Yesterday I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the first-ever University of Minnesota Gopher Football game at the new TCF Stadium. The stadium is spectacular and the Gopher’s managed a win over Air Force–a fitting way to christen the stadium. With much discussion over Caster Semenya’s sex verification, this signage posted at the entrance of the TCF Stadium caught my eye. The lines were for security searches and I get the reason for same sex security frisking and privacy issues. This signage highlights in a very simple and real way the arbitrarily chosen binary sex/gender classifications that operate in our society and govern our behavior. Given the news that Caster Semenya is intersexed (An intersexed person has both male and female reproductive organs) which line would be “appropriate” for her?
Note: Thanks to blog reader S.C. for educating me, and now others, that the term “hermaphrodite”, a term previously used for intersexed persons, is considered outdated and derogatory.