One Wrestling Mat, Two Genders Fighting

Marina Ilic, Staff Writer

Bias, favoritism, and even toxic masculinity are all things that girls in co-ed contact sports have to deal with on a daily basis. When it comes to wrestling especially, there are many plausible factors that girls must worry about when wrestling a guy, or even simply just being on the team. Co-ed wrestling has two genders fighting on the mat for the win, but only one fighting for basic rights.

Argo High has many sports scaling from girl’s swim to boy’s bowling. These sports have one thing in common: equality. Since the genders are split into two separate teams, the athletes in those sports have a higher chance of winning because of the grouping of their individual strengths.

It’s hard to say the same for Argo’s wrestling team, however.

The sport is made up of many boys and only a couple of girls. Because of the low number of women on Argo’s wrestling team, there tends to be unintentional bias towards them.

“I feel like [people] think that girls can’t do the same things guys can, just because we don’t look as strong or even that we’re intimidated by our opponent, when in reality we might not be,” said one of the three girls from last season’s wrestling team, Jasmine Gonzalez.

The girls are used to receiving a lack of modesty, but it can come as a surprise especially when it’s from an opposing team.

Junior Varsity wrestler Christy Pedersen states, “Unfairness? Yes. It’s difficult though because [it’s] not really from my team.”

When it comes down to the physical prejudice girls receive because of their gender, the same fact always comes around: men are biologically stronger than women.

“It’s not fair for a boy to wrestle a girl because the guy is naturally stronger…the girl is usually less muscular,” said wrestler Remy Avalos.

According to the girls, that fact varies from person to person.

“It depends…I feel like if someone trains enough you can be as ‘strong as a man’… it shouldn’t matter,” said Pedersen.

Though each teammate has their separate views about wrestling one another, they mostly share one common thought. Two separate teams are better than one conjoined team.

Avalos says, “They should have their own team as girls… if they go against only boys it’s going to be a lot harder.”

Agreeing with Avalos’ statements, Gonzales states “It can get uncomfortable going against a guy…If we can’t have a separate team, I would like a girl coach so that it could be a bit more comfortable.”

The minority thinks that co-ed is a good experience to go through and fun with the right people.

Throughout it all, wrestling is a sport that not only brings people close in contact but in friendships as well. The boys on the team can sometimes radiate their impudence onto the girls, but it only motivates them to do better.

Pedersen states, “You just have to show them what you’re made of… beat their butts, just really show them.”