Caitlyn Jenner could be facing more challenges after her transition than launching a new docu-series.
A petition posted to change.org is asking the International Olympic Committee to revoke Jenner’s Olympic title and take back the gold medal she won in the decathlon at the 1976 Montreal Olympic Games.
“We congratulate Ms. Jenner on these new developments and wish her the best,” the petition states. “However, this creates somewhat of a problem as Ms. Jenner (as talented as she is) claims that she has always believed herself to be truly female, and therefore, was in violation of committee rules regarding women competing in men’s sports and vice versa.”
True, the IOC has long been challenged with how to differentiate men and women, based off the notion that the two genders should not compete against one another in contest of athletic ability. In fact, female Olympians used to be subjected to the humiliating process of mandatory gender verification until the 1990s, though the IOC still retains the right to seek verification for specific athletes.
In 2012, the IOC made the decision allowing transgender athletes to compete against their chosen peers, though not without conditions. Trans athletes must meet three main requirements to compete: the athlete must have had gender reassignment surgery, must have legal recognition of his or her assigned gender in his or her home country, and must have completed at least two years of hormone therapy.
In Caitlyn Jenner’s case, the requirements are irrelevant. While Jenner said she has always known she was a woman, at the 1976 Games she was not taking hormone therapy which would have put her at a disadvantage against male competitors, as such therapy is designed to suppress testosterone.
Though the petition’s writer is unfazed by the details of the situation, and apparently is unaware that the women’s decathlon is not an Olympic sport, writing that “It is only fair to all involved that women receive their credit as champions of the Decathalon and that the men racing Ms. Jenner are not expected to compete with a superior, streamlined being such as herself.”
The petition has already received more than 4,000 signatures of its 50,000-signature goal. The IOC has not yet commented on the matter.
In other Jenner news, one rumor claimed that the country club where she has been a longtime member would revoke certain privileges after her transition.
TMZ reported Tuesday that Sherwood Country Club separates men and women throughout its facilities, including dining. The report pointed out that the club’s “rules partially segregate [Jenner] from the male members” at the club, where she would now have to use lesser-quality facilities for women. This of course makes us wonder why the women’s facilities are seen as lesser quality in the first place. Jenner’s transition has yet again shone a spotlight on the inequities women have been facing all along.
The club said it was “very disappointed and surprised” to see the reports, adding that they were never contacted for comment on the stories. “Reporting of discord between Ms. Jenner and this club is entirely false. Bruce Jenner has and continues to be a valued and long term member of the club,” read a statement. Ahem, we’re sure the club meant Caitlyn Jenner.
Sherwood made special note of being proud of both the men’s and women’s facilities, and that they are being upgraded during a current restoration project.
Do you believe the International Olympic Committee should revoke Jenner’s title? Are more challenges coming her way?
Inspiring Caitlyn Jenner photos: See her transformation