To repeat the same question offered across the net, why must Caster Semenya wear glamorous clothes, burgundy nail polish and let her hair down to be perceived as a woman? I find it alarming regarding the message we send our young women. Certainly outward appearance does not define womanhood. Or does it?
It pains me to live in a society where youth and beauty define the person. Where one's achievements are measured by one's genitalia. The secretary of world athletics body IAAF, Pierre Weiss, said: "It is clear that she is a woman but maybe not 100 per cent." Reports have it that an Indian woman underwent a similar situation, and later attempted suicide. Indeed, Caster was placed on suicide watch immediately after her test results were "leaked".
I find so much in this story to be troubling. Certainly the fact that men do have a physical advantage over women is troubling to my feminist soul which screams for equality. I also find it troubling that a woman with feminine genitalia can have her gender questioned based on running quickly and having a deep voice. I also am troubled by a professional organization that would leak such critically sensitive test results so that a woman like Caster might learn the results in the media, rather than privately. Moreover, I am deeply troubled my Caster's appearance in a magazine sporting ultra feminine clothing, cosmetics and hair, and quoted as saying things like “I’d like to dress up more often and wear dresses but I never get the chance. I’d also like to learn to do my own make-up” and: “I’ve never bought my own clothes – my mum buys them for me. But now that I know what I can look like, I’d like to dress like this more often.”