Amanda Leve is a 16-year old junior at Archbishop Ryan High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Sensing an opportunity to increase her chances of getting a scholarship for college, she decided to try out for the school’s wrestling team, figuring her years of experience in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu would make her a shoo-in by any reasonable standards.
Naturally, the school said no.
Yet despite all of her fighting accomplishments, her high school won’t let her join the wrestling team. She is not allowed to join the team because, according to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, gender differences play a vital role in the development of a mature Christian identity. Allowing a female to join a male wrestling team could compromise that gender identity development.
What do you even say to something like this? What do they think is going to happen? Clearly she’s developed her own sense of identity, and the last time I checked, I didn’t see any bible passages mentioning anything about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu one way or the other. Maybe they think all of that fighting is going to make her a lesbian? I know they already have horribly misinformed ideas on hormonal birth control, so it wouldn’t surprise me to discover that they’re laboring under the delusion that fixing cars, playing Call of Duty, and spending your adolescence learning how to beat the crap out of people will somehow affect who you’re wired to desire sexually. After all, they sure as hell don’t think it’s something you’re born with. Or are they worried that the boys on the team will be too distracted with a girl in their ranks, possibly leading them into temptation and sin? Wouldn’t that make them happy to know that all of the guys are getting hot and bothered over her … safe in the knowledge that none of them are gay? I mean, come on … homosexuality is the most important issue of modern Christianity, isn’t it? [/s]
The school also tried to legitimize their stance by claiming this was also an issue of safety …
A spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia tells FOX 29 wrestling is a full contact sport open to boys only and this rule is in place to make sure the sport is safe for everyone who participates.
… but it might help them to know that for the last two years, she’s been grappling with members of the opposite sex two weight classes heavier than her, and she clearly knows how to handle herself in the situations she’d find herself in while on the wrestling team.
The archdiocese is going to meet in April to discuss whether to allow girls on their wrestling team … at which point the season will be over. If they finally do make a decision, it will mean that she may be able to join during her senior year. In the meantime, she’ll just keep participating in private competitions where there’s less worry about what it means to have a girl in with the guys, and its inevitable implications for her sexuality.
The a video for some of her matches: