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1 shutdown  Thu, Feb 17, 2011 1:13:50pm

Wrestling is an unbelievably difficult and demanding sport. Only a handful of girls make it out of middle school modified programs into the JV and Varsity ranks. Those that do are fierce competitors. I see boys wrestle girls every season, and there are certainly issues that surround going into a very physical engagement with a girl wearing nought but a singlet and a padded sports bra. But it is incumbent upon coaches to make sure that prejudice and sensitivity are managed by the wrestler and left outside the mat. But what every boy worries about, deep down, is actually losing to a girl. This touches on deep-seated socio-psychological issues, though, and is not endemic to wrestling. With that said, I would be willing to wager that Northrup was less concerned about what Jesus would think about his wrestling a girl, than he was with the possibility of losing the match. This guy is guilty of the one thing wrestlers treat with the greatest contempt: fear of losing.

2 Decatur Deb  Thu, Feb 17, 2011 1:17:06pm

On the other hand, I refused to practice against the females on our small fencing team. I’m not wired to stab women in the chest, and there was nothing to win or lose.

3 shutdown  Thu, Feb 17, 2011 1:55:10pm

re: #2 Decatur Deb

And if you had qualified for the state tournament, would you have fenced a girl? The way the wrestling tournaments work, btw, is that once you lose, you drop into the consolation bracket, and the best finish available is third. Lose a second time, and you are out.

4 Political Atheist  Thu, Feb 17, 2011 6:08:36pm

Misogynist for refusing to compete with a woman in a combat sport? Misapplication of the term! Wrestling, kickboxing, boxing, the genders should compete separately. Why not have 2 champions?

5 MurphysMom  Fri, Feb 18, 2011 6:35:41am

The Northrup family belongs to a religion that believes men and women shouldn’t touch in a familiar way before marriage. AP reports that Joel decided early on that this meant he could not wrestle girls, and his father said that he struggled with his decision at the tournament. I have no doubt his decision was based on his faith, not a fear of losing to a female opponent. Calling him a misogynist for his decision is a cheap shot.

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