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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 12:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ironside.livejournal.com
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.

True facts. I have a female cousin diagnosed with abnormally high testosterone levels -- she hates athletic activity and cuts gym just as much as I used to, and like me, she's useless at any sport. It's those athletes' hard work and dedication that gives them an advantage! Not bs like this :|

Date: 2010-02-03 12:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] riotremyy.livejournal.com

Date: 2010-02-03 12:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kaberett.livejournal.com
Enormous rage. :(

Date: 2010-02-03 12:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kassie-opia.livejournal.com
I LOVE YOU. This says what I wanted to say about the whole failtastrophe in a much more lucid and concise manner.

(I feel so bad for Caster Semenya. To have this kind of life-disturbing news picked over in the media is horrible. And Like you say, if she'd had some genetic mutation which helped her in some other way - I dunno, increased lung capacity or something, NOBODY WOULD CARE. It's just such a fucking traincrash of sexism and... I hesitate to say transphobia because she's female-assigned and obviously identifies as a woman, but I guess it does fall under that particular bigot umbrella. OKAY I AM DONE.)

Date: 2010-02-03 12:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] siegeofangels.livejournal.com
There are so many things wrong with this I do not even know where to start.

Note to IOC: dystopian sci-fi stories are not instruction manuals.

Date: 2010-02-03 12:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mijan.livejournal.com
I demand that all genetically tall people be removed from the game of basketball so that I'll have a fair chance at pro hoops!


Yeah, you know where I stand on this.

Date: 2010-02-03 01:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lokogato.livejournal.com
Linking this, because it is so much more coherent in its rage than I could be right now.

THIS WHOLE BULLSHIT IS SO UGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHFNSD;LAKJ;SLKDJF it's like a giant Jupiter-sized bull showed up and just shit in the face of everyone who has been involved in this and they were smothered in it and thus they just can't produce anything that is not PURE AND UTTER BULLSHIT


right I forgot that sports are for men, that's why it says 'man' in 'sportsmanship' and not 'sportladyship'. Obviously the inferior ladybrain simply cannot handle SPORTS. Unless that ladybrain is cheating with


which any biologist with a tenth of a brain would be able to tell these GODDAMN FUCKING IDIOTS exists in everyone.


You know what's even crazier?!


Obviously this means that chefs and fashion designers, who are overwhelmingly male in realms traditionally considered feminine, SHOULD ALL BE TESTED FOR EXCESS LADY HORMONES and then FORCIBLY TREATED IN ORDER TO CONTINUE WHAT THEY ARE DOING because otherwise THEY ARE CHEATING JUST LIKE THESE SILLY LADY ATHLETES ARE CHEATING


which obviously, they control with their cheating, cheating, conniving ladybrains. Consciously. All the time.


On a scale of 1 to wtf...

Date: 2010-02-03 01:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] up-from-ashes.livejournal.com
That is blastedly intrusive and unfair.

...and now I sortof want to send fanmail to Caster Semanya, just to be supportive... only, Hi. *I* know that it's none of my business.

Date: 2010-02-03 02:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 148km.livejournal.com
I didn't even know this was going on until now, so thank you. BECAUSE THIS IS FUCKING AWFUL AND WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD THINK THIS IS FAIR. (= why I'm bad at persuasive writing/speech?) Linking to this, because I clearly could not have said this better myself.

These "people" can't have it both ways...

Date: 2010-02-03 02:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] havocmangawip.livejournal.com
and all this "fairness" is bullshit.

It's just ridiculous. If they want to "get that way" perhaps they should check to see if any of the female gymnasts have gone through puberty yet. LIKELY NOT for many of them. Many of them are MALNOURISHED!!

I'm on a TEAR about Superbowl commercials and CBS.

Well and I also insinuated that if the commercial was saying, "WHAT if Michael Vick was aborted?" (Instead of a nicer football guy with his Mama... like they would have killed Ghandi or Mother Theresa or something and then I DID think Hitler but that raises FAR TOO MANY internet rules... )

I digress... but if Michael Vick was never born so many dogs would be MUCH happier.

*And Elysia wasn't meant for you. (Please do not shut up! Get loud!)

Date: 2010-02-03 03:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sekaigo.livejournal.com
... RAGE.

Thank you for being so articulate about this, because I don't think I could be. I. Just. PEOPLE. FOR FUCK'S SAKE. T_T

Date: 2010-02-03 04:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] escherzo.livejournal.com


Date: 2010-02-03 05:48 am (UTC)
kuiskata: (JJ: WTF?)
From: [personal profile] kuiskata
I feel ill. Just, no. Who the hell are they to tell anyone that they need to be "treated" for something that is perfectly natural (hi, there's this thing some of us like to call "genetics." Do you suppose they've heard of it?) and isn't hurting them just because it falls outside of their perception of what is "normal"?! *rage*

Date: 2010-02-03 12:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] blackwaltz4.livejournal.com
OMGF WTF. people need get it that people are people we do things that are not the norm. Hell look at Drag Queens they are happy and fine in High Heals and a full dress why the fuck cant a woman have the look of a man if she feels like she should. some day the world will wake up and see no one is the same and there is no normality. the universe is what we make it and by god we are all different and that is what makes us better than the mass collective of the "normal" people.
:hugs millions of hugs: this world will wake up some day and i hope you are here to see it.

Date: 2010-02-03 08:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] noveltynovelist.livejournal.com
I found this over at wtf_sexism and I just wanted to like, sing your praises, or something. YOUR RAEG, GOOD SIR, IS VERY APPRECIATED. I was actually really disappointed in some of the discussion over yonder because some people... didn't seem to get the point. That this is the Olympics and these women train EVERY GODDAMN DAY to get where they are, and genetic advantage/defect/what have you or not, it did not make them an unfairly stronger or "better" woman than their peers.

I think this is both a sexist and transphobic issue as in Caster's case - she was faab and identifies as a woman - but (and I'm not sure if there was an official report or anything like that) I was under the impression that she may have had a condition like androgen insensitivity syndrome. My friend does - she in every way is a woman, but on the chromosomal level, she's XY and has what you would call "ambiguous genitalia" which is why she was assigned female at birth.

In general, people - and not just athletes - subjected to this complete bollocks with having to be TESTED to prove their gender or whatever, it's just completely humiliating and a violation to privacy and basic human rights. Like Paul Scott spouting off about how he will "make it a priority to ensure transgender individuals will not be allowed to change the sex on their driver’s license in any circumstance." Or people worried about folks that look TOO masculine using the girls toilets being perverted men pretending to be trans and vice versa.

Date: 2010-02-03 10:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] flwrpwr-vampyre.livejournal.com
I'd heard about the crap with Caster Semenya but this takes that to a new level of RAGE.

You have to wonder where the gender policing will end. Are they going to test babies at birth next?



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