He Should Have Fought the Female Wrestler

There’s a story making the rounds about a Christian high school wrestler who forfeited his chance to win a state title because he would’ve had to fight a female wrestler along the way:

Joel Northrup, a home-schooled sophomore who was 35-4 wrestling for Linn-Mar High School this season, praised his first-round opponent, Cedar Falls freshman Cassy Herkelman, and Ottumwa sophomore Megan Black, who became the first two girls to make the state wrestling tournament in its 85-year history.

But in a brief statement issued through his school, Northrup said he defaulted on his match with Herkelman because he doesn’t think boys and girls should compete in the sport.

“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Cassy and Megan and their accomplishments.

However, wrestling is a combat sport and it can get violent at times,” said Northrup. “As a matter of conscience and my faith I do not believe 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 other high school sports in Iowa.”

Herkelman’s family has had nothing but nice things to say about Northrup:

Her father, Bill Herkelman, told The Associated Press via text message that he understands and respects Northrup’s decision.

“It’s nice to get the first win and have her be on the way to the medal round,” Bill Herkelman wrote. “I sincerely respect the decision of the Northrup family especially since it was made on the biggest stage in wrestling. I have heard nothing but good things about the Northrup family and hope Joel does very well the remainder of the tourney.”

Herkelman ended up losing her next round match, but that’s besides the point.

I’ve read a number of stories about this match and they all make it out to be a beautiful example of tolerance and grace.

That needs to stop. It’s neither and we need to stop acting like everything worked out perfectly.

Jay, a wrestling coach, emailed me to explain why we shouldn’t be applauding how this all turned out:

Everyone seems to be ok with this but I think it undermines the hard work that this girl put into getting as far as she did. The male wrestler commented that because the sport was combatitive he didn’t want to wrestle out of a matter of conscience and faith. I’m a wrestling coach and I had a girl on my team. She worked her tail off every single day and handled practice better than some of the guys. To “give” the championship to this Iowa wrester in this way is to say “God doesn’t deem you worthy of competing against me.”

Northrup deprived us all the opportunity to see a strong, hard-working girl kick his ass on the wrestling mat. Instead, he used God as an excuse to get out of a potentially embarrassing match.

Based on his record, though, he probably would’ve won the match. If he did, all this would’ve been a non-issue — She was the underdog, not him. She had more to prove, but he denied her that opportunity.

He doesn’t deserve any special respect for that.

Side note: Why would everything have been ok if Northrup wrestled a guy and been in similar compromising positions? If anything, that seems like it would be more against his “Christian values” than anything else… I *so* don’t understand wrestling.)

  • Brian Macker

    Hemant,

    I take it then that you are for doing way with women’s and girls athletics altogether. Make them all compete with the men and boys.

  • maddogdelta

    “As a matter of conscience and my faith I do not believe that it is appropriate for a boy to engage a girl in this manner.

    Translation:
    I’m a coward with no control over any sexual urge and I’m afraid I’ll lose to a gurrrrrrrrrrl, and that will go against my belief that boys are always superior in everything.

  • Sarah

    Tolerance? Who’s being tolerant, the girl’s family for not being pissed off? I thought tolerance meant you wouldn’t deny people the opportunity to engage. What kind of message does this send to Cassy and other girls?

  • JD

    Almost intimate physical contact and skin tight uniforms, why didn’t the he boycott wrestling on homoerotic grounds?

  • Rollingforest

    Brian Macker@ No, I don’t think that that is what Hemant is saying. The girls in wrestling participated in the boy’s league by choice. It’s not like they only did it because there wasn’t a girl’s team. They wanted to be on the boy’s team as far as we can tell. They wanted to prove that they could do as well as the boys.

    This might seem like sexism working in the girl’s favor since she got to move up a rank for free, but it does take away somewhat from her sense of accomplishment, so it really hurts her too.

  • gribblethemunchkin

    Wrestling as far as i am aware is ranked on weight, you fight people of a similar weight. If so there is no reason why girls shouldn’t compete against guys.

    I used to do martial arts and we’d always spar and do ground fighting (essentially wrestling) girls and guys together. After all, you never know what gender an attacker in real life will be, nor what weight.

    That said, teenage guys grappling teenage girls. Hmmmm. I remember being a teenage boy and that would have got me flustered. And in those uniforms, flustering might be a tad obvious, i can see why he might have been reluctant. Of course, the reason he gave about violence and women was horsecrap. If the girl is competing with the boys, then she deserves all the violence (on the mat) that one would dish out to the lads. Chivalry is an inherently sexist and demeaning position to take in combat sports, not to mention life in general.

  • Michelle

    Finally, commentary that has not been reduced to, “Good for him not wanting to hurt her.” You don’t protect women against their will. To be fair, underestimating female strength won me a lot of money arm-wrestling boys at high school parties.

    That said, teenage guys grappling teenage girls. Hmmmm. I remember being a teenage boy and that would have got me flustered. And in those uniforms, flustering might be a tad obvious, i can see why he might have been reluctant.

    Happens anyway, only adding to the homoerotic appeal of the sport.

  • Scott

    I don’t think it’s as simple as blaming it on religion. I do think he should have wrestled her, but remember, he’s a home-schooled 15-yr-old boy – he might have been terrified to wrestle these strange creatures known as “girls”. It’s an awkward time of your life, made more so by being told to dominate a girl, whom men are raised to believe are special and you should never hurt.

    I follow combat sports and we discussed this at-length. Here’s what we had to say:

    http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2011/2/18/2001519/iowa-teen-refuses-to-wrestle-girl

  • http://whatpalebluedot.blogspot.com/ WhatPaleBlueDot

    What he meant by this, of course, is that it would shame him to treat this girl as a peer and to combat her on those terms. No, women should be beaten as god intended, in the confines of a subservient relationship.

  • Nash

    Not all of mainstream sports media is so positive about his decision:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?id=6136707

    ESPN’s Rick Reilly calls him out, saying that respecting the girl would mean giving her a chance to beat him, not depriving her of that chance. Very similar to the point the coach you quoted makes and well worth reading, I think.

  • http://hoverfrog.wordpress.com hoverFrog

    Do you think that he would have bowed out if he’d been matched to fight someone else who he also wrongly considered inferior? Say a deaf, blind, black or gay wrestler. What would the reaction be if he’d said “As a matter of conscience and my faith I do not believe that it is appropriate for a white to engage a black in this manner.”

    Or any other oppressed group you might care to mention? Straight\gay, Christians\Jew, hearing\deaf. It doesn’t sound so acceptable like that, does it?

  • Phoebe

    I’m not a fan of wrestling. It’s too intimate, with people writhing around together on a mat…trying to pin each other down. I do not blame that teenage boy for not wanting to be in such an intimate position with a teenage girl.

    I don’t understand the girl’s father’s statement: “It’s nice to get the first win and have her be on the way to the medal round,”
    What’s nice about it? The fact that she got a free win because she’s thinks it’s okay to try to make teenage boys wrestle with her?

  • http://selfra.blogspot.com dantresomi

    so he “respects” the girl’s competitiveness but doesn’t want to wrestle with her? geez

  • Mo

    As a female, I completely agree with the coach, she worked her butt off to compete with the boys. My son is on a power lifting team with 3 girls and they can lift as much as some of the boys. Girls on these teams are trying to prove that they can compete and are not there for special treatment. I think the father should’ve been disappointed with the free win, not happy about it. The boy who forfeited was simply afraid he would get beat by a girl.

  • Joe

    He didn’t bad mouth her.
    He made it clear the problem was with him.
    He didn’t complain it was unfair for girls to be there.

    I may not agree with him, but as far as I’m concerned he did the honorable thing. Badmouthing the guy for conceding a match is ridiculous. If only the rest of the world were so civil when the disagree.

  • Roe

    I still say this story is a non-story. No one was harmed, no one was insulted, and everyone got to exercise their rights under the constitution. If this is not the kind of thing we should support then what the hell should we support?

  • Claudia

    He may have meant well (without evidence I’m not going to assume he did it to save face in case of defeat) and I’m glad the young woman’s family (and hopefully the young woman herself) took it well, but I personally would have been offended in her place. I get where “boys shouldn’t hit girls comes from”. Men are, on average, bigger and stronger than women and traditionally bad men have used violence to ensure female subservience. Teaching boys to never hit a girl is a simple way that decent people try to make sure that the boys under their tutelage never do this sort of thing. That is to be commended.

    However this is a situation of competitive sports, and so the restraint becomes demeaning. This young woman chose to compete. She presumably chose knowing that she would be competing against young men, and she qualified. This “I’m sorry but I won’t risk hitting a girl” is essentially telling her that she does not have the right to dispense with niceties and compete equal to equal with a man. This is bullshit.

    I remember P.E when I was in high school. The exam requirements for boys and girls were different (lower for the girls). I always made a point of making sure to pass comfortably on the boys scale, with the esception of chin-ups, to my shame. If a teacher had stopped me after I did good enough “for a girl” to tell me that no more was needed I’d have been pissed.

  • Andrew Morgan

    The level of speculation going on here is astounding. People are turning his — let’s face it — pretty vague statement that it’s against his “conscience and faith” and people are translating that to mean “no, women should be beaten as god intended?”

    Please.

  • Michelle

    I’m glad it brought this to light. They would not let us wrestle in high school, which was not that long ago, and I’ve never seen a girls team. I was fast, small and wiry with lots of practice against someone bigger than me. I had also been one of the Stat. keepers all through Jr. High and knew a great deal about the sport however, I had no penis and was therefore not allowed.
    This attitude is the same reason we counter teach the “don’t hit girls” mantra. Not because I want my son to hit girls, but because I don’t want him to assume they are helpless. Since it is so prevalent a response is the best I could do. “Why don’t we hit girls?” “Because they may hit back, harder.”

  • bobby

    i was gonna post the espn article, but someone beat me to it. nice to see at least someone with pretty wide influence admitting how stupid this is. although in fairness, most of what ive seen written on the incident was just a news article, neither praising nor criticizing

  • Thegoodman

    I am confused why this situation has become so viral. This happens hundreds of times each year (albeit not in the state tournament).

    I wrestled in high school in Indiana and we had a girl on our team. I would guess about 1/3 of the matches we had, she won due to a forfeit because the other team refused to wrestle with her. It was never viewed as an “act of tolerance” and it was always viewed as complete intolerance and disrespect to our coach and our female wrestler.

    All that being said, wrestling is a very personal, violent, and intimate sport. Violently grabbing the breasts/butt/vagina of a strange female sounds uncomfortable for me at 28; the idea of doing it at 15 was terribly embarrassing. I suppose if the girl is completely comfortable with the situation it is her right to participate, but it is also the guy’s equal right to bow out before the match begins.

    I was actually near the weight class of the girl on our squad and practiced with her a handful of times. It wasn’t uncommon to become aroused while wrestling with her. This made me very uncomfortable and I assume it made her uncomfortable as well. Sexuality is complicated enough in high school with complicating issues further.

  • Thegoodman

    Sorry for the double-post, I was slow on my edit.

    “Do you think that he would have bowed out if he’d been matched to fight someone else who he also wrongly considered inferior?”

    Whoa…pump the breaks hoverFrog. He is 15. He is not a 36 year old activist fighting against gay marriage. In most cases of guys refusing to wrestle girls, it is simply because the guy is uncomfortable with the situation, that is all. Also, not uncomfortable because she is a girl, uncomfortable because he is a dude and doesn’t want to get a boner in a singlet.

  • Rob

    Faith might’ve been his official reason for refusing to fight, but fear of embarrassment probably was a factor. Just get on youtube and search for “girl pins boy” and you’ll get all kinds of videos where girls beat boys in wrestling. Typically these videos have a bunch of comments about how the boy is a wimp or otherwise inferior as a man. So the boy’s moment of embarrassment turns into a lifetime of humiliation from those who don’t think that girls should be able to beat boys. In this age of camera phones and youtube, wrestling with girls is a very high risk/low payoff activity.

  • Tina

    No one should feel forced to doing something they don’t want to do, regardless of the reason why. He made the call for his personal comfort level and I respect the fact that he didn’t cave to peer pressure to do otherwise. Well done, Joel.

  • http://www.thirdworldnetwork.org Gwydion Frost

    “I have a tremendous amount of respect for Cassy and Megan 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 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 other high school sports in Iowa.”

    Translation: “I’m impressed girls made it this far in a boy’s sport that is too tough for them. I won’t wrestle against them because I do not agree with the decision of the adult school administrators who felt that the girls should be allowed to compete equally against the boys.”

    Speculation: “If I concede with noble sounding reasons, it will get me more attention and a potential shot into a college I am not really qualified for, rather than honestly competing and becoming one of the forgotten losers in one of the final rounds.”

  • edd

    Leagues for girls in sports do not form spontaneously – they are formed when it becomes apparent that there are enough girls interested and talented enought to form teams of their own; the forerunners have to compete against boys if they want to compete professionally. This boy had every right to def

  • Sean

    Rights. This is about rights. I don’t have to respect anything the Phelps crew says, but I have to respect their right to say it if I want to keep my rights to say what I want.

    As far as I can tell he didn’t violate anyone’s rights. He didn’t demand that she be removed. He simply exercised his right to not engage.

    You don’t have to respect his choice, or his reasoning. Personally, I suspect there was a lot more to it than what is being reported. I have said elsewhere that he could have even faced punishment at home for touching her in a “familiar” way against his families views. It could also simply be that at 15 raging hormones would have taken over and led to a rather embarrassing situation. I fought girls in martial arts at that age, but I wouldn’t want to roll around in a singlet with one of them in front of an audience.

    Demanding that our (atheist/agnostic/etc) issues be treated as complex issues while minimizing everyone else and their issues is just flat out hypocritical. Personal freedom is all OK until someone uses it to go against a groups accepted belief structure. Where have I seen that behavior before?

    Also, for all those who will protest that “he signed up” or “he knew the risks”. So what? At what point did he give up his personal liberties?

  • http://agnoistrology.com edd

    Leagues for girls in sports do not form spontaneously – they are formed when it becomes apparent that there are enough girls interested and talented enough to form teams of their own; the forerunners have to compete against boys if they want to compete professionally. This boy had every right to default or forfeit for any reason, (hell, he could have been afraid of cooties, for all I care) but by claiming it was an act of conscience and faith, he’s saying he believes it to be wrong, which upsets me. Yes, he is free to say whatever he wants, be it racist, sexist, etc. but I am also free to speak out against it.

    @Roe: Why do you say no one was insulted? I have yet to see a statement from Casey Herkelman, only her father.

  • Thegoodman

    May of you are speculating about a situation you know little about. You read the headlines and are duped into thinking this is a politically/religiously loaded situation of sexism and disrespect.

    If any of you had wrestled, you would understand that this is the case of a high school boy being uncomfortable with pressing his genitalia against the genitalia of high school girl. Some guys are comfortable with doing it, some are not. This guy was not. No big deal. The girl got a free pass to the 2nd round and he was out of the tournament. The next guy wrestled her and she got the opportunity to test her skills in the tournament.

  • Zima

    Generally I agree with a lot of things people here say, but I don’t think your responses in this case are completely fair.

    As a guy, I wouldn’t feel entirely comfortable wrestling a girl. I’m an atheist, and I’m all for equality. However, I can’t help but see the extremely close contact as slightly sexual. I wouldn’t get aroused by it because I’d be focused on the fight, but if i was that girl’s boyfriend I wouldn’t feel comfortable with some guy groping her as part of a sport.

    It has nothing to do with faith in my case. If faith is a big part of someone’s life and they attribute their feelings and ideas about things to that, of course they would list faith as their reason.

    This is nothing to be praised, but if someone isn’t comfortable with doing something, regardless of their reasons, leave them be.

  • Larry

    Of course he did right. It was his right not to participate and he exercised it. All this nonsense about what he ‘really meant’ is so silly. What he meant is what he said. He didn’t want to participate against her. Afraid of losing? Maybe, but doubtful considering their records, assuming he could have made himself grasp her as he would a male. If not, then he would naturally risk losing as he would not fully employ his skills. What’s the big deal. She is not disrespected – she gained a bye. Family was happy with her ‘win’ and I expect she was too.

  • Meanie

    I suspect his faith and homeschooling combined to shape him into a socially awkward, sheltered, boy who thinks every time he gets a boner or masturbates he’s in danger of eternal hell.

    As a (former, secular) homeschooler I met far, far too many of these poor children who had parents with the motivation of keeping them separate from the “evil world” outpacing any motivation to truly educate the child. Part of the “evil world” is interaction – any interaction – between the genders.

    The public proclamation was probably followed by a week-long lesson on god’s purpose in creating women, how to honor women by forcing them into submission, and a godly woman’s proper place.

    blech

  • Roxane

    In fencing, women almost always work out with men, because there are (or were–this is changing) likely to be more men in a fencing club, especially among those who are competing at the regional and national levels. The competitions, though, are same-sex. Like wrestlers, fencers need to practice against the widest possible selection of opponents.

    My daughter’s club had a wonderful young man who was a nationally-ranked fencer and a real threat to any other man, but he would often lose to far less-skilled women because he was so inhibited about attacking them.

    I understand the wrestler’s discomfort, and can’t really condemn him from withdrawing. But it would seem that his inhibitions are standing in the way of his becoming the best wrestler that HE could be, in addition to denying her an opportunity.

  • KeithLM

    I’m glad to see Thegoodman’s input on this. He’s the first person I’ve seen discussing this rationally.

    I’m an atheist, have been for a long time. I believe in equality for all. But damn people, undoing society’s programming of boys not hitting girls is hard, damn hard. I would never be comfortable with using force to restrain a woman unless she was a danger to myself or someone else. You just can’t turn things like that off. And then, of course, there’s the whole awkwardness this kid would have to face of grabbing all her bits and pieces. That happens in wrestling, hell he might even have his face smashed in her crotch at some point. He might be fine with that in private, but it’s reasonable to think a 15-year old boy might have issues with doing that in public.

    She has a right to participate in the sport, and he has a right not to. He chose to exercise his rights, and accepted the consequences of it in a mature manner. The only reason this should be a story or he should be criticized is if he took legal action or made an official complaint over having to forfeit rather than face her. That is something he did NOT do.

  • Steve

    He should just have been honest about his reasons:
    “Girls have the cooties”
    “I can’t bring myself to fight a girl”
    “I’m gay and being in close contact with girls creeps me out”

    Or the most likely:
    “If I win it’s just because it was a girl. And if I lose I will be taunted for losing against a girl”

    But saying that it’s because of his faith either shows that he is extremely stupid or a complete liar. The way he justified it is beyond ridiculous.

    I also think it’s silly that some people have such deep inhibitions about fighting women. It’s silly. The taboo should be to attack weaker people. No matter the gender. On average women tend to be weaker than men. But that’s just on average. Not all of them are.

  • Steve

    Also, where exactly in the bible does it say “Thou shalt not wrestle women”?

  • rememberer

    so we’re done with the whole “female” thing now?

  • Pat

    Wow guys, you’re all reading way too much into this. Way, way too much. This is probably the first time I’ve been disappointed reading the comment section on this website, and I’ve been lurking for quite a while.

    He wasn’t comfortable wrestling this girl, so he didn’t. No complaints, he just forfeited. Does he not have that right? I’d love to hear your argument about making somebody grapple with somebody even if they’re not comfortable with it. It should be interesting.

    Should He have been comfortable? Yeah, probably. Maybe. While I understand the angst that saying it’s wrong to hit a woman, specifically, causes, but it’s better than saying “hey let’s beat the fuck out of her and put her in her place.”

    Let’s fix society to change that; we’re already seeing some change taking place. But let’s not crucify him for things we have no idea about. It makes all of you who are mocking him sound pathetic.

  • http://twitter.com/ryanrockmoran Ryan Moran

    I train submission wrestling myself as a hobby, and due to my weight (or lack there of) I end up rolling with girls on a fairly regular basis. Any sort of sexual concerns should come up extremely rarely if you’re doing it correctly. Generally you’ll be more concerned about the complex nature of the game and keeping track of what’s going on. You don’t have a lot of brainpower left over to even consider any sort of sexual undertones in certain positions. I mean, every now and then you’re going to grab a handful of breast by accident, but everyone recognizes that and you just keep going possibly with some sort of muttered apology.

    While it is true that men are generally stronger than women, it’s obviously not a 100% thing and in a sport with weight classes it’s far less of an advantage. A 110 pound guy may be stronger than a 110 pound girl, but no so much that she can’t make up for it with technique and skill. Through the luck of genetics this kid is probably a lot stronger than various guys in his weight class, I don’t suppose he’s worried about hurting them?

    This is the worst kind of patronizing guy-knows-best crap. The girl has been competing in wrestling all season, I think she knows it’s a dangerous sport… But Mr. Superior Guy here has to remind her she’s a delicate flower that clearly doesn’t know wrestling is men’s work and thus he needs to bow out of the tournament for her own good. It’s ridiculous.

    As for the whole being raised not to hit a girl line, I would hope most people are raised not to hit anyone… at least in most settings. If you’re training in a combat sport, the rules on physical contact with people go out the window and are replaced by whatever training rules you have. This includes any rules about getting physical with women. In training I’ve punched, kicked, thrown, choked, leglocked, and armbarred women (and vica versa), and it doesn’t bother me at all since that’s what we’re there for. It would be beyond insulting to my woman training partners not to do these things.

  • Stephanie

    Am I the only one on the fence about this?
    On the one hand, adolescent boys have a hard enough time talking to girls, much less grabbing them in front of a large audience- some of whom are no doubt just watching for the perfect youtube moment. I can see where he bowed out. Using faith to cover the real reason is just another example of Christians crying persecution. And I’d like to think I’d be fine with his decision if he hadn’t tried to make himself pious instead of cowardly.

    On the other hand, I played hockey before co-ed leagues were popular. There would be times when I was out there when referees simply wouldn’t see me. They wouldn’t call any penalties taken against me or ones that I’d caused. It got to the point where I’d take a guy to the ice right in front of the refs just to see if I could get a call because I’d be so angry at being considered a non-element. That’s what it’s like to be on the spearhead into a male dominated sport, and anyone saying that Herkelman wasn’t insulted doesn’t really believe women could be competitors as well as just participants.

  • ButchKitties

    Girls are too fragile to wrestle.

    They are not, however, too fragile to have lots of babies. Which is funny considering that childbirth has a much higher mortality rate than high school wrestling.

  • Aj

    Even if it was true what some of you are saying, and that the real reason is that he was afraid of getting an erection (a real and understandable problem), his statements were sexist. The tools are of course religion and gender roles.

  • Kasey

    Who knows, he might not have meant any of what he said in any matter. I find that most people regurgitate what their parents tell them. Maybe his parents mentioned something about it and he decided to make them proud by standing up for their beliefs.

  • Steve

    It’s not so much standing up for his parents’ beliefs in a conscious way. He is home-schooled. So it’s mostly brainwashing and indoctrination. That probably left with some serious social defects when it comes to dealing with the opposite gender.

    They should really go all the way. If his parents think he is too good to interact with the secular world in school, he shouldn’t be competing in sports either.

  • nankay

    Iowa is a wrestling crazy state. I’ve lived here all my life so I know many past and current wrestlers as well as many coaches. The common theme I have found is “If you are serious about your sport and what you’re doing, when you get on the mat you see a competitor to be beaten. Not a boy or a girl, black or white.” She earned her right to be there, now shut up and wrestle.

  • cutthroatjane

    When I was in 8th grade, I was one of two girls that was on the school’s wrestling team. All of the guys threw a fit about it because none of them wanted to wrestle the girls. They eventually got over it especially after being constantly yelled at by the coaches. If I would have traveled all that way to a meet and an opponent wouldn’t wrestle me because i was a girl, I would have been enraged. I knew about all the risks of injury and that’s why I was there.

  • Brian Macker

    “Brian Macker@ No, I don’t think that that is what Hemant is saying. ”

    No, you are not getting what I’m saying. If girls can decide to compete in male teams, then guys should be able to compete on girls teams. For example, on woman’s track. Which would lead to next to zero awards for women. The very worst male runners tend to do better than the best females.

    If you are going to call a guy a coward for not competing, or a robber for not getting in the ring, well it works both ways.

    If you think that then every woman who ever won a sport in which men were excluded were a bunch of cowards afraid to compete.

  • flatlander100

    I have no problem with the kid. He’s entitled to his religious and family beliefs, however Neanderthal some of us might think them. He withdrew, took the loss, got bumped down to the loser’s bracket as a result, which is what the rules required, and she won by default, as the rules required. Nobody behaved dishonorably, so far as I can see.

  • http://theehtheist.blogspot.com The “Eh”theist

    When I wrote about this on the weekend I saw it as a positive development, not because he wouldn’t wrestle her, but rather because he didn’t ask for some sort of exemption on the basis of religion.

    He recognized that the “norm” was wrestling men or women and since he had a problem with that, he accepted the consequences of his choice.

    Imagine if christians who oppose marriage for all took the same approach and let everyone marry while not opting for civil marriage themselves. Or christians who oppose abortion opting out of the medical system-that was the approach in the early church, rather than a sense of entitlement to special treatment.

    So I think we should encourage more christians to follow his example-if they can’t fit into civil, secular society, they can always excuse themselves from the parts that bother them. See the link above for more thoughts on the topic.

  • http://www.unifreethought.com Mike C

    I’m living in Cedar Falls right now. It’s strange how easily this makes me more angry just because it’s close to home, even though I didn’t go to high school here.

  • Brian Macker

    “She was the underdog, not him. She had more to prove, but he denied her that opportunity.”

    So the real issue may have been heads he loses tails she wins, as another commenter pointed out.

    Anyone who didn’t join the wrestling team also denied her the opportunity. Including all the girls who didn’t participate in enough numbers to generate interest in forming a girls team. So I don’t see the point.

    “Northrup deprived us all the opportunity to see a strong, hard-working girl kick his ass on the wrestling mat.”

    Hermant, you’ve deprived us all of the opportunity of seeing your ass kicked by her. Get in there man.

  • http://www.anthonyrmiller.com Tony

    What if they didn’t meet until the championship match? Would he have said “I would like to win but as a matter of conscience and religious belief I cannot. She wins.” We’ll never know.

    I see it a discrimination allowed because of religion and that bothers me.

    I think the boy should have been removed from the tournament for refusing to participate. He didn’t forfeit due to injury or absence.

  • http://www.youtube.com/aajoeyjo Joe Zamecki

    I don’t understand how anyone can expect a high school aged boy to wrestle with a high school aged girl. Religion and sexism aside, what about the obvious physical challenge to their discipline?

    He can’t control his sexual urges? Well he IS in high school. He’s peaking, sexually, right now. Hello?? He’s a member of a group that is the MOST horny, among their gender. And it’s 100% natural.

    Plus there are lots of other valid reasons why girls should compete with girls and boys should compete with boys. If it’s high school, and it’s extremely physical, it’s a mismatch, but also it’s a ride through pointless gender confusion.

    We don’t want boys to hit girls. But this is okay. Confusion. Remember that high school aged people are easily confused.

    Surely it hasn’t been so long since we attended high school that we’d forget these obvious details. Sometimes religion is used as an excuse, when the real reasons are a little embarassing. Adults should be able to understand these things, without graphic explanations.

    Finally, he’s standing up for his convictions, against a storm of opposition. We can relate…right? I can.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff P

    Shame shame shame… I see that a bunch of people have used the dreaded “F” word.

    Hemant: twice
    Michelle: once
    Mo: once
    Claudia: once
    Thegoodman: twice
    rememberer: once
    Brian Macker: once

    I would have wrestled her, though. I can’t think of any reason not to.

  • Aj

    Joe Zamecki,

    If it’s high school, and it’s extremely physical, it’s a mismatch, but also it’s a ride through pointless gender confusion.

    What is that supposed to mean?

    Brian Macker,

    The very worst male runners tend to do better than the best females.

    Following this logic we should separate West African descendants from the rest of the world. If you step back from the elite, I don’t think the picture is quite the same as you suggest.

    KeithLM,

    But damn people, undoing society’s programming of boys not hitting girls is hard, damn hard.

    Perhaps Iowa is another world, but I can’t see that being much of a problem.

    Jeff P,

    No, twice it was used as a noun, Mo and Brian.

  • Mihangel apYrs

    before I’d comment I’d like to know how much experience he’d had wrestling women.

    I can imagine his embarrassment if he’d never even touched a non-related woman before.

    The women wrestling in co-ed teams choose to do so, their opponents have no such choice other than to withdraw. And would these women be happy wrestling with an out lesbian?

    Sex and sexuality in contact sports doesn’t reduce to a simple solution

  • http://annainca.blogspot.com Anna

    “However, wrestling is a combat sport and it can get violent at times,” said Northrup. “As a matter of conscience and my faith I do not believe that it is appropriate for a boy to engage a girl in this manner.”

    Is this the real reason, or does he just think this statement will get a better public reaction than if he were to say he’s afraid she will “defraud” him?

    “It is unfortunate that I have been placed in a situation not seen in most other high school sports in Iowa.”

    Any respect I had for this kid went right out the window. Okay, refuse to wrestle a girl because of your faith, but don’t whine about how “unfortunate” it is that you’ve been placed in this position. He flat out says he doesn’t think that girls should be allowed to compete with boys, and he’s upset about “having” to forfeit because the wrestling authorities aren’t sexist.

  • http://mondaynightmiracles.blogspot.com Mike Powe

    There’s an adult behind this inane decision. The exact same thing happened to me.

    Christian coach. I was a freshman and looking at the brackets, it came to our attention I was to wrestle a girl. After the initial teawm snickering, my coach took me aside and told me he wouldn’t allow me to wrestle and I would forfeit the match.

    I informed my coach that if my mother ever found out that I forfeited an athletic contest because my opponent had a vagina, she would disown me. At this point I had 5 minutes to get her on the phone and get permission. Alas, this was the 1990′s and my family is comprised of late tech adopters. I forfeited.

    This girl and I had to stand facing each other as the ref raised her hand. I told her I was sorry but that this was my coach’s decision. Her response:

    “Whatever, pussy.”

    And I totally deserved it.

  • Indigo

    First up, I don’t think anybody here is trying to say the guy should have been forced to wrestle a woman against his will. And yes, it is definitely better that he bowed out instead of trying to demand that she should have to leave, so by all means kudos to him for not making the Completely Wrong choice.
    However, I can still interpret his actions in light of his given justification for them as sexist and wrong. He didn’t withdraw because he felt that competing with Herkelman or Black would hurt him in some way – “I’m not comfortable wrestling with a girl, because I would sexualise the encounter/it’s against my religion for me to touch a girl/I don’t want people to make fun of me for it.”
    He said, “I won’t wrestle a girl because I believe I would hurt her.” He doesn’t have the same concern, evidently, for his male co-competitors – if he’s really afraid of hurting people, he wouldn’t be in wrestling at all. He apparently respects the male wrestlers’ choice to potentially get hurt, but not hers. In doing so, what he’s saying is, “I know better than you what the risk is, and I say it’s too high because you’re a woman. It doesn’t matter what you think of your own chances. I’m withdrawing from the competition to protect you.” The possibility that she doesn’t need to be protected doesn’t seem to have occurred to him.
    Again, if he chooses to withdraw for whatever reason, of course he’s free to do so. And no, I don’t believe he violated anybody’s rights in the process, but that doesn’t mean I can’t think his reasons are shady.

  • Ethan

    I blame the dad. If your minister dad is pressuring you to make some weird christian decisions, then it’s not so much a sign of your prejudice, but your dad’s control of what you are allowed to think. Bad situation all round.

  • Aj

    Indigo,

    …I would sexualise the encounter…

    That’s such an odd way of saying that the situation would provoke his sexuality. It seems to be suggesting that he’s making or doing something.

  • cacarr

    In all likelihood it would have been a very lopsided match — a take-down and a quick pin. Not much opportunity for injury, so I don’t buy the I don’t want to hurt a girl-thing.

    And if it were competitive, there wouldn’t be much in the way of time for sexual thoughts — not with a competitor applying forceful (and often painful) wrestling moves.

    I wrestled (poorly) in HS back in the day. Young women were allowed to compete in my district because there was no wrestling program for women. The only boys I ever saw forfeit were not especially accomplished wrestlers, and so far as I could tell, it was all about avoiding the embarrassment of losing (though I can’t recall ever seeing a young lady win a match). I never went up against a female wrestler, but had I, I can imagine having concocted some BS about principles, when in fact it would have been about the fear of getting beat, because, well, I wasn’t very good.

    I suspect this kid’s parents made this decision for him.

  • Indigo

    If he can wrestle with a man and not find it sexual, then wrestling with a woman and considering it a sexual situation is pretty much on him. I don’t consider this a blameworthy thing or something he can control, but yes, it’s something he’s doing.

  • ButchKitties

    He said, “I won’t wrestle a girl because I believe I would hurt her.” He doesn’t have the same concern, evidently, for his male co-competitors – if he’s really afraid of hurting people, he wouldn’t be in wrestling at all. He apparently respects the male wrestlers’ choice to potentially get hurt, but not hers. In doing so, what he’s saying is, “I know better than you what the risk is, and I say it’s too high because you’re a woman. It doesn’t matter what you think of your own chances. I’m withdrawing from the competition to protect you.” The possibility that she doesn’t need to be protected doesn’t seem to have occurred to him.
    Again, if he chooses to withdraw for whatever reason, of course he’s free to do so. And no, I don’t believe he violated anybody’s rights in the process, but that doesn’t mean I can’t think his reasons are shady.

    QFT

  • Aj

    Indigo,

    If he can wrestle with a man and not find it sexual, then wrestling with a woman and considering it a sexual situation is pretty much on him. I don’t consider this a blameworthy thing or something he can control, but yes, it’s something he’s doing.

    I don’t think it’s accurate to describe it as “considering”, or that sexuality is situational. Even if situation was a factor, I don’t think one could separate “wrestling” from “I see a young female in skin tight clothing and we’re engaged in a form of play”. That’s not how I understand the male experience to be, especially not teenage males, sexuality is not divided into situations. When you write “he’s doing” or “considering” something it suggests consciousness, but if it’s something he can’t control, then perhaps you mean it’s unconscious, meaning involuntary, perhaps the opposite of what he wills.

    cacarr,

    And if it were competitive, there wouldn’t be much in the way of time for sexual thoughts — not with a competitor applying forceful (and often painful) wrestling moves.

    An innocent on the internet? You’re going to be surprised.

  • Brian Macker

    Mike Powe,

    “And I totally deserved it.”

    Yet, your entire story was how you didn’t deserve it. Really and a “pussy” not “chicken”. I think she was questioning your gender identity or something.

    Joe Zamecki,

    “Following this logic we should separate West African descendants from the rest of the world.”

    Following this logic? Well you didn’t follow it. An analogous argument for west africans and non-west africans with a word for word replacement of what I wrote would read:

    “If non-west africans can decide to compete on west african teams, then west africans should be able to compete on non-west african teams. For example, in non-west african track. Which would lead to next to zero awards for non-west africans [if there were as many west africans as men]. The very worst west african runners tend to do better than the best non-west africans.”

    The only normative part of my argument was not even a conclusion. I didn’t conclude what should happen but would happen if we follow certain norms. The norm being a lack of double standards.

    So an actual following of my logic [were West Africans as common as men] would be the conclusion that they’d be winning all the races. Which based on the Boston Marathon sounds like a reasonable conclusion.

    I was leaving it up to the reader to decide the norm they want to use on the result. Is that a desired result?

    “If you step back from the elite, I don’t think the picture is quite the same as you suggest.”

    My impression is that one doesn’t need to go to the international level to see this effect. It happens to the individual team level with exceptions.

    I don’t think girls would make the track team in “representative” levels if they had to compete directly. It would certainly put a damper on girls participation in athletics. I can live with the effect but I’m not sure if the girls would want it.

    I’m merely pointing out a quandry with certain thought processes.

    The whole idea that girls can compete with boys at their choosing by joining the male team, while boys are expected not to do the same is in fact a double standard (and an insult if one truly believes there is no gender difference affecting ability). What is the purpose of having separated gender events then? Make them all coed.

  • Thegoodman

    @Jeff P.

    What did I miss? What is the “F” word?

  • GaR

    Interesting how people who disagree with his position tend to assume he did it because he was afraid of losing. That’s a dishonest position, and frankly pathetic for someone with any integrity.

    I was raised in a reasonable and secular environment, and at that age I would also have balked from wrestling a girl. That shit can be super awkward for someone of that age, religious or not.

    If he’d bad mouthed her or been in any way rude about it I could understand the vitriol, but he bowed out as gracefully as possible. Not seeing a problem here, and I’m astounded how much attention this non-issue is getting.

  • http://twitter.com/ryanrockmoran Ryan Moran

    The problem isn’t that it would be awkward (and it wouldn’t be if he focused on the match like he should), the problem is he bowed out in the most patronizing way possible. He essentially said he was bowing out because the girl was clearly too stupid to know that wrestling is a contact sport and you can get hurt in it! And since all girls are fragile little flowers, he had to bow out so as not to damage her. That is patronizing man-knows-best sexist bullshit and he’s rightfully being called on it.

    There have been girls wrestling in Iowa for years, especially at the lower weight classes. If he had a problem with it, he shouldn’t have signed up.

  • Aj

    Brian Macker,

    My impression is that one doesn’t need to go to the international level to see this effect. It happens to the individual team level with exceptions.

    I don’t think girls would make the track team in “representative” levels if they had to compete directly. It would certainly put a damper on girls participation in athletics. I can live with the effect but I’m not sure if the girls would want it.

    Not being representative and not being able to compete at all are very different things. You’re probably right about participation, that’s why female-only competition should be kept. Obviously, being the best shouldn’t be the only reason to participate in sport.

    The whole idea that girls can compete with boys at their choosing by joining the male team, while boys are expected not to do the same is in fact a double standard (and an insult if one truly believes there is no gender difference affecting ability). What is the purpose of having separated gender events then? Make them all coed.

    Does anybody actually think there are no gender differences affecting ability? I know people believe in the blank slate, but the mere fact some humans have tits gives them a disadvantage, and that’s only one example. We have weight classes in various sport, but if someone can “punch” above their weight, are they blocked from it? For safety reasons, sometimes they are, but that’s probably not often the case.

    Culturally women are at a disadvantage in sports, even if every sport was coed, culturally they would be male, dominated by males. Not all sports, but most of them. Without women’s only sport it’s harder to develop women to compete in a coed environment. Most of the time male-only competitions could convert to coed without limiting the development of males.

  • Stephen

    I have wrestled my entire life. I wrestled my first girl in 8th grade. I do not recall any sexual urges whatsoever. I do remember feeling a great deal of pressure to win due to my opponent being a girl.
    In high school we had a couple of girls on our team, neither around my weight, but we would inevitably cross paths in the practice room as it’s bound to happen with all of your teammates. Once again I fail to remember any sexual urges while wrestling with them.
    In college I do not recall a single female wrestler wrestling with the men.
    Wrestling is an endangered sport in the U.S. for various reason (too many to detail here), and it’s not common in all states to even have a high school wrestling team to be a part of. For the women, the issue is exacerbated to the extreme. There just aren’t female teams like there would be in other high school sports (basketball, softball etc). We have mens and womens wrestling in the Olympics, so if a young lady has aspirations of reaching that status sometimes their only means is to join the boys. There are very few womens college wrestling teams. They have very few avenues.
    Wrestling is also one of the more, if not the most, misunderstood sport. It is typically the only combat sport offered in middle to high schools. People who are not familiar with combat sports often can not fathom the intricacies involved. It’s a foreign concept to most. The rules, the weight classes, the uniforms (singlets), and everything else involved are viewed as strange. Many people view it as very homo-erotic, and that’s simply unfair to do to these young people.
    Luckily, girls wrestling is on the rise in most states. The state I currently reside in implemented just two years ago the foundation for a womens wrestling season to coincide with the mens season. The high school I coach at was one of the schools to add a womens team. So far it has been a success. Instances like the one detailed in this news story are rare and will become more rare with the growth of womens wrestling.

  • http://~ AxeGrrl

    Ryan Moran wrote:

    This is the worst kind of patronizing guy-knows-best crap. The girl has been competing in wrestling all season, I think she knows it’s a dangerous sport… But Mr. Superior Guy here has to remind her she’s a delicate flower that clearly doesn’t know wrestling is men’s work and thus he needs to bow out of the tournament for her own good. It’s ridiculous.

    Nice post, Ryan :)

  • http://~ AxeGrrl

    Nash wrote:

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?id=6136707

    ESPN’s Rick Reilly calls him out,
    saying that respecting the girl would mean giving her a chance to beat him, not depriving her of that chance. Very similar to the point the coach you quoted makes and well worth reading, I think.

    It is, indeed, well worth reading! thanks for posting it Nash :)

    Reilly really nails it, imo, especially here:

    Remember, Northrup didn’t default on sexual grounds. Didn’t say anything about it being wrong to put his hands in awkward places. Both he and his father, Jamie, a minister in an independent Pentecostal faith called Believers in Grace Fellowship, cited the physical pounding of it.

    “We believe in the elevation and respect of woman,” the father told the Des Moines Register, “and we don’t think that wrestling a woman is the right thing to do. Body slamming and takedowns — full contact sport is not how to do that.”

    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.

    I was disappointed that there’s no comment section, because I was dying to see how the regular ESPN readers reacted to his editorial :)

  • Rollingforest

    After reading these comments, I can see more angles to this situation. It is reasonable for the boy to fear losing to the girl because the society would mock him for it. It is reasonable for the boy to fear getting an erection during the match because the society would mock him for it. There is nothing wrong with being beat by a girl or getting an erection society is sexist and in this case that works toward the disadvange of men. And as others said, if he is uncomfortable he shouldn’t have to.

    That being said, his explaination for why he was dropping out was patronizing. Saying that she wasn’t able to take violence just because she is a girl is sexist. However, he may have been coached to say that by his parents and may not have had the ability to think it through.

  • Rollingforest

    Also, as others pointed out, the reason for men and women’s teams is that men are generally stronger than women. That’s just a fact of biology. Someone from the “weaker” team joining the “stronger” team is more acceptable than the other way around. Maybe we should form teams based on strength and not on gender, but we aren’t there yet.

  • Brian Macker

    Aj,

    “Does anybody actually think there are no gender differences affecting ability?”

    Training is the most important. A trained women will almost always beat an untrained man.

    “I know people believe in the blank slate, but the mere fact some humans have tits gives them a disadvantage, and that’s only one example.”

    Aj,

    Crude comment, try breasts next time.

    You don’t think testicles are a disadvantage in wrestling? Only rules prevent taking advantage of such a convenient control knob.

    I couldn’t come up with a term as crude as tits for testicles to give you a feel for what you were doing there.

    There is sexual dimorphism in various attributes that could obviously effect performance. They are not going to effect performance in all sports equally, and there is much variability in both sexes.

    Hip size is going to effect running performance, however there is no reason why a woman might not be born with extra narrow hips. So narrow that she’d die “in the wild” giving birth. I see no reason to prevent her from competing with an trouncing men with lesser training or uncharacteristically wider hips just because she needs a c-section to give birth.

  • Nick

    I train in Jiu-jitsu, roll with women from time to time. It’s hard to get aroused when she’s trying to choke you or break your arm off (although I’m sure there are some guys who DO get off on that kind of thing).

  • Brian Macker

    Rolling,

    I agree with you, and I’ve always thought that it’s anti-female sexist to view losing to a woman as somehow shameful, because of the quite ignorant expectation that all women should lose to all men.

    However, the idea that it is males shouldn’t have the same fears as females is likewise sexist against males.

    So calling a guy “pussy” or mocking someone for being “afraid I’ll lose to a gurrrrrrrrrrl” is pretty much the same thing in the other direction. Some boys are afraid to participate in sports at all because they are afraid of being seen as incompetent. It’s not fun being picked last for a team.

    BTW, most sports require a cup which removes the embarrassment of people noticing an erection. I’m not sure how uncomfortable it would be however.

  • Brian Macker

    I have to agree with Nash and Axe on this. His excuse was the wrong. If she wants to take the pounding inherent in the sport then true respect requires him to compete. His decision does not follow from his premises.

    Now if god had told him the only part of his body that could touch a woman was his penis, that might lead to a different conclusion, but then we’d be mocking him for that.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff P

    @thegoodman,

    Although it is a discussion that most of us probably want to let recede into oblivion, I was making a hopefully not insensitive joke about all of the discussion about this post and some posts preceding and following it.

  • Aj

    Brian Macker,

    Crude comment, try breasts next time.

    Bollocks. I can use what language I please.

    There is sexual dimorphism in various attributes that could obviously effect performance. They are not going to effect performance in all sports equally, and there is much variability in both sexes.

    Hip size is going to effect running performance, however there is no reason why a woman might not be born with extra narrow hips. So narrow that she’d die “in the wild” giving birth. I see no reason to prevent her from competing with an trouncing men with lesser training or uncharacteristically wider hips just because she needs a c-section to give birth.

    I agree. I guess we’re going to have to agree to disagree about the need for women-only sports on top of coed sports.

  • http://annainca.blogspot.com Anna

    This scenario reminds me of the PBS documentary, Girl Wrestler. Well worth watching, if you can find it.

    Now that I’ve thought more about the situation, I do feel sorry for the kid involved. I’m willing to bet that the patronizing and sexist “excuse” was concocted by his father, not him. He’s a 15-year-old homeschooled by uber-religious parents. He probably does share their beliefs, but even if he had wanted to wrestle the girl, I doubt his father would have let him.

  • http://www.correntewire.com chicago dyke

    ick. i have to jump in unread, but i have strong feelings about this. as an former athlete. female, even.

    i was really good back in my day. /cue springsteen’s “glory days” music/ but really, i was. i went to Nationals, played on a big ten varsity team, etc.

    boys and girls rarely can compete equally. i’m sorry, but it’s true. when i was at nationals for women’s track and field, one of the things i was really proud of? that my rank/distance in the long jump competition was about the same as some guy who ranked ~in the bottom third of the men’s roster. men are stronger than women. period. this is just fact. i won, he was a forgotten loser. gender is the reason why our equal distances in the pit didn’t equally reward us.

    don’t get me wrong: there should be women’s wrestling teams. and women’s football teams (full contact), just as women pole vaulters are proving a generation of male coaches wrong right now, and i rejoice. but i never expected to run, jump, or throw against a man. nor vice versa. it’s just a silly idea.

    there are some sports where physical gender doesn’t matter, but they are few, golf may be one. the more important question to me about this post: not, “should a girl be allowed to wrestle boys?” but rather, “why aren’t there male and female wrestling programs in all schools?” no sport is specifically gendered. but physically, we aren’t the same and competition with gendered teams should be balanced and equal, or not exist at all. this is biology, not religion.

    our society doesn’t make a practice of making sport out of what people with small fingers can do better than those with larger ones, like say, competitive sewing. as a woman, i feel no shame i can’t tackle a 300lb lineman. he can’t do what a woman of my size could do on the gymnastics board, for example. difference isn’t always “wrong” by any standard.

  • Donalbain

    Remember, not only the boy and girl wrestler were involved. There was another person from the school who did not get a place on the team. That person may well have been willing to actually compete according to the rules of the competition but the self righteous jerk of a Christian took that opportunity from him. Sorry, but the kid is a dick.

  • http://zomgorlackthereof.blogspot.com JB
  • Brian Macker

    “Bollocks. I can use what language I please.”

    I know you can. That’s not the point. It communicated something different than what breasts would. Was that your intention? In fact the entire sentence does.

    “Does anybody actually think there are no gender differences affecting ability?”

    Good start.

    “I know people believe in the blank slate, but the mere fact some humans have tits gives them a disadvantage, and that’s only one example.”

    This sentence is communicating many different things at once. For one thing it is a over-generalization. It doesn’t say what it gives a disadvantage in. That leads the mind to think of all sorts of things that breasts don’t give a disadvantage in (even in sports). So it already sounds borderline bigoted.

    This woman doesn’t seem disadvantaged by her breasts. So it’s not some general disadvantage.

    In case you were not aware tits is a derogatory term, like dick, cunt, etc.

    When you add tits to your sentence, and further do it not to refer to it as an anatomical feature, but almost as as “humans with tits” to refer to women, it reinforces the belief that you think anyone with tits is inferior, period.

    I know you are going to say, “well I didn’t say, ‘humans WITH tits’”. I said almost said it. Why almost. Well your sentence says “them” to refer back to those “some humans have tits”. That changes it from a mere note that some people have certain attributes to a term to denote all women.

    In your sentence “them” refers to women as the class “humans having tits”.

    Obviously, this isn’t the same as using the word female in the way you would male. Men vs. “humans with tits” isn’t quite balanced, and I’m sure you wouldn’t naturally switch to using “humans with dicks” and “humans with tits” in a general discussion.

    BTW, ever hear of a sports bra? Hows that different than a cup?

    I very much doubt I’m going to get complaints about my “mansplaining” this time round, even though I’m doing the same thing.

  • Brian Macker

    Donalbain,

    You seem to be communicating that someone other than the boy is responsible then conclude that the kid is a dick. I’m confused.

  • Brian Macker

    “I agree. I guess we’re going to have to agree to disagree about the need for women-only sports on top of coed sports.”

    How can we disagree. I have no idea what your position is and this sentence doesn’t clarify. I don’t recall communicating any decision on my part. I just don’t think women’s only and coed, is balanced. Perhaps women’s only, men’s only, and coed would be. I’m not saying women’s only and coed can’t be an option if there is some valid reason. I just haven’t heard a good argument for that.

    Perhaps the fact that many schools have no women’s only team, while others do means that the men’s teams are going to have to compete with coed teams from those schools. Perhaps someone could expand on that. I’m not big into sports.

    I don’t think that is happening here though. I know of no schools with female wrestling teams, so it seems to me that all teams should be coed.

  • Brian Macker

    I’m going to take the troll bait about my use of the word female in this thread. That is my nature to be baited by trolls.

    If someone says “female athletes … blah blah .. males” then the context can mean the “males” is actually short for “male athletes”. It is grammatically correct to say “male and female athletes” and one doesn’t have to say “male athletes and female athletes” because it’s clear from context that “male” is not referring to all athletes. Grammar allows shortening things in this way. In this case clearly both are adjectives. However one can also be talking about athletes, have everything else the same in the sentence and say instead “males and females”.

    With context the nouns themselves become a kind of adjectives. For example lets talk about dogs. I prefer females to males. Now obviously in the prior sentence those are nouns. However in the context of both sentences they act as adjectives on the term dog.

    That’s my understanding of how the syntax and semantics works. I’m not going to change to please some hypersensitive individuals who are too *$#@ stupid to understand such things, and even when they get it explained to them, counter by calling it “mansplaining”. WTF.

    Try stupidsplaining how the term mansplaining is about syntax, or grammar. Can’t be done and that’s why they didn’t bother. In fact, there was next to zero discussion of they very substantive points made by men and women on this issue who saw no problem.

    BTW, I’m not spelling it “womyn”. Nor am I going to stop using the term “black hole”. This is how ridiculous it has become. This is NOT evidence someone is a bigot or racist. Burning a cross, yes. Spelling women with an “e” isn’t.

    What’s extra offensive is the assumption that because I have a dick, I can’t possibly see things from another’s point of view. I understand your point of view and have judged it stupid, stupid.

    Also, don’t be upset that I’m not being polite. It isn’t polite to assume others are bigots based on ridiculous criteria, nor to use the term “mansplaining”.

  • Aj

    Brian Macker,

    “Tits” can be used interchangeably with “breasts”. Terms are not derogatory, only meanings are, and they can change with context. Most of the time when I hear the word “dick” it’s not derogatory. I’ve never heard “tits” used in a derogatory manner when referring to anatomy. Most of the time I hear “cunt” it is, but that’s not the case every time it’s used. These words are “slang” not derogatory, what you’d prefer is more formal language.

    You knew what I meant, but perhaps I should have written “disadvantage in many sports” for clarity. I’m perfectly OK with referring back to “humans with tits”, I don’t understand why anyone would have a problem with that, or why you’d assume I wouldn’t refer to “humans with dicks”. Tits and dicks aren’t bad things. Some women don’t develop breasts, some men don’t develop a penis for that matter, and men can develop breasts. I wasn’t using it as an alternative to women. I don’t see what’s wrong with referring to humans with certain physical attributes, especially when talking specifically about those attributes. I doubt that sports bras are that great, and I’ve heard first hand accounts they’re not.

    I read your comments and inferred that you did not consider womens-only and coed sports to balanced, and that displeases you. My position, as I have explained, is that womens-only sports is necessary to foster a sporting culture among females, while it is unnecessary among males. A lack of sporting culture also means that females do not get as many opportunities to compete with other females, so part of having coed sport would be to give females an opportunity to experience competition.

  • Donalbain

    Brian Macker: I will explain using aliases.

    Tom McAtheist tries out for the wrestling team. Tom however is not quite as good as Jon McChristian and so does not make the team.

    However, Jon forfeits in the first round and coms last in the tournament or enters the losers round or whatever. Tom would have been happy to fight a girl, and so would have had a good chance to go further in the competition than the Christian jerk. Frankly, the non Christian should have been at the tournament instead, since he was willing to actually engage in the contest under the rules of the contest.

    The Christian screwed over TWO people by being a jerk.

  • anon

    Ummmmmmmmm… how are you people upset that he didn’t want to wrestle her?

    MAYBE HE DIDN’T WANT TO GET AN EMBARRASSING BONER WHILE COMPETING…

    “Side note: Why would everything have been ok if Northrup wrestled a guy and been in similar compromising positions? If anything, that seems like it would be more against his “Christian values” than anything else… I *so* don’t understand wrestling.)”

    Also; This quote is just ignorant… It’s also the reason that boys and girls should not be in the same matches in the sport; sexual tension is real with young people, and your comment demeans the entire sport.

  • Kailey

    My major problem with this was that he used his religion as an excuse. He could have justified not wrestling her for “personal reasons” but now, if anyone says anything against him – he is a “victim” being “persecuted” for his religious beliefs – when really, I am tearing him a new one because he is a misogynist fundamentalist of the worst kind.

  • Brian Macker

    Aj,

    Instead of starting off with ladies and gentlemen during your next presentation try using people with tits and people with dicks and see how that plays. Geesh.

  • Brian Macker

    Donalbain,

    Seems obvious from the start now. Somehow I thought you were referring to the father in some round about way and it got stuck in my head.


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