|Cassy Herkelman awarded victory by default|
He gave the following reason for giving up the chance to win the state tournament:
"I have a tremendous amount of respect for Cassy. However, wrestling is a combat sport and it can get violent at times," said Northrup.
"As a matter of conscience and my faith I do not believe that it is appropriate for a boy to engage a girl in this manner. It is unfortunate that I have been placed in a situation not seen in most other high school sports in Iowa."
In modern liberal societies our sex is not supposed to matter. It is a predetermined quality that is thought to violate the principle of autonomy.
But our sex does matter. Joel Northrup clearly felt that he stood in a different relationship to Cassy Herkelman than he would to a male. He did not want to have to go against his better instinct to be physically protective towards females rather than violent. Nor, perhaps, did he want to pretend that laying hands on the body of a young woman was as meaningless as doing so to a male in a contact sport.
I don't think he should have been placed in the position he was put in. If there are girls who really do want to wrestle, they should do so in a league of their own. Nor is wrestling a sport that it makes much sense to encourage girls to participate in. How does such a sport help to develop the feminine body or soul?