Semenya is an in­cred­ibly powerful runner from South Africa, a two-time Olympic champion. She has also been the subject of controversy since the beginning of her career over a decade ago.
Semenya is believed to have an intersex condition, though she doesn’t publicly speak about it: Her body ’allegedly’ produces testosterone at a higher level than most women.
The CAS ruled that if Semenya wanted to continue to compete, she would be required to take medications to lower it. The same medications prescribed to prostate cancer sufferers and the same medication prescribed to convicted sex offenders in some correctional jurisdictions.
The CAS, which was upholding a previous ruling by the International Association of Athletics Federations, admitted that the decision was tantamount to discrimination.
But, a statement read, “discrimination is a necessary, reasonable and proportionate means of achieving the IAAF’s aim of preserving the integrity of female athletics.”
So let’s get down to the nitty gritty. What is a “reasonable and proportionate” amount of testosterone for Caster Semenya’s body to possess? Luckily for us, the IAAF offered specifics: “Below 5 nmol/L.”
Many many many people immediately turned to Google — “nmol” is the abbreviation for “nanomole,” which is one-billionth of a mole, which is a unit of measurement.
And so, for those who think you have immediate and correct feelings about this ruling, I guess I have one clarifying question:

Precisely how many nanomoles of testosterone are in your blood?
Endocrine profiles in 693 elite athletes in the post-competition setting’, found that 16.5% of the ‘male’ athletes had low testosterone levels, and 13.7% of the ‘females’ had high testosterone levels, ‘with complete overlap between the sexes’.
ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/24593…
The CAS ruling is based on the false idea that sex can be measured, that it exists in a vial.
The @WorldAthletics seems to buy into the concept that there are exactly 2 genders, and that there’s a bright line dividing them: If Caster Semenya has 4.99 nanomoles of testosterone per liter, the “integrity of female athletics” will be preserved, but at 5.01, it won’t.
If you were forced to submit to a testosterone test, would you bet your livelihood and your identity on the hope that your measurements would turn up on the correct side of the line?
Causes of high testosterone in women. Various diseases or hormonal disorders can cause hormonal changes in women. The most common causes of high testosterone levels in women are hirsutism, polycystic ovary syndrome, and congenital adrenal hyperplasia
If your T levels didn’t, fall under 5nmol\L would you alter your identity based on this new data or might you argue that your womanhood manhood, or personhood was more than your volume testosterone level, a simple number?
Most women have never been forced to submit to such a test; most of us are quite sure we know who we are without one.
How should athletes who are born with hormonal differences be allowed to participate in the world?
If a higher-than-normal level of testosterone makes someone excel in certain pursuits, do we then dictate that they have to stay away from those pursuits that they can only do things they suck at?
These are questions that I think we all should be wrestling with, as we decide who deserves protection, and who deserves dignity, and how both should be parceled out.
The CAS has couched its decision as the best of bad options, made in the name of protecting women. But it doesn’t seem to be about protecting women.
It seems to be about protecting a specific idea of what it means to be a woman. About protecting some women, just not the ones who look like Caster Semenya.
We could talk about the medieval-sounding “sex verification test” that Semenya was first forced to undergo in 2009 as a young vulnerable teenager, and how the details of it were murky, and how it’s hard to imagine such a test as anything other than humiliating.
”I have been subjected to unwarranted and invasive scrutiny of the most intimate and private details of my being,” @caster800m said at the time.
We could talk about all the prurient, invasive, and frequently racist ways we have talked about Caster Semenya over the past 11 years. “It is clear that she is a woman but maybe not 100 percent,” Pierre Weiss, then-secretary general of the IAFF, said of her in 2011
He didn’t specify how it was clear, or whom it was clear to, or what percentage of womanhood he was willing to give her.
Most of all, we could talk about what it means to be a woman. And what it means to insist someone is not a woman. And why Michael Phelps was treated like a marvel, and why a male athlete with low T is able to be administered T in sport and Caster Semenya is treated like a mutant.
@threadreaderapp please unroll

• • •

Missing some Tweet in this thread? You can try to force a refresh
 

Keep Current with Kirsti Miller ⚽️🏉🤺🏊‍♀️

Kirsti Miller ⚽️🏉🤺🏊‍♀️ Profile picture

Stay in touch and get notified when new unrolls are available from this author!

Read all threads

This Thread may be Removed Anytime!

PDF

Twitter may remove this content at anytime! Save it as PDF for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video
  1. Follow @ThreadReaderApp to mention us!

  2. From a Twitter thread mention us with a keyword "unroll"
@threadreaderapp unroll

Practice here first or read more on our help page!

More from @KirstiMiller30

22 Sep
Hormones & Sports? We have been there before!

At the 1936 Berlin Summer Olympic Games, 18-year-old American sprinter Helen Stephens was accused by rival athlete Stella Walsh [Stanisława Walasiewicz] of being a man.
1-
In a twist of irony, an autopsy eventually revealed that while Stephens did not appear to have any sort of intersex condition, her accuser did.
2-
Walsh was revealed to have both 45X0 and 46XX chromosomes, along with “male sex organs.”
Stephens beat Walsh in the 100 meter dash. Stephens was the accused of being male and was forced to submit to a genital inspection to confirm her gender.
3-
Read 18 tweets
15 Sep
Argument One: “Fallon Fox brutalised Tamikka Brents in their MMA fight; it was a travesty of a sporting event; and it’s evidence that trans women have a huge unfair advantage.”
Why it’s bullshit: Well, there are a few problems with this one. Firstly, while Fox did beat Brents, the sensationalised reporting of their bout bore little resemblance to the reality of mixed martial arts.
You’ll often see “Brents was left with a fractured skull” presented as an argument, which does admittedly sound horrifying. However, when you rephrase it as “Brents suffered a fractured orbital socket”, it starts feeling a bit more technical and less lurid.
Read 6 tweets
15 Sep
Transgender athletes in Australia, what does the law say?
lansw.com.au/wp-content/upl… ImageImageImageImage
Transgender athletes in Australia, what does the law say?
2- ImageImageImageImage
Transgender athletes in Australia, what does the law say?
3- ImageImageImageImage
Read 4 tweets
14 Sep
They say a picture can speak a thousand words, I can tell you it can hide many more. What do you see when you look at this picture of Warren Miller, maybe a very well built athletic and handsome man, a masculine guy, etc ? Image
I look at it and see a very sad woman, a person hurting a person that hated themself a person even though they were very successful in a man's body I see a person that wanted to die, I see a person that couldn't tell my family that I was dying on the inside.
This is a picture of me many years ago, when I was a husband, a father, an international athlete, a superintendent of a maximum security prison, to the outside world a very successful man. Image
Read 6 tweets
12 Sep
#Caster800m is not a danger to female athletes it is women with racist, transphobic & interphobic views that harms all women . 50secs into this interview @sharrond62 states if Caster were born in another country she would have been raised a boy.
Davies views are totally against  IntersexUK, a campaign group founded in 2011 to end stigma around intersex variations, & to fight for equality and protection of intersex people.
Top of its list of 33 demands is: “To put an end to mutilating and ‘normalising’ practices such as genital surgeries.
Read 12 tweets
11 Sep
Forget the words trans, Caster, Ivy or CeCe for a minute & look at the health consequences of reducing e T levels in the XY body; depressed mood
decreased libido
lethargy
sleep disturbances
decreased muscle mass and strength...


healthline.com/health/side-ef…
In the XY karyotype, testosterone is the only hormone driving the endocrine system that regulates an individual’s physiology. Therefore, it is understood that reducing it is likely to make people unwell.
As the CAS and SFT decisions recognise, XY karyotype individuals typically have circulating testosterone between 7.7 nmol/L to 29.4 nmol/L.
Of course, reducing this to 5 mol/L will make an XY karyotype athlete slower.
Read 16 tweets

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!


This site is made by just two indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member ($3/month or $30/year) and get exclusive features!

Become Premium

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!

Follow Us on Twitter!