South African runner Caster Semenya is not transgender. Fox News either could not get this fact right, or willfully misrepresented this fact so it could whip up outrage from its audience of shut-ins who have been ostracized from their families because of their devotion to getting all their news from one channel on the bright, loud box.
On Wednesday, Semenya lost her appeal against the IAAF, track’s governing body, so she’ll have to take medicine to lower her natural levels of testosterone. Ten years ago, when she was 18, she had to submit to a “gender verification” test. She’s been treated incredibly poorly throughout her running career. On yesterday’s broadcast Fox News host Carley Shimkus called Semenya transgender, then followed up the story with an unrelated item about transgender powerlifter Mary Gregory, who broke four records at a competition this past weekend. It’s pretty obvious as to what kind of fear this was supposed to instill in the viewer.
Today, Shimkus spent five seconds apologizing for the horse that was already well down the road, out of sight, and voting for discriminatory bathroom bills.
MMFA’s Parker Molloy had a useful explanation on how the stories of Semenya and Gregory can’t be lumped in to the same supposed grievance. Semenya’s testosterone levels are natural, and her sport’s federation is trying to force her to lower them with medication so that she’ll fit some baseless, science-free definition of a woman. Fox News and all these right-wing outlets aren’t sincerely invested in the sanctity of women’s sports, but they’ll twist anything they can as long as it creates more noise.