Cary Costello: “Caster Semenya – An Intersex Perspective”

Intersex person and sociology professor Cary Costello writes about the Caster Semenya case:

… Here’s an irony for you. According to Western medical practice, the majority of infants discovered to be intersex are assigned female. This is done for surgical convenience (it being considered easier to remove an “inappropriate” penis than create an “appropriate” one), and due to a covert assumption about gender psychology, that women can deal better with gender ambiguity than can men. So we’re assigned female, told we are “really women,” subjected to mutilating infant surgery, expected to identify as female, not intersex, told to keep our medical history, if we know it, a secret, and sent out to live dyadic female lives. Many of us carefully live by the rules. But it turns out that if we do as we are told, we are still subject to being outed, discredited, mocked, and returned unceremoniously to the status of intersex oddity, as Caster’s life illustrates–accused of breaking the rules.

What Caster’s situation illustrates, from an intersex perspective, is that we exist. Dyadic sex is a myth–sex is a spectrum. …

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Caster Semenya – An Intersex Perspective