Women’s Olympic Event Could Get a Little Teste

SellwynThumbby Selwyn Duke8/8/16
Athlete with No Womb or Ovaries but Internal Testes Will Compete with Women in Rio  •  With reports of dead bodies and excrement floating in the water, the threat of Zika and the Russian doping scandal, the Rio Olympics appears the Frankenstein of athletic events. And now Rio seems dopey in another way: owing to political correctness, a runner with, reportedly, no womb or ovaries but internal testes will be allowed to compete with women.

This person is South African middle-distance competitor Caster Semenya. I wrote of Semenya in 2009, back when Semenya (I’m not satisfied that Semenya is female, so henceforth I’ll refer to the runner not with pronouns but as “CS”) was an 18-year-old phenom who’d just set a record while winning a world title,  dusting female opponents in the process. These outstanding results, along with CS’s masculine physique, caused suspicion and led to tests to determine the athlete’s sexual status.

Now, I’d predicted that CS would be found to have internal testes. It wasn’t just the runner’s results and physique, which looked much like that of an 18-year-old boy. CS’s voice is so deep that a sportswriter who conversed with the runner on the phone said “I thought I was speaking to a man”; in addition, CS has masculine facial structure and very boyish mannerisms (video here; forward to 1:30). It was obvious from the get-go this was no normal individual.

When the predictable sex-test results came in showing CS was a hermaphrodite, the athlete was suspended, and I’d supposed that CS’s running days were over. Thus was I shocked to learn, just recently, that the South African would be competing in the Rio Olympics. They say CS is a shoe-in for a gold medal.

It turns out that CS’s suspension was temporary; the runner was again allowed to compete under the condition CS take female hormones to counterbalance CS’s testosterone levels, which were more than three times that of a normal woman.

This female hormone therapy, not surprisingly, had caused CS’s results to decline markedly, and the runner stopped making headlines. But now CS is back and, apparently as testosterone fueled as ever, has returned to CS’s previous form.

The issue is that the International Association of Athletics Federation’s (IAAF’s) rules limiting “the amount of naturally occurring functional testosterone for female athletes were suspended last year,” wrote Eurosport. The reason? Get this: the site reports that “the Court of Arbitration in Sport [ruled] that the IAAF had insufficient evidence to back up the belief that excessively high levels of natural testosterone produced exceptional performances by women….”

So just ignore the man behind the curtain (or is it really a man?). It’s pure coincidence that when boys the world over reach puberty and their testosterone kicks in, they rapidly develop muscle mass and become dramatically more powerful; it also must be coincidence that in the rare cases of boys with conditions that prevent their entering puberty, this doesn’t happen. And perhaps now we can rescind rules prohibiting the use of steroids — artificial male hormones — because, hey, is there really any “proof” they enhance athletic performance? This all reminds me of noted feminist Camille Paglia’s incredulity at how dunderhead 1970s feminists would corner her on college campuses and insist that hormones didn’t exist and, even if they did, there’s no way they could influence behavior. And the Left calls conservatives unscientific?

Yet the political-correctness-induced irrationality surrounding this case doesn’t end there. The AP’s Gerald Imray writes, in a statement as foolish as it is fashionable, “Nobody can dictate to Semenya what gender she is.” Yet the issue here isn’t “gender.” Note that the psychobabblers who co-opted the term (it once was used almost exclusively in reference to words) and birthed the “gender” agenda tell us that “gender” and “sex” are not synonymous. The latter is a biological classification — and thus objective — while “gender” is subjective; it’s a person’s perception of what he is. The male/female division in sports, however, is based on sex. And when making objective judgments affecting everyone, one individual’s subjective (mis)judgments are irrelevant.

Imray also writes, “Opponents of the testosterone rule pointed to the natural advantages of other athletes that aren’t regulated, such as Usain Bolt’s fast-twitch muscle fibers, Michael Phelps’ big wingspan and former cyclist Miguel Indurain’s huge lung capacity.” But IAAF consultant Joanna Harper, expressing some rare common sense, “explained that sports competitions don’t have categories for athletes with slow twitch, short arms or small lungs,” Imray informed. Yet we do have separate categories for men and women.

So what we’re witnessing here is sophistry. If you believe division based on muscle fibers, arm length or lung capacity is warranted, lobby for it; if you think the male/female division is as silly as the old Negro Leagues, lobby to have it eliminated. But if we accept its legitimacy, then the central rule distinguishing the category must be observed.

Related to this, one argument of those opposing the “testosterone rule” is that as with height, strength or lung capacity, CS’s elevated testosterone level is a “naturally occurring advantage.” True. But here’s another “naturally occurring advantage”: being male. So why not let men compete in women’s sports? Oh, because then they wouldn’t be “women’s sports”? Exactly.

And this brings us to the point. My belief is that everyone is either male or female and that any confusion is the result of abnormalities; of course, today’s politically correct view is that sex is a “continuum” and that people such as CS are “intersex.” But if a continuum and nothing else exists, there can’t be the designation “female” — and then it makes no sense to have “female” sports. But if the designation is something real, then not only is the women’s sports classification lent legitimacy but also the rule distinguishing it: that it’s limited to women.

So what of the curious case of Caster? With a vagina but no womb or ovaries and undescended testicles (they normally descend into a boy’s scrotal sac during intrauterine development), CS could be an abnormally developed male. After all, CS certainly is in the male category in at least one respect: the runner is attracted to women and has a “wife.” And while knowing whether CS has an XY chromosome configuration would be instructive, political correctness prevents thorough examination of such matters; thus, a genetic test either hasn’t been conducted or its results haven’t been revealed. Then there’s the fashionable view that, as NY’s Daily News put it, “Caster Semenya…is a woman …and a man”; or, as the activists may say, is “intersex.” But this admission alone should close the case: it’s “women’s sports,” not “women’s and people in-between’s sports.” Definitions define — and limit. And if having internal testes doesn’t disqualify you from women’s athletics, what does?

This case speaks volumes about our time, in that it reflects the attack on the concept of normalcy. Because one to two percent of people are hermaphroditic or suffer with some other sexual abnormality, so-called experts contend that “defining sex is difficult,” as if 98 percent consistency isn’t enough to indicate normality. Speaking of which, what of that comparison between height or lung-capacity advantages and CS’s condition? Well, here’s a clue: height, lung-capacity and other qualities mentioned are normal variation. Having internal testes isn’t normal, not any more than is spina bifida or Down syndrome.

Yet as abnormal as conditions such as CS’s are, they now won’t be so rare in Rio, where, says IAAF consultant Harper, there may be “an all-intersex podium in the 800 [meter].” “Women’s” sports?

And that’s the irony: in a sense, liberalism gave us women’s sports. Now liberalism is taking them away.

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28 Responses to Women’s Olympic Event Could Get a Little Teste

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    I hadn’t realized until recently that liberals distinguished “gender” and “sex” that way. Perhaps that could be the means of restoring rationality to the matter, by making it clear that all these segregations (such as bathrooms and sports) are based on sex rather than gender.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I’m still trying to come to terms with the internal teste. Is that like passing a gallstone?

      But am I outraged that women’s sports are being cheapened by this? Hell no. Selwyn makes the clever (and logical) case that it’s hard to discriminate against the internal-teste faction when your own distinction (women) is arbitrary, at least according the Left’s calculus:

      My belief is that everyone is either male or female and that any confusion is the result of abnormalities; of course, today’s politically correct view is that sex is a “continuum” and that people such as CS are “intersex.” But if a continuum and nothing else exists, there can’t be the designation “female” — and then it makes no sense to have “female” sports. But if the designation is something real, then not only is the women’s sports classification lent legitimacy but also the rule distinguishing it: that it’s limited to women.

      In effect, by the time the PC Sports Nazis figure this all out, “women’s” sports could become a joke, delegitimize by their own dogma, a “hoisted with his own petard” moment. And what conservative can do anything but laugh?

    • Rosalys says:

      In a rational society, that would work, and used to in the “good old days” when in fact such things were based on sex and not gender. But we live in Crazyland, where the distinction between “sex” and “gender” will morph into some sort of continuum when the “need” arises – if it hasn’t already. I can’t blame you for trying, Tim. It provided a lovely, if fleeting, glimmer of hope!

  2. Glenn Fairman says:

    This is going to raise holy hell

  3. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    About 500 years back, Erasmus of Rotterdam wrote a book, the title of which, encapsulates our times.

    “In Praise of Folly”

    Feminine Folly praises self-deception, madness and herself, among other things.

  4. Steve Lancaster says:

    I am not sure there ever was a time when Olympics were not in some way compromised with something that did not live up to the utopian ideal. Politics and economics play such an integral role that separating them seems impossible. It was the same in Greece over 2000 years ago and nothing has changed except the methods.

    Excellence in athletic performance is a joy to watch and if you are one of the gifted few to do, but the claim that being amateur is somehow more pure and ennobling is poppycock. Something the athletes recognize almost from the first day they decide to compete. Few, if any, are willing to compete as an amateur if the real stars of the sport are professional. They desire to test themselves against the best, not the best who are not paid.

    As for the above mentioned “CS” the problem is how do you separate the genuine anomalies from the crowd who want to win gold regardless of how gained? Is the presence of male or female genitals the only qualifier? How much testosterone, or estrogen should be present in the system to include or exclude participation? Then there is the case of what will happen when mankind achieves the singularity, we already have the challenge of those who have lost legs who can run as fast or faster. The challenges it seems are not going away.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I’m all for keeping men’s and women’s sport separate. But it’s a tough call as to what to do with those ambiguous or borderline cases, even without the influence of Cultural Marxism and its dogma of “inclusiveness” and victimhood.

      Should the man-like Martina Navratilova been banned from women’s tennis? Maybe she should have competed with the men, for one of her quotes listed on her Wiki entry is: “Labels are for filing. Labels are for clothing. Labels are not for people.” One supposes she wouldn’t have rejected the labeling of herself as a “woman.”

      I agree with Steve (if this is his assessment) that the Olympics now represent a utopian dream, not an athletic one. Therefore, as a free-market guy, I personally disengage from the nonsense of the Olympics (I won’t watch a moment of it) and spend my time on the honesty of professional sports where actual talent is weeded out and rewarded by monetary considerations…a nasty thought to the Utopian ideal.

      The Olympics is now little more than Lefty propaganda. For all those who despise “globalism” (whatever the hell that means), the official party of globalism is now the Olympics.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        The Olympics is now little more than Lefty propaganda

        The Olympics are a huge contradiction. Amaturism is the watchword, but the Olympic organization has become a huge bureaucracy which vacuums up money for those functionaries who run the place.

        I think the International Olympic Committee and the various National Committees have become as corrupt as FIFA.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        I don’t watch either, though I occasionally read articles (it was nice that the first gold medal, last Saturday, was one by a Virginia girl in a shooting category — and she got mocked by liberals who otherwise celebrate the Olympic spirit). I do keep track of how the US does in the competition for medals.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          To each his own. I’m not for removing every little passive-entertainment pleasure from our lives. But I’m learning some discretion in my own. I’d rather watch a mediocre old movie than a shiny-new Olympics. The former fails honestly when they fail. The latter is a fraud to begin with.

          The only thing propping up this big libtard celebration are some of the outstanding athletes. But all the doping and nationalism of these international events turns me off. It’s funny how nationalism is a bad thing except when put to the purposes of something libtard and global.

          Seriously…get the warm-fuzzies watching a bumblebee get nectar from a flower, the full moon (half moons will do), the Milky Way (galaxy or candy bar), or a new born baby (but ixnay on the eldery-lay). But train yourself away from this emotional libtard programming or one day you could do something funny such as nominate a branding tycoon as your presidential nominee.

      • Steve Lancaster says:

        I don’t have a problem with the Olympics as an event and were it not so completely intermixed with government corruption it might be interesting to watch, but alas, it is corrupt. From the millions of dollars cities spend to even bid, to the payoffs to contractors and government officials the system stinks. Then to make the claim that it is intended for amateurs is hypocrisy that staggers the mind.

        This is one of the reasons that horse racing has a special place with me. True, races can and are fixed, by humans but the horses are not in on the fix, they only do what they want to do, what they need to do, what they were born to do. If the Olympics were half as pure as the worst horse race perhaps it would be something to watch.

        For those of you who appreciate a real world class athlete follow the link:

        • Timothy Lane says:

          An excellent choice; as a Kentuckian, I’m well aware of the Triple Crown of thoroughbred racing, though I don’t follow horse racing much. A biography I read of Christy Mathewson noted that one of his rivals as the most popular sports hero was Dan Patch (who earned a mention in “You Got Trouble” in The Music Man).

        • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

          a real world class athlete

          That was good to see again.

          1973 was a great year in horse racing. I watched Secretariat as he ran and won both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness.

          As the Belmont came along, there was the understandable expectation that he would take the Triple Crown. But no one predicted the manner in which he did.

          Sitting in front of the TV that afternoon I watched, perhaps the greatest thoroughbred in history, as he ran along the inside rail with only one other horse able to keep pace. Then something happened and Secretariat began to pull ahead. With every gallop it seemed as if he gained a half-length on his competition. By the time he rounded the third curve, it was clear something very special was happening.

          I jumped up shouting wishing him on and on and on. By the time it was finished, Secretariat had achieved the single greatest performance I had ever seen in sport.

          That race has stayed with me for over forty years. And I still believe it was the greatest thing I have seen in sport.

          I was somewhat saddened when they had to put down the horse due to laminitis. When they did an autopsy on Secretariat, they found that his heart was more than twice the size of a normal horse’s heart and it was in perfect condition.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            A friend of mine once noted that the second best performance in the history of the Kentucky Derby went to . . . the horse that finished second to Secretariat.

            • Steve Lancaster says:

              That was Sham the horse that paced Secretariat in the Belmont, you could say the horse that could not get a break.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Well, given the name, I have a certain fondness for Tim Tam, who won the first 2 legs of the triple crown and might have gotten the Belmont if he hadn’t broken his leg — and still finished second.

          • Rosalys says:

            Beautiful race. Beautiful horse. Just beautiful!

          • Steve Lancaster says:

            I watched the race from the US embassy in Santiago Chile, we had a direct satellite feed. There were about 100 people elbowed into the conference room and all of us were on our feet cheering the last 1/16.

            Of almost equal excitement was the Affirmed/Alydar duel in 78

            • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

              I watched the race from the US embassy in Santiago Chile

              Later that year, did you say goodbye to El Presidente on his way out?

              • Steve Lancaster says:

                11 September 1973, I was on a roof down the street from La Monda in a Chilean army uniform with orders to engage any target of opportunity.

                Allende, I believe was executed after I returned to embassy, by forces of the coup.

                I would have taken the shot if he came in view.

              • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

                I believe I knew one of your compadres who, during this period, resided in Chile as a guest of the U.S. government. He ended up in Asia for several decades. I don’t if he is still there.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          I’m simply off the Olympics just as I’m off the Oscars. That doesn’t mean I don’t like to watch sports or watch movies. But these two things are becoming the focus of a ghastly socialist mindset. I’m just opting out. Unless a Martian runner sets a new time for the 100 meter (2 seconds), this is likely the last you’ll hear about the Olympics from me. Let everyone else bask in the orgasmic glow of the multi-colored rings while farting “We are the world” out of their Doritos-stuffed colons.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a president who we could be half as proud of as that horse?

          There once was a horse never seen
          Meadow Stable’s big red machine
          The records be damned
          And poor horses like Sham
          Even Watergate watchers agreed

  5. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    The Tragic Transgender Contagion by David French.

    The truth, however, is stubborn. Human experience simply doesn’t conform to ideological models, and the far worse damage is done when we try to impose radical ideology onto the complexities of individual, troubled lives. In reality, people are far more vulnerable to suggestion and fashion than the Left lets on. Rather than affirming an immutable identity, our culture is ratifying and rendering permanent what often amounts to little more than a troubled youthful phase — one that is subject to all the whims of fashion that mark any other cultural trend.

    Let’s be clear: The vast majority of kids who experience a period of discomfort with their biological sexual identity eventually desist. Indeed, the number may well be over 90 percent. In other words, kids who are growing and learning about life and themselves sometimes endure a period of confusion. This should shock exactly no one. What is shocking, however, is the insistence that this period of confusion should be treated as a period of confirmation — and that medical intervention is the logical and tolerant next course.

    Indeed, transgender diagnoses have become so fashionable that doctors are sometimes stampeding to prescribe life-altering drugs even to kids — and then later, when the kids grow up, recommending mutilating surgery. In other words, doctors aren’t necessarily waiting for evidence of “consistence, insistence, and persistence.”

    By the way, I’m a Conservative transitioning to be a Trumpkin. I’m having half my brain removed next Thursday. But I don’t know what’s harder to do, read about this crap from a third party such as French or watch the idiots who fell for this give rambling explanations in a video.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Part of the problem is that the ideologues are elites who don’t care about ordinary people — if, indeed, they don’t prefer for as many ordinary people as possible to be as troubled as possible, so they can step in as self-proclaimed saviors.

      If transitioning to a Trumpkin requires removing half the brain, would transitioning to a Slick Hilly supporter require removing the whole thing?

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Timothy, I hesitate to post this link because I’m not sure of the circumstances surrounding this video. It could be fabricated, cherry-picked, or whatever. In your words, “to be fair.” And I’m not sure that it is. But it might be.

        Trump Focus Group

        The relevance of that in regards to this transgender nonsense is that these tragedies we hear about are ultimately the product of people’s gullibility. Yes, I know that the indoctrination centers are running full steam (government schools, the media, the entertainment industry). But there is a wide circle of life outside of even these where it should be obvious to even the half-curious that there is something rotten in transgender Denmark.

        That some children are subjected to this abuse is not the fault of the children, of course. Any parent buying into this should be horsewhipped…and I mean that literally. I don’t know how else to knock some sense into them. But I have few tears of sympathy for the idiots who have reached for another fad and been burned. What the hell did you think, that lopping your balls or breasts off would be a healthy thing?

        These are people taking the Religion of Leftism to its natural absurd conclusion.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Well, remember that in “The Emperor’s New Clothes” (which many years back won a Prometheus Award for libertarian science fiction), only a single child initially grasped the truth. In that case, though, everyone else was ready to see it once the child spoke out.

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