Thursday, September 10, 2009

interesting news...

It looks like the oldest person has just died at the age of 115. The story is here. I love that her diet consisted of "bacon, fried chicken and ice cream." Yeah. Eat that you Paleo-Zoners! (Okay, I'm not trying to hate. I'm just sayin'.)

Right now, the larger news item that strikes me is the controversy with Caster Semenya, the 18 year-old runner who was forced to take a gender test after she won the 800 meter world championship. This story strikes me because as a scholar, the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality are absolutely fascinating to me. I find Kai Wright's take on the issue to spot on. Some other stories include unconfirmed reports that she is a hermaphrodite. Here is another one about her competition status. Finally, here is a story about her getting a makeover and posing for a magazine cover to prove how womanly she is.

I am amazed (but not surprised) at the harsh witch hunt. (I love how Wright uses this description.) Seriously folks. Leave the kid (and at eighteen, she is a kid) alone! Among the many items surrounding Semenya's story, beauty seems to be the overarching issue. It seems that the world has a problem with a female world champion who doesn't fit stereotypical notions of what a woman "should" be. I find the controversy disgusting because if she won looking more like the magazine cover, no one would say anything. Oh! Don't get me started on the racial implications here...

In other-but-related news, I love this story about Michelle Obama's arms and this story about the Williams sisters. If you were my students, I would make you write a research paper where you would draw connections between all three "gender cases." Be happy you're not my students. I'm a hard grader. ha ha!


CrossFit One World WOD
Run 2.5 miles
Joanne's Final Time - N/A

Notes (to myself) about this workout: I'm old. I'm sore. Seriously. Someone please explain to me why I'm still recovering from "Karen." My inner thighs are sore. My right hip is sore. Even my forearms are sore (partly from carpal tunnel, which I feel is a totally panty injury). I meant to run the total 5K that Freddy tried to "trick" us into doing. Instead of running 1.1 miles three times, I decided to just do the whole distance in one shot. I stopped at 2.5 miles (a 5K is 3.1 miles). I was just tired and I ran straight through, no stopping. This is unlike me because I know I can run at least 4-5 miles, and up to 7 miles without stopping. But it was getting dark and my legs were giving out. I have no idea what was wrong with me.

I'm tired. Bleh.


maria said...

You always come up with interesting topics. I have seen Caster Semenya's races and interviews. Her win over the other top "female" athletes was astronomical. A jaw dropping huge win.

I don't believe it is a witch hunt. As a former competitive athlete, I have seen others cheat. It hurts everyone. I'm glad the athletic federation is taking steps to ensure fairness.

I do not condone the leak of the gender test. However, from an objective person looking at the races and Caster's interviews, it was very obvious to me that she was either taking steroids or had a medical problem. And, 18 is an adult. She's not a child.

I am not saying that Caster cheated. I believe she had a medical condition she was not aware of. Someone knew. Perhaps her parents or her government.

That is just my thoughts. Don't pelt me with rocks! Heh!

Keep up the great posts, girl. I read them almost every day!

Joanne said...

Oh Maria,

No worries. I'm really glad to hear your take on these things.

Yes. I forget that eighteen constitutes adulthood. Um, in legal terms. ha ha!

Anyway... this is a tough but interesting case to me. I'm not a competitive athlete, but I do agree that people do cheat by way of drugs and such. Marion Jones comes to mind. It was so disappointing when she confessed to using drugs for competition.

As always, there are so many ways to look at this case and I admit that my angle is slightly different than yours because I'm looking at it from a "race and representation in sports" angle. It's not my speciality. But I do know the wheels are churning all over campus.

For the record, I'd never throw rocks at you. It's like I tell my students: there is no right or wrong. There's only discussion. I'm really glad you chimed in on this one.

I miss seeing you at the box! I'm trying to be better at going to Jason's class on Sunday. Hope to see you soon!