But that’s not what I see on the tracks. Instead, I see that pulling the lever in favor of testosterone testing sends the trolley down a track that will harm not only women with high testosterone levels, but also every other woman athlete who looks too “manly” or otherwise does not conform to someone else’s notions of what a woman should be. I see the trolley barreling down a track that will crush the culture that I want sport to strive for — one that celebrates women athletes of all shapes, sizes, forms and talents. The Olympic stadium was quiet on Wednesday morning, and spectators in the sparsely filled stands seemed to pay little notice to South African runner Caster Semenya as she cruised to an easy win in her first-round heat of the 800 meters. But on Saturday evening, when Semenya will contest the 800-meter final, she’ll have the world’s eyes on her. “There is no more certain gold medal in the Rio Olympics than Semenya,” wrote Ross Tucker, an exercise scientist in South Africa, on his blog, The Science of Sport. “She could trip and fall, anywhere in the first lap, lose 20m, and still win the race.”If she does indeed dominate, some sports fans will be cheering Semenya, while others will be less inclined to celebrate, believing that she has an unfair advantage over her rivals. Semenya made headlines in 2009 amid rumors that track’s governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations, had required her to undergo tests to confirm that she was female. Media accounts have reported that she has hyperandrogenism, a condition that causes higher-than-average testosterone levels — an allegation that neither Semenya nor the IAAF has publicly confirmed.Semenya’s case is the latest saga in sport’s checkered history of sex testing, a task that is purportedly aimed at creating an even playing field but — as I’ve discussed previously — raises serious questions about how athletics organizations treat women. Her muscular build, deep voice and remarkable results had raised suspicions among some of Semenya’s rivals about whether she was really a woman. “Just look at her,” said Mariya Savinova, a Russian runner now tangled in her country’s doping scandal.Savinova’s comment highlights what’s wrong with making competitors in women’s events prove that they’re women: It encourages people to police who looks “feminine enough” and sanctions discriminatory behavior that can have life-threatening consequences. Indian middle-distance runner Santhi Soundarajan attempted suicide after failing a gender test in 2007 and being shunned by her community.Even if you think sex testing is necessary to ensure that women’s athletics are fair, the rules would need to be enforced uniformly. Testimony presented at a hearing on the IAAF’s sex testing procedures last year showed that “to date, [the testosterone limit] has only been used against women from developing countries” and that the rules created “an inconsistent and unfair patchwork of compliance by different countries around the world.” It’s notable that the women who’ve made the news for being scrutinized under the testosterone rule have been people of color.Sport has a long history of humiliating women deemed “too masculine.” To ensure that men were not masquerading as women in order to compete and win at women’s sports, competitors were subjected to sex tests such as nude body inspections and chromosome testing. Eventually officials realized that these tests couldn’t definitively distinguish between male and female competitors, because sex is not a binary trait but exists along a continuum. For instance, people with androgen insensitivity syndrome are born with XY chromosomes but develop female anatomy, because their bodies don’t respond typically to testosterone. Others are born with female genitalia but have male sex anatomy internally. These are just two examples of the wide range of variations found across the spectrum.After an especially shameful 1980s episode in which Spanish hurdler María José Martínez-Patiño was publicly shunned and outed as having androgen insensitivity syndrome, the blanket tests were dropped, and instead women deemed suspicious could be called in for testing. This is what happened to Semenya. The invasion of privacy and testing she endured created a push for a less ostracizing way to ensure that athletes vying in women’s competitions were women, and in 2011 the IAAF settled on a new approach, which the International Olympic Committee also adopted in 2012.Rather than allow inspections of women’s bodies, the new rule set an upper limit on testosterone. Women could compete only if their testosterone levels were below 10 nanomoles per liter — a cutoff devised by sampling woman athletes with polycystic ovary syndrome (a condition associated with elevated testosterone levels) and adding five standard deviations to it. Tucker wrote on his blog that this limit is “threefold higher than a level that applies to 99 in 100 women participants.”The argument for testosterone testing says that we divide sport into men’s and women’s categories because men have a practically unconquerable natural advantage over women. World records for men’s track and field and road running events are an average of 12.6 percent faster than the equivalent women’s events, and we give women their own class, akin to a weight class in combat sports, so they can have a chance to excel.The argument against testing is that the competitive advantage that men have over women arises from biological factors linked to sex, but sex is a biological trait without hard and fast borders. And that we can pretend that we divide competition by sex, but what we’re really doing is separating athletes by gender, which is an identity that has a social and cultural context as well, and those contexts may confer distinct advantages and disadvantages, too. Under this system, there’s an obligation to recognize Semenya under the gender identity that she has inhabited since birth, and to do so without subjecting her to invasive and humiliating inspections or tests. Her identity should not be up to strangers to decide.The debate over whether hormone testing is fair doesn’t have a scientific answer, only science-informed ones. There’s pretty good evidence that testosterone, a muscle-building hormone that men typically produce in greater quantities than women, is a performance-enhancing substance — that’s why it’s so popular among dopers. Joanna Harper, an athlete, scientist and transgender woman, found that her running performance dropped within weeks of starting therapy to reduce her testosterone levels, and she has documented similar changes in other male-to-female transgender runners. Insofar as you can pin the male advantage to a single factor, testosterone is it.Science shows that testosterone gives athletes an advantage, but it can’t tell us how much advantage is too much or how to categorize athletes who are women by gender but also have male sex traits — those are philosophical questions, not scientific ones. But it’s hard not to see sexism in the answers that the IAAF is providing. As espnW columnist Kate Fagan tweeted recently, “I shall steal line from someone on Twitter: I know Semenya is a woman because people are trying to control her body.” Women with high testosterone levels have been pressured to undergo life-changing surgery and medical interventions in exchange for the right to compete.The IAAF’s testosterone limit is necessarily arbitrary, and when Indian sprinter Dutee Chand faced scrutiny and demands to undergo treatment to reduce her testosterone levels, she pushed back. The medical interventions would be invasive, would be potentially irreversible and would come with side effects that could “interfere with the way my body has worked my whole life,” she wrote in a letter to the secretary general of the Athletics Federation of India, asking to have her eligibility reinstated. “I was born a woman, reared up as a woman, I identify as a woman and I believe I should be allowed to compete with other women, many of whom are either taller than me or come from more privileged backgrounds, things that most certainly give them an edge over me.”The case ended up in the Court of Arbitration for Sport, which suspended the policy in July 2015 and gave the IAAF two years to return with science to show that women with naturally occurring testosterone over the 10 nmol/L limit have an unfair advantage. The ruling meant that Chand, Semenya and other hyperandrogenic athletes could compete without altering their hormones.The decision was greeted in some corners of the internet as a sign of the apocalypse — the end of women’s sports as we know it. Hyperandrogenic athletes, this line of reasoning held, were being given a chance to compete in their identified gender at the expense of other women.You can think of this as a version of the classic trolley car problem in which a runaway trolley car is speeding down the tracks, and a human operator has an opportunity to pull a lever to direct the car down another track — but both options will result in casualties.When some testing advocates look at this problem, they see that sending the car down the track with no sex or hormone testing will mow down female athletes and women’s sports. Send the trolley down the track with testing, and you tear down Semenya, Chand and other athletes with unusually high testosterone levels.Stated this way, it seems like a straightforward equation. Someone will get run over, but if you pull the lever in favor of testosterone testing, the only people hurt are the women with naturally high levels. If it’s strictly a numbers game, you’ve found a solution that harms the fewest people. Although there’s been a lot of mansplaining about why a testosterone limit is warranted, this isn’t just a black-and-white case of sexism, since woman athletes (including Martinez-Patiño, the Spanish hurdler who was shunned after testing in the 1980s) have also spoken in favor of the rules. Tucker and Harper, high-profile proponents of hormone limits, have carefully acknowledged the cultural and social factors at play, but I don’t think they give these other considerations enough weight. When you’ve had people tell you that your body is too muscular or you’re not feminine enough (as I have), a system that makes it OK to enforce a particular kind of female body feels vindictive.There are consequences of an institutionalized process that seeks and targets women for looking like men (whatever that means). At the conclusion of a hearing on her case, Chand gave a brief statement telling the panel that “she fears that if she loses her appeal, she will have to leave her village.” This fear isn’t ungrounded. She also recounted the story of a young female friend who’d been forced out of her village after people refused to recognize her as a girl because of her appearance.It’s easy to sympathize with the women competing with Semenya. Her talents can seem insurmountable. But it’s wrong to prohibit her from competing with the body she was born with. She is not the first woman (or man) to dominate the competition. Once in a while someone comes along who’s an extreme case. Usually, we celebrate this.At Chand’s Court of Arbitration for Sport hearing, accomplished British runner Paula Radcliffe testified in favor of the hormone limit, saying that the rule fell under similar regulations “designed to ensure success is determined solely by talent and dedication, and not by ‘unfair’ advantage.”But what is “unfair?” Radcliffe also possesses extraordinary talent, and it’s hard to tease out and compare the boost that different advantages confer. Her marathon world record has remained untouched for more than a decade. Radcliffe herself has faced allegations of doping, abetted by a culture of doping that has made every performance suspect. Sex testing creates a similar atmosphere of suspicion, but the difference is that dopers are deliberately cheating. Hyperandrogenic women are simply competing with the bodies they were born with in the gender with which they identify and belong.In support of the hormone limit, the IAAF argued that dismissing conditions that produce unusually high levels of testosterone as “naturally occurring advantages would compromise the integrity of sport,” since that would be “analogous to having a system, where weight classifications exist, but then waiving the weight limit for certain individuals who cannot reduce their weight enough to fit into the required category.” The problem with that analogy is that in the case of a weight system, the person too heavy for a particular weight class has another class to compete in. What happens to Semenya under these rules if she doesn’t want to alter her body? The IAAF has said that a woman ineligible under the rules could compete with the men, but that feels a lot like shunning.Perhaps the most uncomfortable truth that this controversy forces us to confront is that there’s no such thing as a level playing field in sport. As much as we like the idea of athletes winning through hard work, guts and spirit, the fact is, much of it comes down to born talent. Most competitors never had a chance.In the end, the real question to ask is: What is the purpose of sport? Is it more important to provide uncomplicated stories that make us feel uplifted, or to celebrate extraordinary human effort and performance? My vote goes to the latter. Participating in sports taught me to feel powerful in my body, and I’m glad that no one put limits on how strong I could be. When Semenya takes to the line on Saturday, I’ll be cheering for her every step of the way.This was an edition of Strength in Numbers, my column exploring the science of sports and athleticism. Got feedback, suggestions or a news tip? Email me, leave suggestions in the comments section or tweet to me @CragCrest.
$59 at eBay Tidal 3-month family subscription: $5.99 (save $54) 0 Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) $299 at Amazon Read DJI Osmo Action preview Though not technically a Labor Day sale, it’s happening during Labor Day sale season — and it’s too good not to share. Nationwide Distributors, via Google Express, has just about the best AirPods deal we’ve seen (when you apply promo code ZBEDWZ at checkout). This is for the second-gen AirPods with the wireless charging case. Can’t imagine these will last long at this price, so if you’re interested, act fast. Post a comment Rylo 5.8K 360 Video Camera: $250 (save $250) Best Buy Google Nest Hub: $59 (save $70) Spotify and most other streaming services rely on compressed audio, which robs the listener of full fidelity. Enter Tidal, the only “major” service that delivers lossless audio — meaning at least on par with CD quality, if not better. Want to see (er, hear) the difference for yourself? Grab this excellent extended trial while you can. It’s just $6 for three months, and it’s good for up to six listeners. Boost Mobile Amazon Sprint $999 Sarah Tew/CNET Panasonic Tesla,I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that stores are turning Labor Day into an excuse to sell stuff. Wait — no, I’m not. As much as I respect the original intent of the holiday (which became official back in 1894), to most of us, it’s just a bonus day off — one that’s blissfully tacked onto a weekend. So, yeah, stores; go ahead, run your sales. I’m listening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labor Day doesn’t bring out bargains to compete with the likes of Black Friday (which will be here before you know it), but there are definitely some sales worth your time.For example:We’ve rounded up the best Labor Day mattress deals.We’ve also gathered the best Labor Day laptop deals at Best Buy.The 2019 Vizio P Series Quantum is back under $999.Be sure to check out Amazon’s roughly three dozen Labor Day deals on TVs and audio. Google Express is having a big sale as well, one that includes deals on game consoles, AirPods, iPhones, laptops and more.Below I’ve rounded up a handful of individual items I consider to be the cream of the crop, followed by a handy reference guide to other Labor Day sales. Keep in mind, of course, that products may sell out at any time, even if the sale itself is still running. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Rylo The Cheapskate An Echo Dot makes a fine match for any Fire edition TV, because you can use the latter to say things like, “Alexa, turn on the TV.” Right now, the 24-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition starts at just $100, while the 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV Editions is on sale for $130. Just add any Fire TV Edition to your cart, then add a third-gen Echo Dot, and presto: The latter is free. $6 at Tidal Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $155 (save $45) Comments HP Laptop 15t Value: $520 (save $780) $999 $90 at Daily Steals via Google Express Share your voice Angela Lang/CNET Share your voice Culture Car Tech Tech Industry Car Industry Car Culture Read Google Home Hub review $999 Sarah Tew/CNET $520 at HP $210 at Best Buy See at Amazon Read Lenovo Smart Clock review The Tesla-Panasonic solar cells are shipping mainly to a Singaporean-owned factory in the Philippines, a report says. Tim Stevens/Roadshow A majority of the Panasonic solar cells made at a Tesla plant in New York are reportedly being sent to a factory in the Philippines rather than staying in the US.The solar cells are being purchased by HRD Singapore, which supplies solar panels to Ichijo, a Japanese eco-home building company, according to a report Thursday from Reuters. Tesla and Panasonic teamed up to make solar cells and modules in 2016 following Tesla’s acquisition of SolarCity.However, Reuters said Panasonic’s plans to ship most of the cells to Tesla for its Solar Roof trademark have fallen through “because of low demand from Tesla and a trade loophole that had fired up new foreign interest.”Tesla didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. DJI’s answer to GoPro’s action cameras is rugged little model that’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof down to 11 meters. It normally runs $350, but this deal drops it to $261 when you apply promo code 19LABOR10 at checkout. Sarah Tew/CNET Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Turo DJI Osmo Action camera: $261 (save $89) Free Echo Dot with an Insignia or Toshiba TV (save $50) Turo is kind of like Uber meets Airbnb: You borrow someone’s car, but you do all the driving. I’ve used it many times and found it a great alternative to traditional car-rental services — in part because you get to choose exactly the vehicle you want (not just, say, “midsize”) and in part because you can often do pickup and dropoff right outside baggage claim.Between now and Sept. 1, the first 300 people to check out can get $30 off any Turo rental with promo code LDW30. What’s cooler: A snapshot of a firework exploding in front of you, or full 360-degree video of all the fireworks and all the reactions to seeing them? Oooh, ahhh, indeed. At $250, the compact Rylo dual-lens camera is selling for its lowest price yet. And for an extra $50, you can get the bundle that includes the waterproof housing.This deal runs through Sept. 3; it usually costs $500. Use promo code 19LABOR10 to get an unusually good deal on JBL’s interesting hybrid product — not quite headphones, and not quite a traditional speaker, but something you wear like neckphones to listen to music on the go. $60 at Best Buy $155 at Google Express Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6-inch laptop: $210 (save $90) Read the Rylo camera preview I thought this might be a mistake, but, no, the weirdly named HP Laptop 15t Value is indeed quite the value at this price. Specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch display. However, I strongly recommend paying an extra $50 to upgrade that display to FHD (1,920×1,080), because you’re not likely to be happy with the native 1,366×768 resolution. Other Labor Day sales you should check out Best Buy: In addition to some pretty solid MacBook deals that have been running for about a week already, Best Buy is offering up to 40% off major appliances like washers, dryers and stoves. There are also gift cards available with the purchase of select appliances. See it at Best BuyDell: Through Aug. 28, Dell is offering an extra 12% off various laptops, desktops and electronics. And check back starting Aug. 29 for a big batch of Labor Day doorbusters. See it at DellGlassesUSA: Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 only, you can save 65% on all frames with promo code labor65. See it at GlassesUSALenovo: The tech company is offering a large assortment of deals and doorbusters through Labor Day, with the promise of up to 56% off certain items — including, at this writing, the IdeaPad 730S laptop for $700 (save $300).See it at LenovoLensabl: Want to keep the frames you already love and paid for? Lensabl lets you mail them in for new lenses, based on your prescription. From now through Sept. 2 only, you can save 20% on the blue light-blocking lens option with promo code BLOCKBLUE. See it at LensablSears: Between now and Sept. 7, you can save up to 40% on appliances (plus an additional 10% if you shop online), up to 60% on mattresses, up to 50% on Craftsman products and more. The store is also offering some fairly hefty cashback bonuses. See it at SearsNote: This post was published previously and is continuously updated with new information.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. Turo: Save $30 on any car rental Chris Monroe/CNET Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X Tags $999 See It Read the AirPods review Tags See It See at Turo JBL Soundgear wearable speaker: $90 (save $160) Recently updated to include digital-photo-frame capabilities, the Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant goodness to your nightstand. It’s a little smaller than the Amazon Echo Show 5, but also a full $30 less (and tied with Prime Day pricing) during this Best Buy Labor Day sale. CNET may get a commission from retail offers. 7 Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR Sarah Tew/CNET $261 at Daily Steals via Google Express Formerly known as the Google Home Hub, Google’s Nest Hub packs a wealth of Google Assistant goodness into a 7-inch screen. At $59, this is within a buck of the best price we’ve seen. It lists for $129 and sells elsewhere in the $89-to-$99 range.This is one item of many available as part of eBay’s Labor Day Sale (which, at this writing, doesn’t specifically mention Labor Day, but that’s how it was pitched to us). See It Lenovo Smart Clock: $59.99 (save $20) See it Apple iPhone XS TVs Speakers Mobile Accessories Cameras Laptops Automobiles Smart Speakers & Displays The problem with most entry-level laptops: They come with mechanical hard drives. That makes for a mighty slow Windows experience. This Lenovo model features a 128GB solid-state drive, so it should be pretty quick to boot and load software, even with its basic processor. Plus, it has a DVD-burner! That’s not something you see in many modern laptops, especially at this price.
Fellow entrepreneurs often ask me if going through a comprehensive security audit is necessary for them, considering that theirs are relatively small, young organizations. Their argument for not conducting such an audit is that hackers will find nothing there of interest. Most information they hold in their emails, or in their online profiles on sites like LinkedIn or Twitter, is pretty benign, these entrepreneurs say.Related: Cyber Insurance Offers More Than Just Protection Against External Cyber AttacksI get it. The logical belief is that while it may be just as easy — or easier — for hackers to go after smaller, less sophisticated outlets, there’s nothing of value that they’ll find there. Sensitive information, like bank statements, tax returns, company contacts and employee payroll information is securely stored by the companies’ service providers.The risk of damages from an attack, if it occurs, is surely minimal.I disagree. The reality is that all your information is important to someone who can quickly piece together what you see as relatively innocuous. Hackers can then turn this information into something that could do significant harm to you and your company.We saw this not too long ago when Russian hackers infiltrated the Pentagon email servers. Federal officials quickly noted that none of the agency’s secure servers had been penetrated; but the information obtained, while unclassified, still offered valuable insights to the enemy. What’s more, the Defense Department spent significant time and money shoring up its security system’s vulnerability and analyzing the threat.Let’s take an example closer to home and apply it to our business world. Say you’re heading out on a trip someplace you’ve visited several times before with family. Certain hotels, restaurants and attractions have become regular stops for you. Many of us (myself included) will want to tell our beloved Facebook friends about it. And, yes — though this is a “full-on” vacation — you, like the rest of us, will still stay a bit connected to work because that’s what entrepreneurs do.This is all fine but should be done with the understanding that almost anyone else will be able to see that information as well. Something north of 1.2 billion active monthly members, 750 million daily users and 945 million mobile users are on social media platforms. So, when you tell your friends where, when and how you are going to your “favorite vacation spot” yet again, that information can be the perfect opportunity for sophisticated networks to uncover patterns in your activities. Those patterns may prove beneficial to parties aiming to spot vulnerable access points where you connect with your laptop to “check in” on things.Related: How to Create Security Awareness at Your CompanyOnce hackers gain access to your device at those outlets, they will undoubtedly see your conversations with employees, customers and strategic partners. While those conversations may not be of national security importance, they will provide insight into the activities of other individuals in your network, ones who actually do hold secure data.The point of the illustration is this: Hackers love to obtain all kinds information, even unclassified data. So, let’s not forget who the enemy is. Contrary to stereotypes, hackers do not live in their mothers’ basements staring at a homemade computer all day because they have nothing else to do.Rather, they have the means to capture a seemingly infinite amount of data in short order and are part of sophisticated, organized global syndicates that are well financed, expertly trained and bent on disrupting — if not taking down — governments and corporations around the world.Given that fact, you might want to reconsider your assumption that your company is “too small” for its information to be of interest to outsiders. Because you may be wrong.Related: 4 Ways Your Small Business Can Better Prevent Cyber Crime Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. May 22, 2015 Register Now » 4 min read Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global