The ‘New’ Look of Caster Semenya

Much has been written about the controversy regarding the sex verification testing of Caster Semenya following the IAAF Championships in August 2009 (to read more go here, here, here, here, & here).

semenya new lookGiven all Semenya has endured, I can’t say I was surprised (albeit saddened) to see an article today titled, “Embattled track star Caster Semenya gets new coach, new look” which also featured the cover of You magazine (pictured here).

It also got me thinking…When a man outperforms his competition by a large margin—such as sprinter Usain Bolt for example—no one asks “Is he really a man?” No one says, “He is so fast, he might be a woman. He should be tested.” But when a woman wins by a lot—such as sprinter Caster Semenya—her sex is immediately questioned, “Is she really a woman?” This appears to be a clear example of marginalizing female athletic performance, homophobia, and sexism. Unfortunately Semenya’s ‘new’ look is not a new phenomenon for female athletes who have fallen under scrutiny as a result of outstanding sport performances.

when you win by a lot

2 Replies to “The ‘New’ Look of Caster Semenya”

  1. I see sometimes in girls sports competions that the girls or their moms kinda doll them up so they can look “girly” at the same time be competive and not be questioned as such.

    I would love to hear your thoughts on this as a mom of a promising track athlete.I have had mom’s ask me how do I keep her from being to boy like?
    oh my…I am exhusted with stupid questions like that one. Do we all have to wear pink to be girls? I guess it’s okay so long girls don’t run “like girls” on the track right?? Hum…

    Like

  2. I see sometimes in girls sports competions that the girls or their moms kinda doll them up so they can look “girly” at the same time be competive and not be questioned as such.

    I would love to hear your thoughts on this as a mom of a promising track athlete.I have had mom’s ask me how do I keep her from being to boy like?
    oh my…I am exhusted with stupid questions like that one. Do we all have to wear pink to be girls? I guess it’s okay so long girls don’t run “like girls” on the track right?? Hum…

    Like

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