Celebrate our golden girl as a strong woman

TODAY I pour my heart out about the tragic mess around Caster Semenya - our golden girl whom the world is denying the opportunity to enjoy her hard-won victory.

TODAY I pour my heart out about the tragic mess around Caster Semenya - our golden girl whom the world is denying the opportunity to enjoy her hard-won victory.

If you expect to giggle, I won't be disappointed. My heart bleeds for that girl, and like many other South Africans I wish I could wake up and find out it was all a nasty dream.

Sad, though, that some - like a wannabe celeb DJ - could make fun of her.

You need to have a profoundly evil streak not to feel for this girl. Even mentioning her name here makes me feel I am complicit in the annihilation of her soul.

I feel we in the "sympathetic" media are having our cake and eating it. On the one hand we condemn everybody who has anything to do with this sorry saga, while on the other we continue to spread the bad news, perpetuating the harm.

What has become of sport, you might ask, that we take it so seriously as to dissect and analyse the physiological make-up of a human being under the glare of the voyeuristic international media, as if she were an inanimate fossil of archaeological interest?

What is it with the world that all "women" are expected to be frilly, smiley and tender beings?

Some women are tough as nails. Caster Semenya is built in that mould and it is something we need to celebrate and not bemoan.

A little personal anecdote: I have written about my childhood neighbour, who shall remain nameless, a chain-smoking tannie who was built like an ox.

No man in our neighbourhood messed with her, and while she literally beat up her softie husband until he was nice and obedient, she did a lot of good things and nobody questioned her biological make-up.

She built most of her house, fixed the fence, did the gardening, while she made sure that hubby washed the dishes, cooked and helped with the washing.

That was the luck of the draw for her husband - he was not the type who could fix a roof (it would in all likelihood have collapsed on the family), while she would probably break the crockery if she washed it with her huge, plank-like hands.

All manner of jokes did the rounds about the "odd" couple, but nobody questioned the gender of either of them.

If sport was all it is cracked up to be, why can't an august body such as the IAAF accept Caster's word when she says she is a woman? For crying out loud, she grew up as one, has a birth certificate that says she is female, has a woman's name - the whole gamut.

I wish we could say to the IAAF: "Take your damn medal, stuff it up you-know-where!"

I wish we could send them back their rotten cheque and then go on to make Caster the happiest girl in this country.

Freedom of Limpopo? Caster Semenya Drive? Dr Caster Semenya?

Imagine!

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