The case of Caster Semenya has reached epic proportions. It’s been evolving and much as we’ve been coming to conclusions before the comprehensive sex tests have been released, there is a new twist that only Semenya, her parents, and the South African government can answer.
The comprehensive tests have revealed that Caster is both male and female. She has the genitalia of a female, alright, but she’s missing a womb and ovaries. whack! The source of high testosterone has also been established. Previously, a urine test had revealed that much as Semenya had the testosterone of a bull, it was within the official limits of a woman. Aha. Now, the comprehensive tests which have involved a chromosome test, xrays, scans, internal organs and so on have been disclosed. That Semenya has internal testes. Poor girl! We may as well say where the ovaries should be she has balls. That accounts for her virile performance in Berlin and elsewhere. One could say let the case be closed now that we know, but the real test has just began.
Before the results, the media, in the name of YOU magazine, went ahead and did something horrendous. It dressed up Semenya in what I call strawberry dresses and gave her a strong feminine look. YOU tampered with her ‘natural look’, made her a ‘glamorous’ woman, pointy shoes, plastic smile, tiny handbag and all, and that’s when Semenya disappeared. In my opinion they turned her into a sleek black thing. Listen carefully: Being a woman, you don’t have to be a strawberry and wear flowers in your hair. No, no, no! Semenya is only 18 for Christ’s sake, she needs a voice of wisdom to guide her.
To ask, have you experienced a menstruation period? When the boys teased you that you were one of them as you played football in your village and ran around half naked, did it bother you? Did you ever wonder why you are made that way? Did you think of seeing a gynecologist to discuss your gender make up and sexuality…? This is no time for strong statements like, “God made me the way I am… I am who I am and I’m proud of myself.” If that is true, then be it, my case is rested. If however, it’s a voice that is trying to drum all the noisy voices in the air, then, there is need to reconsider and ask fundamental questions like, Do I want to keep the testes? Do I want to keep functioning as both male and female? Do I want to enhance my maleness, testes, balls, and whatever can be implanted or inserted? Do I want the missing ‘female’ organs? In some countries nowadays they make artificial wombs and what not. That can be done for Semenya if it’s what she wants, at a cost, of course. She can take female hormones to increase her biological femaleness and suppress her biological maleness. Only If it’s what she wants. We are in the days where individual choice is paramount. She is only 18 and it must be tough, but she has to sit down and ask herself ‘powerful’ questions. Her parents too will need some humility and understanding. This is no time to say she was born female, we gave her a girl’s name and raised her as a woman. No, that is not sufficient. Much can be rectified and Semenya will continue to make us proud with the decisions she takes, to be our woman or our man, whatever she chooses to be. Go, Semenya. Don’t run. Don’t mind the championship medals that you can win or lose. Walk firmly to your choice. The world cannot hurt you, but you can hurt yourself. Good luck.