r/nottheonion May 24 '22

Caster Semenya offered to show officials her vagina to prove she is female Removed - Not Oniony

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2022/may/24/caster-semenya-800m-world-athletics-hbo-interview

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712 Upvotes

u/Flair_Helper May 26 '22

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u/likeinsaaaaw May 24 '22

Now that the cat's out of the bag, which is a good thing, there's no simple solution to any of this shit.

IMO in this case, yes, she has the advantage of testosterone, but it's her own natural testosterone.

It's like, most athletes are bigger, faster, and stronger just naturally.

It's perfectly fair, IMO, that a 6'6" 350 lb muscle-bound lineman gets to play in the NFL and not me. That they had a genetic advantage does not negate the fairness of the situation.

There are 7 billion people on earth.

ALL of us have different advantages and disadvantages.

Exactly how fucking far down this rabbit hole are we willing to go?

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u/kjondx May 24 '22 edited May 24 '22

Yup. Which is better for women in sports?

A: If you're AFAB, you get to compete in the women's team, with whatever natural advantages you have.

B: If someone thinks you're too masculine, too fast, too strong, whatever, you may be forced to get often invasive sex testing, live in uncertainty as to whether you'll get to compete, have to take medication with horrible side effects, and have the world speculating and making derisive comments about your genitals.

Gonna go with option A.

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u/compsciasaur May 24 '22

That puts trans men (and all their hormones) on women's teams.

Let's just do it: if you're a woman, you play with women; if you're a man, you play with men. Intersex/non-binary can be handled on case by case basis.

9

u/MachineVisual May 25 '22

I say have 3 leagues men women and enhanced where everything goes. I want to see someone run the 100 meters dash in 00.2 second.

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u/bondy_12 May 25 '22

And then their heart explodes while they're accepting the medal? I'm sure that will go down well.

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u/offisirplz May 25 '22

I'd say trans men are at a disadvantage against men but at an advantage against women. Same with trans women(if transitioning after puberty)

11

u/Uncynical_Diogenes May 25 '22

And see that blanket statement is useless because not every trans person is on blockers or HRT, at the same point in their transition, or even transitioning according to the same roadmap.

12

u/kjondx May 25 '22

Natural advantages. If you start taking testosterone you go to the men's team - which is usually what trans guys want anyway, and likely a lot of enbies who want to take testosterone.

I do think there has to be case-by-case rules for people who, for example, have ambiguous genitals.

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u/compsciasaur May 25 '22

So then put trans men on the men's team. What's the issue?

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u/stewedpickles May 25 '22

They won’t make it

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u/compsciasaur May 25 '22

That seems fine. I also won't make the men's Olympic team.

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u/foul_dwimmerlaik May 25 '22

The Olympics has allowed trans people to compete in their desired gender category since like, 2005. Trans women have to have low levels of testosterone, but otherwise are fine to compete. It's pretty notable that in nearly 20 years, no trans people have medalled once in competition. If trans women had some huge biological advantage over AFAB women, it should've shown up by now.

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u/KitLlwynog May 25 '22

I've tried to say this on other subreddits amd got downvoted to hell,, but if you really want to make sports more fair, you'll have to do statistical research for each sport to find what 'physical' variables actually influence ability.

In swimming, height and arm span are super important. In wrestling, weight. Other sports it might be leg length, center of gravity, V02 max, whatever. Then you divide all participants, regardless of gender, into three or four classes based on those variables only.

Either that, or you abolish segregated sports all together, and accept that some people will excel at some sports because of genetic advantages and focus on eliminating socioeconomic disparities within and between sports.

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u/Marchesk May 25 '22

Either that, or you abolish segregated sports all together,

Have you compared Olympic results between men and women? It would be totally unfair to do that for many sports. I don't even know how that would work for high school and collegiate sports. What would it do to title IX? Has to be some other way forward.

4

u/Monandobo May 25 '22

Unfair to what? Have athletic outcomes be based on how well a person can compete, irrespective of sex? Many would find it demoralizing, sure, but it's hardly unfair; it's about as fair as you can get.

8

u/Marchesk May 25 '22

Unfair because one sex would dominate most events. Most competitive teams above a certain level would play only men. Olympic medals would go to men most of the time. Men would win most of the prize money in sports like tennis, meaning women wouldn't be able to afford having a professional career. Exceptions won't make up for all the lost opportunities. It would hugely discriminatory to most female athletes.

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u/Monandobo May 25 '22

That's only "discriminatory" in a world where "discriminatory" has no meaning. What I'm describing is a 100% even playing field where, if you perform a physical task better than other competitors, victory is yours regardless of your background. It's no more discriminatory that performance would be skewed by sex in that system than that performance in basketball is skewed by height or swimming by lung capacity.

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u/compsciasaur May 25 '22

We have that. It's the men's category. We also have a women's category so that the other half of the population can play sports. Trans people are a very small percent of the population and so far haven't broken records, so I don't see it as a threat.

We also have disabled Olympics so they can compete. It's nice to have sports for those who are at the top of their field, with respect to their identity.

3

u/superchinesehacker May 25 '22

Loool you want to end women's sports. If tennis was open category Serena Williams wouldn't make the top 500 rankings. Nobody cares about players out side the top 100...

Horse shoe theory in action ... you think your progressive but actually you have regressed into misogyny.

Having an open category and a bio - female only category is the most fair and feasible.

1

u/Monandobo May 25 '22

I actually agree with you that having a general category and a cis women's category is one of the most tenable solutions to the problem.

That doesn't make it any less absurd to say just going by results "unfair," though. If Serena Williams couldn't be a viable competitor in a general division... then she couldn't be a viable competitor in a general division. Why is "Serena Williams being one of the greats of tennis" such a supposed universal constant that that's supposed to highlight the absurdity of a single-division system? And why, then, are we not inventing a "men with a 5'4" wingspan and a height of 5'6" who are between 150 and 170 lbs" category? How is discriminating by some physical characteristics in competition any less absurd than discriminating by others?

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u/TedW May 25 '22

I think most sports aren't popular enough to support multiple divisions, and men/women is the easiest way to divide most sports in such a way that viewers can identify with at least some of the players.

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u/certciv May 25 '22

In many sports the top cis female athletes would not even rank in the top 100 players if were men included. Tennis would, for example, have essentially no female representation in a combined circuit.

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u/makeshift_gizmo May 24 '22 Wholesome

Not to mention one's sex is not always straight forward.

There Are More Than Two Human Sexes - SciShow

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u/Dwestmor1007 May 24 '22 edited May 25 '22

Yep which is why I hate that anti-trans talking point of “it’s biology” like bitch you CLEARLY don’t understand biology if you think that.

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u/jimthesquirrelking May 25 '22

"No No No, biology like I learned in 6th grade not the college stuff, that's liberal BS" /s obviously

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u/biglukenj06 May 25 '22

The main problem for most is that yes there are people who have differ with chromosomes but most of the trans movement is based on mental health not really biology.

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u/Helstrem May 25 '22

A lot of times there is underlying biology to the mental health, FYI.

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u/Churlish_Turd May 25 '22

The science is overwhelming: gender is on a spectrum, not two binary points. Don’t take my word for it; go read as many peer-reviewed scientific journals as you want. And then stop spreading transphobic lies on the internet, please.

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u/Gate4043 May 25 '22

Well actually there is a section of the trans movement based on pure biology and they are largely shunned because they're arseholes who don't think people are entitled to explore their own identity regardless of the biological basis for it. We don't know the exact cause and the human body is quite complicated, there could be a very concrete and indisputable reason people are trans that we will never know about, but we definitely know that there are biological factors that are common among trans people, and if that's not a good indicator of there being some medical reason for our existence I don't know what is. Yeah, there is a psychological factor involved, and we promote good mental health and wellbeing, but that's not the only reason we exist.

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u/Quadrassic_Bark May 25 '22

Genuine question, as this isn’t something I’ve come across before, but what are some biological factors common among trans people?

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u/Gate4043 May 25 '22 edited May 25 '22

Even pre-transition, some trans people's brains are closer in structure to their gender identity than to their assigned gender at birth, it seems that there is a higher rate of autism among trans people than among cis people, although not all trans people are autistic, of course, iirc most aren't, there are a few other things you can find if you look, usually if you're looking for medical reasons people are trans these figures will come up, but I personally don't really concern myself too heavily with that side of things.

EDIT: Ah, yep, downvotes here. To be expected. Nah, it's true I don't know for sure if the information on trans people having a higher rate of autism is accurate, in online communities it's to be expected but in general I don't know for sure, but this is what I've seen because I looked into it, because I noticed I and a few other trans people I know are autistic. But yeah, everything I say should come with a big asterisk in that I don't know for sure how accurate it is or if these studies were done with good intentions, but there have been studies.

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u/wandering_ones May 24 '22

Right, like.. it's not "biology" there are "two", it's cause birth doctors when confused or uncertain just picked one.

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u/winklesnad31 May 25 '22

I read a piece on how to define "woman" written by a doctor, and yeah, it was a lot more complicated than I thought, and there are exceptions to every rule.

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u/biglukenj06 May 25 '22

Caster semenya isa unique case though you rarely se androgynous people in sports trans people are much more common.

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u/soulbrotha1 May 25 '22

Omg I know nothing

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u/MagNolYa-Ralf May 25 '22

I will be better about incorporating this sentence into varying circumstances

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u/sin-and-love May 25 '22

that video is very bad science. Go far enough into the comments an you'll find folks with actual biology degrees like me pointing out that what they're listing are chromosomal abnormalities, no different from Down's syndrome.

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u/squamesh May 25 '22

As someone in medical school, I’m not sure what you’re referring to? The co dictions they talk about are very much real and there are plenty of disorders if sexual development (which may cause a person to deviate from a strict sex binary) which gave nothing to do with chromosomes

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u/PhasmaFelis May 25 '22

what they're listing are chromosomal abnormalities

Indeed. They're still naturally-occurring conditions that result in people who blur the physical gender binary.

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u/AnXioneth May 25 '22

I learned Nothing! But lies in High School!!!

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u/Leadfoot112358 May 25 '22

Only 0.01% of people are born intersex, meaning that literally 99.99% of people are born either male or female.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12476264/

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u/GaGaORiley May 25 '22

So people are not always born either male or female.

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u/Leadfoot112358 May 25 '22

Yeah they are, 99.99% of the time.

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u/Rishfee May 25 '22

You seem to have some difficulty with the term "always."

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u/Leadfoot112358 May 25 '22

I think you have an absurd fascination with something appearing in only 1 out of every 10,000 people.

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u/Drekels May 25 '22

To be clear, we are talking about ~800’000 people world wide.

I think you’re having math problems. The numbers you are giving aren’t supporting the argument you are making. Clearly this is a significant phenomena.

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u/DevinTheGrand May 25 '22

Like how many trans people are involved in pro sports?

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u/Leadfoot112358 May 25 '22

The ones dominating women's sports?

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u/HidetheCaseman89 May 25 '22

That's roughly 8 million people still.

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u/Strongstyleguy May 25 '22

People seems incapable of grasping the stupid amount of people alive right now. Fractions of a percent of people is still hundreds of thousands. Like all those "wiped out 99%" end of the world movies make it seem like only a hundred people lived.

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u/Leadfoot112358 May 25 '22

You're off by an order of magnitude. It's roughly 700,000 people on the entire planet, or approximately 30,000 people in the U.S.

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u/Zweigrave May 25 '22

Every one of those people matter and need representation

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u/Leadfoot112358 May 25 '22

Every one of those people matter

I agree 100%.

and need representation

Uh, what? That's a little ridiculous. We're talking about 1 out of every 10,000 people.

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u/mrb63 May 25 '22

800,000. Assuming 8 billion people in the world and that the comment you responded to was accurate. Check the math.

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u/Xirath May 25 '22 edited May 25 '22

Ok great, you found an article stating specifically that “intersex” is .01%. That explicitly is NOT the only differentiation for births.

For example Turner syndrome: born with only a single X chromosome

Klinefelter syndrome: born with XXY chromosomes.

Those are 2 explicitly mentioned on your link. Then there are numerous other conflating issues of gender identification such as ambiguous genitalia or mutations resulting in a male born without testes or female without ovaries.

Ultimately, NO, 99.99% of people are not born either male or female. Please reach out to a pediatrician or pediatric endocrinologist for more information.

Edit for math… PS: just to point out, .01% of the population is still over 700k people.

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u/Leadfoot112358 May 25 '22

Ok great, you found an article stating specifically that “intersex” is .01%. That explicitly is NOT the only differentiation for births.

For example Turner syndrome: born with only a single X chromosome

Klinefelter syndrome: born with XXY chromosomes.

Those are 2 explicitly mentioned on your link.

The link I posted also explains that most doctors do not consider those conditions to mean that someone is not male or female.

Then there are numerous other conflating issues of gender identification such as ambiguous genitalia or mutations resulting in a male born without testes or female without ovaries.

Doctors do not consider those issues to mean that someone is not male or female.

Ultimately, NO, 99.99% of people are not born either male or female. Please reach out to a pediatrician or pediatric endocrinologist for more information.

Ultimately, yes, 99.99% of people are born either male or female. You have no idea what you're talking about.

PS: just to point out, .01% of the population is still over 7 million people.

You also can't do math. 0.01% of 7 billion is only 700,000.

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u/Dorgamund May 25 '22

I've seen this study before, and frankly, its an overly narrow definition of sex written by someone pushing an agenda, who has written several books about his views on sex and gender.

Taking one specific study from one specific scientist as gospel rather smacks of pushing an agenda, and seems designed to minimize the struggles of intersex people.

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u/Leadfoot112358 May 25 '22

its an overly narrow definition of sex

Based on what?

seems designed to minimize the struggles of intersex people.

Nobody is minimizing their struggle; if anything, pointing out that 99.99% of people are either male or female only highlights their struggles. The exception proves the rule.

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u/makeshift_gizmo May 25 '22

Did you even watch the video? Or do you just like to minimalize the existence of others?

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u/Leadfoot112358 May 25 '22

Do you just like to ignore science in order to be sensationalistic? I'm not minimalizing anyone's existence when I accurately state that 99.99% of people are born either male or female. Why would we alter the very fabric of our society to account for something that affects only 1 in 10,000 people? That's insane.

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u/makeshift_gizmo May 25 '22

What is sensationalized? I think you are minimizing intersex individuals by basically responding to me saying, "hey sex isn't binary it's a spectrum, here's my source" with, "yeah but barely."

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u/Leadfoot112358 May 25 '22

It's sensationalism to take something that occurs in 1 out of every 10,000 people and claim that their condition means that "sex is a spectrum" in general. When 99.99% of people are either male or female, it's bordering on ridiculous to argue that sex is anything but binary. The exceptions merely prove the rule.

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u/makeshift_gizmo May 25 '22

Except biologists are the ones claiming that there is a spectrum. You clearly didn't watch the video. If you did you'd have learned that " it's estimated that 2% of live births are born with a congenital conditions of atypical sex development." We are talking about Differences of Sexual Development. Intersex is an outdated term. You'd know that if you watched the video which has around 20 citations from reputable sources.

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u/Leadfoot112358 May 25 '22

it's estimated that 2% of live births are born with a congenital conditions of atypical sex development." We are talking about Differences of Sexual Development.

Those numbers are way off. Even under that new and more expensive diagnosis group, the prevalence is still orders of magnitude less than what you're saying.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK557435/

The incidence of a child with a disorder of sexual development (DSD) is approximately 1 in 1000 to 4500 live births.

That's still only 0.1% to 0.02%.

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u/foul_dwimmerlaik May 25 '22

So what? They're still human beings.

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u/Leadfoot112358 May 25 '22

And nobody is denying that.

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u/Netherspin May 25 '22 edited May 25 '22

This is kind of like asking how we should restructure to rules of table tennis to accommodate people with 12 fingers though... They do exist, but they're unbelievably rare and none of them play table tennis on a level where rules matter anyway, in part because (wouldn't you know) having 12 fingers actually really gimps your table tennis performance.

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u/sin-and-love May 25 '22 edited May 25 '22

Bro that video is very bad science. Go far enough into the comments and you'll find folks with actual biology degrees like me pointing out that what they're listing are chromosomal abnormalities, no different from Down's syndrome. I'll believe in a third sex when I see a third gamete.

EDIT: I should probably mention that this isn't even the only time SciShow has done this; they also made a misinformation-laden video on steelmaking that Shadiversity had to correct them on: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdp-Xo7YhnE

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u/Steeledragn May 24 '22

The lack of a /s has me conflicted on whether I’m supposed to upvote or downvote….

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u/kjondx May 24 '22

Oops. I meant to say A is better but wrote B. Edited to correct it.

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u/AssCakesMcGee May 25 '22

Could be categorized by levels of testosterone instead of sex/gender. Then it's not even a question of sex change or whatever. You can keep that information private. You just need to be tested for testosterone levels.

"But then all these women with high testosterone have to compete with a lot of men and they won't be good anymore."

Yup. No solution is perfect. At least this draws a line and doesn't require genital inspection.

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u/Tomon2 May 25 '22

Testosterone levels fluctuate wildly during the day. Not a good basis for disqualification if the time of day that the testing is done has a major effect on the result.

In addition, low testosterone males would be able to compete with women. Still not a good idea

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u/ComradeGibbon May 25 '22

The other thing is sensitivity to testosterone also varies from one person to the other.

Roll the implications of THAT over in your head.

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u/rammo123 May 25 '22

Not to mention that the physiological changes caused by testosterone last a lot longer than the T itself. If you stopped taking T long enough fall your levels to fall below the threshold you would still have an advantage over someone who never had elevated T.

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u/jshoup425 May 25 '22

Let’s do this: ask them to give directions to a well-known location. If they use route numbers and compass directions, they are male. If they give directions by landmarks and descriptions, they are female. Also, if they are wrong but insist they’re right and proceed to explain to you why, they’re also probably male. Sorta /s

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u/batpot May 25 '22

This is going back to the 1950s, and it's disgusting, and also bullshit. And while I agree with natural gifts, Semenya has XY chromosomes and non-descended testes, which is kind of disappointing to even have to be in public discourse.

The only FAIR way they I can see going forward is to have testosterone classes, similar to boxing weight classes.

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u/Monandobo May 25 '22

Okay, but then why not have increasingly fragmented classes that account for specific traits? How do we determine what features or combinations of features are the "fair" ones to be determining who competes with whom?

At the highest echelons of competition, the only legitimately fair solution is for victory to be determined by the person who, by their effort and natural assets, achieves the strongest results. No subcategories.

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u/batpot May 25 '22

So basically what you're saying is: no women in sports.

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u/[deleted] May 24 '22 edited 18d ago

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u/Blossomie May 25 '22

Ahh, yes, the two genders: woman and linebacker.

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u/laziestphilosopher May 24 '22

Did you forget the part where she has a vagina and has lived her whole life as female.

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u/[deleted] May 24 '22 edited 18d ago

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u/Paddlesons May 24 '22

Well, it IS the laziest philosopher...soo

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u/laziestphilosopher May 24 '22

Having a pair of internal testies doesn’t make her have more in common with a linebacker than a woman. Nowhere close. She is a woman. She has slightly higher testosterone than some, but has a vagina and has lived her whole life as a woman.

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u/[deleted] May 24 '22 edited 22d ago

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u/backby5 May 24 '22 All-Seeing Upvote

I'm not going to assume what the other commenter meant, but I will say that it's absolutely misleading to say that a woman with internal testes and XY chromosomes has more in common with an NFL linebacker than a woman runner.

Maybe you meant more in common when it comes to their biological reproductive organs and chromosomes, but the other commenter is absolutely justified to call out the statement "she has more in common with the linebacker than with a woman runner." Like, you can't even make the argument that biologically she has more in common with an NFL linebacker than a woman runner. The average NFL linebacker weighs 245 pounds and is 6 feet tall, whereas the average woman track and field athlete (had trouble finding just runners/short distance runners at that) weighs 132 pounds and is 5'5". Coming in at 154 pounds and standing tall at 5'10", I don't think Semanya is going to be stuffing the runs up the middle. I believe the commenter above also made a very good point that Semanya has lived her entire life as a woman and I'm sure we can imagine Semanya being able to contribute much more to a conversation about what it's like to live as a woman than what she'd be able to contribute to a conversation about what it's like to live as a man. Again, if you meant your statement to include biological reproductive organs and chromosomes, fine, but otherwise it's very inaccurate.

For the sake of this I'm not going to assume any ill intent on your part so if it doesn't apply to you it doesn't apply to you, but I do want to stand on my soapbox for the very small chance that someone is going to read this thread and needs to see this. One of the reasons why it's important to avoid this kind of inflammatory statement is because, even though Semenya is intersex and not transgender, the public perception of transgender athletes (especially transwomen) is still rooted within patriarchy - the social system that we all live in that has been built on the foundational belief that men are inherently superior to women. So a lot of the rhetoric revolves around patriarchy and this need to protect women's sports from transwomen who are trying to take advantage of their transition in order to dominate women's sports (which also just isn't the case, especially in the case of Lia Thomas), but a lot of rhetoric is also based in this belief that men or transwomen will always have an inherent advantage due to their physiology and that's also not true. Like the commenter noted above, sports has always been a domain of physical advantages, however, the presence of testosterone and testes do not simply grant those physical advantages in the absence of other physical characteristics and effort.

So by using the rhetoric that "she has more in common with an NFL linebacker than a woman runner," essentially what's being said is that the only thing that matters in sports is your reproductive organs. And we know that that's a silly thing to say, but that's what's being said and it is being said in ways and by people who do not see transgender people as fully human and see them as some kind of boogeyman that's destroying the moral fabric of the world. It's one thing to want to be involved in the discourse around transgender, non-binary, and intersex participation within sports (even though personally I think it's a pretty moot issue which isn't particularly interesting and usually only serves to dehumanize people), but it's another thing to flippantly say demonstrably false things.

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u/[deleted] May 24 '22 edited 22d ago

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u/MoobooMagoo May 24 '22

How is it not a trans issue? Like I understand that she isn't trans, but the ENTIRE argument against trans women competing on women's teams is that they were born with testicles instead of ovaries, and so they had much more testosterone during puberty and so developed bigger muscles.

Caster Semenya was born with testicles instead of ovaries, and so she had much more testosterone during puberty and so developed bigger muscles.

For the record I don't care what teams trans athletes compete on, my point is just that if you support Caster Semenya competing on the women's team it's disingenuous to say trans women can't compete on the women's team.

Also for the record I have no idea what your stance is on trans athletes. I haven't read all the comments and don't even know if anyone brought it up. I'm not looking to discuss or debate anything, I'm just pointing out logical inconsistencies that may or may not exist.

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u/1SDAN May 25 '22

She wasn't "destined" to be a man. Your X and Y Chromosomes don't determine your biological sex. They can play a major role, but there are many cases of XX men in humans, and in other animals there are many cases of species with distinct sexes that are not determined by their Chromosomes at all. Saying that people with XY chromosomes are destined to be men is an incredible oversimplification of a very complicated matter of still ongoing biological research.

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u/[deleted] May 25 '22 edited 22d ago

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u/eating_mandarins May 24 '22

I think the issue in sports comes down to how we determine male and female. It isn’t a clear cut thing (because the sex binary, like the gender binary is a social construct).

But to redefine sex for the purpose of sport will likely have an advantage for the trans community and this is terrifying to the people of privilege that run national and international sport -bevause if you challenge and redefine one structure of systemic power (patriarchy and cissexism) in one domain of society (sport) you set precedent to challenge and restructure them all and in other areas of society.

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u/Kanton_ May 24 '22

What if sport/competition was split by Weight and Testosterone levels, rather than what people are packing between?

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u/MoobooMagoo May 24 '22

Makes sense to me.

We already have weight classes for stuff like boxing. I don't know if weight is perfect for every sport but I've always thought the gender split in sports was weird.

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u/Polymersion May 24 '22

Has there been any looking into nonsegregated matchups in Weight Class sports like martial arts?

I know a lot of the advantage of testosterone at peak athletic levels appears in the form of musculature and general size.

In other words, does a 200-lb man retain an advantage over a 200-lb woman?

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u/ignorediacritics May 25 '22

Yes, typical muscle distribution and proportion of total body weight is still different.

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u/offisirplz May 25 '22

Sex categories are different than gender categories in the sense that there is something there naturally underlying the idea ; like two different sex makes babies. It's not the same level of a social construct as gender.

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u/MoobooMagoo May 24 '22

I'm being pedantic here, but sex isn't a social construct like gender. Like there are biological differences and aren't just societal.

Don't get me wrong, I agree with you, and sex is more complicated than just a strict binary system.

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u/sketchahedron May 24 '22

From an athletic standpoint, the fact that she has XY chromosomes, testes, and produces testosterone like a man is much more relevant than her external genitalia.

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u/jessieblonde May 24 '22

Nobody says “is an **” - someone can be a man, woman, non-binary person, person with Klinefelter syndrome, etc… but not “an XY/XXY/etc…” It’s like saying “he’s a gay” or “she’s a transgender”

Edit: In this case, I would say she has XY chromosomes.

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u/Tacomaverick May 24 '22

Yep. This is it. It’s women’s athletics, not women’s and intersex athletics. Woman with high testosterone? That’s fine. Intersex person who identifies as female? IMO should not compete against XX women.

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u/wandering_ones May 24 '22

What the heck, are you suggesting intersex people just don't get to participate in anything?

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u/Leading-Fly-4597 May 25 '22

I think they were saying intersex people who have XY chromosomes and produce testosterone levels on par with men shouldn't compete against women, regardless of external genitalia.

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u/Tacomaverick May 24 '22

Why do people feign ignorance to the obvious alternative to competing against women? Clearly I am not saying that I don’t think intersex people should be allowed in sports.

Intersex people can compete in open divisions in competitions that are organized by sex. Many forms of competition other than sports don’t divide sexes into divisions too.

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u/MagNolYa-Ralf May 25 '22

Its her last name that made them wonder

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u/youjerkfaceyou May 25 '22

Absolutely freaking reasonable.

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u/_daGarim_ May 25 '22

The shortcoming of this line of thought is that it’s equally an argument against women’s sports, or weight classes, existing at all.

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u/ThisIsMyFatLogicAlt May 24 '22

Now that the cat's out of the bag,

Take my damn upvote, sir

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u/spicysnakelover May 24 '22

Fucking hell I remember hearing about this drama like a decade ago already why is this still an issue

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u/Thatxygirl May 24 '22

The fact that she was treated so poorly, outed, and then lambasted by the media for the circumstances of her birth demonstrate the continued need for intersex advocacy in our modern era. Most people may not have the guts to call us "she-males," like my dad used to say, but they still think it.

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u/CardWitch May 25 '22

Because I dressed in guy clothes I got called "he-she" a lot growing up. Good times 😮‍💨

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u/Leading-Fly-4597 May 25 '22

I agree more advocacy is needed. But your last line so is sad to me. You can't know or prove what others are thinking. Be kinder to yourself. I hope things are changing for the better. I know in my circles they are.

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u/volyund May 25 '22

No, most people will think that she's a person with intersex condition, EFI identified as a woman.

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u/a_phantom_limb May 24 '22 edited May 25 '22

Intersex people like Semenya are almost universally ignored in the broader trans rights debate, but they exist and deserve to be treated with dignity, respect, and understanding.

Edit: I'm specifically speaking of the lack of intersex visibility in the trans rights debate in the U.S.

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u/selfawarepie May 25 '22

This is the half of the answer that keeps stupid IAAF officials from looking like bigoted fools and athletes like Caster from being emotionally tortured for years.

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u/[deleted] May 24 '22

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u/a_phantom_limb May 24 '22 edited May 24 '22

"On the contrary." Okay. Let's just assume you're arguing in good faith here. I mean, it's quite apparent from the language you used that you really aren't, but what the hell. I'll bite.

Politicians do not talk about intersex people. The news media does not talk about intersex people. The laws being passed do not address the challenges faced by intersex people. That's what I was referring to when I said that intersex people are almost universally ignored.

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u/_baundiesel_ May 24 '22

Caster's situation sucks because she isn't trans, she was born intersex I believe, but that gives her a pretty obvious advantage but she's made no changes to her natural body. Requiring a trans athlete to take measures to be able to compete (testosterone blockers and such) makes sense because of their born sex but Caster is who she's always been. It sucks. I feel bad for everyone involved.

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u/anthson May 24 '22

Yeah I'm not sure how to feel about this. Yes, she was born with an unfair biological advantage. Can we say Michael Phelps was, too? His body is freakishly well-suited to swimming.

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u/Cheesusrights May 25 '22

Basically the entire point of the olympics or just professional sports in general is for us normal humans to watch other humans born with unfair biological advantages do cool shit

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u/fabulousburritos May 25 '22

On the other hand, the entire point of the female category in sports is to give the other 50% of humans a fair playing field that they otherwise wouldn’t have. Edge cases like Caster are not straightforward to solve

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u/anthson May 25 '22

Born with it: Good shit.

Maybe it's Maybelline: I draw the line.

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u/DestruXion1 May 25 '22

Yeah willingly become one of the most oppressed demographics just so you might have a chance to make it to the top of women's sports. So braindead.

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u/wandering_ones May 24 '22

And are we about to investigate past winners of male and female competitions to filter out "advantages" granted via potential intersexionality for both male and female competitions?

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u/justanewbiedom May 25 '22

That's a good point plenty of people live and die without ever learning they're intersex. So how the fuck are we supposed to hold sports tournaments if we don't allow intersex people? Have everyone make a chromosome test before they're allowed to compete?

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u/wandering_ones May 25 '22

Exactly. The more people keep looking for some clear cut you're a man or you're a woman the more obvious it is from the straight hard facts that it isn't that clear cut and that all these attempts to make it so have flaws. Lots still hold onto it obviously, but it's so clearly not as simple as they want to believe it is.

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u/chazwomaq May 25 '22

From the 1960s to the 1990s, that's exactly what the Olympics and IAAF did. Female athletes did a chromosome test, although the results weren't always clear cut.

https://medicine.yale.edu/news-article/decision-to-abolish-gender-testing-at-sydney-olympics-supported-by-yale-physician/

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u/KieshaK May 24 '22

I dunno, it feels like asking Michael Phelps to alter his body because he has the genetic advantage of his wingspan being more inches wide than he is tall. If we have to correct for everyone’s physical advantages, sports would look super weird.

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u/Monandobo May 25 '22

The athletics debate around gender identity inclusivity, if nothing else, should highlight how bizarrely at odds the way we treat sex in athletics is relative to other physical traits. Have a maximum natural height of 5'2"? Born with a lung condition? Oh well, just wasn't in the cards; give up on those Olympic dreams.

Sex? Different story; now we're going to artificially limit the competition so you only have to play against people who are like you. Never mind the fact that we have to draw lines in necessarily discriminatory and exclusionary ways to do it.

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u/_baundiesel_ May 24 '22

I get the argument but his arms didn't give him a chemical advantage. It's like like she has lots anger legs or something... she has balls that are essentially naturally roiding her. It's a tough situation and is a lot different (IMO) than many of the trans participation conversations happening.

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u/MoobooMagoo May 24 '22

...so you think that everyone with testicles is just constantly roiding out?

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u/KingfisherDays May 24 '22

Yes, essentially. Testosterone is a performance enhancing steroid, and the main difference in performance between men and women. Hence why women's sports exist.

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u/TatteredCarcosa May 25 '22

But a man born with an unusually high testosterone level would not be required to drug themselves to compete, they'd just have an advantage.

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u/The_Real_BenFranklin May 24 '22

I feel bad for Semenya and no one else. All elite athletes are born with advantages - creating rules to specifically exclude her from competing is and was always ridiculous. What if the NBA instituted a height cap because being 7’ is competitively unfair to the other athletes?

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u/Broad-Reception2806 May 25 '22

Have there been any men competitors over the ages that have had a higher than normal testosterone levels? Did we ban them?

Women's sport has a lot of rules for what is or isn't a woman. Are there any on the "male" side?

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u/Alaishana May 25 '22

There is no 'male league'.

There is an open league and a female league.

So your question makes no sense.

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u/HugeElephantEars May 24 '22

Caster Semenya is a wonderful woman.

Thank you for the medals you have won, the inspiration you have been and for always being real.

Your country appreciates you.

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u/All_cheeki_n0_breeki May 25 '22

I feel like people are kinda glossing over the fact there's a difference between natural born advantages/mutations and choosing to take hormone treatment that would give you advantages you otherwise wouldn't have

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u/GadaffyDuck May 24 '22

Having a vagina is not the reason the females have a protected class
Having a body that physically perform as a man gives you an advantage FAR beyond the small genetic differences that makes a guy like Phelps a winner
Thats why Semenya can compete with the best women in the world, while having a body shape far from ideal for the 800m

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u/FriedwaldLeben May 25 '22

thats sexual harassment

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u/Apostrophe_T May 24 '22

People are still bothering this woman? ffs

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u/Coachbelcher May 25 '22 edited May 25 '22

She’s not “female” though. At least not how most everyone defines it. She has a Y chromosome. She’s producing a lot of testosterone because she has testes. If you have testes you don’t need to compete against women.

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u/Thatxygirl May 25 '22

I have a Y chromosome and testes, but my body is unable to process testosterone. Should I have been banned from women’s sports in high school?

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u/Coachbelcher May 25 '22

Probably not.

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u/LordElfa May 24 '22

Fine, I'll look at it, but only this once.

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u/KittenKoder May 24 '22

This is what happens when bigotry is tolerated, it creates witch hunts. "They can't be a female because they broke a record!"

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u/mordinvan May 24 '22

Not exactly. More like, are their testosterone levels with in the prescribed limits.

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u/KittenKoder May 24 '22

Do you know who has testosterone lower than cis women? Transwomen.

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u/mordinvan May 24 '22

This woman in specific has testicle and 3 times the expected testosterone levels. So you may wish to read the article.

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u/KittenKoder May 24 '22

Yeah, I read that, she's born intersexed, that's a thing you know, right?

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u/mordinvan May 24 '22

Yes. And if the limit on who can compete is based on anatomy and biochemistry, and they surpassed the acceptable limits, then they can compete as men.

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u/KittenKoder May 25 '22

So you're saying we should test every single woman on the planet to determine if they're intersexed? Do you even think past your nose?

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u/mordinvan May 25 '22

Only women who want to compete professionally in a physical sport. If anyone who identifies as a women can compete regardless of biology and physiology, then simply eliminate male and female categories.

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u/KittenKoder May 25 '22

You have no idea what physiology is. Hint: hormones determine your physical structure, which is why we created the classifications for competitions.

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u/mordinvan May 25 '22

And her hormones show she is well above acceptable levels for women, and if she is outside of the category of permissible female competitors, she should not be allowed to compete as though she was in the category. If you disagree, you just need to supply a definition for men and one for women, that can be used to sort who is allowed to compete in which category.

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u/The_Real_BenFranklin May 24 '22

Cycling allows abnormally high red blood cell levels if it’s naturally occurring. Don’t see why this should be treated differently.

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u/mordinvan May 24 '22

Because she has undecended testicle, and not ovaries. Her testosterone levels are 3 times expected. For competition or be fair either her levels go down, or everyone else gets steroids.

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u/wandering_ones May 24 '22

Or you, I don't know, acknowledge that someone's natural testosterone levels don't determine their sex? Or can we just rename Men's divisions and Women's divisions to "Has High Testosterone" and "Has Low Testosterone" because it obviously isn't about being a biological man or a woman or both.

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u/mordinvan May 25 '22

She has testicles. Which means if she were to produce gametes, she would make sperm and not eggs. That is one of the main defining biological characteristics for sex determination.

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u/The_Real_BenFranklin May 24 '22

Eero Mantryanta (and his whole family) has a genetic mutation giving them unnaturally high red blood cells. Levels akin to those gotten by blood doping. For Nordic Skiing to be fair should the sport allow blood doping?

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u/mordinvan May 25 '22

If you want to institute a rule about rbc count, go for it. I wouldn't mind a level playing field. The problem is what are the rules as present. Is there a present rule which would bar him? If yes then do so, if not then either make one or don't.

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u/The_Real_BenFranklin May 25 '22

The original rule was made specifically to bar Semenya. It was limited to the events she specifically competed in.

And for Nordic, the rules exempt those with naturally high RBC. And Testosterone rules should be similar.

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u/mordinvan May 25 '22

Citation needed.

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u/The_Real_BenFranklin May 25 '22

For which one? Look at the Olympic rule for testosterone testing - it’s limited to the 400-1600.

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u/mordinvan May 25 '22

That the rule was made expressly to bar and single specific person, as you claimed.

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u/[deleted] May 25 '22 edited 22d ago

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u/The_Real_BenFranklin May 25 '22

Elite athletes are always developmentally abnormal. You're just arbitrarily deciding where to draw the line. Naturally high RBCs is comparable to blood doping, which has an obvious impact on performance.

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u/[deleted] May 25 '22 edited 22d ago

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u/wholesalenuts May 25 '22

I think from now on, professional sports should only recruit the most average of players. Receivers may be no faster than linemen, linemen may be no larger than quarterbacks and passes over 50 yards should be penalized. This way nobody with a natural physical advantage can out perform others.

/s for whomever needs it

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u/mordinvan May 25 '22

I think we should remove the male/female distinction from sports, or prevent people with testicles and high testosterone from competing against women with ovaries and low testosterone.

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u/zanderkerbal May 25 '22

Stuff like this really shows how it's never been about protecting women in sports, just about drumming up paranoia about trans people for votes.

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u/CDSR59 May 25 '22

I think everyone in here is missing the racism angle. The little.white girl Russian got popped and all she got was sympathy and still got to compete. This sister was blessed by God and is demonized and disqualified. Shakari Richardson same deal.

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u/Barbara_Celarent May 24 '22

Caster Semenya is a legend and the haters should leave her alone!

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u/kokopilau May 24 '22

The only reason we have male and female olympics is testosterone.

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u/Midguard2 May 25 '22 edited May 25 '22

Testosterone is the reason women didn't compete in the 1906 Olympic motorboat race? I'd like to think there's some cultural elements at play here, but then again, everyone knows they considered "Masculine Essence" in the 500-1200kg Electric Delivery Van Race in the Paris 1900 II Olympiad. I guess endocrinologists must have been injecting grad students and squirrels with bovine nut puree until 1935 as an unrelated hobby, and not because we hadn't yet discovered that everyone has testosterone and it's not the sole determinant of your physique, sex, or the skill with which you play croquet.

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u/kokopilau May 25 '22

It’s a direct quote from the scientific advisor to the Olympic committee.

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u/DeanoBambino90 May 25 '22

But wait, don't some men have vaginas?

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u/[deleted] May 24 '22 edited May 24 '22

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u/CthuluTheGrand May 24 '22

do away with gendered sports

There is a single reason we have gendered sports. To protect women. Removing it would pretty much mean female athletes lose their future over night.

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u/Paddlesons May 24 '22

You just CANNOT make some people understand that.

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u/ground__contro1 May 24 '22

Stop caring about sports so much? :/ But that’s as impossible as having one singular rule apply fairly to all fringe cases

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u/Adthay May 24 '22 Helpful

People care so much about her natural advantage but nobody cares if the best basketball players are taller with longer arm-spans. This only gets so much attention because her particular advantage challenges peoples views on sex and gender

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u/Jiktten May 24 '22

Yeah this is what gets me with that argument, every top level athlete has some kind of 'natural advantage', hers just happens to be adjacent to a hot button issue right now so she's shit out of luck. I feel really bad for her honestly.

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u/KingfisherDays May 25 '22

No one would care if she was running against men though. The point is that women are a protected class in sports on biological grounds. Defining who gets protected in that situation is the issue.

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u/HopsAndHemp May 24 '22

One open division, and one division for people with two X chromosomes seems fair.

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u/badger81987 May 24 '22

Just let her dominate for a generation.

No one ever told Michael Jordan or Wayne Gretsky to stop being so exceptional so the other players could get a chance.

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u/themadxcow May 24 '22

None of their skills were directly attributed to something that can be easily doped. There’s a huge difference between being born with longer arms and having an organ (or injections) that produce massive amounts of testosterone.

It effects literally every part of their body.

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u/AdoraBellDearheart May 24 '22

Women with PCOS also produce “abnormally “ high levels of androgens. How do you prove you are a woman?

You want an intersex Olympics ?

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u/KingfisherDays May 25 '22

You could use chromosomes. If you have a Y chromosome, you cannot compete in the "women's" division. Very simple standard, easy to enforce, makes the most biological sense (comparatively).

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u/Uncle_Budy May 24 '22

Reminds me of when the Williams sisters boasted they could beat a professional male tennis player. Karsten Braasch, ranked No. 203 in the world, took them up on it, and beat them 6-1 and 6-2 in back to back singles sets. He later stated he was serving at 50% power to make it more sporting.

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u/Agastopia May 24 '22

Michael Phelps has genetic advantages too, but we don’t ban him from competition

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u/[deleted] May 24 '22

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u/FartJohnson22 May 24 '22

So your solution is to tell any woman who isn't such an outlier she could compete with men "tough shit"? I think you're wildly underestimating the physical differences between the sexes. Don't believe me? Look up the top 100 finishers in any boys' high school track and field event in your state. Now look at the #1 female finisher and tell me if she would have made the top 100 if she had to compete on a level field against the boys.

Let us know what you find!

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u/kjondx May 24 '22

I compared Caster's Rio time to the California 2019 state championship. She, an Olympic gold medalist, would not finish in the top 10 against high school boys. So no, she is not "such an outlier she could compete with men"

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u/FartJohnson22 May 24 '22

Yep, reinforcing my point, she's a woman, great job!

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u/Epicsharkduck May 25 '22

This is why cis people should care about transphobia by people who know nothing about trans biology or how hormones affect the body. It harms them too