A fabulous op-ed piece appeared last week in the NY Times, entitled "The XY Games", by Jennifer Finney Boylan. The article details why the sex tests for Olympic athletes are profoundly flawed.
"The Olympic hosts seem to want to impose a binary order upon the messy continuum of gender. They are searching for concreteness and certainty in a world that contains neither.
Most efforts to rigidly quantify the sexes are bound to fail. For every supposedly unmovable gender marker, there is an exception. There are women with androgen insensitivity, who have Y chromosomes. There are women who have had hysterectomies, women who cannot become pregnant, women who hate makeup, women whose object of affection is other women.
So what makes someone female then? If it’s not chromosomes, or a uterus, or the ability to get pregnant, or femininity, or being attracted to men, then what is it, and how can you possibly test for it?
The only dependable test for gender is the truth of a person’s life, the lives we live each day. Surely the best judge of a person’s gender is not a degrading, questionable examination. The best judge of a person’s gender is what lies within her, or his, heart."
This article brought a great read to mind that I tripped across 2 years ago after listening to an NPR segment: Norah Vincent's Self Made Man.
Her writing about how men interrelate when women aren't around was enlightening and stereotype-busting. Definitely an unsuck read.