Semenya: A tragedy not of her own making

What if your birth certificate is questioned? What if your sexual organs no longer prove your sex? What then? How would you define who you are, what your sex is? This is the tragedy South African Caster Semenya is living in.

What if your birth certificate is questioned? What if your sexual organs no longer prove your sex? What then? How would you define who you are, what your sex is?

This is the tragedy South African Caster Semenya is living in. After eighteen years of being a girl- now the world has questioned the most constant label on any human being, our sexuality. It’s a classic case of degradation.

It’s tragic for a woman young as her to have to convince the world that she is just as her papers say.

So here is Semenya a girl, who has lived fully as a girl, suddenly having to undergo medical examination to determine her sex.

Doctors have put her through numerous tests that will take a month to analyse so that they can declare her ‘entirely woman’  Young Semenya, who was born and reared a girl, insists that she is a woman, because that’s how God made her.

But her word is no longer enough nor is her biology.
In a world with bearded women and men with breasts, it beats me that someone can climb in a pedestal to proclaim what’s fit for any particular sex.

So what if she has a voice like a man, does that make her one? If so then what are we saying of men whose voice didn’t break as expected during the teenage years? Or who totally lack facial hair, are they women?

Who defines who is woman and who is man, what will we do when our sex organs are no longer enough evidence? How can we allow such human degradation to still exist in this day and age?

Where do we hurl those who seem to defy our ‘perfectly developed biological order’?

The answer might seem as easy as stripping her of the gold medal she won, but then, what next?

Because of the fact that her male hormonal levels are too high, will she then be thrown into some sort of Special Olympics for ‘people like her’, who will no longer allowed in our athletics leagues? 

World disdain for what is different is not only annoying but awfully pretentious, we are aware that sex biology can not be differentiated by a simple litmus check, that hormones level are unique to being and that some people are different but this does not make them not worthy to hold the perfect male or female label.

To allow self-appointed ‘sex experts’ to define what is male and what is female is to allow them to play God; how will we rear our girls if they grow in fear that their sheer dominance in anything could code them ‘freak.

pgathoni@gmail.com

 

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