It is a revolutionary concept for black women to run at a global competitive level. Societal thoughts of black bodies are still bound by stereotypes and bad societal confinements. We're told that women have to move further, and be more independent, but when queer black women like Caster Semenya thrive in their fields, institutional racism peeks its head. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) new rules that anyone competing in an international women’s race at 400m, 800m and 1500m must reduce their natural testosterone to a standardized level. These races are oddly specific to Caster Semenya.
The ‘Caster Semenya Clause’ basically means that she must destroy her healthy endocrine system by lowering her natural testosterone level in order to compete. This prerequisite chemical castration is a gross violation of human rights. Queer black bodies are not guinea pigs for white supremacist sport commissions. The IAAF has had what looks like a vendetta against Caster Semenya for almost a decade, given that they introduced a similar rule after Semenya’s victory at the 2009 IAAF World Championships.
It is understandable that such outdated conventions and bad customs make some black people and women feel angry. Nina Keswick talks about how she felt deceived in ignoring systemic issues and just enjoying the benefits that competitive running brought about during her stage of growth. Susan Brown wrathfully wrote the same phenomenon in the book Against Our Will: "we can take important warning from sports, one of which is that success is a arduous, continued and conscientious exercise, and a cool-headed, shrewd strategy (use of stratagem and deceit included), and the result of positive thought aroused by the concept of beating the reflecting oppressive system".
John Terumi and Charles Pecs wrote and compiled a book called Sports and Society where the argument is impartial and brilliantly expounds: "we should notice that men and women have been able to go in for sports, but we should not neglect that men still have the whip hand in the aspect of sports, therefore there exist inevitable prejudice of men and discrimination for women".
Even if the situation is not good it is by no means hopeless. Though women players constitute only about 5 percent, the number is increasing. Bruce Orel, a clinical psychologist in San Jose State University, recently made some pertinent suggestions at a sports seminar in Seattle. He said that women are not short of ability but are affected by cultural bias. He said that: "women are thought to be a certain kind of group on people's own supposition; it causes a cultural pressure consequently. Bear in mind the old saying: horses sweat, men sweat, women ruddy without sweating. So if women are to take part in athletics, it is necessary to a leap forward-a psychological leap. She has to redefine herself with courage". Orel continued, she has to go further, "She should even roar at white supremacist institutions 'go screw yourself.'"
The message they are trying to send to black women is that they can participate in sports but not excel and they can thrive just not too much. Such is the modus operandi of whiteness, to protect unseasoned white men and women from their own mediocrity and protect them from being out-shined by a queer black woman.