Wednesday, September 24, 2008

wrestling with girls



My son, John wrestled in high school in the heavyweight division. He never experienced something that many of the guys in the smaller weight classes did - wrestling against a girl. One of the coolest things about high school wrestling in California is that anyone can participate and if need be, the rules are adjusted. John's team had a blind wrestler. The rules were adjusted so both wrestlers had to maintain hand contact with one another at all times. There was a wrestler with one leg. Both wrestlers began on the mat. Girls can wrestle as well and compete against boys. There are no changes in the rules. There were some girls who were very, very good. BTW, the photo is of Jazy Green, a high school wrestler from Santa Monica who competes at 103 pounds.

As you can guess, wrestling is an intimate contact sport and hands and body parts often touch in places and ways that under other circumstances would be very inappropriate. You could tell when a boy was wrestling a girl for the first time. As the match began, he would have a tentative look on his face, unsure where to put his hands. For a few seconds the girl had an enormous advantage. After the first time she threw him, he got down to wrestling and didn't worry about where to place his hands. After all, the rules were the same regardless of whether the opponent was male or female. If the girl is upset about having some strange boy touching her anywhere and everywhere, she shouldn't be wrestling.

I've been thinking about that as an analogy to Sarah Palin. So far, the press and the Obama campaign have seemed hesitant, unsure as to where they can place their "hands." They are acting as if the rules are different since she is a woman. And the McCain camp is pushing for a change in the rules as they ask for deference from the press corps and refuse to have Palin give a press conference. They are trying to institutionalize that momentary advantage and claim that any attacks against her are sexist. The reality is exactly the opposite. Campbell Brown got it right when she accused McCain of sexism. If Palin is going to compete at this level, she has to play by the same rules as the boys. That means she is subject to all of the same questions and critiques. If she can't answer the questions, then she ought to get off the mat.

6 comments:

Michael Mahoney said...

Interesting...

By the way, how many press conferences has Joe Biden had? Apparently, many of his beat reporters are complaining about the lack of access - he just won't talk to them.

And also, when was the last time anyone asked Biden if he would have time to spend with his family as VP?

You're absolutely right, Roy. There is a double standard.

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2008/09/23/biden-not-holding-press-conferences-either/

Kin said...

Add to that, the article that mentioned that Biden's plane was often empty of representatives of the press. Could it be because he is seen as a boring, long-winded blowhard? Nobody is interested in Biden. Everyone is interested in Palin. It's due to something called personality.

The Dems and Libs can continue trying to find traction on something to bring Palin down but it's not going to happen. However, I do find it interesting that many people are treating Palin as if she were the one running for President. Why compare Palin with Obama? They are not running for the same office! Is Palin really that much of a threat to whiny liberals?

fernando said...

McCain's age and health makes the question of the VPs ability to lead a lot more telling than it would normally be. Joe Liberman, for one, looked pretty uncomfortable when asked about that - "let's hope for the best," was his faint response.

That said, I do agree that the family questions are asinine. Women routinely get subjected to that in all leadership roles while men don't.

Alexis said...

I know Ms. Palin hasn't been very accessible, but I think we've gained enough insight into her abilities from her limited air time. The "uh...um...uh huh...I'll uh..get back to you..." is pretty clear. She has difficulty speaking English and she doesn't know anything about leading one of the most powerful countries in the world. If we substituted "like" for "uh" and changed her accent, she could be a UCSB undergraduate hanging out on Del Playa.

Thank GOD for YouTube, it's made checking facts and comparing speeches/interviews easy and accessible. Tina Fey also gets major points.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I'm very curious how you found the picture & info on my daughter Jazzy Green?
Louise Green

roy said...

somehow I missed the last comment here from Louise Green. It deserved an answer. I apologize that it took years.
There are websites that center on high school wrestling and include photos from many matches with names & weights listed along with results. I used to check regularly to see whether there were photos of my son. I just took a photo from one of those sites of a girl wrestling. Bottom line, I wasn't stalking Jazzy and didn't share anything that wasn't already out there on the web and publicly available.
FWIW, here's a link to a blog pot with a photo of my son that I got from one of those sites...
http://roydonkin.blogspot.com/2006/05/flying-boy.html