Saturday, January 29, 2011

Castor Semenya and why we should rethink the gay debate

I will state the rules for this post at the very beginning - this essay is not for the homophobic.

Lask week, South African female athlete, Castor Semenya, appeared on BBC Newsnight to talk about the gender dispute that has overshadowed her career.

In case you don’t know, Semenya is the gorgeous, radiant smiling girl who hit the newsstands for all the wrong reasons after a set of guys in the athletics industry thought that she is not female. Actually that is not exactly what they were raising hell over. They were trying to rip her of a hard fought Gold medal on of all things, the basis that she is more of a boy, than a girl.

Everybody knows that without bringing in the complexions of science, we need the presence of one sexual organ, and the absence of another to qualify someone as either female or male.

But not the hell raisers that were giving Semenya sleepless nights. To them, and in truth science as a whole, things like testosterone and oestrogen have to come in force. So poor girl was taken to the laboratories, just like another specimen. And you by now should have remembered the outcome – the girl was found to have more levels of testosterone than is expected in a female.

Yeap! Way more than the normal amounts of a hormone that is solely responsible for masculine behaviour and male sexuality were found in the body a female. Right then, questions should have started being asked, did God create her to be part boy or girl, what was God thinking to give her that much more testosterone, and most importantly, what does it mean for the homosexuality debate?

If there is anybody that made a gain in this whole fracas, it is the Lesbian and Gay rights movement. And the question should have been raised, if it’s possible that a girl can have an excessive amount of male-sexual hormones in her body, isn’t it possible, even slightly, that a girl can end up being attracted to girls instead of boys?

But you have hardly heard such discussions being raised.

Homophobic and religiously bigoted minds have preached against homosexuality, saying it is evil, preaching that the act goes against nature where a girl is naturally designed to be attracted to a boy and vice versa, but not the other way round.

But hey, right here on earth, we now have a scenario where a girl’s body is casing hormones that are naturally designed to attract a human being to females.

And if it is possible that a girl could have an abnormally high amount of testosterone, is it also possible that one or two boys out there could have an abnormally low amount of testosterone, hence having limited or no sexual attraction at all to female beings?

Those are the questions that should be asked. Before Pastor Martin Ssempa, Hon David Bahati and Giles Muhame go ahead to call for murder (how can one be so cruel) for people who enjoy sex their own way, out of the public’s eye unlike what some straight people do at Liddo beach, they should ask themselves the simple question whether there is even the slightest possibility that homosexuality could be a natural occurrence.

I will divert, but only slightly. When you consider the sheer strength and magnetic pull of the attraction that overcomes a mature male when he looks at a nude woman, and on top of that, you consider the sheer intensity of the pleasure that both a man and woman experience when having sex, it is absolutely mind-boggling that some body out there may not want to go through a similar experience. And that instead, they are choosing to do it in ways that seem absolutely nauseating and disgusting, at the very least. Why would they choose to do it that way?

Either homosexuals are abnormal and should be cared for just like other people with biological ailments, or, they are simply naturally designed that way.

Life in general has moved so far ahead for human beings to determine legislation while only basing on what scriptures are saying. It thus does not make sense to condemn homosexuality simply because the Bible or the Quran are against it. Those very books have some of the most brutal tales on earth and that discredits them as creeds to follow in this day and age.

And because science has time and again defeated many things that the two books mentioned, it is more reasonable that instead of pointing the accusing finger, and condemning homosexuals with righteous vengeance, we leave the job to scientists and hope that one day, they will have an answer that will satisfy all of us. If the Roman Catholics had waited 400 more years, Galileo wouldn’t have been persecuted.

And that takes me back to my dear Semenya. She could have suffered a great deal while being taken through the tests and all. But she could turn out to have offered this world a simple and yet hard to see lesson. That when faced with some thing you cannot possibly know, accept that you don’t know and leave the professions to check it. 100 years from now, Ugandans will look back to the Pastor Ssempas and Bahatis and Muhames of this world, and they will laugh with scorn. You may think I am joking, but you know I am not. 

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