What is fairness?

When someone looks at different types of government, you can see many forms: capitalism, communism, socialism. Interestingly enough, there actually aren’t any countries in the world that have true forms of any of these forms of government; capitalism, communism, and socialism alike. Most countries have a mixed government. Fairness in a society is based upon equality and solidarity among all individuals in that society. Much like government, no society is truly fair. For some, fairness is but a dream.

As best seen in the story of South African runner Caster Semenya, fairness is not extended to everyone. After running the 800 meter women’s race in the 2009 IAAF Berlin Championships with a record-shattering time of 1:55.45, a controversy rose from an Australian newspaper’s claims that the athlete was a hermaphrodite “with no womb or ovaries,” (Hurst) but instead internal male genitalia which produce an excess of testosterone, explaining her “muscle bulk, body hair and a deep voice” (Hurst). Along with the unwarranted suspicion in these claims, eyebrows started to raise in regards to the unexpected and rapid progress in her performance. In response, the IAAF and the ASA did a series of tests without the consent of the athlete to prove her genes were really female. In my mind, many things make this unfair. She ran fast, so they tried to connect it with having an excess of testosterone related to a genetic sex verification issue? That’s an awfully serious accusation. But to administer the individual a series of tests without her informed consent for them is downright wrong. Hypocritically, aside from the moral issue, that kind of subjection is a strict violation in the IAAF’s own policy for confidential test processes (Hercher, 552). What happened to eighteen year old Semenya was by no means fair. The IAAF and the ASA put the fairness of other individuals in front of the fairness due to Semenya, and while it might be redundant, that’s just not fair. As long as issues such as this continue to occur, fairness will still be but a dream.

Hurst, Mike. “Caster Semenya Has Male Sex Organs and No Womb or Ovaries.” Editorial. The Daily Telegraph [Austrailia] 11 Sept. 2009: n. pag. The Telegraph. News Ltd 2013, 11 Sept. 2009. Web. 19 Sept. 2013. <http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/sport/semenya-has-no-womb-or-ovaries/story-e6frexni-1225771672245&gt;.

Hercher, Laura. “Gender Verification: A Term Whose Time Has Come and Gone.” Editorial. Springer. Springer Science+Business Media, 8 Sept. 2010. Web. 12 Sept. 2013. <http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10897-010-9323-z/fulltext.html&gt;.


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