Female Soccer Players Accused Of Being Men, Kicked Off TeamJune 23, 2011 No Comments
In the past couple years, African women athletes have been swarmed with question marks surrounding their gender.
Caster Semenya was tested to determine if she was really a man after winning the 800 metre race at the 2009 World Championships. Semenya’s talent triumphed over questions of gender and she got to keep her gold medal, but unfortunately the storyline has changed in the case of Salimata and Bilguisa Simpore.
On the heels of the Women’s World Cup soccer, the Simpore sisters, who played for Equatorial Guinea, have mysteriously been dropped off the team list after a win against Ghana. Team Ghana players have voiced their strong opinion that the Simpore sisters are in fact men.
Despite medical experts having the ability to test for concentrations of sex hormones in the body — supposedly revealing if you’re a man or a woman — they only needed to touch the sisters to come to the conclusion they were men. “You only need to have physical contact with them to know this, and we can tell from what happened most times during the match,” said Diana Ankomah of team Ghana.
Since I doubt Ankomah (or anyone) can get into their heads and bodies to make a judgment, it’s clear that their gen-dar is nothing more than a hunch. They may be powerful, toned athletes, but the assumption is unfair and casts a stigma on both players and over women’s soccer.
If the league wants to eliminate question marks surrounding gender, either they will have to do testing from the outset, permit more fluid definitions of gender, or redefine their rules all together.
No matter what FIFA decides, it’s time to stop publicly pondering gender when we don’t have any answers. If not for the sake of women’s soccer, then out of respect for the individuals.
Contact the author here: firstname.lastname@example.org