Exclusive - Canadian Women in Sports News (CWSN) Ottawa
“Kristen Worley: Human Rights”
Written by Shelia Bowes
Published October 17th, 2012
ONTARIO — “Once you realize everyone is diverse the world changes,” said Kristen Worley a Canadian high performance cyclist and leading educator on issues of gender and gender discrimination. The athlete – who has been recognized as one of the “Most Influential Women in Sport and Physical Activity” by the Canadian Association of Women in Sport and Physical Activity — is attempting to bring greater diversity, social ethics and inclusion to international sport and Olympic competition.
“We need to stop putting people into boxes and start looking at a more inclusive strategy. We need to take away the labels and start identifying what people are capable of, taking their sex out of the equation by basing it on ability. “
Worley — who has embarked on an educational campaign to raise awareness by engaging international sport and Olympic leaders, governments, legal and medical professionals to initiate a sweeping change to current and outdated policy – has been asked to represent Bill C279 at the House of Commons as it is written into the Canadian Charter.
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Published October 2012
International News Articles 2004-2011
This article is a reflection of Canada’s commitment and leadership to diversity, social ethics and inclusion. In April, we convened in Ottawa as a select panel, hosted by the Canadian Centre of Ethics in Sport. Unanimously condemning gender testing and the Stockholm Consensus despite the sorry history of which they were designed too medicalize women and the definition of womanhood, taking expression of embodied gender identity out of the very hands of the very humans involved , and setting up many other young people for the devastating treatment that Caster Semenya experienced. Moreover, it flies in the face of the overwhelming evidence of the tremendous homonal variability among humans.
NY Times ESSAY – Sports
Redefining the Sexes in Unequal Terms
April 23, 2011
The good news is that the International Olympic Committee and the International Association of Athletics Federations, the governing body for track and field, have worked hard to come up with a new policy to deal with athletes whose sex development is unusual.
Although sports officials contend that this reworking is not a specific response to the fiasco surrounding the South African runner Caster Semenya, what happened to Semenya constitutes reason enough to seek reform. Surely no athlete should learn from watching television, as Semenya did, that her sex has been called in question on the international stage. And no athletes should have to face the previous patchwork policy on sex testing, wondering what will happen if their particular condition is not clearly explained in the rules.
The new policy no longer allows any room for a simplistic “I know it when I see it” approach to who counts as a female athlete. Women who test in the male range for functional testosterone will have to have their levels chemically squashed in order to play. (Functional testosterone means not just the amount the body makes, but also how the body responds to it, because some people’s cells lack receptors to respond.)
The bad news is that the new policy seems sexist in its philosophy. Indeed, it is so sexist that it may even count as a violation of Title IX, which will matter because the international policies will undoubtedly trickle down to school-based sports.
The hormones in question are not naturally exclusive to men. Women and men naturally make androgens — sometimes called strength-building hormones — including testosterone.
Yet despite th