The 19-year-old South African was sidelined for 11 months after undergoing gender tests following her 800-meter victory at the world championships last August.I am pleased that Semenya is being allowed to return to racing. I remain angry that she was ever required to stop in the first place.
The International Association of Athletics Federations said Tuesday it accepts the conclusion of a panel of medical experts that she can compete with "immediate effect."
The statement adds that medical details of her case remain confidential and the IAAF will have no further comment on the matter.
I could spend the next two hours detailing the many outrages of the invasive, coercive, exploitative, and flatly unnecessary gender-policing that went on in regard to Semenya, but instead I'm simply going to highlight a brilliant and incisive comment Shaker Rhiain left in a previous thread that gets right to the heart of the matter (emphasis mine):
There has been quite a bit of speculation about just what elements of [Michael Phelps'] physiognomy allowed him to be such a fast swimmer, but even those folks who are saying "he's fast 'cause he's a freak" are saying it in a good way; lucky him that his body is "weird" in a way that allows him to be so awesome at the sport he loves.Which makes for this rather bitter irony: There is, perhaps, no better evidence of Semenya's womanhood than the fact a year has been spent hand-wringing over her womanhood.
He essentially won the genetic lottery, because male bodies are coded as functional in our society, and Phelps' body allows him to be extra-functional. Semenya, who also won the genetic lottery* in a way that allows her to be awesome at the sport she loves, has the misfortune to exist as a gender that is coded for ornamentality rather than functionality, and therefore extra functionality is seen as cheating.
*Of course, she has won a lottery that sure seems to have made her life up to this point difficult and, now, carries dangerous implications for her personal safety. I'm not really asserting that she's coming from a position of privilege here.