Separate but equal

Have you heard the news story about the young man who refused to wrestle a girl at a high school wrestling meet?  We are not talking about the ridiculous thing called “wrestling” on TV.  This is the real sport, wrestling.

A young man in Iowa, Joel Northrup, a home-schooled sophomore, forfeited a match rather than wrestle a girl opponent.  He said wrestling a girl would conflict with his religious beliefs.

Good for him.

If women and girls want to have a separate wrestling organization, fine.  Well, not fine.  Wrestling?  I think that’s a bad idea either way… but at least have it be separated.

Inter-sex wrestling should only be private and after the marriage is witnessed by the Church.

But I support the young man, Joel Northrup, in his decision to refuse to wrestle a girl in a match like that.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Henry Belton says:

    Thanks Father. I want to mention that I appreciate the subtle humor. Trad Catholic websites have brought back the idea that we’re not prudes and we also laugh – alot. Humor is best when delicate and clever. It’s easy and cheap when in your face and profane.

  2. irishgirl says:

    Good thing that young man stood up for his beliefs and refused to wrestle the girl.
    Girls don’t belong in close-contact sports like football and wrestling; they should butt out!
    Kids should be learning how to read and write in school instead of spending so much time on athletics.

  3. Stephen says:

    Good for him and good for you for posting this. We need to know about these good news stories.

  4. Thomas G. says:

    Another girl wrestled a boy in the same tourament (?) who didn’t refuse to wrestle her and she lost.

    The whole idea is very strange, but it’s “part and parcel” of the project to de-feminize women, a project which can only have negative consequences for women and girls.

    It’s also going to be tough to teach young men and boys that violence against women is unacceptable while simultaneously endorsing violence against them in a wrestling ring (or boxing ring, for that matter).

  5. q7swallows says:

    Inter-sex wrestling should only be private and after the marriage is witnessed by the Church.

    HILARIOUS!!! But right on!!!

  6. Supertradmum says:

    I am so conservative that I think most sports should not involve women for many reason, modesty being the first. I cannot understand the mania for girls to be in sports which have been the venue of men for a long time, such as soccer and ice hockey. I have friends whose girls played ice hockey in New York. This mystified me. I do not mind women in some sports, but when either the bodily attitude or costumes are rude, I object. Certain sports lend themselves to female participation, and girls and boys should not be in mixed sports. When the home schooling group decided on mixed gender sports, we dropped out. Here, girls play soccer with boys, which I think is wrong. Even at a seminary where my acquaintances were on retreat with high school students from Catholic high schools, the teenagers were playing mixed gender soccer. I disagree with this.

    Girls in my generation played field hockey in skirts with shorts underneath and with girls only. We played tennis, golf, skating, and even volleyball, but with girls only, and, with modest outfits. I do not mind women’s cricket., when it is all women playing together. Mixed gender sports have become very acceptable in the community, and I think, totally unacceptable. I know this is a controversial subject, even for Catholic parents.

  7. JohnMa says:

    There was an article in a NE paper about this story. In it they stated that the Diocese of Lincoln does not permit wrestlers at Catholic high schools to wrestle girls. However, the Archdiocese of Omaha permits wrestlers at Catholic high schools to wrestle girls.

  8. Konichiwa says:

    My wife and I used to have inter-sex wrestling. I decided to quit after she didn’t play by the rules and punched me a few times. Maybe I deserve that sort of treatment though.

  9. Ellen says:

    Mixed gender sports have become very acceptable in the community, and I think, totally unacceptable. I know this is a controversial subject, even for Catholic parents.

    Hmm. I don’t care if my granddaughter plays in mixed sex sports (I refuse to use the term gender), as long as they aren’t….let’s say full contact sports. So far, she has shown an aptitude for golf and soccer.

  10. Legisperitus says:

    Ellen– I agree on nomenclature. Words have genders but people don’t.

  11. Jason Keener says:

    I agree with this high school boy. I wouldn’t feel right trying to slam a girl down onto a wrestling mat. On the other hand, I don’t have a problem with girls playing non-contact sports like tennis or golf with guys.

  12. Supertradmum says:

    Golf and tennis are not contact sports. Soccer is. The other problem here is that many of the soccer matches are on Sunday and Sunday morning. Some Catholic parents and other Christian parents tried to get the school district to change this, but the powers that be did not change it.

  13. Ellen says:

    I always heard the expression – nouns have gender, people have sex. ;)

  14. everett says:

    When I was in middle school I had to wrestle a girl. The benefit for me is that she wasn’t any good, thus I was able to be very careful in what I did (my coach even instructed me I was allowed to use only one move – a half-nelson). In this situation though, if the girl is as talented as it sounds she is, there’s no way to avoid the sort of close contact that would need to be avoided. Looking back on my experience, if I had been strong in my faith at the time, I might’ve chosen to avoid the match as well.

  15. AnAmericanMother says:

    I’ve no objection to a casual pickup soccer game with mixed teams (sometimes you can’t get a game up otherwise) – competitive soccer is another matter entirely. It’s like the difference between an easy set of mixed doubles and a hard-hitting singles match in tennis.

    There ought to be an intermediate category of “semi-contact sports” where contact is incidental and penalized if it goes overboard — soccer, softball, and so forth. I could see mixed teams in the younger ages, and for older kids and young adults so long as it’s a ‘fun’ league and not cut-throat competitive. We had a lot of fun on our law school softball team, which was mixed-sex, zero physical contact and mild exertion. No near occasion of sin that I could see, and even before I was Catholic I was pretty strait-laced on matters of contact between the sexes. The league was a recreational league and there were no playoffs and no trophy that I recall (not that our team would have been in the running. Our team name was “Harmless Error”, which tells you something about our ability.)

    The “real” contact sports like football and wrestling girls have no business being in at all. I think some of them do it just to make a point (or their parents are trying to make a point). Silly.
    My sports in college were fencing and equestrian and crew. Fencing and crew the girls and boys were separate (but we all practiced together), equestrian it didn’t matter.

  16. Supertradmum says:

    Ellen and others,

    For the record, the word “gender” and not “sex” is on many birth certificates and has been for many years. The word is acceptable and the use is much older than contemporary times. When I studied medieval poetry and literature, some of the works, as early as the 14th century, used the term gender as it is commonly used today. One can trace the word in the English language in literature, even in Dickens. It is not a new usage to have it refer to sex. The point is that in English, the word, like gay usurped by the homosexuslas, was usurped by the feminists, but the word itself, as meaning sex of person, has a long and noble pedigree.

  17. Singing Mum says:

    O Lord, how long? How long will we be trapped in a women’s studies course?
    HS girls and boys wrestling is… lame. Give me a tennis racket and then I’d stand a chance.

  18. AnAmericanMother says:


    I’m really seriously asking you this, not tweaking you — do you think equestrian sports are immodest for girls? If so, would riding aside rather than astride be more acceptable?

    There’s always been something vaguely improper about ladies in the hunting field — Lady Lade being the most notorious example.

  19. Supertradmum says:

    No, I do not think equestrian sports are immodest for girls. It is a beautiful sport. What I had in mind were soccer and volleyball bikinis, short-shorts in basketball and soccer, and basically unlady-like attire and action. I am not for ladies in the hunting field, although one can actually do side-saddle and jump. I would not advise that…..I myself did both Western and English riding in my youth, but I was so skinny, I looked like a green-bean in jodhpurs. But then, they were a bit baggier then. I suppose aside is the most modest. Can we fault Joan of Arc, but that was in necessity in battle and not in play? Most ladies in equestrian sports act like ladies, unless they are in rodeo, which is another story.

  20. Banjo pickin girl says:

    Lots of country women hunt. I do. My sauteed squirrel in a reduction with sourdought bread and tangerine slices is great! Unfortunately the season is closed now. 8-( Waah.

    I can’t see that horsey fox thing though. It seems to have evolved into something other than what it originally was.

  21. raitchi2 says:

    I did martial arts while I was in grade school through college which ranged from stand-up punching and kick to grappling. There was always practice and competition between men and women (boys and girls too). In my experience, nothing drys up the amorous passions like getting a broken rib or being put in a headlock by a girl.

  22. Supertradmum says:

    Banjo pickin girl,

    I think we meant fox-hunting on horses, not hunting for food, which is a necessity.

  23. Malateste says:

    I don’t actually have any problem with this young man’s private decision– everybody knows their own limits best, and if he felt that for him this bout would be too much of a temptation to impure thoughts or whatever, then, fine.

    But as far as institutionalizing the gender split, on the grounds that wrestling with women is immoral or inappropriate in general… some weird implications there. How can that claim be made without assuming that:
    1. Physical contact in a sports setting, when it’s with a member of one’s gender-of-choice, will necessarily be inappropriately sexual, or that
    2. Any contact with the body of a woman, in any context, is necessarily sexual?

    Doesn’t that effectively absolve young men from any responsibility to control their sexual urges, or to think of women in any sense besides a sexual one? How is that consistent with a society in which male gynecologists are assumed to be perfectly able to view and touch women’s naked bodies with respectful clinical distance? And would wrestlers themselves be comfortable with the implication that all that writhing and grinding is not just a test of physical skill, but somehow inevitably sexual or sensual in nature?

    As the mother of a daughter, situations like this make me just want to tell the young men involved to hoist their minds out of the gutter and attend to the business at hand. As in many sects of Islam, all this anxiety and energy around policing gender separation on the grounds of “modesty” seems more indicative of an unhealthy obsession with sex than the reverse.

  24. amenamen says:

    Thank you, Joel Northrup.

    Chivalry is not dead.

  25. Banjo pickin girl says:

    Question about equestrians: Is it relatively more difficult (read: dangerous) to ride sidesaddle rather than astride? I have never ridden a horse though like most girls I always wanted a big black horse named Horsey. Woulda kept it in my bedroom I guess.

    Don’t rich people think fox hunting on horses is a necessity? (ha ha). Like Lexuses are a necessity!

  26. Banjo pickin girl says:

    I had a friend in high school in Wausau, WI who competed in pole bending (ages ago). She was very good. I thought it was cool. I was the quiet nerdy type, the class poet.

    I would be more concerned about the disparities in strength and aggression in co-ed sports than in immodesty. Competitors are too busy competing to think about anything other than the sport.

  27. Peggy R says:

    I saw this article as well and applaud the young man on his decency and regard for femininity. Our boys play soccer & baseball. Both are co-ed in K level. Once kids hit first grade, they do separate boys and girls. We have seen the occasional girl on a soccer team. One of our boys’ coaches said that these girls are just a bit too rough for the other girls, so they put them in with the boys. I don’t know whether that’s true, but it’s funny.

  28. K. Marie says:

    I’ve never quite understood violent competitive sports between the sexes. I fence competitively, but it’s more like chess with swords than the extremely physical sport mentioned above. Maybe it’s because I’m 4’11” and thus have no chance against the majority of the male gender(as the numerous times one of my cousins have picked me up while in possession of the ball during family rugby games)without having to go the route that involves an extremely low blow. But maybe that’s just me. Anyways as you mentioned, the Church has clear teaching about wrestling outside of marriage and that’s really all that matters. :)

  29. AnAmericanMother says:

    Banjo pickin girl,

    Everybody knows you keep your horse in the garage! :-D At least that was what I told my parents when I was begging for a pony.

    There are fox hunters and fox hunters. One of our local hunts is kind of ritzy a/k/a “the social hunt”, lots of Mercedes and even Rolls and Bentleys in the parking area before things get under way (and of course Land Rovers pulling the horse trailers). Hunt balls, sherry beforehand . . . and most of the members never actually ride. Then there’s our fox hunt. Rough and ready, especially on weekdays. More likely to see a Ford F250 Super Duty pulling a trailer, certainly lots of old beater Ford trucks, Chevys, and the occasional Toyota parked around the barn. We do wear proper hunting attire and usually braid the horses, but we don’t make a fetish of it.

    Fox hunting is actually a benefit for agriculture because it keeps the foxes and coyotes wary and under control so they don’t eat too many chickens. Trapping is more efficacious but not half so much fun.

    As for riding aside, I’ve done it. It’s different – I can jump but I don’t like it because I feel like I’m folding up like a carpenter’s rule. I’m also so used to riding on contact that using a dressage whip in place of my right leg is something I have to concentrate on too much. I think it may be safer than astride for most purposes, since if you have a jumping side-saddle you have what’s called a “leaping head” to brace your stirrup foot up under and it’s almost impossible to come unstuck. The downside to that is that, IF your horse falls, you have to be ready to pull his head back to the left so he falls on his right side, not his left, so he doesn’t crush your legs. I have fallen with my horse a couple of times out hunting – once a wreck at a big coop in a sticky corner, once my mare’s feet just suddenly shot out from under her on a muddy hill (she was as surprised as I was). I like to have the option of kicking off my stirrups and rolling out of the way . . . just as a last resort.

  30. AnAmericanMother says:

    This comes under the “this lady is crazy” category:

    That’s with the Quorn or Belvoir – one of the big English clubs anyhow. I don’t do drop fences.

  31. Banjo pickin girl says:

    Thanks for the riding lesson! Yee ha! It’s kind of like the difference between a conventional bike and a recumbent, which just dumps you on your hip and not your head.

  32. frjim4321 says:

    The young man in the story exercised his right to forfeit as was his prerogative. The young woman in the story exercised her right to compete in her weight class which was her prerogative. It is a good thing when people exercise their own rights. With respect to the current jurisprudence with regard to high school sports, if a student wishes to compete in a particular sport they are permitted to do so and cannot be discriminated against if there is not a team available for their sex. Thus, if a high school had a men’s lax and women’s lax they can join the appropriate team. But the way the law has been decided, if there is only one such team, it must accommodate the rights of every student to participate.

    No student is ever forced to be on any team or play any sport, thus those who are not able to conform to the law are not required to participate.

  33. AnAmericanMother says:

    Banjo pickin girl,

    Have you ridden a recumbent bike? I’ve seen a few around here and they certainly look . . . different. Can you see where you’re going? How do you balance when you stop at a light? Is it good for people with bad backs?

  34. Malateste,

    I think Joel’s decision rested not primarily on the grounds of purity, but rather the violent nature of the sport of wrestling. In general, of course, serious injuries are rare, and the goal isn’t to cause pain per se; but nonetheless as Joel pointed out, wrestling by nature does involve some violence. Now they’re not really trying to kill each other, of course, and that’s why it’s fine for men to wrestle each other; but I think Joel’s point was that men should by nature protect, defend, even revere the fairer sex, and he thought it’s unnatural to put a young man in the position of using ‘violence’ (even in a loose, non-injury sense) against a young lady. He said, look, there are some rough moments in wrestling where wrestlers CAN get hurt, and I don’t think it’s right for me to risk doing that to a girl.

    I remember as soon as I read his one-sentence explanation, I was doubly impressed — not only THAT he was forfeiting, but WHY he was. He didn’t even mention purity — he mentioned the inconsistency of a boy having to use violence against a girl.

    Bravo, Joel.

  35. Kudos to the young man. My son, who wrestled at our Catholic H.S., had determined that if in the course of competing with public school teams, he would have to wrestle a girl, he would forfeit, both because of the inherent impurity of it and also the inherent physical unfairness of it.

    ‘Course, down here in Virginia, it’s “wrastlin'” not “wrestling.”

  36. JKnott says:

    Modesty is a virtue for all , especially for women. It is timeless and universal, and does not go out of style just becaue radical feminists have undermined their own sex and formed even lady-like (Mary-like!!!) women into distorting their own inherent beauty, as God intended it to be.
    Contact sports between the sexes, just like co-ed dorms, present an impediment to growth in holiness which is, after all is said and done, the real purpose of our life.
    Any Unreconstructed Ossified Manualist will tell you so.

  37. Good on the young man! I am with you father in thinking wrestling a highly inappropriate sport for women in and of itself. It truly boggles the mind, however, that anyone should ever have thought mixed sex wrestling a good idea in any normal and acceptable sort of sense.

  38. And my last comment holds true both in terms of modesty and the violence aspect.

  39. Banjo pickin girl says:

    Have you ridden a recumbent bike?
    ..I have a long wheelbase underseat steerer, a Vision RB-40 (no longer made).
    I’ve seen a few around here and they certainly look . . . different. Can you see where you’re going?
    ..Visibility is much better because you are not bent over looking at the front wheel, you are seated slightly reclined as in a car, sometimes a little more reclined for speed.
    How do you balance when you stop at a light? Is it good for people with bad backs?
    ..You put both feet down generally. Balancing with the feet on the pedals as on a conventional bike is not possible due to the friction of the steering linkage and that you are not able to shift your weight quickly, ditto riding with no hands. The extreme ease of riding is due to your having to allow the bike to find its own line and not try to steer it with your body, you only steer with the front wheel and lean of course.
    ..I have a bad back and it depends. I can no longer ride because I have stenosis of the lumbar spine and pedaling hurts, also going over speed bumps, etc. But generally it is much better on your skeleton than a conventional bike, as it allows you to ride in a natural seated position. And it is safer for men, too, who often have problems riding long distances on a conventional bike.
    There are bike stores that allow you to test ride them. But keep in mind it will take a couple of hundred miles before it becomes second nature. I never was able to put my LOOK pedals on it though, I wasn’t comfortable enough. But the bottom bracket of the RB-40 is high and my feet naturally stay on the pedals just resting.

  40. ambrose says:

    How odd Maltatese…Sexual temptation is not the only reason to not wrestle a girl.
    It is by its nature absurd (even without sexual temptation). Any mom and dad who let their daughter wrestle competitively are FAILURES. They are not raising ladies, just lame fake boy-girls!
    Women wrestling is absurd.
    We all need to stop relating what we did as a kid. THAT DOES NOT MAKE IT RIGHT.
    We need to be willing to examine our own history and present and realize WE MIGHT BE WRONG and we MUST AMEND our way of thinking.

  41. Dr. Eric says:

    I am a practitioner of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. We have females in our class. Now, at tournaments there are different weight classes, age brackets, and groupings based on the sex of the competitor. But in the school, our two females have to practice with and spar with the males. I see no problem with this as, God forbid, if they ever have to defend themselves from an attacker, I would hope rolling on the ground with us big men would give them the muscle memory to defend their chastity or their lives.

    Some of the posters above sound like Queen Victoria and I wonder what would Ste. Jeanne D’Arc think about all of this?

  42. iowapapist says:

    “Is this heaven?” “No, it’s Iowa.”

  43. templariidvm says:

    I have a friend whose high school daughter wrestles against boys. He likes to see his daughter “beat up the boys”. When I ask him if her wrestling adventures might have anything to do with the activities she performs with boys off of the wrestling mat (of which he disapproves), I only get a blank stare. Why can’t people see the path they put their children on even when others point out how obvious it is?

  44. Andy Milam says:

    Being from Iowa, I have a unique perspective. Also, I was at the state tournament yesterday for the 3-A session. It really was quite a scene to behold. The MSM in Iowa has split over the whole thing. The local 3-6 show on the ESPN affliate was bemoaning gender equity and at several points was asking for the Iowa Archdiocese to step in and support the girl. Obivously, he has no idea what he’s talking about. Iowa has four dioceses. The Archdiocese is not in Des Moines.

    With Joel not being a Catholic, I suspect that there was no reason for the Diocese to say anything, but Marty Tirrell was going on about how this was a terrible thing for Iowa and Iowa religion. He is a bit of a shock jock and really doesn’t have a serious bone in his body. He thinks he does and he takes himself too seriously. To give an example, he equated the two wrestlers with a philly and a colt in horse racing. If a philly can win the Kentucky Derby, then a woman can be a man in wrestling….ummmm, not so much.

    I called into the show yesterday and I supported Joel’s decision. He has every right to determine if he is going to default. That is part of wrestling and it does happen, that is why it is in the rulebook. As for Cassy being able to wrestle, I disagree with that. I have been around wrestling my whole life. I honestly can tell you that the difference in strength is enough to make it an unfair advantage for any elite boy to wrestle. There were two girls who did qualify, and both had winning records, but as of yet, no one has been able to determine how many victories came due to default/forfeits. I do know that Ms. Herkelman wrestled a good finals in districts, so she earned her spot. But it is also known that her weight class in both sectionals and districts were very weak.

    Finally, I would like to add this…there are many out there who are saying that since Iowa has no women’s wrestling that they should be allowed to wrestle with the boys. The fact of the matter is that they both wrestle in women’s leagues nationally. They travel and they go to national competitions. So, they cannot represent their high schools, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have an outlet to wrestle. For the record, I have no issue with women wrestling. None. I do have an issue with gender mixing in the sport. Men should wrestle men and women; women. Due to the nature of the holds, it is entirely inappropriate for gender mixing in this instance.

    I just thought you’d like an Iowan’s perspective (and one who really enjoys wrestling).

  45. AnAmericanMother says:

    Thanks for the word on the ground, Andy.

    By the way . . . horsey person here . . . it’s “filly”. A “philly” is a cheesesteak.

    And there’s really no comparison – for one thing there’s no contact in horse racing (bumping another horse will get you DQ’d). For another, most of the big races are for 2 and 3 year old colts and fillies. The males have not developed their full size and strength – Lipizzaners for example aren’t even put under saddle until they are 5. That’s why so many of your racehorses break down in training or on the track — their growth plates haven’t closed yet and they’re very prone to injury. Those of us who buy reject Thoroughbreds off the track profit from this stupidity, but it’s very bad for the horses.

  46. AnAmericanMother says:

    Banjo pickin girl,

    My mama has stenosis, and it’s limited her activities a bit too. Sorry that you can’t ride.

    Sounds like a recumbent is something that takes a little getting used to, but could be a good idea for somebody who doesn’t like a conventional bike. I may wander down to the local shop and see if they’ll let me try one, but I don’t put that many miles on my bike any more. I rode a LOT more when the kids were in Scouting, there were badges to earn!

    But Atlanta is not a real good town for cyclists because it’s built on a series of ridges and, unless you find a ridgetop road or bike on one of the former railbed trails, you are huffing and puffing up steep grades or screaming down them. And most of the ridge roads are narrow, so you have a mile’s worth of drivers piled up behind you (or alternatively you’re sitting in your car piled up behind 50 members of the local bike club). We live just off one of the main cycle club routes, and I have to say it can be annoying when you top a hill to find a bunch of nudniks riding six abreast with the outside man oncoming in your lane! But I’ve been on both sides of the cager/cyclist equation.

  47. frjim4321 says:

    Last time I checked wrestlers – both men and women – wear singlets. So, where’s the immodesty coming from? It’s immodest for a girl to wear a singlet and not for a boy? That is a double standard and makes very little sense. I think some of the posters on this string would be more comfortable if American girls wore burkas.

  48. joan ellen says:

    Fr.’s title is Separate but equal. The sport of wrestling being co-ed is the discussion. Don’t I see the same thing almost every weekend at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Of course, not physical wrestling. But the loss of hierarchy in the Sanctuary. Women are separate but equal to the men in the Sanctuary, except for the priest. (At this point.)
    Difficulty with co-ed sports, at least the contact ones, maybe because it is really about diminishing the natural hierarchy. Maybe our difficulty is because our better sense knows this. A return to respect for the natural hierarchy in sports or the Sanctuary may decrease violence and increase purity, and surely would lend itself to an increase in our respect for the Supernatural Hierarchy.
    I applaud this young man. His refusal appears to be conservative in 3 areas. What a gentleman.

  49. Jayna says:

    I agree with his decision. Personally I don’t have objections to women in any sport (I’m a big fan of roller derby, if that’s any indication), but there are some that just can’t be inter-sex if only for the unfair advantage men have. Unless the woman is a body builder or the guy is scrawny, there isn’t much of a chance that a woman would beat a man in wrestling or some kind of related sport that has that level of physicality to it (barring luck or exceptional skill, I suppose).

  50. Andy Milam says:

    As a point of clarification…..Joel defaulted. He didn’t forfeit. There is a difference.

    Forfeit = no continuing in the tournament
    Default = continuing in the tournament

    It may not seem like a big deal but it is for Joel.

    @American Mom….thanks for the clarification on horses….I have no idea…Marty Tirrell was just going on and on about it.

    @frjim4321….apparently you don’t know much about wrestling. It isn’t so much about what they are wearing, but rather it is about how the holds are applied. That is a major sticking point. There are moves which deal with the crotch (it is part of the lingo of wrestling), there is riding, where the top wrestler controls the bottom, there are single leg shots which if shot in deep, there is a good chance that the genitals will be at the very least grazed. There are various pinning combinations in which the wrestlers are chest to chest (or breast, if it’s a girl). Also there is a position called the referee’s position in which the top wrestler covers the bottom. Again a compromising position to be in. The immodesty comes and so does the religious conviction insofar as it puts one or both wrestlers in a state in which a male and female should not be grasping one another. Perhaps it’s innocent, perhaps it isn’t…but if you’ve taught school, I’m sure that you understand how teenage hormones work. It may not necessarily be physical, but it most certainly can be psychological.

    I support Joel’s decision to default. I oppose male v. female wrestling. Nothing good can come from it.

  51. AnAmericanMother says:

    Thanks Andy, I appreciate your insight. My son didn’t wrestle (he ran cross country and was on the judo team) so this is largely new information and very helpful to understanding what’s going on.

  52. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:

    The young man in the story exercised his right to forfeit as was his prerogative.

    There are some sports that are gender specific (football, wrestling), and some that are not (track and field, tennis, golf). It is mindless to lump them together under the same Fed regs.

    I knew a high school girl who wanted to compete in cross country, but the school had no girls team. She was no feminist but sued to compete on the boys team. She won. Later, she went to UT Knoxville on a track scholarship.

    Cross country, however, is not the same as Wrestling or Field Hockey.

    The young woman in the story exercised her right to compete in her weight class which was her prerogative. It is a good thing when people exercise their own rights.

    Right. Now let’s take field hockey. Lots of schools in this area have field hockey teams–all are girls’ teams. According to you, it would be OK for a school to have a field hockey team that is half boys, then go out and dominate all the girls teams, which in effect would destroy girls’ field hockey as a sport.

    With respect to the current jurisprudence with regard to high school sports, if a student wishes to compete in a particular sport they are permitted to do so and cannot be discriminated against if there is not a team available for their sex.

    Some sports are by definition discriminatory.

    Thus, if a high school had a men’s lax and women’s lax they can join the appropriate team. But the way the law has been decided, if there is only one such team, it must accommodate the rights of every student to participate.

    “If the law supposes that,” said Mr. Bumble,… “the law is a ass—a idiot. If that’s the eye of the law, the law is a bachelor; and the worst I wish the law is that his eye may be opened by experience—by experience.”

    No student is ever forced to be on any team or play any sport, thus those who are not able to conform to the law are not required to participate.

    See above, Field Hockey.

  53. Mike Morrow says:

    One must assume that advocates of mixed-sex high school wrestling also have no reservations about the same in those places that have high school **boxing**. All in the name of fool’s equality!

    For the male contestant, win or lose, there is NO HONOR from such a contest. The action taken by Joel is the ONLY honorable one possible.

  54. jflare says:

    Unless I’m gravely mistaken, young men do NOT have the right to play volleyball competitively in high school. In fact, I believe a court case occurred several years ago, in which a young man sued for his right to play. The court told him that volleyball was a girl’s sport and he needed to find something else to do.
    For what it’s worth, I’m not convinced that one guy playing on a team of gals would be a wise idea, in particular because personal hygiene issues.
    At the same time, I don’t see anyone advocating for young men to play volleyball. If anything, the idea has been pretty well buried.

    For everyone:
    I am curious though, what rationale people have for declaring that girls should or should not play one sport or another or that boys and girls shouldn’t play mixed?

    I get the whole thing about temptations–especially with teens–but the over-riding theme that I remember from my teen years was that boys and girls were equal and ought to be treated as such.

    So, aside from physical temptations, are we objecting to girls or boys playing this sport or that because of the physical hazard of the sport? Or other reasons?

    And, if that didn’t stir the pot enough: I don’t remember any time that “chivalry” ever came into the picture during my teen years. If anything, I would say we heard a not-too-subtle suggestion that this might be an old-fashioned notion..even sexist.


  55. Dr. Eric says:

    I think people who don’t participate in such activities can’t understand the distinction between “mixed martial arts” and “mixed marital arts.”

    There is a huge difference between wrestling and foreplay (except in a few parts of San Francisco.)

    I brought this up during our Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class- as I was practicing a technique with one of our female students- in fact we practiced back and forth with each other for about a half an hour and she was of the opinion that people are taking this issue too far.

    Take for instance the triangle choke. It may look like a partial violation of chastity. But having been caught in one and having applying it on others I can tell you it’s not. You have less than 10 seconds before you black out due to blood loss to the brain. People who are serious about competition are thinking of winning, not about getting aroused.

  56. Dr. Eric says:

    Once again, I wonder “what would St. Joan of Arc think about all of this”?

  57. amenamen says:

    The Maid of Orleans
    St. Joan of Arc was, by all accounts, a model of chastity, modesty and purity. She followed the supernatural instructions of her heavenly “voices” to lead the armies of France, but she did not tolerate sin and the near occasions of sin, for herself or for her soldiers.
    Although she wore armor and rode a horse, it is doubtful that this petite young woman would have had much success in hand to hand combat with a bigger and stronger enemy soldier, if it ever came to that. The English were afraid of her, not because of her physical prowess, but because they had heard of her supernatural reputation, and the fearlessness of her followers. As a result, they often fled the battlefield as soon as she arrived on the scene. What evidence is there that this chaste virgin would ever have allowed a young man to “grapple” with her, and manhandle her, for entertainment, the way our modern wreslters do?
    Modern American feminists frequently, and falsely, cite St. Joan as an ally in many of their oddball causes. Here likewise, I do not think the holy example of St. Joan of Arc can be used to support this latest lapse of common sense: co-ed wrestling.

    Thanks again, Joel Northrup.
    You are proof that chivalry is not dead.
    If you are not Catholic, you ought to be.

  58. Dr. Eric says:

    I’m curious as to why some people think that any kind of grappling with a member of the opposite sex constitutes a violation of chastity.

  59. jesusthroughmary says:

    Dr. Eric –

    I believe it is as simple as this: This particular young man felt compelled to take this particular action in order to preserve his own chastity. He did not feel comfortable with the prospect of wrestling a girl and had the fortitude to sacrifice a chance at a state wrestling title in order to avoid the near occasion of sin. Whether you or I or the two boys who did wrestle her in the tournament were or would have been similarly tempted is both unknowable and irrelevant. You refer to your martial arts class, but you and your class are presumably adults – these are teenagers. The threshold at which physical contact between teenagers of the opposite sex triggers emotional and psychological reactions is much lower, and he felt it necessary not to take even a single step down that path. Perhaps he is a bit scrupulous, prudish, or extreme. But perhaps he simply knows himself. Either way, the fact that he was able to take the action he did even after counting the cost is commendable.

  60. amenamen says:

    Manhandling a woman

    1 It is absurd and anachronistic to superimpose modern feminist ideas upon the saintly fifteenth century virgin, Saint Joan of Arc. What, indeed, would she think of co-ed wrestling? Was such a thing ever heard of?

    2 The noble young man from Iowa expressed his revulsion, not simply at the immodesty and/or indecency of the event, but rather at the violence of “engaging a girl in this manner.” His father said, “Wrestling is a combat sport and they’re out there and it gets violent at times, and my son doesn’t believe that girls should be engaged in that way.”

    3. When chivalry ruled a Christian man’s behavior, courtesy and delicacy governed his treatment of women. It might be observed, in a pre-contraceptive age, that “manhandling” a woman was not only disgraceful, but quite possibly dangerous to a woman who – just possibly- might be pregnant. Even in our contraceptive age, is it not possible – at least once in a while- that a boy might find himself wrestling a female opponent who is two or three months pregnant? Is she still just “one of the boys”?

  61. amenamen says:

    Alternative views on how to handle a woman

    King Arthur in Camelot poses the question

    Ralph Cramden … one of these days …

    Carlo Rizzi in the Godfather
    Sonny Corleone begs to differ with Carlo

  62. jesusthroughmary says:

    Connie kinda had it coming. Spoiled guinea brat.

    I mean, no…

  63. kat says:

    I don’t think quoting American laws and the participants “exercising their rights” as the standard of whether or not something is right or wrong morally is very justified. Just because our courts tell schools to do certain things with regard to “gender equity” does not mean the laws or the justices are correct.

    I think almost everyone posting or reading here can name at least ONE “Law of the Land” that definitely is opposed to God’s law. Do you really think all the rest of our “laws” meet His approval as well?

    There is a lot of craziness in this world today; just because things have been accepted and defended do NOT make them right in the eyes of God.

    Would that there were many more noble youths as this one in our country. Maybe some foolishness would end.

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