Northwest NEWS

April 23, 2001

Editorial

Schools should provide wrestling program for girls

As the mother of three daughters, I appreciate very much that a recent writer is attempting to raise a son who will grow up to be a man who can control his impulses, channel his energies into productive uses and be respectful towards women.
   There are too many boys with too much exposure to violent and sexually demeaning images with no one guiding them into more healthy pursuits.
   The writer is concerned about her son having to wrestle girls or forfeit his own matches. It is difficult to stand up for a higher standard and I applaud her and especially her son for refusing to wrestle a girl.
   Wrestling girls certainly contradicts the stated benefits of boys wrestling to "channel their newfound physical energy and strength into acceptable avenues requiring skill and control." With the epidemic of violence toward women, I would agree that boys thrusting girls "into an arena where they are required to grab a female body in potentially intimate places, slam the girl down on the mat, lay on top of the girl" is indeed, playing "with the brains by telling them that this is perfectly acceptable."
   I do not, however, accuse the girls of "problems created by the few female wrestlers who see it as their right to serve their own self-interests."
   Rather, I accuse schools with boys wrestling programs of not also providing girls wrestling teams and girls' matches. Perhaps more girls would choose the sport if they did not have to be subjected to wrestling with boys. Other sports are played separately, and logically so. I'll bet the girls who already wrestle would love to have their own teams and matches with each other because then they would truly be treated as being as important as the boys.
   Robin Amundson, Woodinville