Volume 13, Issue 6: Childer
Girls and Athletics
One of the places where revolutionary fervor can be best viewed is in the realm ofathletic competition. For many reasons, the totalitarian mentality loves to showcase its propaganda in the realm of athletics, and is more than a little annoyed when it gets spanked there. Think of Hitler and Jesse Owen. With regard to the former point, think of the irrational value placed by totalitarian regimes, like China or the former East Germany, on cultivating a small town of steroidic athletes who can chase a ball or jump really high. How is this supposed to authenticate an economic system?
There is a deep connection there somewhere, but answering the question is their problem. We should be concerned about the more obvious way this kind of propaganda is working in our own local parks and rec programs. Egalitarianism is rampant in our day when it comes to girls, and one of the key battlefields is the playing field.
We have gotten to an absurd point. We now have nationally televised boxing matches between
women, which is an abomination. We have young girls turning out for their high school football teams, which is worse. On a track team, few spectators can see the difference between a girl competing in a foot race and a girl competing in the shot put. Same day, same stadium, same team, why is it not the same? In those sports where it is possible to argue for a right kind of feminine particicpation, we have capitulation to egalitarian assumptions about how the game is to be played, right down to the imitative details. We have young girls swaggering around basketball courts as though a team doctor has been giving them testosterone injections.
The fact that many women's athletic departments at secular universities are hotbeds of lesbianism
is not a coincidence. Much of what goes on in the name of wholesome athletic activity is actually dedicated to the recruiting and training of lesbians. Christians need to understand that it is not possible to have a large part of our lives dedicated to the blurring of distinctions between male and female, and then turn around expecting those distinctions to flourish in the other parts
of our lives. We will not maintain distinctions unless we learn how, and learning how means it must be made a priority.
This means that if Christian parents have their daughters in any form of athletic training or competition, they have to place the highest priority on teaching their daughters how this activity relates to their calling as Christian women. Further, they must ensure that it does relate. It is also incumbent on any young woman involved in any sport to be able to articulate why she is there. It is necessary for her to be able to say how her style of play, how her approach to competition, differs markedly from how boys compete. If she cannot do this, then it is spiritually dangerous for her to be where she is. If she does not have a biblical reason for pursuing the activity, she is not left with no reason, she is left with an unbiblical reason. The fact she is confused about that reason does not mean it is absent.
When a girl is thrown into such situations without direction, it can leave her insecure in the last place where she should be left insecureher femininity. If she is good at the sport, then it is natural for her to give herself to that competition in the hope that she might derive some kind of identify from it. She is surrounded by propandga disguised as sneaker advertisements, telling her nature is infinitely malleble. Shape it however you want.
The end result can be a young lady who is uncomfortable in a dress, and who slouches around in sweats and a ball cap. She talks, walks and acts like one of the guys. She does not dress attractively because she does not think it is possible. And she thinks that way because of what she has been praised for throughout her life. If eighty percent of the praise she has received from her parents has been because she was faster, or stronger, or bigger, why is everyone surprised when
she settles in that identity? We always get more of what we subsidize and less of what we penalize. And we have to see that praise and lack of praise (or criticism) are subsidies and penalties respectively.
Not surprisingly, it is the responsibility of fathers to prevent this kind of sexual damage from occurring, and to address it responsibly if it has already started to happen. But this responsibility cannot be assumed if all the father wants is a list, and writes in asking what sports are bad for girls? Such a list is possiblesumo wrestling would be on itbut mechanical application of such lists would not fix anything. Fathers who do not love, comfort, praise, encourage, and teach cannot fix their problem by moving their daughters around on the basis of a list. All they would get is a change from having a daughter who did not know why she was on the football team to a daughter who did not know why she was in the kitchen.
Some might want to solve the problem by simply saying that girls should not be in athletics at all. This is a typical fundamentalist solution, and is far too easy. "People get drunk on wine, you know, except at Corinth where they were apparently getting drunk on grape juice, but the best thing is to ban wine altogether." This is not a mature response.
At the same time, we must learn to think like Christians, and consistently make distinctions. We should challenge what the world says, and be willing to modify our behavior based upon what the Scriptures require of us. And when it comes to our daughters in sports, there is a lot to modify.