2021 Tokyo Olympics: I’m Rooting for Every Oppressed Woman
The Olympics’ sexist and racist punishment of female athletes of color makes it difficult to celebrate the contests
I’m rooting for 18-year-old Namibian runners Christine Mboma and Beatrice Masilingi in the Olympics’ 200-meter competition not only because they’re incredible athletes but because they’ve been biologically discriminated against.
A couple of weeks ago, the two teens were banned from Tokyo’s 400-meter race because, according to the World Athletics, their testosterone levels were too high. No foreign substances or performance-enhancing chemicals were found in the bodies of these young women; their natural testosterone levels alone were the cause of their Olympic disqualification.
The only reason Mboma and Masilingi were tested in the first place is that Africans have spent all year annihilating their opponents in the track and field competition. Back in April, Masilingi ran a 49.53 seconds at a low-level meet in Zambia. It stands as the year’s third-fastest time in a 400-meter dash competition. The fastest time belongs to Mboma, who, a couple of weeks ago, ran a scorching 48.54 seconds in Poland. Her time is an under-20 record and the seventh-fastest ever ran in a 400.
The performances of Mboma and Masilingi inspiring the World Athletics to conduct “medical assessments” is not just profiling, it’s racial profiling. Then again, it’s not as if the Olympics doesn’t have a history of being intrusive when it comes to Black women’s bodies. In 2009, they challenged the sex of South African runner Caster Semenya. The International Association of Athletics Federation then ordered the gold medalist to reduce her testosterone if she intended to defend her medals in future competitions. When Semenya appealed, she lost. The Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld the decision, stating, “such discrimination is necessary” for “preserving the integrity of female athletics.” Don’t forget the preservation of White supremacy.
In Mboma and Masilingi’s case, the World Athletics went on record to make clear that they aren’t calling the Namibian runners cheaters or citing any foul play. The organization says it has implemented the new testosterone standard — for…