3 things you need to know before you debate hyperandrogenism and intersex conditions

Everyone has an opinion on Caster Semenya, Dutee Chand and other women under the microscope on the issue of hyperandrogenism and intersex conditions. Before you enter the debate you need to know a few things.

Correct use of personal pronouns

The moment you refer to Caster Semenya or Dutee Chand  as “he” or “it”, your opinion on the matter is no longer valid.

It’s a disrespectful, despicable act and no-one of any sort of intelligence is going to enter into a debate with you.

Respect these women by respecting their identity. It’s easy.

Surprisingly, some very seemingly educated Australians and indeed prominent figures in world sport have vilified these women by using masculine pronouns. They do it for cheap laughs and attention and it smacks of the same mentality as casual racism.

The term hermaphrodyte is stigmatising and derogatory

Most of the world left the term  “hermaphrodyte” behind a long time ago in favour of words that describe the condition rather than those that describe the person. Why? Because it’s stigmatising and derogatory.  The original meaning of the word is not valid anyway. It’s not possible in humans to have a full set of both fully functioning male and fully functioning female genitalia. It’s mythology.

It’s great for shock and click bait though. When you see the word used, you’ll better understand the motivations behind it’s use, and the type of person who uses it.

Gender is not binary. It’s a kaleidoscope.

The facts are that gender is not binary. It never has been. What’s changed is that revolutions in science and sociology have shown us that there are a wide variety of conditions,  disorders of sexual development, chromosomal variations and hormonal influences on gender that appear in men and women.

You can be a woman and have testes. Yes. Get over it. You can be a man and have ovaries. Yes true too. Get over it.

So there you have it, just three simple fundamentals and you’re ready to go. Play nicely.

Author: patbirgan

Australian living in Italy and managing the AIS European Training Centre. In my spare time I like to watch, write, tweet, commentate, manage, immerse in all things athletics.

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