Target: Lamine Diack, President of the International Association of Athletics Federations
Goal: Urge sports federation to abolish embarrassing gender testing for female athletes
Since the 1950s women athletes have been subjected to humiliating ‘gender tests’ to determine if they are lying about their biological makeup, simply to increase their chances of winning gold medals. As a result, countless athletes have been wrongly stripped of medals and records, scrutinized, and thoroughly embarrassed by the media.
The latest case of discrimination is by the International Association of Athletics Federations — notorious for administering ‘gender tests’ to female athletes poised for success. Sprinter Duttee Chand of India recently ‘failed’ a mandatory test which revealed she had higher than normal levels of androgen. The 18-year-old phenomenon broke India’s 100-meter record, and has since been a finalist in sprint competitions throughout Asia. But, just two days before Chand was scheduled to compete with India’s 2014 team she received news that she wouldn’t be joining her teammates in the games, many believed, would set the tone for her thriving athletic career.
The ordeal strangely mimics the case of another runner, South African track star Caster Semenya, who was stripped of her medals following a victory at the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games. As for Duttee Chand, one of the most prolific opportunities of her career has been lost as she waits to learn if she will be stripped of her medals and records, too.
The federation has a penchant for targeting female athletes that perform extraordinarily and the constant discrimination also raises concerns for inter-sexed athletes as well. Gender testing is dehumanizing, often inaccurate, and fails to include many genetic factors that explain why a female athlete may naturally have more testosterone than the other. Sign the petition to tell the IAAF to abolish this discriminatory practice now.
Dear Lamine Diack,
It has come to my attention that the IAAF has had a long history of discriminating against female athletes that break records and perform extraordinarily. This trend is not only confusing, but thoroughly disheartening as countless female athletes are denied the right to be recognized for their excellence due to questions about their gender. The prominence of gender testing among female athletes is dehumanizing, inaccurate, and fails to recognize genetic factors that explain why one female athlete may produce more testosterone than the other.
Renee Richards, Caster Semenya, and Santhi Soundarajan, who tried to commit suicide after ‘failing’ her ‘gender testing,’ and now Duttee Chand, are female athletes that deserve to be recognized for their achievements, not scrutinized by the media for posing as a woman to win medals. It’s an unfair, patriarchal doubt that women can be outstanding athletes. And if they are, then they can’t be ‘real women.’ I urge you to abolish the ridiculous test and realize that testosterone is not what makes a great athlete.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Arcimboldo via Wikimedia