With all the brouhaha over runner Caster Semenya’s gender and rumors that Lady Gaga is a hermaphrodite, it seems like intersexism is really on people’s minds these days. So we’ve very glad that 39-year-old chick Hida Viloria published an essay on CNN.com this week telling us what it’s like to be intersexed. Hida didn’t out that she was a hermaphrodite until she was 26. Sound crazy? Well, Viloria’s body looks just like most women’s—she gets her period every month and can get pregnant. The only thing is that her clitoris is very, very large. When Viloria was growing up, her conservative parents avoided talking about gender and sexuality. She didn’t get any corrective surgery or take estrogen pills because her father, a doctor, was against it. Now Hida, who holds a degree in gender and sexuality studies from Berkeley, is writing a book called Mighty Hermaphrodite about her experiences. The book will be out next spring. Keep reading »
Tag Archives: hermaphrodite
For weeks Caster Semenya, the 18-year-old South African runner, has been embroiled in a kerfluffle over her “real” sex. Rumors that Semenya wasn’t a woman spread after she won a gold medal last month, and the International Association of Athletics Federations ordered her to undergo DNA testing.
Semenya’s test results allegedly show she’s a hermaphrodite. According to reports, Semenya apparently has internal testicles, no womb or ovaries, and testosterone levels more than three times what the New York Daily News calls “normal female” levels. Excuse me for going all Women’s Studies Major on your asses, but can we talk about this? Keep reading »
Germany’s Sarah Gronert is a professional tennis player who competes on the same level as the Williams sisters and Maria Sharipova. The thing is, Gronert was born with both male and female sex organs (i.e. she’s a hermaphrodite), though she had surgery a few years ago to remove the male genitalia. Her story ignited controversy in her own country and within the professional tennis world, but she was able to plead her case with the WTA (the group that oversees the sport) so that she could continue to play among her female peers. But her critics believe that the fact that she was born both as a man and a woman gives her an unfair advantage competing against women. “There is no girl who can hit serves like that, not even Venus Williams,” said Schlomo Tzoref, who coaches rival player. “When I heard her story, I was in shock. I don’t know if it’s fair that she can compete or not. She does have an advantage, but if this is what the WTA have decided, they probably know best.” Apparently, Gronert is so good, she’s expected to be crack the Top 50 players in the world this year.