Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Gender Determination Lab

On Sunday, Jennifer Finney Boylan--the author of a wonderful autobiography, She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders--published an op-ed in the New York Times about sex testing at the Olympics. The organizers of the Beijing Olympics just announced that they have set up a "gender determination lab" to test female athletes suspected of being male.

All I can say is that I'm conflicted about this. On the one hand, I understand why we segregate Olympic sports according to sex. On the other hand, I'm very uncomfortable with the idea of a committee of "experts" testing to determe a person's sex.

No deep thoughts. Just thought I'd share.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I suppose I would be uncomfortable with a committee that actually determined my sex (e.g. "you shall be a woman!"). But if we are talking about a committee charged with simply noticing what gender a particular athlete happens to be, I confess myself more uncomfortable with the need for such a committee than the work they are engaged in.

And just what sort of expertise are we talking about that is required for the task? I think I could do it, unless some heretofore unknown perfection of androgyny has taken place, requiring test tubes and beakers and such to determine gender.

And what about the insane drive and complete lack of honor that would cause a man to compete as a woman? That seems the truly disturbing part of this story. Talk about missing the point of the Olympics. Funny, though.