For those that haven't read that post, I'll recap: High Schools should not only allow girls to wrestle, they should encourage it. A recent report from the CDC on the widespread instances of rape and abuse in this country grabbed headlines for a day, and then of course, vanished from the the collective conversation. The newscasters tsk-tsked the results and then quickly went on to other, less depressing news. Why no discussion about how to stop or mitigate these findings? Oh, that's right, it's just women, they are weak, and men who get raped, well they are like women right, weak, so who cares. As you might can guess, I care.
On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the United States, based on a survey conducted in 2010. Over the course of a year, that equals more than 12 million women and men. Those numbers only tell part of the story—more than 1 million women are raped in a year and over 6 million women and men are victims of stalking in a year. These findings emphasize that sexual violence, stalking, and intimate partner violence are important and widespread public health problems in the United States.1 MILLION women, in the US alone, EVERY YEAR. So, no, I don't want to hear about how uncomfortable it makes high school boys to have to fight with or wrestle with girls. I don't want to hear about how they are taught not to hurt girls, so they are at a disadvantage with a female partner. That's clearly Bullshit. While I don't doubt that there are boys being taught that lesson, clearly, as men, they either forget it, or the numbers that never learn that social nicety are far too large.
Women are disproportionally affected by sexual violence, intimate partner violence and stalking.
• 1.3 million women were raped during the year preceding the survey.
• Nearly 1 in 5 women have been raped in their lifetime while 1 in 71 men have been raped in their lifetime.
The majority of this victimization starts early in life.HALF of women rape victims are younger than 18. That means that there are as many as 500,000 girls a year that could be learning valuable self defense lessons in JR HIGH and HIGH SCHOOL that might help them in escaping a rape attempt before they head for college.
• Approximately 80% of female victims experienced their first rape before the age of 25 and almost half experienced the first rape before age 18 (30% between 11-17 years old and 12% at or before the age of 10).
• About 35% of women who were raped as minors were also raped as adults compared to 14% of women without an early rape history.
• 28% of male victims of rape were first raped when they were 10 years old or younger.
Pushing them out of wrestling clubs, or sparring groups is short sighted and harmful. Jr High Schools and High Schools on that path should do an immediate about face, and not only allow them in but encourage it. Even if it means forming female only leagues. Even if it means making male wrestlers uncomfortable. Help these girls find ways to fight back against being one of these statistics. Don't just shuffle them through Home Ec, Sex Ed and Gym and delude yourself into thinking you're sending them out into the world prepared.
Sadly, I have no daughters, and no connections with the local Jr High and High Schools. (Yet.) If any of my readers do, please feel free to use this post in it's entirety to start conversations with your school district about this issue. The CDC report is linked at the top and again HERE if you want to print out some of the facts and figures. Please PLEASE teach your daughters about the realities that face them. Ignoring it or hoping it won't happen to them are terrible ways to deal with this issue. If you daughters are old enough, enroll them in a self defense class, not one of those hour long once a year sessions, but something on a weekly basis, learning hands on grappling, breaks, throws and disables. While you pray they won't need it, someday they may thank you. Send your boys too of course, the need isn't as dire in a personal protection sense, but they'll get other very useful benefits from it.