Gender injustice at the Rio Olympics
Is s/he a man or woman? In the 800 meters, a human easily won gold and then flexed her biceps in celebration. Should the South African have been allowed to compete in the games against women?
The New York Times predictably says that allowing Caster Semenya to compete against women was right.
The court said it had been “unable to conclude that hyperandrogenic female athletes may benefit from such a significant performance advantage that it is necessary to exclude them from competing in the female category.”
Did elevated testosterone provide women with a 1 percent competitive advantage? Three percent? More? Available science could not say, the court ruled. It gave the I.A.A.F. two years to try to discern that advantage. The ruling was based on the case of Dutee Chand, a sprinter from India.
The court ruling was the correct one.
As the arbitration panel noted, science has not conclusively shown that elevated testosterone provides women with more of a significant competitive edge than factors like nutrition, access to coaching and training facilities, and other genetic and biological variations.
It's not clear (to me at least) where Semenya is in terms of human sexuality, but it is clear that she or he behaves more like a man. Elevated levels of testosterone have to be a factor, just as much as diet and exercise, or more so.
As the years roll on, confused men will claim to be women and push their way into the highest levels of women's sports. And then women can wave goodbye to the gold medal, and probably the silver, too.
It is one thing for confusion to rule over a human's life in his or her private world. That's his or her own business. But there's a reason the International Olympics Committee separate men from women in competition. Men are stronger and faster.
The International Olympic Committee must monitor the games and keep their integrity and a level playing field for women, even if it means that the committee have to break with political correctness and tell some would-be athletes no.