Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

July-08-10

Runner Caster Semenya Returns to Competition

South African runner Caster Semenya,is allowed to return to professional competition after nearly a year of being subjected to gender testing by the International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF). Colorlines reports that the IAAF ruled that Semenya is "female-enough" and can retain her gold medals after months of dehumanizing gender tests and public scrutiny. According to the Associated Press, Semenya said, "I have been subjected to unwarranted and invasive scrutiny of the most intimate and private details of my being" in a statement released yesterday.

Semenya's lawyer, Jeffrey Kessler said, "We are delighted that Caster is finally being permitted to compete with other women, as is her legal and natural right...Hopefully, this resolution will set a precedent so that no female athlete in the future will have to experience the long delays and public scrutiny which Caster has been forced to endure," reported the Associated Press.

The Associated Press reports Semenya plans to return to competition in Finland at the Lappeenranta Games on July 15.

The fact that the IAAF conducted a gender test on Semenya was leaked to the media just prior the 800 meter race at the World Championships in Berlin in August 2009, where she won the gold medal. According to the BBC, the gender test became public only because a related fax was sent to the incorrect person. The IAAF reportedly initiated the test because of previous testing indicating Semenya has elevated testosterone levels and because of her quick improvement in performance prior to bursting onto the national athletic scene.

The practice of sex testing began in Eastern Europe in the 1960s. The first time Olympic athletes were tested was at the 1968 Mexico City Games. At the 1996 Games in Atlanta, eight athletes failed the tests, but were later cleared. A variety of concerns led the International Olympic Committee to stop requiring the tests in 1999. Several female athletes, including runners Santhi Soundarajan of India and Ewar Kobukkowska of Poland have been stripped of their medals after failing sex tests. Testing is a controversial practice in athletics, in part because chromosomal abnormalities may cause women to fail the tests, even though they may have no competitive advantages.

Media Resources: International Association of Athletics Federation 7/6/10; Associated Press 3/30/10, 7/6/10, 7/8/20; BBC 8/25/09; Feminist Daily Newswire 8/25/09; Colorlines 7/6/10


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

11/21/2014 STATEMENT: Feminist Majority Foundation Applauds President's Executive Order on Immigration - Statement from Eleanor Smeal, Feminist Majority Foundation president: "The Feminist Majority Foundation applauds President Obama for taking much needed executive action to help fix our broken immigration system that has for too long torn hardworking families apart. . . .
 
11/21/2014 Fifth Circuit Court Refuses to Reconsider Ruling Blocking Mississippi TRAP Law - The full US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on Thursday refused to reconsider a panel decision blocking enforcement of a Mississippi law that threatened to close the last remaining abortion clinic in the state. In July, a panel of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a preliminary injunction against a Mississippi TRAP (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) law requiring abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges at local hospitals. . . .
 
11/21/2014 UN Expert Calls for Action To End Violence Against Women in Afghanistan - United Nations Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women Rashida Manjoo returned last week from a nine-day official visit in Afghanistan with a call to the Afghan Government and the international community to continue its focus on creating sustainable solutions to reduce violence against women. This was Manjoo's third visit to Afghanistan, and the Special Rapporteur noted many positive developments since her travel to the country in 1999, during the Taliban regime, and in 2005. In particular, Manjoo cited the creation of the Elimination of Violence Against Women Law (EVAW) by presidential decree in 2009 as "a key step towards the elimination of violence against women and girls."EVAW criminalizes 22 acts of violence against women - including rape, child and forced marriage, domestic violence, trafficking, and forced self-immolation - and specifies punishment for perpetrators. . . .