You do not need to be a runner to care about the social, ethical and moral coincidences of the saga unfurling before our eyes regarding the South African gold-medallist Caster Semenya, 18, who reportedly has both male and female organs.
If you are not up on this story, Semenya absolutely crushed the rest of the field in the 800 meters in recent events by such shockingly wide margins that usually she would be on the cover of all the magazines because of her stellar efforts. Unfortunately, Caster looks like this:
And just about everything else about her seems to reek of masculine characteristics (including her voice.) This has drawn into play the difference between sex and gender, how athletes who may have had a sex change should be viewed in the world of sports and a plethora of other issues that have just a modicum amount of precedence to allow most of us to even begin to form an opinion. Of course that doesn't stop most people!
That said, I look at this from a variety of standpoints:
1. It is unfortunate that running must have such a "scandal" in order to get actual airtime on mainstream sports sites like this article in ESPN but at least it is on ESPN!
2. This is FAR bigger than running and allows us to open new airwaves of communication about what is male and female and which should be allowed to compete and which sport.
3. Is this both racist and sexist as the South African goverment has claimed?
Regardless of what happens, you do have to feel sorry for Caster. Without a doubt she has had no choice in how she was made and is only doing what she can with what she has. Unfortunately, what she has may be much more than those she competes against.