Abstract

Abstract:

Using strategies from critical race studies and feminist studies of science, medicine, and the body, we examine the covert operation of race and region in a regulation restricting the natural levels of testosterone in women athletes. Sport organizations claim the rule promotes fair competition and benefits the health of women athletes. Intersectional and postcolonial analyses have shown that "gender challenges" of specific women athletes engage racialized judgments about sex atypicality that emerged in the context of Western colonialism and are at the heart of Western modernity. Here, we introduce the concept of "T talk" to refer to the web of direct claims and indirect associations that circulate around testosterone as a material substance and a multivalent cultural symbol. In the case we discuss, T talk naturalizes the idea of sport as a masculine domain while deflecting attention from the racial politics of intrasex competition. Using regulation documents, scientific publications, media coverage, in-depth interviews, and sport officials' public presentations, we show how this supposedly neutral and scientific regulation targets women of color from the Global South. Contrary to claims that the rule is beneficent, both racialization and medically-authorized harms are inherent to the regulation.

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
2151-7371
Print ISSN
2151-7363
Pages
pp. 1-39
Launched on MUSE
2018-09-12
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.