Many have taken it upon themselves to decide whether or not the South African runner, Caster Semenya should compete as a woman in the Olympics.
Caster Semenya was born with a condition called hyperandrogenism. She is said to have no ovaries nor uterus, and a high level of testosterone and internal testes. This was brought to light by her competitor, Elisa Cusma who in 2009, told reporters, “She’s a man” after she had won the world athletics championships.
After the accusations, Caster was ordered to undergo genetic testing to which the test proved that she was in fact a woman. However, the details of the sex organs that she did or did not posses were leaked.
Later, a rule, which ordered athletes such as Caster to take drugs in order to reduce their testosterone so that there wasn’t any unfairness, was introduced. As a result, Caster did not excel in the races she participated in.
We cannot ignore that this period coincides with the time she experienced a new injury, she was not training as much, she gained some weight, and on top of all of that, she was going through some personal issues. Probably from all the unsolicited, negative comments that she had been receiving.
Thankfully, the rule has been abolished since then and has led Caster to stop consuming the drugs. She has now returned to her best form.
As the debate of whether she is biologically a woman continues…bets are on her for the 800m win at the Rio Olympics.
Semenya thinks she has been treated unfairly and feels as though she is under a microscope.
“I’ve been subjected to unwarranted and invasive scrutiny of the most intimate and private details of my being,” Semenya said, as reported by Daily Mail Online. “God made me the way I am and I accept myself.”
Her critics have taken it up as a hobby to criticize Semeneya even more.
“I believe that it is not unreasonable to suggest that half of the eight-woman 800m final in Rio might well be intersex,” Joanna Harper, a physicist and panel member advising the International Olympic Committee on gender issues, said. “And it is not unlikely that three presumably intersex women will sweep the podium.”
Thankfully, Caster has a number of supporters that have got her back and are trending the hashtag #HandsOffCaster.
The negative criticism towards Semenya can only fire her up to run faster. Pay no mind to it Caster, run from the haters.