I am a huge sports fan. I was glued to the TV this summer watching the Olympics. The article Gender Identity and Sport by Rachel Corbett discusses the challenges facing athletes that fail traditional gender tests. The article specifically talks about the female runner Caster Semenya who has been accused of not being women enough to compete against women.
I feel for sorry for athletes like Caster. They work so hard at their sport and should be role models for young people like myself. It’s hard to imagine how humiliating it must be to have the public debate your gender. It seems like she can’t catch a break. After three years of people debating if she is women enough to compete as one she was accused at the London Olympics of losing on purpose to avoid more gender scrutiny. (See http://sports.nationalpost.com/2012/08/14/caster-semenya-says-allegations-she-lost-olympic-800-metres-on-purpose-are-untrue/)
I realize that it’s important to make sure that the games are fair but I feel like the way controversies have been handled have been very hurtful to the athletes. The athletes have done nothing wrong but are being unfairly treated. A female athlete from India a few years ago went through a similar experience as Caster and she attempted suicide after the ordeal. (See http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/09/14/Semenya.India.Athlete/index.html)
I was happy to read in the LawNow article about the progress being made to create clear and fair gender guidelines in sport. I hope future athletes do not have to face the unfair criticism and attacks that Caster has.