As successful 21st-century women, gender stereotypes seriously rile us up. There’s nothing that makes us eye-roll quite so acrobatically as being put into a box where we're expected to stay. But let’s be honest: some of those assumptions exist because we’ve gone out there and shown the world exactly what we can do.
Take cooking, for instance. We’re not saying every woman is or has to be a domestic goddess, but a fair few of us actually enjoy cooking up a storm in the kitchen. Like most things we put our minds to, we know we’re capable of outperforming and impressing whenever the fancy takes us. Why shouldn’t we embrace that?
So, fancy whipping up something special and showing just how talented you are? Then here are three great recipes to help you.
Recipe #1: Barbecued oysters with garlic, paprika and Parmesan butter
Photo courtesy of bbcgoodfood.com
After a long day in the boardroom, one thing that always relaxes us is going home, prepping some seriously good food and chowing down on it. There’s nothing quite so satisfying as enjoying your own labors and, occasionally, you might even feel generous enough to treat that special someone too. Luckily, we have the perfect date night or dinner party dish for when you want something that’s both easy to cook and impressive in one: barbecued oysters with garlic, paprika and Parmesan butter. Beat, barbecue and butter for a meal that will leave you licking your lips for hours afterwards.
Photo courtesy of deliveroo.co.uk
Recipe #2: Chicken wings in OK sauce
According to Deliveroo.co.uk, OK sauce is currently taking the UK by storm and we can honestly say we’re A-OK with that. Tasty, versatile and very easy to make, it’s a great choice to impress your dinner guests, which is why we thought we’d share it here. It’s best served alongside chicken wings, so prepare these before mixing tomato ketchup, brown sauce, sugar, Chinese 5 spice and soy sauce with a cup of water. Place in a saucepan and boil until the sugar dissolves, then put to one side while you mix cornstarch with five tablespoons of water.
Join your two concoctions, stir until the sauce thickens and then drizzle over your chicken wings for an inarguably divine dish.
Recipe #3: Persian herb and leek frittata
Of course, not everyone is a meat-eater. To ensure all angles are covered, we’ve included a recipe for Persian herb and leek frittata too. Although your arms will get a real workout chopping it all up, preparing the remainder of the kuku sabzi couldn’t be easier and it takes next to no time to bake in the oven. Invest in dates and dry rose for a sweet take on this delicious dish or else follow this recipe to whip up something superbly savoury. Whichever way you choose to add your stamp, the outcome is guaranteed to be impressive.
With these three absolute stormers, you can seize the same level of control in the kitchen as you have in all other aspects of life. But tell us, which of these exquisitely easy recipes will you put to the test first?
Photo courtesy of bonappetit.com
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.