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I.O.C. Panel Calls for Treatment in Sex Ambiguity Cases

Athletes who identify themselves as female but have medical disorders that give them masculine characteristics should have their disorders diagnosed and treated, [a panel of medical experts convened by the International Olympic Committee] concluded after two days of meetings in Miami Beach. The experts also said that rules should be put in place for determining an athlete’s eligibility to compete on a case-by-case basis — but they did not indicate what those rules should be.

Translation: it doesn't matter if you like yourself how you are. It doesn't matter if your "disorder" is causing you zero physical or mental harm. If you are "female" but you have "masculine characteristics," you gotta get that shit FIXED.

The panel’s recommendations were criticized by some athletes, who said that athletes with masculinizing disorders are so different from other women that their presence in competition is unfair.

“If you start to do this you are making a joke of the fact that there are two classifications — male and female,” said Doriane Coleman, a law professor at Duke University and a former elite 800-meter runner. “They might as well open it up and have women competing with men.”

Translation: if you do not see the world in binary, you're pretty fucked-up in the head! Also, if you SIMPLY DON'T FIT IN THE BINARY, you'd better get that shit FIXED so that you do. Because everything that's wrong is wrong with YOU, not with the people who think your very existence is unfair. Because women aren't allowed to be as strong as men--EVER. If they have a "disorder" that makes them exceptionally strong, this is BAD and WRONG and must be FIXED. Don't you dare step outside those binary categories!

Masculinizing disorders are rare but significantly more common among elite athletes than in the rest of the population, said Dr. Eric Vilain, a medical geneticist at U.C.L.A. and a participant in the meetings. They can be caused by an overactive adrenal gland, which would result in high testosterone levels from fetal life onward. Or someone might have the male Y chromosome but be relatively insensitive to testosterone. As a result, the person develops as a woman but has high testosterone levels that are only partly effective.

Translation, because NO ONE IS FUCKING GETTING IT: it's biology, not cheating. Now shut the fuck up, IOC. No one whined when Usain Bolt had exceptional speed, because he's a MAN and that's EXPECTED. If Usain Bolt had naturally-high levels of testosterone--if that had benefitted him--no one would have said jack shit. But Caster Semenya? OH GOD NO WE CAN'T HAVE A WOMAN HAVING NATURAL BIOLOGICAL ADVANTAGES.

Members of the panel said that their concern was with sports federations’ responsibility for athletes with medical disorders. Athletes’ health might be endangered if their disorders are not diagnosed and treated, they said.

The IOC are only concerned for the health of the athlete--well, that sounds reasonable, right? And I would believe it if not for this next bit:

“Those who agree to be treated will be permitted to participate,” said Dr. Maria New, a panel participant and an expert on sexual development disorders. “Those who do not agree to be treated on a case-by-case basis will not be permitted.”

Translation: if you refuse medical treatment, which should be your right as a human fucking being, you don't get to play. I'd like to know what their case-by-case basis is going to be. Because somehow, I just don't think they're going to be nice and say, Well, if you're not going to die from it and you're happy, go ahead and have your extra testosterone! I wouldn't trust them as far as I could throw them.

But, for critics like Coleman, this stance avoids the issue of fairness. It is not enough to simply lower testosterone levels after diagnosing an athlete’s disorder, she said. By that point, the athlete has already reaped the benefits of a lifetime of heightened testosterone.

But panel members said it was impossible to wipe away every advantage an athlete might have.

Translation: IF YOU ARE FEMALE AND YOU ARE NATURALLY STRONG, YOU ARE CHEATING. CHEATING CHEATING CHEATING!!! Nevermind that females with high testosterone who have never trained a day in their life for the OLYMPIC FUCKING GAMES are unlikely to be any sort of competetive threat. Nevermind that these people have worked for close to their whole lives in order to be capable of these feats. THEY'RE CHEATING. BIOLOGICALLY.

Forget about level playing fields, said Dr. Myron Genel of Yale. “For a lot of us here, there is no such thing,” he said. “We were told at the meeting about a Finnish family that was extraordinarily successful in cross-country skiing. They were found to have a genetic disorder that provided them higher levels of hemoglobin, and therefore they had superior oxygen-carrying capability. Specific genetic defects provide advantages.”

Translation: genes can give you extra-super-awesome physical advantages. Sometimes you get the gene, sometimes you don't. And yet people only make a fuss when it's a "woman who looks like a man," because that's the only time it matters.

You know, if you searched every Olympic athelete for genetic disorders that afforded them advantages, and you removed them from competition, I bet you wouldn't have much of an Olympic games left. The games showcase the very height of human skill and strength. These atheletes are not average in the first place.

It is my firm opinion that as long as you're not shooting up to get to where you want to be, do whatever you fucking want with any biological gifts you might have been lucky enough to get.

The guidelines so far are merely recommendations, the participants emphasized.

Oh, sure. "We recommend that you get back in your goddamn pink box or we won't let you compete."

For example, it advised that medical “centers of excellence” be created to diagnose sex-development disorders.

How that would work was not spelled out publicly, although New said a more specific plan had been discussed. Sports authorities would send photographs of athletes to experts like her. If the expert thinks the athlete might have a sexual-development disorder, the expert would order further testing and suggest treatment.

Keep in mind they're really only talking about female athletes, here. They keep saying athletes, but I have a hard time imagining they'll start sending in photos of male athletes who "look like women." Remember, folks: if you're female and you look like a man in the opinion of someone NOT YOU, you're in trooooouble.

Also left unresolved was how to enforce the policy about treating athletes whose sex seems ambiguous.

Consider, Vilain said, an athlete with a disorder that gives her a high testosterone level. Must she be treated to bring her testosterone level down to the average range for women? Or can it be in the high range? And how often must she be tested to be sure she is complying with her treatment?

Well, it's not like you can just treat 'em like HUMAN BEINGS. Because they're weird. And they're cheating.

Simpson, of Florida International University, said he recognized that some female athletes would find the guidelines unfair. But, he said, “we have to balance fairness to female athletes to fairness to other competitors.”

Oh, well then, let's make everyone all AVERAGE so that it will be COMPLETELY FAIR. I mean, I should be going to the Olympics to skate! It's not fair that I don't have biological advantages that made me super-awesome at my sport, so we should make everyone else have the same strength. Then it would be FAIR.

Life isn't fair, people. You might be good at something, or you might be shit at it. You might be somewhere in the middle. You might have awesome genes or shitty genes or a mix of the two or you might be perfectly average. You might go to the Olympics, or you might watch the Olympics.

I cannot express how angry and sick I feel that this mentality of "women must be like THIS" exists. We can celebrate those skiers who happen to be extra-good at carrying oxygen--but we can't celebrate Semenya, because she's not just cheating (biologically!), she's NOT EVEN A TRUE WOMAN. And we can't have that, now can we?

Date: 2010-02-03 01:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kaberett.livejournal.com
Oh FFS SO MUCH SYMPATHY. Good luck with that one. He sounds appalling.

Also, no worries on the burnt-out.

Date: 2010-02-03 01:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kassie-opia.livejournal.com
Ah, the weird thing with my brother, is that he has instances of being really sweet and generally getting it (the other week he was all "you're not supposed to call it a sex change, it's sexual reassignment surgery" to some of his friends and then looked over at me hopefully for approval, it was the cutest thing ever) and he was pretty cool when I (in hindsight ill-advisedly) came out to him as "basically confused", but then I guess his fourteen-year-old-boy nature shines through and he's back to calling random people faggots on Runescape...

but thank you ♥



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