Sunday, May 15, 2005

When surrender isn't enough

From Paul Cella the following story of rights gone wrong.

In America a school wrestling league allows competition between high school boys and girls. Two Christian schools, which don't "want to put our young men in a situation where they would be inappropriately touching a young lady" have responded by allowing their male students to forfeit their matches against female competitors.

This, you might think, is a kind of principled surrender on the issue. The girls win the matches, but the boys don't have to act inappropriately. But for some liberal parents even this passive evasion is an infringement of the girls' "rights" and they plan to take the Christian schools to court.

Again, this case highlights the radically different attitudes to gender held by liberals and conservatives. For liberals, our sex is something we don't get to choose and is therefore an impediment to our freedom to decide individually who we are and what we do. Gender therefore has to be abolished as a "limiting" factor to individual choice and hence the insistence that there should not be discrimination on the basis of gender.

For conservatives the point of life is not an unlimited freedom to create ourselves in any direction. Instead, it's an effort to draw out the better, higher qualities of our given nature, including our nature as men and women. One part of the higher nature of men is to be physically protective toward women. Therefore a "gentleman" would not agree to engage in physically rough contact sports with women.

Of course, it's the liberal view of things which currently holds sway, which is why even a passive resistance on the issue by the two Christian schools has come under attack.

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