My return to THATV, and girls and guys wrestling

Ethan and I have been busy with other writing jobs recently, but I’m trying to get back on the THATV horse, starting by posting my assignments for my sports and culture class on this blog.  Enjoy, and let me know your thoughts on my weekly take in the sports culture world:


Joel Northrup, 16, forfeited in the first round of the Iowa state high school wrestling tournament.  His opponent was not some behemoth with lies on his birth certificate prepared to beat the crap out of him.  She was a 14-year-old girl named Cassy Herkelman.


Northrup has taken fire from critics (including Rick Reilly) and received a great deal of publicity for his default.  Was his decision an affront to women?




Women should have every opportunity men do, whether in the workplace, classroom or locker room.  But women and men are undeniably different.  Wrestling is a physical contact sport that could be described as fighting.


Most self-respecting young men are taught by their parents not too fight, but all little boys are taught not to lay an unkind hand on a female from the time they leave the womb.  Whether the reasons are religious (as Northrup said), moral or just plain discomfort, boys and girls should not be in a situation where fighting one another is necessary.


To solve the problem, women should have their own wrestling tournament.  There is boys’ basketball and there is girls’ basketball, there is baseball and there is softball, there is mens’ tennis and there is womens’ tennis.  Separation of men and women in sporting environments is a logical decision, especially in a sport as physical as wrestling—where many of the moves can put opponents in compromising positions.  So why not mens’ wrestling and womens’ wrestling?


Women can do any job men can do.  But it is obvious there are physical differences that make it appropriate to separate men and women in sporting arenas.  And that is not to say that Herkelman would have lost.  Without a doubt, she is a remarkable athlete who beat boys for much of the year.  But in the long run, a girl could get hurt wrestling a guy.  And when she does, let the firestorm begin.  Friends, classmates and parents alike would pillory the poor guy who beat her.


Wrestling should separate boys and girls just like almost any other sport.  Otherwise, the outcome of the fight will always end in a loss for the boy, even if he is the one raising his arm at the end.



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