I’ve been following the story of Mokgadi “Caster” Semenya the female 800 mitres’ specialist at the Berlin (German) Olympics.
I have to say I’m over the moon with her achievements thus far she really deserves a big, loud welcome when she lands at OR Tambo international airport. However what I find disturbing is the support she’s not getting from human rights and gender groups in particular those who were so vocal when Julius Malema (ANC Youth League leader) made certain dumb comments in relation to women abuse.
In Semenya we have a woman who is being politely told that she’s not a women therefore a man unless proven otherwise by western methods, questions are raised about her body, her face, moustache, her way of celebrating a victory etc. It doesn’t take an expert to figure out that this amounts to emotional abuse the fact she’s compared to males. I know for a fact that you’ll never find a single woman in the world who would be happy to be told that they look like a man.
If one were to scrutinise the whole story we would realise that Semenya is being emotionally abused and the fact that the organisations should be at forefront in defending this abuse are silent. Even more disturbing is the fact that we as South Africans are not as vocal as we ought to be (the same way we are when our political leaders make dumb comments), while she continues to being subjected to continuous abuse at an international level.
This silence not only creates doubt on the confidence we have in her but also encourages this abusive behaviour against her. I will not be comparing her to other athletes intentionally because this is not about other athletes but about our own questionable loyalty towards her and our continuous silence while she endures abuse as a representative of South Africa.
Despite all of this she has continued to deliver on the responsibilities we have entrusted in her, even though we have not been as supportive as we ought to be. She has remained a national hero after her excellent performance in the 800 mitres at World Athletics Championships in Berlin last night.
Some of you might have been thinking perhaps she went for a sex change. Let’s look at this option closely, she 18 years of age raised by her grandmother, Maphuthi Sekgala who’s 80 years old currently. If she had this option how much will it cost for the sex change? She just turned 18 therefore this procedure would have required her grand mother to sign on her behalf, now how many grandmothers out there would approve of this? We often wonder why people like the Kwaito artist, Mshoza go for breasts implants (34C) and nose jobs to look more feminine, hope this answers your question. So next time you pick-up your tabloid or magazine and see women going under knife DON’T BLAME THEM, THEY’VE HAD ENOUGH OF THE ABUSE!