Monday, February 21, 2011

Should He Touch A Girl That Way?

Joel Northrup made a decision to forfeit his chance to become an Iowa wrestling champion at their State competition. Why would any young man have a stand out season going 34-5 in his weight class and decide, just seconds before the match was about to begin, not to fight?

Because his opponent was a young woman, and he believes that woman should be treated with respect and dignity. In a statement Northrup offered:
“I have a tremendous amount of respect for Cassy and Megan and their accomplishments. However, wrestling is a combat sport and it can get violent at times,” wrote Northrup. “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. It is unfortunate that I have been placed in a situation not seen in most other high school sports in Iowa.”
There are certainly Christian ideals that would support Northrup in his conviction, but what is compelling is the inconsistency with which society deals with the issue of violence toward women. A young man is taught continuously that he is not to act violently toward a young woman -- that is a secular teaching, not purely religious in its foundation. Young men have messages about acting in a non-violent manner toward women taught incessantly in school, at youth groups, even in Scouting. Yet, they are expected to drop this ideal of behaving non-violently toward women when they are in the sports arena.

Doesn't this issue cause confusion among young men?

Aren't we asking a bit too much of young men?

Aren't sending out conflicting messages about appropriate behaviors toward women?

Aren't we putting them in a position to always be wrong, no matter what they do?

The answer is YES to all these questions.   If we continue to teach this inconsistency base on equality arguments, we will continue to cause confusion in the minds of our young men. As long as women are encouraged to seek "equality" with men based on what they can "do" versus the dignity with which they were made, we will continue to have this problem.Women when will you figure out that the desire to emasculate under the guise of equality causes confusion and pain for both men and women alike?

Joel Northrup is a gentleman to the point of laying down his life for a friend, in a sense, by sacrificing his opportunity to excel in his sport for the honor of his competitor's dignity. His decision not to fight is a greater triumph than any medal or trophy he might have received. He is a model to his male companions, and as a result of this story, to his male counterparts in society, as to the appropriate treatment of women. He deserves accolades, and so do his parents for their efforts in forming a responsible and chivalrous young man.

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