How hard is it to know if an elite athlete is a woman? (Read 2186 times)

    it could very well be that Semenya wins nearly every big 800 meter race for the next 10 or 15 years.  So I don't think it can be poo poo'ed away so easy if there is an unfair advantage. 

     

    The officials should do some kind of verification.  But they handled it very badly.

    In an infinite universe, the one thing sentient life cannot afford to have is a sense of proportion

    http://htwins.net/scale2/scale2.swf?bordercolor=white&fb_source=message

     

     

     





      So, Caster Semenya, back when she was a child, growing up in rural South Africa chose to be a woman in order to gain competitive advantage on the world T&F scene?

       

      Please.


      HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

         

        My opinion is that there is not going to be a stampede of elite-level hermaphrodites taking over women's sports any time soon.

         

        Sheer madness, I know, to go out on a limb of outrageous opinion like that. But there it is.

         

         

        Yes, that's insane -- almost as crazy as risking destroying your knees (& uterus, unless you're a...um, never mind) by running.

        It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.


        HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

          So, Caster Semenya, back when she was a child, growing up in rural South Africa chose to be a woman in order to gain competitive advantage on the world T&F scene?

           

          Please.

           

           

          Hm.

           

          I'm not sure if you are saying that you believe she "chose" to be a woman, but for unrelated reasons, or if you're presenting a pretty funny strawman argument. I suspect the latter Smile

          It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

             

             

            Hm.

             

            I'm not sure if you are saying that you believe she "chose" to be a woman, but for unrelated reasons, or if you're presenting a pretty funny strawman argument. I suspect the latter Smile

             

            I'm attempting to show how the analogy to PED's (which is the main analogy that folks use when they try to strip Caster Semenya of her dignity and her title) is totally flawed. PED use is a choice. Of course Semenya didn't choose to be a woman.


            HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

              Ok, I'm ignorant, but what are PEDs?

               

              And in the meantime, what do you think of people who are (or claim to be) "women trapped in male bodies" -- do you think they should be allowed to compete as women -- based on reasoning that they didn't choose to be born in the wrong gender bodies?

              It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.

                Performance enhancing drugs. They are used to gain an unfair competitive advantage.

                 

                Just curious, but do you have any opinions of your own that you'd like to share? Or are you pretty much just all about repeating in negative form the affirmative statements of others in order to "stir the pot"?

                 

                 

                MTA: actually, your last post was changing the subject in order to stir the pot.


                HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer

                  Oh, ok. Sure, I can present and/or make up some opinions. Let's see.

                   

                  I'd like to categorize "knowingly racing as a woman under false pretenses" is much like PEDs -- deliberately cheating -- if the person doing it is a regular, bonafide male.

                   

                  For the transvestites, ok -- now we're getting into the complicated area of what is a woman, and why are we categorizing them separately.

                   

                  I suppose -- having little to no historical knowledge -- that we categorize them separately because we feel they'd be at a competitive disadvantage in head-to-head competition -- the medal winners would turn out to be mostly men.

                   

                  So, the transvestites ... I think they are not at the same "competitive disadvantage", because they do have the physical/hormonal/musculature/whatever advantages that the "regular" men have. So I would put them in with the men.

                   

                  Now the hard cases are the hermaphrodites, and anyone who has hormonal or testosterone or secondary development irregularities that give them a competitive advantage over "regular women".

                   

                  I'm not very fluent in this particular case -- I had thought that the issue was whether this SA woman fit into my last category -- as someone with hormonal/whatever development that would give her a competitive advantage over all other women -- somewhat like a "regular man" has, but presumably to a lesser degree -- I'm assuming that XXY hermaphrodites have some sort of hormonal/physical development advantages over "regular women".

                   

                  But some people including you have been talking about whether she wears makeup or long hair. I don't know about that, and don't off-hand see any relevance to whether she has too much unusual hormonal/physical advantage due to some sort of development irregularity (such as an extra sex chromosome) -- too much advantage to leave her in the "regular woman" group.

                   

                  Now you implicitly or explicitly compared her potential physical advantages with those of Michael Phelps, and someone else who I forget. That's a good point of comparison, I agree.

                   

                  If Phelps has an unusual body, we still let him compete in the ordinary male human category. But of course, we don't have any more difficult category to move him to, now, so I'm not sure I see too much analogy there.

                   

                  I think a more apt analogy would be if a disabled person had super-springy metal leg parts, and we argue about whether to let him compete as a regular human. I think this case has surfaced, but, technology hasn't reached the point where we can see that his metal legs give him an advantage over "regular" non-disabled humans.

                   

                  But this case under discussion (SA woman) is specifically about gender categorization, so I think if she has large hands, or metal legs, that those are not relevant to gender classification. What I think should be relevant to gender classification is stuff specifically related to the underlying basis for gender differentiation in sports -- that we presume men have an advantage due to higher testosterone production and larger size and.. whatever the heck the basis is.

                   

                  So if she has some of that stuff, then maybe she doesn't belong in the group that was specifically set up for people lacking those physically advantageous (in some ways) characteristics.

                   

                  Hm. Is this long enough yet?

                   

                  It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.


                  straw man

                    If Caster Semenya is a non-woman competing against women, as she appears to be, that is unfair to the women. I don't think she decided to be unfair to women. If she's not a woman, then I don't think that's her fault.

                    Neither is it the fault of the woman against whom she is competing. It may not be possible to be fair to everyone.

                     

                    Som estuff from the column by Mary Buckheit:

                     

                    "Jockeys with 27-inch waists and small shoulders might lack the physical stature we've come to expect of men. Still, we don't call them womanly. We deem them built to race horses."

                     

                    Well, female jockeys race against male jockeys all the time. There's no reason to bring this gender stereotyping up.

                     

                    "We're asking her for an alibi for her inexplicable athleticism."

                     

                    No. Her athleticism is not an issue. And it is quite explicable.

                     

                    "We are determined -- come hell or high water -- to define human beings with binary gender sexing."

                    "This unshakable interrogation at best taints her remarkable achievements, and far worse, it belittles her human existence."

                     

                    If we are going to acknowledge that not all humans can be fit into one of the two tidy categories of gender, male or female, it does not "belittle her human existence" to say that Caster Semenya is not a woman.

                    She is who and what she is. She is still a human being.

                    However, it may not be fair for her to expect to be able to race against women.

                    He who has the best time wins. Jerry

                      She IS a woman. She is a unique woman, for sure. So unique that she may go down in history as one of the greatest women athletes of all time. You are attempting to use exactly what makes her great as an argument against her femininity.

                       

                      Anyways. I'll stop. My point of view is out there.


                      straw man

                        She IS a woman?

                        How do you know?

                        I'm not kidding. I really don't know how you could possibly know that.

                         

                        MTA: I am NOT arguing against her femininity. I don't see any femininity in her. If you walked up to her somewhere and talked to her for a while. Outside of any context, would you think you were talking to a woman? I simply would not. I would think I was talking to a man.

                        He who has the best time wins. Jerry


                        just a simple cat

                          She IS a woman. She is a unique woman, for sure. So unique that she may go down in history as one of the greatest women athletes of all time. You are attempting to use exactly what makes her great as an argument against her femininity.

                           

                          Anyways. I'll stop. My point of view is out there.

                           How do you Know she is a woman?   Because folks who have seen her external secondary sex characteristics pre-puberty, say so?

                           

                          Why not wait for for the hormonal, gynecological, and other tests results?

                           

                           

                            Because she's always been a woman in circumstances that had nothing to do with competitive distance running. The same way I know that you are a woman and that I am a man. The only time her gender was ever in question was when she was competing. And the heat really got hot when she won. Don't you think that's a little suspect?

                             

                            MTA: I find it hilarious that Jpnairn questions how I know she's a woman, but is so sure--more sure than Caster herself!--that she's not a woman.


                            straw man


                              I find it hilarious that Jpnairn questions how I know she's a woman, but is so sure--more sure than Caster herself!--that she's not a woman.

                              You're amused by something I never said, then. I never said Caster Semenya was a man.

                              One neat thing about these discussion groups is that you could actually browse back through this discussion and try to find some place where I said that she was a man or a woman.

                               

                              I did say, "Just looking, I say she's a man, baby!" meaning only that she looks like a man. I haven't seen anyone, including you, say that she looks like a woman, or even that she doesn't look like a man.

                              He who has the best time wins. Jerry

                              xor


                                "I never said Caster Semenya was a man."

                                 

                                "I say she's a man, baby!"

                                 

                                 

                                Apologies for the confusion then.