Thursday, February 17, 2011

Controversy on the Wrestling Mat

I was skimming across the news online today and one article in particular really caught my eye. It appears that an incredible Iowa wrestle, refused to compete against a girl at the state wrestling tournament this past Thursday. Why didn't he wrestle you might ask? The young athlete stated that wrestling a girl would conflict against his religion. This topic has created a lot of buzz in the world of athletics because it raises the grand old question of "should girls be allowed to compete against boys, in a boys sport?" Many people feel the young male athlete was scared to wrestle the girl in fear of losing. Other readers feel the young man did the right thing. He believed in something and didn't go what he went against.
In my personal opinion I feel the athlete did the right thing. My family has always taught me never to lay my hand on a female. When I was younger, I was enrolled in a karate class. In this class was one girl and one day I had to spar against this girl. The instructor told us to fight and I just stood there. I couldn't hit her because it went against everything I had ever learned from my parents and I felt if I hit her that I would be disobeying my parents and my values/morals. This young athlete made a decision based on his values and morals, so how can someone be criticized for what they believe in? How might this relate to physical education?
Like I stated previously, this young man is considered “scared” because he didn’t want a girl to be him at sport where men are dominant. This shows the stereotype that men are supposed to be strong and women are weak. Men can’t lose to girls because it will make them look weak and if a girl beats a boy at a sport she is seen as a tomboy or someone who doesn’t belong with the men. We as physical educators need to stop the reinforcement of these types of stereotypes. We should encourage all students to do their best and do whatever activities bring them happiness. We need to let students know that there is no dominant gender. In a perfect world all these ideas would be accomplished, but I will leave you with this question… What types of things will you teach your students? Will you teach them that everyone is equal? Or will you continue the trend of categorizing boys versus girls and limiting students potential? A wise man once said “You must be the change you wish to see in the world” So be an agent of change and find the true potential in yourself and in your students.

Leave a comment below and let me know your stance on the article. Was he right by practicing what he believes in? Or was he just trying to protect himself from humilation? You be the judge!

To view the full article click here.

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