Thursday, December 21, 2006

Gender test

"Indian Athlete fails Gender Test", screams the headlines. Santhi Soundarajan won a silver medal at Doha and them promptly failed a gender test, so they took back her (?) medal.

But there is something I do not quite get.

What the holy F is a gender test? Do they look inside your pant(ie)s for a visual obstruction? Or your chest for a couple of speed breakers? (Maybe that's why fat men are not athletes) Do they do the touchy-feely thing from the outside?

Or do they make you take online tests like this:

Which of the following most accurately describes you?
I'm a real man.
I'm a real woman.
I'm not a real man or a real woman, but I'd like to be.
None of the above. I'm something else entirely.

So if you click "C" or "D" they take back your medal.

The test statements say that Ms. S.S. "does not possess the sexual characteristics of a woman". If they got that from looking at a picture I will honestly say that this may apply to a lot of women in certain engineering colleges. We used to have a sexist joke in my college:

Why did Ethiopia get the drought and KREC get the girl's block? (the ladies hostel that is)
Because Ethiopia had the first choice.

Okay, not quite politically correct, so what. But I digress.

The medical team that did this "gender test" consists of "a gynecologist, endocrinologist, psychologist and internal medicine specialist", it seems.

Gynecologist, okay.
Endocrinologist, a complicated designation, but still okay.
Internal medicine specialist, uhmm. I think they invented that term yesterday.

What is a psychologist doing there? Testing if she had the mental make up of a woman? If anyone knows anything about women they will know that there is no standard mental make up of a woman. From chaos theory, the rule goes that you can never predict what will offend, excite, impress or otherwise affect any given woman at any given point in time, because of the butterfly effect, not necessarily in your stomach. Even if you are a woman. Even if you are THE woman in question, which is why endless phone discussions are about "I don't know why I was feeling that way".

If there is any recognition of this rule, chances are quite high that S.S. was, at that point, acting like a man, because she is a woman and can hormonally act any which way she pleases.

Now if they told me she went through a a simple chromosome test to find out if she's got XX or XY, that would be fine. Yet, they will choose psychologists to determine if a (tired) athlete is a woman, and that too, in an Arab country. Surprisingly stupid, no?

Theory: Maybe one of them tried to touch something they shouldn't have touched, and the penalty for that is that they cut your hands off, so it was probably better to decide she wasn't a woman in the first place. And to argue their case, we present Mr. Ram Jethmalani who says that she challenged their manhood, so they challenged her womanhood.


Blogger Vasan said...

Wah, bhai, Wah. That was 2 fast and 2 fundoo! A pat on my on back too: I shall make provocation my middle name.

And BTW, thanks for this post. It was so nice.

(OK, OK ... I shouldn't have. I am worried, will that expression of emotion cost me -1 in my gender test?)

1:03 AM, December 22, 2006  

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