Recommendation: Is South African runner a he or a she?

Taylor & a Reader recommend…

“Is South African runner a he or a she?”
An article in the Toronto Star, released on August 21, 2009

I actually don’t think anyone will love this. Rather, like me, I think many people will be baffled, maybe angry or disappointed. I wish I didn’t have to put this in the “you will like” box, but I didn’t see another contact – sorry if I missed something. However, I think it’s really important to share this. The lengths the world is going to determine someone as a gender one way or another is now so serious that it’s ruining careers. It reminds me of Kate Lynn Blatt, who was told by her employer that she needed to produce a picture of her genitals and a letter from her doctor to prove she was a “woman” or she would lose her job. Since Genderfork has really helped me explore the construct of gender and sexuality, especially my own, I could think of no better place to share these recent gender-dichotomy issues.


I thought this was an interesting story of gender questioning/ambiguity in the world of sports, which unfortunately happens too often. This South African runner who lives as female and apparently has female physical parts is being scrutinized because she might be “male” on some biological level. Why does being really good at physical activity automatically make people question your femininity? And where do intersexed people fit in the world of sports? Are they automatically excluded?

The best part is this quote from the article:

“Even genetic testing cannot confirm male or female. In fact, it is so complex that to do proper gender testing, you have to take a multi-disciplinary approach, and make use of internal medicine specialists, gynecologists, psychologists, geneticists and endocrinologists. I am afraid that dropping your pants is not proof at all.”

Makes me wonder why we even bother if it’s that complicated!

-A Reader

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Posted by on August 31st, 2009 at 08:00 am

Category: articles, recommendations 2 comments »

2 Responses to “Recommendation: Is South African runner a he or a she?”

  1. Jys

    I find this whole thing disturbing, but one of the articles – I think it was NYT – yielded this quote (paraphrased) from a scientist: “Humans like things in neat categories, but nature just doesn’t work that way.”



  2. ???????

    ????? ???? ? ??? ??????,?? ?????????? ???????????.???????????? ?????? ????????!


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