Saturday, January 23, 2010

more on intersex and the olympics

My last post on the Olympics was in September, with the winter Olympics coming up, I realized I left two important facts, and their frightening potential outcome.

Officially, the Olympics have not done any gender testing since the 1996 games in Atlanta. They now only test on 'questionable' women, like Caster Semenya. One article I read compared this to the old blood quantum standards in anti-miscegenation laws to preserve the separation of the dominant class. They were only applied to blacks who looked too white, not whites who looked to black, just like these standards of women being too masculine, rather then men being too feminine. This is blatantly discriminatory, why should women undergo humiliating tests because some people view their behavior or appearance as being too gender nonconformist? The other fact is that they allow transgender athletes to compete providing they have had genital surgery and have been on hormones for two years. Personally I agree that transgendered people have every right to compete if they qualify, however, they should only undergo surgery if that's what they want (some opt not to).

This creates a disturbing, but logical platform for the International Olympic Committe to mandate that intersexuals simply need to be surgically and hormonally modified to compete. This would be morally repugnant, a continuation of the violation of intersexuals bodily and human rights. There are many alternatives such as simply stopping all sex investigations, or creating a new category for intersexuals to compete in. The basis of gender testing is out of a sense of fairness, so why not divide athletes by ability, like weight classes in boxing and wrestling rather then by sex? In any case the Olympics showcase the physical potential of the natural human body (if this wasn't the case why not use steroids to do better?). To stop intersexuals from competing as they are made hides their physical capabilities from the world.

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