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.