Saturday, February 19, 2011

Girls Will Be Boys

Wow.  In light of my pastor's recent blog post about unisex fashion, which in turn inspired a friend's post, this headline JUMPED out at me.

Girl Wrestler Wins After Boy Won't Compete Against Her

An excerpt from the article (you can read the complete article here):
High school wrestling star Joel Northrup had his eye on the Iowa state championship – until he found out he'd have to compete against a girl in the first round. 

"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," the statement continues. "It is unfortunate that I have been placed in a situation not seen in most other high school sports in Iowa." 

Northrup's father, Jamie Northrup, is a minister in the independent Pentecostal church Believers in Grace Fellowship, which teaches that young men and women shouldn't touch in a "familiar way," said Bill Randles, the church's pastor, according to The AP.

"We believe in the elevation and respect of woman and we don't think that wrestling a woman is the right thing to do," Randles said. "Body slamming and takedowns, that full contact sport is not how to do that."

Though he gave up his shot at a championship, it's not over yet for Northrup. He was still eligible for the consolation rounds, and he won his first match later Thursday by major decision. 

Wow. I have to admit that I was blown away by this article.  If you click through to the article, the first thing you'll notice is the picture of the girl wrestler.  I don't want to say too much about this, because although I'm sure the possibility of this girl ever reading my words is slim to none, I'm not fond of the idea of saying something that a teenage girl might read and be hurt by.  But as a mother who is raising my niece to walk the path of modesty and femininity, this picture sickened me.  This is everything that I do not want for my niece.  This is everything that I do not miss about the "old" her, and the old friends of hers.

One of the most interesting things in the past year and a half since my niece and I stopped wearing pants was a period of time when everyone that we saw looked so strange to us.  We went through a period of time in which seeing a woman or girl in pants looked BIZARRE to us (and my nephew as well).  And the most bizarre time of all was last winter when my niece, nephew, and I went to my son's alumni game at his old school (where my niece and nephew had attended the previous two years).  Watching the girls' basketball game felt so unreal to us. After being used to being surrounded by girls at church, the majority of whom dress very femininely and modestly, I remember all three of us being shocked by the way the girls at the school were dressed (even though less than a year before, my niece had been one of them), and how masculine the girls playing basketball looked to us.

But modesty and coed sports aside...

I am so proud of this boy for taking the stand that he has taken!  It's one thing to believe something in theory, and a whole different thing to prove it by living it out... especially when it costs you.

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