Skip to comments.Should Boys Be Wrestling Girls?
Posted on 03/01/2011 9:40:00 AM PST by Kaslin
Around Washington, D.C., if you mention Iowa, the first thing that will pop into most people's minds is "caucuses." But in Iowa, if you asked a local about the matchups, he'd most likely assume you were talking about wrestling. That's right, the non-metaphorical, sweaty, rough-and-tumble on the mat sort of wrestling.
This year's Iowa state championships attracted attention nationwide when the promising high school sophomore Joel Northrup (the fifth-ranked wrestler in the state) defaulted on his first match. He had drawn Cassy Herkelman, a female freshman, as his opponent, and he could not, in good conscience, wrestle a girl.
Northrup's statement was a model of clarity and simplicity: "I have a tremendous amount of respect for Cassy and Megan (Black, another female wrestler who made it to the state championships) and their accomplishments. However, wrestling is a combat sport and it can get violent at times. As a matter of conscience and my faith, I do not believe it that it is appropriate for a boy to engage a girl in this manner. It is unfortunate that I have been placed in a situation not seen in most high school sports in Iowa." Had he not declined to wrestle Herkelman, he might have won it all.
The New York Times, the AP, and other national news organizations noted that Northrup's father is a minister -- the suggestion being that such peculiar and backward views as the young man expressed must be chalked up to a religious sensibility. Most of the coverage stressed the "girl against the old boys network" angle. The Times headline captured the tone: "On Wrestling Mat, Girls Still Face Uphill Struggle."
But not every issue fits neatly into the little boxes that New York Times headline writers like to arrange. The liberal template is always that conventional practices -- like not having boys and girls wrestle one another -- are obsolete now that we believe in pure sexual equally. Clinging to the outmoded notion that wrestling might be one sport best kept separate is evidence of sexism.
Rick Reilly, writing at ESPN.com, responded to the Rev. Northrup's view that "we believe in the elevation and respect of woman" with contempt: "That's where the Northrups are so wrong. Body slams and takedowns and gouges in the eye and elbows in the ribs are exactly how to respect Cassy Herkelman. This is what she lives for. She can elevate herself, thanks."
Are we really sure we want to obliterate the last traces of chivalry in young men -- to stamp out every trace of protectiveness from the male psyche?
Even if we agree that young women should be body slammed and gouged and hurt if that's what they've signed up for, you have to be living in a dream world not to face the other reality of co-ed wrestling: It puts the boy at a disadvantage.
Not only is any well brought up young man going to hesitate to use his full strength against a young lady, he is also going to have to be so, so careful about where he touches her. The genital areas of both sexes are off limits, obviously. But girls also have breasts. So the boys have to be very careful not to grab the girl in such a way as might cause his hands to touch her breasts if she moves in an unexpected direction. One finger slip and the wrestler becomes a sexual harasser, no? The girl, by contrast, can push and shove and grab the upper body of her opponent without impediment.
And why are boys being put in this awkward situation? Because a small minority of high school girls has decided to wrestle. According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, more than 275,000 boys competed in wrestling during the last school year -- compared with only 6,000 girls. Five states -- California, Hawaii, Texas, Washington, and Tennessee -- sponsor girls-only high school wrestling tournaments. In the other states, girls are asked to compete against boys.
Supporters of co-ed wrestling insist that sex is the last thing on the kids' minds when they're in the arena, which is almost certainly false. These are, after all, teenagers. Even when not in close proximity to the opposite sex, even when not coming into physical contact with the opposite sex at all, a teenager will spend a generous amount of time thinking about sex.
Joel Northrup did the honorable thing by bowing out and refusing to wrestle a girl. He cited his conscience and his faith. They have been better guides for him than a misplaced gender neutrality has been to the state of Iowa.
Only after their married, by my reckoning.
Wrestling can be real fun in that context.
In Chappaqua, NY ( where I used to live, and home to you-know-who) field hockey is a popular girls’ sport. Several years ago, a young man...who physically could have played defensive lineman on the football team, sued the district because there was no boys’ field hockey team. So theymade it unisex...and now there are boys on several teams..replete with the requisite skirt/kilt....
Hell no and girls don’t belong on submarines.
Only if they’re in a tub of jello.
No. Absolutely not.
Been doing it all of my life.
Bring it on
Not in public.
Well, it does have the advantage of making losing almost as much fun as winning. Maybe moreso. :-)
Haha. In this type of physical sport, I don’t feel it’s appropriate. Even football would be more acceptable than wrestling. But wrestling girl vs guy is a no.
This story has fascinated me. I am so perplexed that so many people want to push a gender-neutrality in everything but especially sports. Wrestling is a CONTACT sport and no matter how good the girl is (and obviously she is), most teenage boys are at a distinct disadvantage because she is NOT a boy.
I wish more people would accept and appreciate the differences between the sexes.
On a side note, while watching a little league baseball game with 12-13 yr olds, there was a girl on the opposing team, it was quite obvious to me (I was keeping score) that the pitcher was throwing away and slower to the girl. She was a great player and I’m sure could stand on her own against his best pitches...but he did not deliver them.
I am a fan of chivalry and do not want to see it die.
Those of us who have wrestled (high school, in my case) know the answer: not a chance in hell. Wholly inappropriate.
Yes, but it should be confined to the bedroom or other private and comfortable locations, not on a hardwood floor in front of an audience ;-)
Boys have been wrestling girls since the Garden of Eden.
When I was 16 if a girl looked at me a certain way I had a biological reaction that was embarassing in public. My hormones were raging and any wrestling around with a girl resulted in an appendage so swollen that it hurt.
Have 16 year olds changed that much in 43 years?
RE: graphic of manly beotch
“Bring it on”
I’ll “bring” an anti-tank weapon.
while watching a little league baseball game with 12-13 yr olds, there was a girl on the opposing team,
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
My 13yo grandson’s opposing team had a girl on it...she wasn’t bad and what with the league etc she probably earned her spot on the team.
She was playing 2nd base and did a full body ‘block’ on it (a very foolish move) and the kid that slid in came up short on his slide.
My grandson, very matter of factly stated “If she or anyone tries to block me out like that, I am going through her”.
His grandmother (my x) chastised him - you just can’t go go after her like that...My daughter, to her credit “Mom, leave him alone...she is on the field, obviously doesn’t know how to play the position and I would also take her out”.
Nothing malicious, just playing the game to win.
Naturally I had absolutely NO problem with his assessment of the situation.
What happens if the girl is losing, and claims an “inappropriate” hold of some sort? Could the guy be deemed a sex offender?
And wouldn’t a decisive victory make the guy look like a “brute” anyway?
Sounds like there’s no way for the guy to win.
Society is very, very sick for us to even be arriving at this point.
Well then I hope you’re bigger than the raw-boned Jethro Bodine, because she routinely kicked his behind.
PS Where’s a picture of Andy Kaufman when we need one? :)
That depends on the circumstances now. Say they have had a little wine, the lights are low, candles are burning and Barry White is playinmg on the speakers - I can that ending in some rasslin’ around.
There were 4 boys and 3 girls in my family growing up on the farm.
We always wrestled our sisters but if they got us in leg scissors, we were done for.
My sisters regularly beat up bullies for us.
Collective common sense dies a little more each day.
As another high school wrestler, I agree.
Nobody wanted more contact with girls than I at that age, but there’s no way in hell I would have wanted to wrestle competitively with them.
If she gets hurt, you’re the bad guy.
If you touch her in the wrong place, you’re the bad guy.
If she beats you, the other guys will never let you live it down.
If you beat her, the win is thought of as a guy who beat a girl.
If you refuse to engage in it, you get ripped to shreds across the nation in print. Your family gets scrutinized, you’re religion gets trashed, and you are are thought of as a neanderthal.
Someone point out one activity where women could be so grossly stigmatized across the board, an it not involve a massive class action law suit, and yet here the guy is the the focus of the venom and anger for objecting.
No. As a girl, let me also state for the record, no girls/women on submarines, aircraft carriers, destroyers or in battle zones. I believe in equal rights but there are just some things and some places that are NOT appropriate for girls/women.
I agree with you especially on the part that there are some places that are not approbiate for girls, ladies or women
Only in the back seat of a GTO.
Depends on you voting age I suppose.
7-14 No Way
22-35 What does she look like?
36-45 No Way
60-80 Check with your Doctor First - But Duh!
I hit the only girl I ever saw in my time on the mound. I was 11.
I can still remember my dad telling me from the bench not to throw any differently. Well, she was really tall and had ridiculously long arms. She was over the plate with those wings.
So, after 1 or 2 strikes, I decided I’d brush those arms off the plate. Wasn’t trying to hit her, just make her think twice.
Needless to say, my dad felt obliged to yell loud enough for the other side to hear: “I didn’t tell you to hit her!”.
I was never comfortable with it, but if I showed up for a game and learned that the opposing team had a woman playing on it, I wouldn't change the way I played.
There's no way I would support this kind of thing for high school sports, though.
Why? Are they allergic to Sea men?
as a young man, and as a CHRISTian, he took the hit for the greater GOOD of the Lord...for that Im thankful...
as to the girl and her parents, what are they thinkin ??? i know that if/when my baby girl requests to wrastle with 15 yr old boys [either inside or outside of the ring], I'll not only say no, but "HELL NO !!!" and deal with the situation in a manner that protects her from her own naivete and hormones...
we dont even hafta go 'there' as far as the opportunity that some, if not most 13-17 yr old guys will seek in coed sports...
jethro could change a flat on the ole pick-up w/o a jack, and she could kick his azz...
We have the correct answer. If girls want to compete with boys play tennis or poker.
Should Boys Be Wrestling Girls?
...only in the back seat of Dad’s ‘72 Oldsmobile.
but i completely understand yer 'situation' at 16...
I’m not sure, can you hit them with a folding chair?
What was “absurd” then is “the norm” now.
“What happens if the girl is losing, and claims an inappropriate hold of some sort? Could the guy be deemed a sex offender?
And wouldnt a decisive victory make the guy look like a brute anyway?
Sounds like theres no way for the guy to win.”
If the young men want to put a stop to it all they have to do is use any number of legal and/or illegal moves to hurt the girls enough to “dissuade and discourage” any future desire to wrestle.
If she doesn’t get it the first time a second or third might be required.
Do I want to see that done to them? Absolutely not, but when you put young men in a no-win situation like this something drastic has to be done.
In a weird sort of way, you just confirmed my point.
What happens when the boy and girl in the wrestling match get aroused and start banging away on each other on the mat? Gee, who’d a thunk it?
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