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Some Boys Won't Assume The Position With Girls

The father of a female wrestler is planning on suing, if necessary, to force male opponents to wrestle the female members of his daughters middle-school team. Jerry Connors' daughter, Meaghan, is a seventh-grader at McMurray Middle School on Vashon Island, outside Seattle Washington. Conners alleges that allowing boys from two private schools in their league to forfeit matches rather than have a boy wrestle one of the handful of girls on the public-school teams is a clear case of sex discrimination.

How many times has Meaghan Connors won a match by forfeit? As The Seattle Times reports, none.

Meaghan Connors and Sylvie Shiosaki find the sport challenging, fun and not at all sexual.

"When you walk on the mat, you're not a girl, you're not a guy anymore. You're just there to wrestle," Shiosaki said.

...Meaghan Connors didn't have to endure any forfeits herself this year. As a seventh-grader, she wasn't McMurray's best wrestler in her weight class, so she wasn't on the varsity squad, the only one that officially competes at the middle-school level. Still, she came home upset when [teammate Sylvie] Shiosaki got forfeits. She told her father she felt degraded, like an "object of lust."

Shiosaki said three of her 11 matches this year were forfeits from boys at the two schools, significantly shortening her season. That's what concerns her mother, Lonnie, who's supporting Jerry Connors' efforts. The lack of experience handicaps the girls when they go to state tournaments or even the state's all-girls exhibition tournament, she said.

So when you win or lose on the mat, that's not sexual; but when you win by forfeit you're an "object of lust?"


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Comments (30)

You gotta wonder about the ... (Below threshold)

You gotta wonder about the boy wrestler's priorities and/or orientation... On the other hand, I sure wouldn't want any daughter of mine wrestling with their classmates on or off of the mat.

What's the world coming to?... (Below threshold)
bullwinkle:

What's the world coming to? When I was that age I'd jump at the chance to wrestle girls. I'd have tried for a draw and the resulting rematch with the pretty ones.

I think the boys are in a l... (Below threshold)
Just Me:

I think the boys are in a lose/lose situation anyway when it comes to wrestling girls. If they win, they just beat a girl, if the lose, they got beat by a girl.

My daughter plays soccer on a boys indoor team, and our school is too poor for boys and girls soccer teams so she will play coed even when she moves up to Varsity level, but no way would I want her wrestling with boys-the feminists can call me sexist all they want, but in wrestling the hands go some places, I don't want them on my daughters even in a game.

Seems to me that the decisi... (Below threshold)

Seems to me that the decision on whether to forfeit or not may not be made by the boys but by their coaches -- and I'm guessing some of them choose to forfeit out of "principle," in a similar fashion to how Johnny Kelly, the face of the Boston Marathon, tried for years and years to prevent women from running that race.

During college, I shared a farmhouse with a woman who had been a rower on the womens' national crew team (stroke of the 2d boat of 8's), and she used to arm wrestle guys for shots in teh toughest bar in Burlington VT (feh). I can't tell yo how many times I carried her out of that bar, after she had consumed a dozen or more free shots (she never lost one match).

Hmmm.While the ide... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

While the idea of wrestling girls is a fun one the reality is probably far different. Can you imagine being on the mat and wrestling one of these girls and having her father freak out on you because a hand went somewhere verbotten?

I never got into wrestling much myself, karate was more my thing, but I just can't how this could possibly not go wrong.

JustMe hits the nail on the... (Below threshold)
Mike:

JustMe hits the nail on the head. This is a lose-lose situation for the boys. And has anyone ever seen a female wrestler? I can't imagine they are something another teenage boy would look at as an "object of lust."

And this asshat father should check his priorities. Is it really necessary to call for a lawsuit with charges of sex discrimination? How ridiculous is that? You can't sue to force someone to do something, what kind of moron even suggests this. That whole article reads like a stupid PC liberal bullshit screed that will only ruin this sport more in the long run (that is if this asshat has his way).

Ed and Mike: It's worse tha... (Below threshold)
Cousin Dave:

Ed and Mike: It's worse than that. The male wrestlers are forfeiting because they know that they go out onto the mat at a disadvantage: they know that if they touch the female in the wrong place during the match, they face suspension or expulsion. This is true even if the female doesn't mind; any third party (including the school administration) can charge the male with inappropriate touching, and there is no defense. Even if the male tries to ignore this issue, it's going to be on the back of his mind. That will make him hesitant, and in a sport like wrestling, to hesitate is to lose.

I wrestled in High School, ... (Below threshold)
TheKid:

I wrestled in High School, and had the misfortune of competing against a few women in my 4 years. My competitive drive precluded me from forfeiting, so instead I went out there and got it over with in a hurry. I was never worried about losing because I was in a lighter weight class -- there were no tough-as-nails butches with chips on their shoulders in the lighter classes. I did, however, have a teammate who lost to a girl -- she had about a .500 record -- and never lived it down (nor did we let him). From my experience, NONE of the women who stepped on the mat were anything you would want to get near, even after a 16 hour bender. "Object of lust?" No. Fear of the endless humiliation suffered by a man who loses to a woman on the mat? Yes.

The male wrestlers are f... (Below threshold)
mantis:

The male wrestlers are forfeiting because they know that they go out onto the mat at a disadvantage: they know that if they touch the female in the wrong place during the match, they face suspension or expulsion.

Name one case where this has happened. Also, the people here talking about wrestlers worrying about "inappropriate touching" have clearly never wrestled.

Luckily, I was graduating f... (Below threshold)

Luckily, I was graduating from high school just before girls really got into wrestling. I never had to wrestle a girl, although a few of my teammates did. I did have a fling with one from a cross-town school, though.

I don't see how the father is going to win the case. If guys don't want to wrestle her, and are willing to take the loss (in which wrestlers have so many matches during the year it's akin to a single loss in baseball or the NBA) then that's her problem. You can't make kids wrestle.

Perhaps a similar situation... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

Perhaps a similar situation. I have a nephew who used to play in a teenage ice hockey league. They occasionally played against a team that had a girl on it and it seemed to me that these boys were very much less willing to be as physical with her than they were with her male team mates. I hate to sound like a cretin but there are sports that clearly (to me) seem to warrant definite gender segregation because of the physical nature of the sport: football, ice hockey, wrestling to name three. I cannot reconcile my feelings that girls should not be forced to adhere to some expected "lady like" norm that deprives them of their desires to compete with my alternative feelings that there are just some sports where boys and girls to not mix very well.

I already anticipate the la... (Below threshold)

I already anticipate the labels I'll get, but . . .

Can anyone tell me what was wrong with the structure in which we enjoyed "boys'" sports and "girls'" sports? Some (basketball, for instance) were the same sport, sometimes with different rules, others (Football & Softball come to mind) were different, but together offered competitive outlets for both sexes. The whole notion springs from the concept that boys and girls are different.

What sort of position are we in when we're teaching kids to "celebrate diversity" at the same time as teaching them to ignore some of the most basic differences in humankind? More directly, what sort of position are we putting our kids in?

And what's really wrong with teaching little girls to be "lady-like" and teaching little boys to be "manly?" These "norms" lead to an organized society, in which all members know their places and excel in them. That sounds a lot better than the feminized, sterilized, mixed-up mess we have now.

We still do enjoy boys and ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

We still do enjoy boys and girls teams in school sports. Basketball is still the same, baseball and softball too. However there are very few girls that choose to wrestle, and the choice is between letting them wrestle boys or not letting them at all. As far as this:

These "norms" lead to an organized society, in which all members know their places and excel in them.

Norms like cooking, cleaning, and keeping quiet?

This is a difficult topic.<... (Below threshold)
KenS:

This is a difficult topic.

Still. It is best to let the individual and his family decide. The coach should follow school policy or quit. The opponent of the other sex has no right whatever to wrestle someone who chooses not to wrestle.

Consider the private school that says "no - boys can't wrestle girls". Well, the boy and his parents can leave the school. No one is forced to go there. It may be a difficult decision but it is the boy and his family who decide.

If the private school instead says "yes, you not only can but must" the decision is made the same way. And if the school takes no position the decision stays with the boy and his family.

The public schools and the state must also decide between "you must, you must not, you may". But they go farther and try to force their views upon all education.

The irriating thing about the public schools is not that people are forced to pay for policies they dislike. But rather that those policies are extended beyond any reasonable definition of education as part of a toolkit for life.

Public schools and state education authorities try, whenever possible, to go further and force private schools to adopt their view of "good".

A cynic might say that closely matches the definition of Fascism under Mussolini.

But no! That couldn't be.

Mantis, I haven't found an ... (Below threshold)
Cousin Dave:

Mantis, I haven't found an example yet, but I guarantee you that within the next two years, it will happen. Remember, any third party can initiate an action. And, I'm sure there is some shyster laywer somewhere who can convince some greedy set of parents somewhere to send their teenage daughter onto the mat, for the specific purpose of generating a lawsuit. People who disagree can say "wrestling isn't sexual" until they are blue in the face, but it only takes one activist judge who thinks it is sexual to break the system. (Consider the lawsuit linked at the start of this thread. The female wrestler in question is tryig to assert her "right" to force other people to do something they don't want to do, in order to benefit her. Do you think she or her father would have any moral doubts about turning over the coin if they subsequently decide that some opponent went just a teensy weensy bit "too far"? I don't.)

Even more to the point: mantis, weren't you taught not to hit girls when you were young? For way too many male wrestlers, it simply goes against their upbringing to manhandle a woman the way you have to do in wrestling, even if it is only for sport. Whether they want to or not is almost beside the point; they can't psychologically get themselves into the mental state to do it. And so the girl wins because she's taking advantage of of the boy's refusal or inability to cast aside an ethics code that the same girl would demand that he conform to in any other situation. Poking around the net, I've found quite a few teenage male wrestlers saying that they have lost to girls because they couldn't bring themselves to do the moves, such as shoving forcefully at the girl's breasts in order to accomplish a pin, or grabbing her crotch for a reversal. I've seen several photos of girls wrestling in tank tops with the sides and armholes cut out, and just a sports bra underneath. Accidentally get your fingers hooked in that band, and the bra comes off and the male wrestler automatically loses for making an illegal move, plus faces the aforementioned sexual misconduct charge. Thus, the sides and the upper back become a no-touch zone for the male wrestler. The female faces no such limitation.

Other males, mindful of these problems, either refuse to wrestle girls or just take a dive. And now a few schools have figured it out, and they are recruiting as many female wrestlers as they can so that they can win matches by accumulating forfeits. So there is little actual wrestling taking place, and the sport becomes a complete travesty.

(The other thing in the Washington case is that they are trying to convince a court to force private schools that don't receive federal funding to comply with Title IX. This would be a substantial expansion of federal authority, and it is precisely the sort of slippery slope that Title IX advocates have always said can't happen.)

Okay, here's a sort-of exam... (Below threshold)
Cousin Dave:

Okay, here's a sort-of example. The Texas Wrestling Officials' Association was forced to disband after it was threated by the ACLU with a lawsuit for not sanctioning male-female wrestling. The TWOA officers couldn't get insurance to protect themselves against the sexual harassment lawsuits which might occur if they consented to the ACLU's demands, which meant that they were going to incur the costs of defending themselves against a suit no matter what action they took. The only way out of the catch-22 was to disband the organization. If the Texas Interscholastic Wrestling Association is forced to take the same action, then it's goodnight for sanctioned interscholastic wrestling in Texas.

(And I might point out that the refusal of insurance companies to write a policy to insure the TWOA's officers against a harassment lawsuit indicates that their actuaries, who get paid to estimate these sorts of things, consider it highly likely. If you can't get insurance against a certain bad event, then look out, because it is almost certainly going to happen.)

1. The "touching" is not a... (Below threshold)
me:

1. The "touching" is not an issue. Or wouldn't be to most wrestlers. I mean, look, the regular wrestling is not homosexual. Why would it be hetero with a girl? It's really just a combat when you are in it.

2. We did not have m/f wrestling when I was in school. I really doubt many women could hang.

3. All that said...anybody want to grapevine? ;-)

mantisI cook, I cl... (Below threshold)

mantis

I cook, I clean...I am rarely quiet.

And in case your education is sorely lacking, men and women are inherently different. Get out of the basement once in a while, eh?

Let a woman learn in sil... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Let a woman learn in silence with all submission.
And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.
For Adam was formed first, then Eve.
And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.

- Timothy 2:11-14

Know your place Darleen.

Would it be wrong for the s... (Below threshold)
Jim:

Would it be wrong for the state to use its power to force mixed wrestling on youngsters in the public schools?

For those who know, no explanation is necessary.

For those who don't, no explanation will suffice.

On the other hand, consenting adult males can enjoy a wrestling match with various fit females for a going rate of $300 per hous. :)

Most of the comment I've he... (Below threshold)
liberty:

Most of the comment I've heard on this issue is conjecture, only. Ask the girls and the boys that wrestle them if you want to know the truth on the mat. In our school, that same one on Vashon, all wrestlers are very clear that sexuality is not part of the wrestling experience. The more boys and girls get to wrestle each other, the more they build mutual respect and learn how to do it without being concerned about errant touch. Also, the scrutiny wrestlers perform under is close and protective.

One last thing. Girls who wrestle tend to have boyfriends who are gentlemen. -Liberty

First off, I got e-mailed t... (Below threshold)
Mike:

First off, I got e-mailed the news clip and a few of the aforementioned posts about this controversy and as a former high school wrestler (Class of 2000) and a student of law (Pre-law as an undergrad), I believe that I have a pretty good grasp on this issue.

First, about wrestling girls the idea was first brought up by "Me" in the 3rd post. It is VERY MUCH a lose/lose situations for young men to wrestle girls. If they win, they just beat a girl and if they lose the just lost to a girl and trust me. NO BOY WANTS TO LOSE TO A GIRL IN A PHYSICAL SPORT, now aside from it being a lose/lose situation, there is a conduct issue here. Being a wrestler at a low-end weight class, I had to wrestle some girls and you CAN NOT wrestle them the same way you would another boy, because of where your hands go and how you move. Along with that, there is this evolved mental notion that women are more fragile (which sounds sexist but its a well-thought anthropological theory) and because of this, boys tend to go "easier" on girl wrestlers, so that they don’t hurt them.

Secondly, the idea that someone could enact a lawsuit in order for someone to do something is completely bogus. The state cannot physically force someone into doing something. However, this does not mean that there wouldn’t be monetary consequences or policy implications. Jerry Conners needs to brush up on his law (or find a better lawyer who knows what they are doing) before he announces to the press that he is going to do anything. So take that threat with a grain of salt because there is no really merit behind it.

Thirdly, this is in response to liberty's post, I agree with you that wrestlers are aware that sexuality is not a part of wrestling, but at the same time the age group for the crowd we are talking about is 14-18 years old, which means they are in the peak of their sexual maturity, where they want to explore and experience things. So although they do not associate wrestling with sexuality, it doesn’t mean that it is absent.

Finally, female wrestlers are becoming more and more prevalent in middle and high school, my proposed solution would be doing the same thing that they have done with other sports (soccer, basketball, and football) and that would be for them to form their own squad and compete. Many people criticize this idea because they do not think that there are enough girls that want to do the sport, and this might be true but look at the WA state sports statistics and see how many females competed in state, (in an all female competition). To say that there are not enough competitors might be true on an individual high school level might be true but there is enough in each league or region to accommodate them. However, the problem with this idea is funding, under Title IX, if there was a formation of a new league they would have to cut funding so that the male teams and female teams have equal funding.

"YOU GET IN THERE AND KICK ... (Below threshold)
Atomic Dog:

"YOU GET IN THERE AND KICK MY DAUGHTERS ASS!"

Yea, real great father there. No surprise he's a leftwinger. And if for some absurd reason the ultra left Washington State decides this IS discrimination (oh and by the way, it's NOT discrimination because there's NO STATE ACTION) - fine. Next time the boys are forced to wrestle someone they don't want to, I'd tell them to throw the match. Just lay down and take the pin.

What leftwing moron daddy doesn't get is, high school atheltics are on a volunteer basis. A kid isn't being paid to wrestle, he's wrestling because he chooses to. This isn't about discrimination, it's about a kid NOT wrestling because he CHOOSES to. These kids can NOT wrestle any time they want. If they want to forfeit their match, they're more than entitled to for whatever reason they want.

The school HAS to accept the forfeit. Otherwise they're FORCING kids to wrestle when they don't want to. And that's wrong.

Girls wrestling boys. Quest... (Below threshold)
DC:

Girls wrestling boys. Questions?
Will this change the way parents raise their sons?
Will boys treat girls as they do other boys?
If a boy calls you a fag on the school yard, he probably will get a pop in the mouth.

As an adult, I'd find it im... (Below threshold)
130pounder:

As an adult, I'd find it impossible to wrestle an attractive female opponent without being distracted by the strong sexual overtones a struggle involving such close physical contact involves. Be honest, and ask yourself if most adolescent males have sufficient mental discipline to do any better under the intimate circumstances wrestling requires. A match against another guy would pose no problems because the sexual spark would not be there. In a match with a female opponent (roughly equal in skill and experience), the guy is probably at a significant disadvantage, and could easily end up pinned through an inability to concentrate. While most female wrestlers probably do not exploit this mental edge, I believe it certainly exists.

Question?Does a girl... (Below threshold)
DC:

Question?
Does a girl lose her femininity when she dons a man's singlet and says that she is just another wrestler?
Most men are painfully aware of sexual differences and are fully aware that the person on the other side of the mat is a girl. There is a sexual mixing here that is very uncomfortable for males who can do very little about it since Title IX. The women behind Title IX don't give a hoot as long as it benefits girls. They step on men and deny it.
Stangely, if a girl plays serious tennis against other girls she can exert an equal physical exercise to wrestling and still retain her femininity, she can wear a feminine outfit,and she can sucessfully date men. From my observations, the girl who wrestles at the high school level, gives up her feminine nature and dating boys is out the window. This doesn't seem to happen with girls who stay in girl only sports.
Please comment.

I think that some teams th... (Below threshold)
Tom Konevecki:

I think that some teams that have girls on want to put a blemish on a boys record that has only wins on it to make him feel more vulnerable should he lose to a girl. Even if he should forfeit the match it is still a loss; and the girls will quickly take advantage of that.

The whole thing sound like ... (Below threshold)
red:

The whole thing sound like a trap for boys to get into some kind of social exhibition. Contact sports was made by man for man to attract woman thru displays of domination over other men, not women, DUUUUUUH!

Yes unfortunately ther will be changes in the boys and girls who participate. They will think it's okay to beat on each other. Nature made man with power and strenght to defend women not beat on them. These small hand full of girls that have some of that "male power" is being blown up to represent the whole. Men and women comliment each other not mimmick each other or else Nature will make us all "A sexual" so we wn't need one another.

That girl and her father just want some shine and alittle spotlight for being known as beating boys at their own game! She couldn't get it, so she started crying! Daddy created that monster now he want to defend it.

i've noticed quite a few co... (Below threshold)
matt:

i've noticed quite a few comments from people who have said that they wouldn't give girls who wrestle a second look or even talk to them suggesting that they are girls who look like guys, grow up people, there are plenty of female wrestles who are very feminine and very attractive. believe me,i've wrestle a couple in high school. heck, i've even lost to one who was pretty hot actually, not that their looks should even be an issue, if a girl is good enough to wrestle on a boys team, then let her. and as far as the touching and grabbing goes, any guy who has ever wrestled a girl in high school knows that once u hit the mat,u don't think about it, you are just trying to win.

Wow, what has the world com... (Below threshold)
courtney Scott:

Wow, what has the world come to. I was a female wrestler in high school, actually the first in the state of Texas. I went through many, many difficulties including a law suit. I have to wonder where the world is going with comments like these. Do your wives have any idea how much of a sexist they are married to? I mean when you get down to it, it is your level of comfort that you are worried about. Telling women to stay in the appropriate roles? is that your role they should stay in. I competed in sports my entire life, basketball, wrestling, judo just to name a few. I think that it is people like this that are placing roles on our young women of today. We should support our daughters, wives and sisters in whatever challenges them and makes them happy. Have none of you ever heard of the ACLU. If you are a female wrestler, send me an email I was party to a class action law suit here in Texas in 1997 and would be glad to share information on title 9 or anything else you need.




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