2010

Hip Hip Hooray For Caster Semenya

Photograph: Jeffrey Barbee

I, for one, am jumping up and down.

My glee may be premature, yet I remain hopeful because attorneys for the embattled Caster Semenya have released, thus far, that she will be returning to running.

Many may recall that after a few victories in the 800 meter 2008 and 2009 World Junior Championships, Caster was labeled as not being effeminate enough and was subjected to genetic scrutiny. The International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) were suspicious due to Caster's 25 second improvement. They suspected enhancement drugs and gender misdiagnoses.

The world can be a bitter, cruel place and the IAAF has, on several occasions, requested such exams for various reasons. These exams, however, remain controversial and on many levels inane.

Especially in todays world of instant "outting".

This young woman's family and village defended that she was female at birth but this was not enough.

Issues regarding definition of femininity and beauty surfaced.

Caster Semenya is a beautiful, strong, athletic, South African woman.

Her definition of herself and her existence in the world as she deems, is her right as a human being.

Irrespective of the results, I am of the mind-set to live and let live.

Her vagina, or lack thereof, does not define what she feels in her heart, and this is the same for us all.

A person's identity is a blossoming from the spirit. We have no authority in defining what comes forth from one's heart, under any circumstance.

Fair play in sports is never equality, but it seems that in a man's world, this would never be an issue. Only the strong survive.

Imagine if the National Basketball Association had declared that Michael Jordan be examined for human qualities because His "Airness" defied gravity.

Many men were envious of Mr.Jordan's agility, speed, grace and skill. THAT, my friends, is sports.

Caster is an anomaly because she is good. A head and a jump better than the rest.

To demean and bring her down a few notches is so typical of what happens to women.

Yes, this all comes on the heels of Marion Jones, and the others who deceived us, but without faith in the sport, we should all turn away. Not defile and degrade a young girl.

I am hopeful that come June, Caster will place her number on her chest, and erupt in Zaragoza Spain with a speed we've never seen before - and show those judges just what happens once a woman has been scorned.



Jane said...

Bravo and amen!
I wrote about this controversy when it first erupted and was surprised and appalled by the number of people, including female athletes, that supported forced gender testing even in light of the regular physical exam which had already verified female genitalia.
What happened to Caster Semenya was extraordinarily cruel, and I hope she recovers from her experience without the humiliation others wished to heap upon her.

Houseonahillorg said...

Thank you Jane! I will be looking up your piece as well. This is such an important subject. Thank you for stopping in ~