2009 World Championships in Athletics – Women's 800 metres

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  • The Accidental Celebritisation Of Caste Semenya Analysis

    Semenya whose celebrity status was the result of media speculation and the efforts of outside sources and with little input from Semenya, herself. In this paper I will be examining Dr Jaime Shultz’s article, ‘The accidental celebritisation of Caster Semenya’ which focuses on this notion of media representation as the basis for Semenya’s ‘celebrity’. Castor Semenya is a South African women’s track and field athlete who won the women’s title for the 800-metre dash in the 2009 World Championships in Berlin. Following this success, she immediately became famous, not for her athletic abilities, but for the supposed results of a ‘gender verification’ test issued by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) which called into question whether Semenya should be permitted to compete as a woman (Shultz 285). While the results of this test were never released to the public, rumours spread quickly through media sources at just the suggestion that Semenya might not fully fit the gender binary designation of ‘female’. Rumours which were inflated through speculation about her physique, athletic abilities, and inability to meet accepted cultural norms for what designates ‘female’ to those overseeing the international competition. As stated above, Dr Shultz’s article she declares that Caster Semenya’s accidental celebrity status is the result of that media representation. She goes further to designate three major frames through which the media outlets portrayed Semenya’s…

    Words: 1303 - Pages: 6
  • Femininity And Gender

    Despite the fact that testosterone levels are associated with strength and muscle size and therefore cannot be used to universally “rank” athletic capabilities across different individuals (Jordan-Young and Karkazis, 2012), the IOC still equates a “masculine appearance” with “maleness”. This cultural thinking endorses the persistent scrutiny of female athletes who do not conform to hegemonic standards of beauty and…

    Words: 1516 - Pages: 7
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