Sunday, September 13, 2009

Does the government fancy Caster Semenya because she is black?

Reportedly Caster Semenya's test says she is a .... well, "the test shows the 18-year-old has no ovaries, but rather internal male testes." (Daily Telegraph)

That is a tough one for athletics to deal with.

Firstly, I don’t care much about athletics, but I do feel little sorry for Caster Semenya. The way she was born is not of her making and I wish her all the best. Clearly she feels she is a woman and I hope that people will treat her accordingly to her wishes. That said, fairness in athletic competitions is very important and should be upheld. Some difficult decisions have to be made by the IAAF, because this surely won’t be the last time something like this will happen.

The handeling of the South African government on this issue was good at times and shockingly bad at other times. I’m very happy the government is supporting Caster Semenya, but that whole racism tirade was really shortsighted and uncalled for. This certainly wasn’t an issue of race but an issue of gender and it pains me that the government has to jump on every opportunity to play the race card. It seems like if they don’t know how to deal with a situation, they try and play the race card.

One also has to wonder, if the athlete was blond and blue eyed Sannie van Der Merwe from Boksburg, would the government have responded in the same manner? (See how I played the race card?) Still, this is a very relevant question.

The fact is, they have set a precedent on how to deal with these issues and we hope they will extent the same courtesy to all their citizens irrespective of race or religion.

My best wishes to Caster.


Anonymous said...

Sad day indeed when people cannot distinguish between race and gender anymore.

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