I surely don’t know whether Caster Semenya is biologically a male or female,whether she is intersexed or genetically other than a traditional XX. But, I am certain that she identifies as a girl and has been raised by her family as a girl. I cannot imagine how difficult it would be to be a teenager and have the world discussing your sex and gender. But it does bring to the forefront many of the issues we discuss in Women’s Studies classes. What does make one a woman or man? Who decides if you are male or female?
Just as most of us have never been asked to show our birth certificate to prove where we born when we claim U.S. citizenship (unless we are at the passport office), I’m sure few of us have been asked to raise our skirts or lower our pants to show our genitilia. But Caster must do it for the world. Why? Because she runs so fast- how could she possibly be a girl.
I don’t really have anything wise to say about this. It just has disturbed me that this young woman must go through this. I read she has to see a psychologist, genetisist and many other professionals. Maybe they should test all of us so we can walk around with M’s and F’s on our forehead to make the folks happy who seem to have a need to “really” know. Just telling them what we think about ourselves obviously isn’t enough.
Filed under: Women's Studies blog |