Whoa. I thought having a vagina & no Y chromosome defined a woman?


Although, if you think about it, having two characters already meant it wasn’t a binary, but that you had 4 possible states. It looks like there are other characters people were avoiding talking about, which means there are already a heck of a lot more possible states.

This is all about the complicated story of Caster Semenya, an Olympics-class track star who has XX chromosomes and female genitalia (I’m sorry, she’s been poked and invasively examined to a degree no person should be subjected to), which, according to all the TERFs who yell at me now and then, ought to be sufficient to define her as ALL-WOMAN, but a committee has determined that her testosterone levels are too high, and that she shouldn’t be allowed to compete with the “aim of preserving the integrity of female athletics”. So apparently the vagina/XX chromosome requirement is insufficient, and you also have to have lower testosterone levels than a certain amount?

The physiology of top athletes is already weird and abnormal, or they wouldn’t be top athletes. There are subtle differences in proportions in some cases, and blood cell and bone density may be greater, and don’t get me started on the freakish psychology of people who spend long years in intense physical training. Maybe we should also insist that no one can compete in women’s events with a hematocrit above 40, or set an upper limit on the proportion of fast twitch muscle fibers they can have. Uh-oh…body fat. Women on average have more body fat than men. If they train so hard that they get lean, maybe they should be declared non-women. But it’s the nature of athletics to have to exercise hard. A conundrum!

The good news for us men is that all the policing of the boundaries of acceptable human morphology and biochemistry seems to be executed on women, not us. No one seems to be looking at athletes and suggesting that maybe that much muscle mass means you aren’t human anymore, and you should go home — that it would be unfair for you to compete with normal human beings, to preserve the integrity of the athletics of Homo sapiens. It isn’t a Harrison Bergeron situation if only women get handicapped.

It’s almost as human sexual properties are multifactorial and on a continuum. But that can’t be, right?


CORRECTION: Semenya is 46 XY DSD.

I still don’t know which bathroom she’s supposed to use.

Comments

  1. Sili says

    I sorta wish I understood why humans invest so much in (professional) sports.

    Not that we couldn’t then find some other excuse for excluding “the other”.

  2. says

    When the great racehorse Secretariat died they did an autopsy and allegedly his heart was massive – several times the normal size of a horse’s. Presumably the theory is that great pump is where his amazing sustained power came from [I hate horse racing but Secretariat was glorious] – surely people will try to take his triple crown and records away. No?

  3. specialffrog says

    I suspect she would not be subject to this degree of scrutiny if she were white and heterosexual.

  4. gijoel says

    @1 It’s form of entertainment that allows people to form tribes, much in the same way that Star Wars, et al. is for nerds. Maybe we should start DNA testing of athletes so we can rule out mutants.

  5. gijoel says

    And ban coaching as not all of us can afford to have a personal trainer.

  6. andrena says

    Do you suppose that men vary in their amount of testosterone? Of course they do. Do you suppose that this is a factor in their amount of muscle mass? Of course it is. Have men ever been tested for their natural testosterone levels to see if any have an unfair advantage. Of course not. Only for synthetic steroids. Naturally high testosterone levels are the way God made real men (but not women).

  7. says

    but what is exactly your point?

    all examples of singular accomodations of specific athlete (like paavo nurmi red cells or carribean sprinter muscles) are something completely different than testosterone level.
    The truth about sports is not that there are two cathegories separated by gender, it is not 2 cathegories separated by sex. Female sport is carefully crafted set of restrictions to allow as huge part of human population to compete. Similarly like with paralympic cathegories designed to allow people to compete with others with similar disadvantage.
    So in paralympic we have those with severly impaired sight and completely blind having their own different events.
    (And I mean no disrespect to female athletics by comparing it to paralympic, but the difference in results is similar)

    Roughly 98% of population can be divided into two groups, named male and female, that has their sets of restriction and testosterone level is one of them (to avoid artificial increase of this level).
    around 2% of people are somewhere in between. And there is no perfect solution. It is not a few cases of beneficial mutation that creates single legendary athlete, it is precisely the issue concerning one of the main factors defining the weaker group.

    There is no just solution to this issue. It is not common enough to create new cathegory, but the advantage offered and available numbers are enough to dominate some fields.
    IAAF tried to find solution along the lines: testosterone gives advantage, typical females are limited to such level of testosterone, lets limit that level for everyone, forcing 2% of potential athletes to reduce to the level that 98% has it.
    And the difference in some disciplines is huge, it is (in case of Caster Semenya) the difference between winning easily and not being able to qualify to the final.

  8. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    Could it be a form of performance-enhancing-drug control, like testing men for steroid consumption?

  9. says

    @Gorzki:

    all the policing of the boundaries of acceptable human morphology and biochemistry seems to be executed on women

    The point is that this is yet another case where women and trans people get extra scrutiny, less privacy, and more social consequences … but curiously enough the testosterone level variation between cis men isn’t monitored to make sure that men with excess testosterone are banned from competition.

    The point is that this is bullshit.

  10. consciousness razor says

    Gorzki:

    around 2% of people are somewhere in between. And there is no perfect solution. It is not a few cases of beneficial mutation that creates single legendary athlete, it is precisely the issue concerning one of the main factors defining the weaker group.

    Why should anyone give a shit about “defining the weaker group”?

    There is no just solution to this issue. It is not common enough to create new cathegory, but the advantage offered and available numbers are enough to dominate some fields.

    Semenya and others aren’t cheating. I could arbitrarily define “everybody who dominates the field” and remove them, on the basis that they do in fact dominate it. But no justice would be served in doing that, as it is when you remove cheaters (for doping or whatever it may be).

  11. John Morales says

    I think Gorzki made an excellent comment.

    As to the point of this post, I think it refers to the merits of the criteria by which trans women may be excluded from sport participation, to the effect that they can (demonstrably) exclude cis women.

    IAAF tried to find solution along the lines: testosterone gives advantage, typical females are limited to such level of testosterone, lets limit that level for everyone, forcing 2% of potential athletes to reduce to the level that 98% has it.

    Because they forbid the 98% from improving theirs.

    Thing is, doping is doping, whether it’s to increase or decrease testosterone.

    So yeah, kinda contradicting their own stance, at a meta level.

    (Obs, PZ was thinking along those lines, given the Harrison Bergeron reference)

  12. DanDare says

    Makes me think of Doria Moon Glampers, the Handicapper General (Kurt Vonegut).

  13. wzrd1 says

    For a number of years, people could not enter into marksmanship competitions if they were taking beta blockers, as it is said that beta blockers lower tremors in the hands and neutralizes, to varying degrees, the effect of adrenaline.
    Needless to say, those who still wanted to win those cash prizes stopped taking their antihypertension medications and when the regulating body heard that, the notion of potential litigation by a competitor’s family convinced them to accept an affidavit of medical necessity.
    That directly impacted me, as I do take beta blockers and untreated, my hypertension was so severe, I’d not last very long without the beta blocker and calcium channel blocker. Later, the primary cause was found – Grave’s disease.

    Meanwhile, my wife had highly elevated testosterone, secondary to pheochromocytoma. Trust me, a runner, she is not.

    Alas, this isn’t the only time this nonsense has come up. It’s reared its ugly head, ending one Indian woman’s career, although her state is helping her and is also not contributing competitors until the committee of idiots stops this nonsense entirely. Oddly, nothing is said if a competitor is excessively tall, with the advantage of a longer stride being obvious.

  14. chrislawson says

    Gorzki and John Morales–

    Athletics is full of genetic advantages, from the ACE I/D gene that helps endurance to erythropoetin receptor mutations that increase haemoglobin level. And yet the IAAF only regulates one: women with higher than average testosterone. Nor does the IAAF have a research program to identify genes that might need regulation. The IAAF’s position has nothing to do with fairness in sports and everything to do with gender policing.

    Further reading before you should even think about commenting on this again:
    Start with this excellent and very readable scientific review describing what is wrong with the IAAF policy, including some telling historical examples (e.g. the American sprinter in the 1936 Olynmpics who won silver in the 100m and promtly accused the winner of being a man, forcing upon her rival a humiliating internal examination to prove her sex…and, well, you can read about the remarkable turn of events in the paper).

    Then here and here.

  15. Onamission5 says

    Shall we start eliminating from basketball the players who are of such a substantial height that their opponents are at disadvantage?

    Was Shaq cheating by being significantly larger than all of his teammates and opponents? Should he have been disqualified on the basis that the average man is only 5’10”? Was it unfair for shorter players to have to face him on the court?

    What if it’s women’s basketball, given the average height of a woman in the US is +/- 5″5″? If tall men are allowed, should tall women be barred from play?

    No?
    Why?

  16. chrislawson says

    wzard1–

    It is interesting, isn’t it?, that the athletes to have been singled out by the IAAF are Caster Semanya (South Africa), Dutee Chand (India), Pratima Gaonkar (India, died by suicide after failing her sex verification), Santhi Soundarajan (India, attempted suicide by poison after diagnosis of androgen insensitivity syndrome leads to stripping of silver medal), and Prinki Pramanik (India), and four unnamed women athletes from rural/mountainous regions of developing countries.

    Given that current estimates are that 1 in 400 female athletes have some from of androgen insensitivity, it’s interesting that the only athletes who seem to be challenged to sex verification are black or from India or from developing countries.

    If you want a double dose of horror, consider this paragraph from the paper linked to above:

    In contrast to the tendency to request gender change, our 4 athletes wished to maintain their female identity and had many questions about menstruation, sexual activity, and child-bearing. Although leaving male gonads in SDRD5A2 patients carries no health risk, each athlete was informed that gonadectomy would most likely decrease their performance level but allow them to continue elite sport in the female category. We thus proposed a partial clitoridectomy with a bilateral gonadectomy, followed by a deferred feminizing vaginoplasty and estrogen replacement therapy, to which the 4 athletes agreed after informed consent on surgical and medical procedures. Sports authorities then allowed them to continue competing in the female category 1 year after gonadectomy.

  17. says

    It’s interesting how bigots can take something you not only don’t care about, but actively avoid knowing anything about, and suddenly give you a strong interest in the success or failure of somebody purely to spite them. Caster Semenya has said that if necessary she will medicate to meet these arbitrary standards, and I look forward to when she puts these people’s faces in the dirt by winning anyway.

  18. says

    @John Morales:

    The US criminal court system is a regulated process. Everyone gets exactly the same chance to use the process to their advantage. It’s not like anyone with money can simply pay a bribe to the court and not have to face a jury trial. So there’s no need to examine whether there’s anything “wrong” with it. Something could only be “wrong” with the US criminal court system under a particular set of assumptions.

  19. John Morales says

    CD, leaving aside that I would rather live without organised sporting events than without an enforced legal system (only one affects me), are you channelling Anatole (“The law, in its majestic equality, forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal their bread.”)?

    End of the day, the decision to restrict participation in any sporting event is arbitrary.

    (Unlike jurisprudence)

  20. deepak shetty says

    which, according to all the TERFs who yell at me now and then, ought to be sufficient to define her as ALL-WOMAN

    They do treat her as a woman. I would guess they will point to this as one more example where a woman suffers due to the need to accommodate trans women.

  21. cartomancer says

    Sport is something that (some) humans do for fun and entertainment. It strikes me that we should take it entirely on that level.

    I could, perhaps, see a legitimate reason to refuse certain athletes the opportunity to compete because they are not entertaining enough. Though, given that running round and round in circles is about as far from entertaining as I can imagine any human activity to be, I’m not sure how you’d tell. If one person keeps on winning too easily, is that not supposed to be entertaining? Is the entertainment value supposed to be in the closeness of the result, which cannot be easily predicted until the end?

    On the other hand, this particular case shows up rather serious issues of discrimination against women and ethnic minorities. Which is a serious business that actually matters. Preventing the promotion of harmful discrimination in society is far more important than maintaining the integrity of entertainment.

  22. bravelybravesirrobin says

    So, I struggle to square the circle on this one.

    When you’re dealing with elite athletes you’re dealing with such extreme physiology that, amongst other things, the physiological differences between males and females is much more pronounced.

    Because of this, if you had male and females compete together in many events, female athletes would just never win.

    Obviously, the IAAC, Olympic’s committee and other sporting bodies don’t want this. So they segregate athletes by gender.

    I recognise that this is already a mistake because sex=/=gender but for most of the population it does. And it immediately raises what you do with trans-women athletes.

    If we accept that gender is distinct from sex (which I do) and that trans-women are women (which I do) and that they want to compete in women’s events (which they do) and that all that is sufficient to characterise your gender is self-identification (which I do) then you immediately create a scenario where a cis-man can declare themselves a trans-woman not because they believe themselves to be so but purely to compete in women’s events at an advantage.

    And, obviously, sporting governing bodies want to stop that happening. So they have created a “fair” test for when someone is a woman for the purposes of competing in sporting events.

    I put “fair” in scare quotes because it only means that the test is an objective measurable quality. You either do or don’t have this much testosterone. It may be unfairly applied, it may not be the right level of testosterone, it may be that testosterone isn’t the most important factor but it’s not some subjective measure of how much of a woman you are.

    So what could you do differently that would be better?

    Remove any tests or qualifications on who can compete in women’s events (after all, there’s no such limits on men’s events)? That would just result in cis-men in women’s events.

    Allow all cis-women to compete in women’s events and all trans-women who pass a “fair” test? That would be discriminating against trans-women.

    Abolish gendered distinctions in sport? Goodbye most female athletes ever winning anything ever again.

    The boundary line where you draw who is enough of a woman to compete in women’s events is always going to be somewhat arbitrary and throw up edge cases precisely because human biology doesn’t divide into the nice clean binary sport has divided itself into.

    Maybe institute a points-based/handicap system similar to how the paralympics work where certain biological/physiological factors such as androgyn sensitivity bump you up a category? So genders are mixed in competition but roughly equal in terms of “perceived” physiological advantage. That would make more sense scientifically but, man, if you thought some of the testing athletes go through now is demeaning can you imagine how complicated that would get?

    TLDR; This situation sucks but I honestly have no idea what sporting bodies could put into place that would prevent cheating, not exclude trans-women from sport and let most women compete and win events.

  23. says

    I suppose the best way to recognize the actual difficulty of the situation is simply to ask: What’s the point of having women’s sports at all? Why do we have women’s basketball and men’s basketball (say) and not just basketball?

    I predict that no matter how you answer that one (except “professional sports are silly anyways”, which is just a refusal to engage with the problems), you’ll quickly recognize that yes, there are some real, difficult issues here.

  24. chrislawson says

    John Morales–

    I posted a few links for you to read so that you could learn more and your response is you won’t read them because if sports have any restrictions, then it doesn’t matter if those restrictions oppress marginalised people because that’s only ‘“wrong” under a particular set of assumptions’. Doesn’t matter to you that the rules are based on bad science. Doesn’t matter to you that they reinforce bigotry against a vulnerable group. Doesn’t matter to you that they have led to suicides.

  25. madtom1999 says

    @deepak shetty I’m not sure this is down to having to accommodate trans women. To me it looks like people lost in something new they have no idea or control over and yet feel the need to exert control.
    The ‘problem’ of trans women makes me think we live in interesting times. If a ‘normal’ woman took testosterone for 10 years while training hard and put on a huge amount of muscle mass and enjoyed the increased fitness this allowed, and then stopped taking it for a year then (if I understand the current rules) she could compete as clean woman athlete whereas someone who took artificial testosterone – steroids – could not.
    Its a wriggly can of worms being opened here and as bravelybravesirobin mentions it could be quite destructive to our current view of binary sex sport. Having said that the special olympics manages to divide and conquer.

  26. says

    deepak shetty

    I would guess they will point to this as one more example where a woman suffers due to the need to accommodate trans women.

    The fuck?
    This case does not relate to trans women directly except that it shows how all those “scientific criteria” of womanhood suddenly are thrown out of the window. Caster Semenya is a woman according to all those damn definitions we are usually told make somebody a woman (and by the one that matters: her own word). Yet somehow, being black, queer and damn good, she isn’t woman enough*`
    This ruling has nothing to do with trans women wanting to compete in women’s sports, they aren’t complaining, they aren’t helped by this. But I’m glad you have found trans people as a culprit instead of cis sexist racist society.
    *Especially not for the same people who usually claim that there’s a vast conspiracy to declare all butch lesbians hetero trans men.

    +++
    Also what Onamission said. Let’s regulate height and demand the athletes hack off their feet.

  27. John Morales says

    chrislawson:

    […] your response is you won’t read them because if sports have any restrictions, then it doesn’t matter if those restrictions oppress marginalised people because that’s only ‘“wrong” under a particular set of assumptions’. Doesn’t matter to you that the rules are based on bad science. Doesn’t matter to you that they reinforce bigotry against a vulnerable group. Doesn’t matter to you that they have led to suicides.

    I get this a lot. Your purported inference is baseless and, worse, irrelevant.

    (You might care to attempt to dispute my actual claim instead, if you think it’s wrong)

  28. Marshall says

    There are two general questions involved in this discussion:

    1) Should we restrict the people allowed to participate in a sporting event based on biology, and
    2) Should we restrict the people allowed to participate in a sporting event based on biological modifiers (drugs, hormones, etc.)

    Historically, the restrictions in category (1) have been based on sex, age, and some sort of development disability (i.e. female / male / age / paralympics). We are drawing circles around the general population in an attempt to best group the abilities of the population, in order to maximize competition. My guess is that, if we were to make a histogram of athletic ability first and THEN separate into groups based on biology, the demaracations of sex, age, and developmental disabilities would do a good job of clustering. I’d love to hear some alternatives.

    Regarding category (2), this is a tough one because it means smearing the categories in (1) more. This isn’t a bad thing, it just means that we have larger group overlap and therefore the groups we create will see larger extremes in their performance.

  29. imback says

    I think saying she has “XX chromosomes and female genitalia” is an oversimplification. Semenya reportedly has “46,XY DSD” where DSD means Disorders of Sex Development. I don’t know the details, but let’s just say she’s biologically intersex. She was identified female at birth and has lived her whole life identifying as female. Simply, she is a a woman with some intersex genes.

    This ruling applies only to people identified with DSD and only to a few events in which Semenya may compete. In other words, it’s only target is Semenya. This narrow targeting of one person is a disgrace. They say they’re protecting the majority, but what they’re doing is creating an ethical quagmire and ending the career of one specific athlete.

  30. anat says

    To Gorzki @8:

    There is no just solution to this issue.

    How about: Let each person compete according to the gender by which they have been living their daily life for the past X years?

    Still a problem for people who are non-binary, but a huge improvement, IMO.

  31. erik333 says

    @33 anat
    But you’re saying “living their daily life” does not include hormone levels? By whom and how is “living their daily life” going to be policed?

    @17 chrislawson
    Perhaps its simply the case that in western nations the athletes already have sufficient documentation putting such queries to rest.

  32. anat says

    Yes, I say hormone levels be damned. If someone says they are a woman and has been saying so consistently for a while, while not saying they are some other gender for the same while they should compete as women. If they have official documents or testimonies of colleagues and neighbors that’s a plus, but shouldn’t actually be necessary.

  33. starfleetdude says

    #32

    The ruling is being made on behalf of the many female contestants, not for the sole benefit of someone who is medically intersex, and it’s a fair ruling that preserves a level playing field for all biological females. Sport doesn’t allow for doping (including testosterone) for good reason, because if sport didn’t do this there would be an escalation of performance-enhancement to the detriment of everyone.

  34. Curious Digressions says

    This should be a non-issue. Considering professional sports, only the most athletically inclined and disciplined people of any gender are included. Using this as a flagship issue to argue against trans rights or access is disingenuous. So few people qualify as professional level athletes that it should say nothing about the population as a whole.

    That said, the argument that trans women or cis-dudes claiming to be trans women will overrun women’s athletics is spurious. The WMBA has no restrictions against trans players. The WMBA is not overrun with trans or “fake” trans athletes. If a college player can’t cut it in the MBA, why isn’t he just saying “I feel pretty”* and trying for the WMBA? Even though women’s athletics pay less than men’s, a paid job playing would be better than no job playing. It’s just not done and there is no evidence to support that it will be an issue. I wouldn’t be surprised if some wing-nut gives it a wack just to make a point, but first he would need to get to a professionally competitive level. He’s have to be really committed to making a point.

    Saying that any separation of categories of ability is arbitrary, therefore all should be allowed has been used historically to discriminate against disadvantaged groups. The MBL had “reasons” to exclude POC, but looking back, they are humiliatingly bad. I’m sure the bigots who made those decisions were confident that they were backed by Science too.

    *meant tongue-in-cheek, no disrespect intended.

  35. says

    Want an alternate way to separate out in sports? Do it by weight, like they do in boxing. I recall reading long ago that boxers WANTED these kind of rule changes to allow men and women who were in the same weight category to fight one another.

    Weights would take care of most muscle advantage, or bone density, or height, or whatever someone has. It wouldn’t matter if someone was tall or short, because all these things effect your final weight. In fact, it might open the door to more people being able to complete.

    This will not work for ALL sports, but there are a number which would greatly benefit from this kind of a division. Other than boxing, other ones I can think of is snowboarding and sky jumps. I remember reading last winter Olympics, there was a problem with larger/taller women being harassed out of these sports, because they can do as well as men since weight plays a BIG role in how high someone can jump, not so much muscle mass.

    One step further. For teams, you can do the combined mass of the team and have a greater range of weights for each category. That might create some interesting, diverse teams. Any sports where weight/muscle/whatever advantage are basically noise, probably don’t need gender separation to start anyway.

    And, most importantly, talk and listen to athletes that are competing in these events, because they are experts in what is and isn’t fair to them… especially the women, since they are the ones that will be dealing with most of the pressure.

  36. Deepak Shetty says

    @madtom1999
    My reading is that IAAF has these rules because thats how some sports allow trans women to compete – by mandating their testosterone levels (base don the theory that that will level the playing field). See link below

    @Gilliel

    This case does not relate to trans women directly

    Why do you think IAAF has these rules for testosterone ?
    https://www.iaaf.org/news/press-release/eligibility-regulations-for-female-classifica
    In any case , my comment is directed towards people who believe this is a gotcha for some feminists – who do not accept trans women as women – and my response was to indicate that it was not.
    To clarify I am not one of those feminists and I would rather that trans women compete as women as long as they have demonstrated some time period where they have lived as women with no further physical changes mandated by anyone else.

    But I’m glad you have found trans people as a culprit instead of cis sexist racist society.

    I suggest you meet a psychiatrist.

  37. Callinectes says

    This is not merely an assault on what it means to be an athlete, or a woman, or an intersexed person, or even a human being. This is an assault on what it means to be a biological organism. Natural variation within a highly competitive environment, what the hell did they expect would happen? The entire IAAF needs to go back to school and study some basic biology. This is the history of life on Earth, and anywhere else in the universe it has the profound misfortune to arise.

  38. starfleetdude says

    #39

    Your weight analogy only goes so far, because it doesn’t account for how testosterone dramatically boosts athletic ability. That there are variations in testosterone among individuals in either sex doesn’t negate the fact that there’s a significant difference between the sexes that affect physical development as well as actual performance. Here’s a good summary of how testosterone matters when it comes to athletic competition and both sexes:

    Does Testosterone Really Give Caster Semenya an Edge on the Track? – New York Times

  39. says

    If she is XY and developed as a female doesn’t that mean she cannot process testosterone? So what is the problem besides sheer stupidity?

  40. says

    She was assigned female, identifies as a woman, lives as a woman, presents as a woman, that’s enough to allow her to compete as a woman. Anyone who wants to whine about testosterone and advantages — especially white dudes — can fuck right off.

  41. says

    I suggest you meet a psychiatrist.

    You do sound like a nice person.
    Attempt to dismiss my opinion by suggesting I’m crazy noted. Since we got ableism covered, want to try any other bigotry while you’re at it?

  42. chrislawson says

    John Morales@29–

    I get this a lot. Your purported inference is baseless and, worse, irrelevant. (You might care to attempt to dispute my actual claim instead, if you think it’s wrong)

    You supported Gorzki’s comment. I responded to the factual errors in it and provided links for deeper detail which you very proudly told me you would not read because you already knew you the answer. If you had bothered to read one of those links you would know that when Gorzki said “…testosterone gives advantage…typical females are limited to such level of testosterone… the difference in some disciplines is huge, it is (in case of Caster Semenya) the difference between winning easily and not being able to qualify to the final…”, well the first statement is still a matter of scientific doubt , the the second statement is a tautological misuse of statistics, and the third statement is undeniably wrong (Semanya does not win all her races despite it apparently being “easy” for her to do so, and even when she does win it’s well within normal limits of competition, such as her 2012 Olympic gold for 800m which she won by just 0.3 seconds — also the highest world ranking she has ever held in the 400m is #17; furthermore it is not true that every woman who qualifies for finals in middle distance running has abnormally high testosterone — but that’s what Gorzki claimed).

    Stop supporting pseudoscientific bigotry and educate yourself or stop fucking talking about it.

  43. John Morales says

    chrislawson:

    You supported Gorzki’s comment.

    There are multiple possible reasons why I might consider someone’s comment to be excellent, and they do not all include endorsement of the specific claims therein.

    I responded to the factual errors in it and provided links for deeper detail which you very proudly told me you would not read because you already knew you the answer.

    Not because I already knew “the answer”. I told you why already.

    If you had bothered to read one of those links you would know that when Gorzki said “…testosterone gives advantage…typical females are limited to such level of testosterone… the difference in some disciplines is huge, it is (in case of Caster Semenya) the difference between winning easily and not being able to qualify to the final…”, well

    You are mistaken; Gorzki didn’t make those claims.
    This is the relevant claim: “IAAF tried to find solution along the lines: testosterone gives advantage, typical females are limited to such level of testosterone, lets limit that level for everyone, forcing 2% of potential athletes to reduce to the level that 98% has it.”

    Get it? Gorzki claimed the IAAF used that reasoning.

    Stop supporting pseudoscientific bigotry and educate yourself or stop fucking talking about it.

    Um, I could not stop doing something I have not yet started doing unless I deliberately started doing that something for the specific purpose of stopping its doing. Which would be silly.

    (In passing, I am curious as to what you imagine to be the pseudoscientific bigotry I am supposedly supporting. You don’t need to clarify, of course)

  44. Deepak Shetty says

    @Giliell

    You do sound like a nice person

    Never made that claim , but Hi pot, meet kettle.

    Attempt to dismiss my opinion

    I provided you my response before the dismissal. You find trans blaming in my initial response where my response consisted of telling Myers that his gotcha isnt what it is in this case.

    by suggesting I’m crazy noted

    You do know that psychiatrists deal with everything from depression to anger management right ? The latter is why I would suggest it to you – nothing to do with being crazy.

    want to try any other bigotry while you’re at it?

    Im sure you can find a few more in any response I make including Bye.

  45. m n says

    Even if you subscribe to the view that women who are “too far” outside of “statistically normal hormone levels” (which, let me say, that’s a pretty goalposty qualifier), the fact remains that significantly elevated levels of testosterone are not actually that unusual in women, even cis XX women.

    In fact, I personally could be disqualified from women’s athletics based on these criteria. Sans medication, my body produces testosterone but not estrogens in any real quantity, and my natural level of testosterone is equivalent to the average cis XY man’s. This is due to my having PCOS, a poorly-understood but relatively common syndrome which affects two to TWENTY percent of women, depending on the specific diagnostic criteria used (diagnostic criteria being notoriously wonky for syndromes). Not to say that all of those 20% of women will be as high-T as me, but as far as anomalies go, I’m really not.

    Even if you think that trans and intersex women should be barred for “cheating” (which is a bullshit opinion, let me be real clear about that), it’s a bit hypocritical to claim that this rules-lawyered definition womanhood remotely approaches accuracy to even that stilted view of what “being a woman” (or even “being a woman in sports”) entails.

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