Electability, Caster Semenya, and Rachel Held Evans
Past Present Episode 179
In this episode, Niki, Neil, and Natalia discuss the concept of “electability,” the gender policing of South African runner Caster Semenya, and the legacy of Christian writer Rachel Held Evans.
Here are some links and references mentioned during this week’s show:
- With over 20 Democratic candidates in the running, “ electability” is a hot topic of conversation among pundits. Natalia referred to historian Claire Potter’s New York Times article on likeability.
- South African runner Caster Semenya has been banned from competing due to her elevated testosterone levels . Natalia cited this Quillette article supporting the ban. Niki noted this New Republic article about gender testing of athletes. Natalia recommended historian Lindsay Parks Pieper’s Washington Post article about the racialized history of gender testing in sports.
- Known as “the most polarizing woman in evangelicalism,” Rachel Held Evans died unexpectedly earlier this month. Neil referred to Evans’ departure from evangelicalism and Natalia commented on Evans’ book A Year of Biblical Womanhood and writer A.J. Jacobs’ very different book The Year of Living Biblically.
In our regular closing feature, What’s Making History:
- Natalia shared Sarah Treleaven’s Medium article, “The Enduring Appeal of Escapism: A History of Wellness Retreats.”
- Neil discussed Matt Smith’s Reveal article, “The Happiest Cats on Earth.”
- Niki reflected on A.C. Thompson’s ProPublica article, “Once Defiant, All Four Supremacists Charged in Charlottesville Violence Plead Guilty.”