You Can Only Race if You Can’t Win? The Curious Cases of Oscar Pisitorius & Caster Semenya
By Shawn M. Crincoli
Touro Law Center
This article discusses the curious case of Oscar Pistorius within the context of international sports law and compares it to the situation regarding Caster Semenya. Both athletes are controversial South African runners whose eligibility to compete in lAAF sanctioned races was called into question, in one case due to the use of prosthetics and in one case due to alleged intersexuality. This article not only represents the first comprehensive look among legal scholars at the Court of Arbitration for Sport tribunal’s decision in the Oscar Pistorius case, but it is almost certainly the first to discuss Caster Semenya’s eligibility as well. These cases raise important issues of disability, sex, and societal treatment of difference.
The article argues that in balancing the rights of competing athletes, fair competition, and equal opportunity, the current lex sportiva places too high a burden on individual athletes who are different. While it is important to balance the rights of competing athletes, a standard that forces atypical athletes to undertake lengthy and costly steps to gain eligibility on a case-by-case basis, rather than operating from a baseline assumption of presumptive eligibility, misallocates the risk that these athletes wield an unfair advantage over competitors. More significantly, a policy that sets the bar for eligibility precisely at the point where atypical athletes are virtually guaranteed to lose to the ‘normal’ athlete does not allow for meaningful participation in competition. Finally, the functional limitation on fair and equal participation in elite competition within the athlete’s desired category calls into question that athlete’s identity & humanity, which is contrary to both the stated purposes of the Olympic movement and broader conceptions of human rights.
Goto Full Review – “Click Here”
Published May 31st, 2012
FOR HER OWN GOOD:
LEGAL JUSTIFICATIONS USED TO EXCLUDE
WOMEN & GIRLS FROM SPORTS
By Emily Marie Schmit
In the Graduate College
THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA
For athletics, 1972 was pivotal, as Title IX of the Education Amendments7 was passed making it illegal for any educational institution receiving federal funding to discriminate on the basis of sex. However, the pattern of backlash is evident in the subsequent interpretations and regulations of the law. One of the effects of Title IX was the drastic impact on women’s participation in sport. Despite the intent of the statute and dramatic increase in opportunity for and participation of women in sport, historical, social, and cultural notions of what it means to be a “woman” still haunt women in athletics. These notions continued to keep women out of some sporting arenas and are present within case law and the statute itself.
The judicial system relies on interpretations of culture and society; thus the interpretations of the law become intrinsically linked to the dominant ideologies of gender. Consequently, the law is not an autonomous system of knowledge but is intimately connected to greater societal view and often perpetuates and reinforces the status quo. Court records, federal regulations and laws illuminate dominant cultural views of femininity and masculinity, including views of females as athletes. Title IX is central to the experience of women and girls in sports in the United States; it provides a framework and historical guide to an exploration of the legal reasons and justifications used to keep women out of sport. It is important to look at Title IX itself, as well as its subsequent interpretations, as it embodies some of the same stereotypes of gender and sex which it was meant to remedy.
Goto Full Thesis – “Click Here”
Published May 30th, 2012
OutSport Toronto Presents
Then And Now
In a joint collaboration with OutSport Toronto and Cave Painter Films, supported and funded by the Social Science and Humanities Resource Council of Canada. The documentary production was created for a Toronto District School Board Conference (TDSB) at the beginning of May 2012, to bring awareness, language and support to working professionals within the school system to assure greater support to young people who are currently being challenged with these issues, and trying to find their place in the school and athletic system.
Brought together 10 athletes, speaking about growing up with issues of sexuality and gender diversity and the impact and the important role sport has played individual in their lives.
I am just so proud of the all the individuals that had to courage to speak of their experience.
Watch Video Documentary – “Click Here”
Learn More About OutSport Toronto - “Click Here”
Published May 20th, 2012
IOC COOL things happen when we focus on FULL INCLUSION… THIS IS THE MAGIC WHAT HAPPENS! Who needs steroids to perform, people need access just to participate.
International Olympic Committee [IOC] take away the artificial the man-made boxes/policies and harmful language away you have created that has created only historical “catastrophic harm” towards women and ‘NORMAL’ human difference as we are ALL diverse beings.
Assuring and respecting the complete social inclusion and human rights of everyone living individual society, no matter ones “culture, sexuality, gender, ability and combination thereof.”
The true meaning of the Olympic Movement of which we all support. Proving yet again, anything is possible, when there is no artificial/false barriers in the way!
You may find as a result not because of steroids, that because of access to sport, inclusion and accessibility, sport participation around the world will grow, and records will fall.
Ms. blog Magazine – Curious Tension: Feminism and the Sporting Woman
By Susan J. Bandy
May 2nd, 2012
As a former athlete and a graduate student in sports studies, I embraced feminism in the 1970s. It seemed to be a natural alliance because I had experienced sports as personally liberating and felt that it offered females the possibility to become accomplished athletes, develop strong and healthy bodies and defy societal views of females as physically and psychologically unsuited for sport.
Simone de Beauvoir’s view of sport and physical activity in The Second Sex, which many consider the starting point of second-wave feminism, clarified what I felt. In 1949, she claimed that if a female could “swim, climb mountain peaks, pilot an airplane, battle against the elements, take risks, go out for adventure … she will not feel before the world … timidity.”
De Beauvoir shared similar views with earlier American feminists of the 19th century, such as Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, who understood the importance of educating and liberating the body as pivotal to some of the most basic concerns of early feminism.
READ Full Article - “Click Here”
Published may 2nd, 2012