Culture 02 March 2018
To everything turn…turn…turn.
This month is all about contrast. There will be highs. There will be lows. It is a call to the spiritual practice of detaching from judgment. Most especially, the judgment of events as good or bad or right or wrong. There is a season for everything and a perfect timing that does not always make sense to our souls that have chosen to immerse ourselves in the human experience. There is no better sign than Pisces to usher in this energy lesson. With the sun and three planets in the fishy mutable 12th sign this month, emotions will be high and imagination will be abundant. March 23rd is the first day of a new Mercury in retrograde in the sign of Aries. All of the normal retrograde advice applies here, but add a lack of initiative and general tiredness to the equation. The gift in this Aries Mercury retrograde is a chance for cease fires, conflict resolution and the healing of old grudges. Peace on Earth, anyone? Yes, please.
(February 19- March 20)
“Rub a dub dub…”
Happy birthday, Pisces! This really is your month, except for a few speedbumps which I’ll get to in a second. March 1-6 especially shines for you. Communication, work, life routines and romance are all easy peasy. Jupiter is still in Scorpio so you are in a period of emotional and relational growth and expansion. You are floating in a sea of emotion- do like the men in the tub and take a bath…don’t freak out. This also can contribute to emotional overreaction and combined with a Mars in Sagittarius this month, I suggest you think about what you say before you say it. March 25-26: family time and your own personal Mother’s Day.
(March 21 -April 19)
“And they’re off!”
Because of a stellium in Pisces the first week of March, most of the Aries tribe (and fire signs in general) will be feeling like there is a raincloud over their parade at the first of the month. This shifts March 6th as Aries takes over Venus and Mercury. You know what that means…you can finally put the pedal to the metal and floor it! Relationships could get back their spark. You also may finally feel that you get to have the microphone and can speak your mind. Just watch what you say and be careful about starting new ventures compulsively on and after March 23rd when Mercury goes retrograde in your sign of Aries. Slow down. Take your time with contracts, big purchases and especially new businesses. March 27-28: love is in the air.
(April 20- May 20)
“The harder you work, the luckier you get.”
This is a good month for the bulls. The Piscean first week of March suits you just fine. Good love, good culture, and good conversation are always welcome for a Taurus. When Mars moves into Capricorn on March 18, your work life could get more focused and a promotion or accolade could finally materialize. Capricorn rewards those who have committed to a vision. Taurus is the poster child for consistency and commitment. You deserve it. March 6-7: watch the temper!
(May 21- June 20)
“Here comes the sun…”
It’s like a thick emotional and energetic fog settles in over your life March 1-6. Things just aren’t clear and it’s hard to make a decision or feel right about anything. Finally, the clouds part and some Aries sunshine comes out March 7th for the rest of the month. You can see! Clarity and vision are yours, especially regarding money, aesthetics, and love. You also can communicate more clearly. Just don’t speak unless spoken to when that Mercury retrograde happens at the end of the month. March 13-14: new adventure!
(June 21- July 22)
“A pinch of this and a pinch of that…”
Most astrologers would be doom and gloom about this month for you with all of the Aries and Capricorn planets squaring your sun this month. At times it could feel like you are running uphill and you can’t get a break from the everyday challenges that continually are being put in your path. I suggest you lean into the higher energy influences that are on your team right now. Jupiter and Neptune, the planets of expansion and divine inspiration, are both singing you a lullaby right now. Stay in your proverbial kitchen and keep “cooking.” Build things, make things, add creative spice to your life. This drudgery too shall pass. March 16-17: have a St. Patrick’s Day romance.
(July 23- August 22)
“Up came the sun and dried up all the rain”
Yep…you are the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” in this scenario. You just feel washed out at the first of March. Keep trying, keep climbing. The sun is coming out for you by March 7th. By March 18th you are full speed ahead and ready for Spring. Change is all around you. Time for a makeover, new workout program, or a new haircut. Transform and take your place on the stage! You are playing a new character…embrace it. March 8-9: you’ll win the argument.
(August 23- September 22)
“Katie bar the door…”
This month comes in with a roar for you with the full moon in Virgo on the 1st. Straight up I’m not gonna lie….stay out of everyone’s way in March. Keep out of trouble and conflict. You’ve got heightened emotions and several people around you trying to stir your pot at every turn. Just avoid the craziness this month, keep your head down and stay focused. Your productivity and authority over your work and projects are the best thing that you have going for you right now. Swim in your own lane and avoid contact sports right now. Let the fire signs be on the field. March 20-21: Spring love.
(September 23- October 22)
“Hot house flower”
Libras are known for being a bit on the sensitive side. They can be picky, moody and let’s face it…dramatic and whiney. Those close to a Libra can get annoyed by this at times but they know that on the inside Libras are tough and steadfast. This month dear Libra friends you actually have a reason to complain. Watch out for colleagues or contacts being a little more aggressive. Also, your workload may seem to be larger than usual. You may feel tired and beaten down. Permission granted to employ one of your greatest talents; self-care. Get rest and pamper yourself. March 23-24: play hooky.
(October 23- November 21)
“Fire and Water”
There will be lots of work. And then there will be more work. You may admonish yourself for being so darn paranoid (typical Scorpio) that people are aiming for you. You’re not paranoid. You are right. Watch your back. The good news is that you have enormous energy and an ocean of water to douse any arson attempts. March 16-17: Make some art.
(November 22- December 21)
“Fire in your belly”
March starts out slow for you with the full moon in Virgo. You may lose something or someone somehow. This is all a part of a healing process. After March 7th it is full steam ahead. Your ambition, drive and competitive spirit are at full throttle. Don’t look back and keep running. You are my favorite to win. March 27-28: Get married in Vegas perhaps?!
(December 22- January 19)
“Call your Sherpa”
It’s a big release for you with the full moon on March 1st. You could start a new health regimen or finally get a proverbial cast off. It’s good that you are eliminating baggage because this month is for climbing. It’s lots of work to get to the top as all good Capricorns know. You will see others (fire signs) run ahead of you at times but remember your mantra: “slow and steady wins the race”. You are better than anyone else at keeping your head down and staying on task, so you’ve got this. March 1-2: You did it!
(January 20-February 18)
“Whistle while you work”
Like everyone else this month, you are feeling the heaviness of the workload brought about by all of these Capricorn transits. Luckily for you, you have a lot of gas in your engine and your wit is as sharp as ever. Humor is your best medicine this month. Don’t take things too seriously. Also, watch the temper. March 23-24: play a prank.
Gender divisions in sports have primarily served to keep women out of what has always been believed to be a male domain. The idea of women participating alongside men has been regarded with contempt under the belief that women were made physically inferior.
Within their own division, women have reached new heights, received accolades for outstanding physical performance and endurance, and have proven themselves to be as capable of athletic excellence as men. In spite of women's collective fight to be recognized as equals to their male counterparts, female athletes must now prove their womanhood in order to compete alongside their own gender.
That has been the reality for Caster Semenya, a South African Olympic champion, who has been at the center of the latest gender discrimination debate across the world. After crushing her competition in the women's 800-meter dash in 2016, Semenya was subjected to scrutiny from her peers based upon her physical appearance, calling her gender into question. Despite setting a new national record for South Africa and attaining the title of fifth fastest woman in Olympic history, Semenya's success was quickly brushed aside as she became a spectacle for all the wrong reasons.
Semenya's gender became a hot topic among reporters as the Olympic champion was subjected to sex testing by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). According to Ruth Padawer from the New York Times, Semenya was forced to undergo relentless examination by gender experts to determine whether or not she was woman enough to compete as one. While the IAAF has never released the results of their testing, that did not stop the media from making irreverent speculations about the athlete's gender.
Moments after winning the Berlin World Athletics Championship in 2009, Semenya was faced with immediate backlash from fellow runners. Elisa Cusma who suffered a whopping defeat after finishing in sixth place, felt as though Semenya was too masculine to compete in a women's race. Cusma stated, "These kind of people should not run with us. For me, she is not a woman. She's a man." While her statement proved insensitive enough, her perspective was acknowledged and appeared to be a mutually belief among the other white female competitors.
Fast forward to 2018, the IAAF issued new Eligibility Regulations for Female Classification (Athlete with Differences of Sexual Development) that apply to events from 400m to the mile, including 400m hurdles races, 800m, and 1500m. The regulations created by the IAAF state that an athlete must be recognized at law as either female or intersex, she must reduce her testosterone level to below 5 nmol/L continuously for the duration of six months, and she must maintain her testosterone levels to remain below 5 nmol/L during and after competing so long as she wishes to be eligible to compete in any future events. It is believed that these new rules have been put into effect to specifically target Semenya given her history of being the most recent athlete to face this sort of discrimination.
With these regulations put into effect, in combination with the lack of information about whether or not Semenya is biologically a female of male, society has seemed to come to the conclusion that Semenya is intersex, meaning she was born with any variation of characteristics, chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals. After her initial testing, there had been alleged leaks to media outlets such as Australia's Daily Telegraph newspaper which stated that Semenya's results proved that her testosterone levels were too high. This information, while not credible, has been widely accepted as fact. Whether or not Semenya is intersex, society appears to be missing the point that no one is entitled to this information. Running off their newfound acceptance that the Olympic champion is intersex, it calls into question whether her elevated levels of testosterone makes her a man.
The IAAF published a study concluding that higher levels of testosterone do, in fact, contribute to the level of performance in track and field. However, higher testosterone levels have never been the sole determining factor for sex or gender. There are conditions that affect women, such as PCOS, in which the ovaries produce extra amounts of testosterone. However, those women never have their womanhood called into question, nor should they—and neither should Semenya.
Every aspect of the issue surrounding Semenya's body has been deplorable, to say the least. However, there has not been enough recognition as to how invasive and degrading sex testing actually is. For any woman, at any age, to have her body forcibly examined and studied like a science project by "experts" is humiliating and unethical. Under no circumstances have Semenya's health or well-being been considered upon discovering that her body allegedly produces an excessive amount of testosterone. For the sake of an organization, for the comfort of white female athletes who felt as though Semenya's gender was an unfair advantage against them, Semenya and other women like her, must undergo hormone treatment to reduce their performance to that of which women are expected to perform at. Yet some women within the athletic community are unphased by this direct attempt to further prove women as inferior athletes.
As difficult as this global invasion of privacy has been for the athlete, the humiliation and sense of violation is felt by her people in South Africa. Writer and activist, Kari, reported that Semenya has had the country's undying support since her first global appearance in 2009. Even after the IAAF released their new regulations, South Africans have refuted their accusations. Kari stated, "The Minister of Sports and Recreation and the Africa National Congress, South Africa's ruling party labeled the decision as anti-sport, racist, and homophobic." It is no secret that the build and appearance of Black women have always been met with racist and sexist commentary. Because Black women have never managed to fit into the European standard of beauty catered to and in favor of white women, the accusations of Semenya appearing too masculine were unsurprising.
Despite the countless injustices Semenya has faced over the years, she remains as determined as ever to return to track and field and compete amongst women as the woman she is. Her fight against the IAAF's regulations continues as the Olympic champion has been receiving and outpour of support in wake of the Association's decision. Semenya is determined to run again, win again, and set new and inclusive standards for women's sports.