Today I want to think about three separate stories of white women acting cheated when a black woman succeeds. First we’ll look at a Polish Olympian, then a small town Alabama mayor’s race, and finally the case of Fisher v. University of Texas. The details of each story are different but the central theme that white women are “worthy” winners (and black women aren’t) remains. Let’s get started.
Polish sprinter Joanna Jozwik placed fifth in the 800 meter women’s event at the Rio Olympics. South African track star Caster Semenya took gold. After the race, where Jozwik ran her personal best time of 1:57:37, she suggested the three black women who won medals did not deserve them. Explaining that she felt “like the silver medalist” for coming behind 4th place Canadian Melissa Bishop, Jozwik said “The three athletes who were on the podium raise a lot of controversy. I must admit that for me it is a little strange that the authorities do nothing about this.”
The notion Olympic authorities have “done nothing” is simply false. Caster Semenya was forced to undergo “gender testing” and then the results of those tests were leaked to the public. That’s how we know Semenya has an intersex condition of hyperandrogenism, meaning her body produces elevated levels of testosterone. She and other women athletes with high testosterone were placed on hormone blockers to artificially lower their testosterone. Some were forced through surgeries to remove internal testes.
A 2015 ruling by the Arbitration in Sports Court threw out the requirement that intersex athletes must suppress their natural hormones. Since Semenya was first investigated for performing too well in 2009, it is almost certain that her testosterone levels were reduced to the average range when she competed at the 2012 London Olympics. She took home silver in the 800m race with a time of 1:57:23. You may notice that Semenya’s intentionally hobbled running time was still faster than Jozwik’s personal best.
Jozwik is insinuating that the other two black medalists and Semenya are all “cheating” in some way by running faster than she did. This is exactly how gender tests usually go: a woman of color, usually from a poor or developing nation, performs better than a white woman from a Western nation. The white loser cries foul. The woman of color has her body routinely violated in the name of “fairness”. Jozwik isn’t just whining. She’s calling for the black women who beat her to be punished.