Lifestyle 31 December 2017
Happy New Year! Welcome to 2018.
It's time to get down to business. This is welcome news for the Earth signs Capricorn, Virgo and Taurus. Not so much for the fire signs Leo, Sagittarius and Aries who are still hungover from their 31-day-long party this past December. The good news in general is that Mercury is out of retrograde and moving into Capricorn, which can be a productive time for everyone if you take advantage of it. Uranus is direct now in Aries so look out for inspiration and also surprise outbursts of aggression. Everyone take a chill pill this month and remember your anger management techniques!
(December 22- January 19)
"I'll huff and I'll puff..."
Happy Birthday to the climbers of the zodiac!
Congrats! You made it through a crazy end to 2017. It's your season now; take advantage of it. If you were smart, you stayed in last month and made your plans for the new year. Oh silly me, of course, you were smart and planned ahead, you are a Capricorn! You built your house with brick. Now it's time to take over more real estate on the monopoly board, while the wolf is blowing down other people's houses. I'm serious...buy, renovate or sell real estate. Make your move for the promotion. You are coming into your power on all fronts. Don't gloat, just count your money and achievements quietly.
(January 20- February 18)
“Talk to the hand."
Take a deep breath and lean into your fixed sign resolve. You need to do what is practical this month. You can't reinvent the rules of reality right now. I know that's a downer for personal freedom loving Aquarians but it's what is good for you and your business or family. You live within a societal structure and need to remember that everyone has to tow a line at some point. Take care of business. There will be a season for your dreaming soon. Love and beauty dawn in your life starting January 18, so put your lipstick on and get out your paint set, crayon box or whatever inspires you to create. Jan 27-28: fun and travel.
(February 19- March 20)
“A dream is a wish your heart makes."
I love this month for you. Many of the things or circumstances that you've dreamed about are beginning to manifest physically. Just sit in gratitude and apply discipline to your routine. Don't try to control everything or let yourself be overwhelmed, but rather take things one day at a time. You are building the foundation that will support your new job, relationship or lifestyle. These things will appear gradually. Go within and remember the emotional reasons that you asked for these things. Sorry to be so serious, but this is a profound time for you. Jan 27th: watch your temper.
(March 21- April 19)
“Hi Ho Hi Ho it's off to work I go."
Structure, routine, duty...yuck! Aries folks don't like to be bored with monotony. But it's time to get it done. Don't try to fight the system...just do what you have to do. It will pay off! Let off steam by working out and beginning new creative endeavors. Start that art hobby, sign up for the triathlon. Don't start a big new work project or business yet. Just dream about it. Action will come later. Watch your temper at home...especially after January 12. Jan 13-14: good energy.
(April 20- May 20)
“Calm after the storm."
It's time to take the boards off your windows...the storm has passed! Get out of your bunker and get back to work! You love routine and after a drought of confidence you finally realize some traction towards your goals. Feel that inner power surge? That's Pluto in Capricorn. This is also a great month to attract a lasting love or reinforce the love you have. Also, it's a good time to buy, sell or renovate your real estate. January 6-9: reorganize your closets, drawers or garage. Jan 15-17: family duty calls.
(May 21- June 20)
“Running through molasses."
You are going to feel held back or like you are in slow motion until January 27. Don't fight this feeling...renovate! Use this time to renovate your home, relationship or body. You could have lots of new ideas or inventions coming through. Write them down but don't worry about implementing them. It's not time yet. Watch what you say...political correctness is important this month. Bored to tears? It's a good month to plan trips for the year, just don't go on any. Jan 18-19: good friendship energy.
(June 21- July 22)
Wow…you are winning the game this month but people may not even notice. Your gifts of strategy, intuition and stealth are favored right now. That's why we call you the chess master. Just like your spirit animal the crab, people may not hear you or see you until you have taken your seat on the throne. Then once you get there you dazzle them with your diplomacy and political savvy. Time to make your move to win the match. Jan 25-26: good love.
(July 23- August 22)
“The harder you work, the luckier you get."
You may feel that the year gets off to a slow start but never fear, by January 27 you will be getting that fiery Leo energy back. This month is about choosing your battles and doing what superiors suggest even if it's frustrating. Keep that Leo stubbornness at bay if you can this January. It's not about the principle of the thing it's about the strategy that is best for your career or family in the long run. Stop bucking the system. Keep your head down and plan your revolution. Your time will come. Best days: Jan 23-24.
(August 23- September 22)
“All clear and ready for take-off."
Finally. The world is right again. Right under your thumb and under your control, that is. A Virgo's happy place is in the cockpit of the plane running everything out of sight from everyone's view. You've been covering your head to avoid the crazy over the last few months. Now it seems everyone understands their place and their duty. You can work with that. Things are so buttoned up that you may even find some spare time to go on a date or give your partner some extra attention, especially during the Taurus moon on Jan 25-26. It's a good month for love!
(September 23- October 22)
Whoa. The party is over. It's the next morning and the light hurts your eyes. All of the optics in your life have changed from magical pink fog to stark black and white. This isn't a bad thing, it's just that Librans like everything in a soft flattering light. It's time to face the music and deal with the realities of the good, the bad and the ugly. Many people mistake a Libra's love for illusion and beauty as a sign of weakness. They're wrong. Librans are willing to plan and work for their dreams. It's time to hit the gym, change jobs or get out of the relationship if it's a mess. Librans can do all of these things with grace if they need to. But please answer one question for the rest of us dear Libra: do you ever perspire? Jan 27-28: bubbly energy.
(October 23- November 21)
“Let them eat cake."
I see you, dear Scorpio. I'm letting the secret out. You are the one who is really running things. You have the ultimate power. You could care less about the attention - you just want the control. Remember that every action has a karmic consequence. It's your choice to serve the dark or the light side of your human nature. Tyranny and revenge hurt you too in the long run. You have so much to give. If you share your abundance with your subordinates, the joy spreads over everyone, especially you. Jan 2-3: mother energy.
(November 22- December 21)
“You got to know when to hold 'em."
You've been winning so many hands lately that your chips have stacked up. What does a gambling Sagittarius do when that happens? She bets it all for the big win! Don't. Please don't. You are still in the game, it's just time to hold back. Watch everyone carefully and take notes (see Scorpio and Cancer above). Strategy is the key right now and you are good at that when you make yourself still. Don't change anything or confront anything until the end of the month. After January 27... strike. January 31st- you're back on top.
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.