AJ Daulerio's Cultural Oddsmaker runs every Friday. Email him to let him know what you think.
Of all the regrettable things to get suspended for in professional athletics, failing a gender test has got to be the most humiliating. Getting busted for steroids or illegal supplements is silly, yet understandable, but having your silver medal stripped because a gaming committee has decided you're a little too mannish, well, that's got to sting a bit more. That's exactly what happened to Indian runner Shanti Soundarajan who, after silver medaling at the Asian Games, had it taken away this week because she had more Y chromosomes than Olympic-caliber international competition allows and — actual quote from the report — "Did not possess the sexual characteristics of a woman." Ouchy.
Quick gender misrepresentation story: A few years ago I was doing a story about New York City sex clubs and went to one with a couple of friends for "research." This one in particular pretty much a dingy loft that had a few sectioned off rooms with mattresses on the floor, a living area with two old wall TVs playing porn, a couple of dusty couches and, most surprisingly, a folding table with a deli meat tray similar to one you'd find at a local church picnic or cousin's graduation party.
So, you pay $40 to enter this place and then basically sit around and wait for one of the banged-up women to offer you a flickity-flick in one of the cloistered off rooms. (I'm proud to say I did not partake. However, I'm not proud to admit that I did have a ham and cheese sandwich.)
My one friend was approached by a lady who, in lieu of just offering her services, proceeded to go right to the hard sell — in front of me, and every other shady dude standing around. Now, my friend's not the exhibitionist type, but he is, frustratingly very polite to a fault. So, he just stood there and let this person do her thing, intermittently glancing over at me with a befuddled, what-do-you-do-in-this-situation?-expression.
Unfortunately, this type of activity tends to draw a crowd. Pretty soon, the crusty regulars surrounded him and began pleasuring themselves. Even though I'd heard of this particular sleazy phenomenon, much like a Great White leaping out of the ocean to snatch a baby seal, I never thought I'd actually see something like this in person.
As the shark-leaping continues to unfold over the span of a good few minutes, an older Indian gentleman starts making small talk.
"She's good, right? I know him. He's almost complete!"
"Excuse me? Him? What do you mean?"
"Yes. He works in my store. He's a nice boy. I pay for his titties!"
So, do you: A) Yank your buddy away because he's getting fellated by a Chinese boy or B) Let the whole thing play out and then tell him after you leave?
Oh, if only I could've photographed the expression on his face the next day.
Anyway, this week I'm putting on my Tootsie costume, popping in my Transamerica DVD and calculating odds on the next professional athlete to fail a gender test.
Let's fill this cup with pee, after the jump.
Phil Mickelson: 1/1
As more pro golfers take a cue from Tiger and realize they can lift weights to help improve their game, and guys like Stuart Appleby start rolling up their sleeves to show off their triceps, the PGA may begin testing for steroids. The next logical step is to start testing for penis. And if you look at the correlation between Mickelson's major victories and the sudden reduction of his once clamorous breasts, you can see that if the PGA was to perhaps do an investigation, well, Phil could be in trouble.
Joakim Noah: 2/1
Florida's gangly big man will most likely be a high draft pick for one lucky NBA team this year — but why not the WNBA? Be it his questionable choice in sleepwear or the fact that he was very girly facial features, I'd have a tough time believing Joakim was all dude. Besides his mother was a former Miss Sweden — a country long known for its progressive outlook on transgendered individuals — which means there's a strong possibility she herself was once a young man named Goran.
Courtney Paris: 4/1
The Sooners big ol' country Courtney has a lot going for her, but when someone is consistently referred to having "uncanny strength" for a woman — who just happens to be 6'3, 250 — well, that should raise a few eyebrows. Her high profile subjects her to more scrutiny, so don't be surprised if this year we find out Ms. Paris is actually the guy who played "House" in Police Academy 4, using a very creative way to rejuvenate his career.
Canadian Men's Speed Skating Team: 1/4
These guys also took a silver medal in Turin last February. Now, go to Google. Type in "male camel toe" and see what images come up. See? Somebody got robbed.