Shayna Medley Discusses the Racism and Sexism of “Sex Testing” World Athletes

Shayna Medley (’17), Legal Fellow at the Center for Reproductive Rights and Harvard Law Lecturer, was quoted by Blavity News regarding World Athletics’ discriminatory sex testing of women athletes (“Namibian Runners Disqualified from Tokyo Competition Prove Eugenics Continues to Leave Black Girls Behind,” July 30). “Black women are constantly having their gender called into question based on these eugenicist ideas of gender and race that are so intertwined. Black women are the ones who are being forced to undergo these so-called sex tests in the first place, because of racist ideas about them being too masculine. . . . [T]his idea that in the face of naturally occurring variation, Black women are being asked to alter their bodies to compete because of some false idea of fairness, we don’t see that same attitude in men’s sports.” Regarding proposed alternatives to current competition structure, Shayna stated, “The bottom line is, athletes should be able to compete on the team that they identify with.”