WMC News: Olympic Sex Testing, The Great Wall, Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton & more!
August 18, 2016
Sex Testing for Female Olympic Athletes Is a Thing of the Past (At Least for Now)
By Anuradha Sengupta | August 15, 2016
Women with perceived “masculine qualities” have been under scrutiny by sports governing organizations for decades. The Olympic Games have subjected female athletes to various humiliating tests to measure natural testosterone levels, identify hormones, and see if they have the “right” set of chromosomes or the “right” genitalia and reproductive organs. The first set of gender tests were put in place by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in the 1960s with “nude parades”—female athletes forced to appear naked in groups before judging panels. The committee later moved on to chromosome testing and then SRY gene detection (the gene that triggers male sex determination). Athletes who failed the tests were subject to disqualification. It wasn’t until 1999 that routine testing was ended, but the committee continued to allow for tests in cases in which someone called an athlete’s gender into question.
But at the 2016 Rio Olympics, for the first time in more than half a century, female competitors are not subject to any form of sex testing, thanks to one Indian athlete who successfully fought her ban. More>>
Image description: Payoshni Mitra (center), with athletes Dutee Chand (left) and Pinki Pramanik (right). Photo courtesy of Dr. Payoshni Mitra.
Why Proper Representation Matters: The Invisible Minority in Pop Culture
By Angela Liu | August 17, 2016
I have never had a hero who looked quite like me. Growing up, my favorite shows on Disney Channel included Hannah Montana and Wizards of Waverly Place – shows with complex, interesting female characters, but which also had predominantly white casts. Like millions of other young girls, I rooted for Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez: – I laughed at their jokes, celebrated their successes, and felt for them when they fell. Like millions of other young girls of color, however, I had no role models who looked like I did.
I was sitting down with my family at dinner recently when a CNN notification popped up on my phone, alerting me that Matt Damon had been cast in a new film called The Great Wall. The movie, set to premiere early next year, chronicles the fictional mysteries surrounding the building and defense of the Great Wall of China, which is reimagined as a defense mechanism against interstellar threats. With a budget of over $150 million, it’s the most expensive film that has ever to been shot entirely in China. The movie, as the Chinese director put it, is poised to be an “action blockbuster” and is supposed to appeal to audiences in America and China alike. It has a predominantly Chinese creative team and is backed by a Chinese-owned Hollywood studio.
And yet a white American male plays the movie’s hero. More>>
Image description: Logo for the film The Great Wall with caption "Maybe not so great."
Michelle Obama: A One of A Kind Role Model
By Vicki S | August 15, 2016
When I was in fifth grade, I watched the Obama administration come to life from a crowded library carpet and a single roll-in television. My back ached as my elementary school peers and I watched our nation’s first black president put his hand on the bible, his breathtaking wife standing guard. She was composed but excited, brilliant, and vibrant. For a young girl’s first real introduction to American politics, it was magic.
While Barack Obama’s presidency made me feel bright-eyed and curious about the upcoming years, it was Michelle who became my role model that day. I was young and unscathed by the world of politics and the way my country worked and had the capacity to learn and be guided by this woman. I was the age of Barack and Michelle’s daughters and was given the opportunity to grow up with the Obama girls. We transformed into women under the tutelage of Michelle, her grace and wisdom as both First Lady and mother eminently clear. More>>
Image description: Michelle Obama with caption "Michelle Obama is a boss."
How the Sexist Media Treatment of Hillary Clinton Affects Young Girls
By Lauren D | August 12, 2016
“I can’t believe we just put the biggest crack in that glass ceiling yet,” Hillary Clinton said on July 27th, acknowledging her historic presidential nomination during the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in Philadelphia.
“This is your victory,” she continued. “This is your night. And if there are any little girls out there who stayed up late to watch, let me just say I may become the first woman President. But one of you is next.”
Though Hillary is right that her victory is not just personal, but also a victory for women across the country, we also need to look at the way this achievement was thwarted for years — specifically, the impact of incessant sexism on her campaign. More>>
Image description: Hillary Clinton
This week WMC SheSource features experts on the Milwaukee protests following the shooting of Sylville Smith, a Boko Haram video believed to show the missing Nigerian schoolgirls, Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas responds to social media critics, flood devastation in Louisiana, and a secret Ukrainian ledger lists cash payment to Donald Trump's campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.
Sign up to receive regular emails highlighting women experts to speak on newsworthy issues.
TO SIGN UP TO RECEIVE WMC NEWS EVERY WEEK -- SIGN UP HERE
The views expressed in this commentary are those of the authors alone and do not represent WMC.
WMC is a 501(c)(3) organization and does not endorse candidates.
To support women journalists who are changing the conversation, donate to the WMC: