Final Thoughts on Women and Sports
1) I am not saying that all women who play contact sports become brutish or unmanly. I don't think you'll find that assertion anywhere in my writing. I have made the point that sports can have that effect. There is a key distinction there. It is happily true that there are Christian women out there who have played high-contact sports and who have retained femininity and cultivated it. I see that as a sign of grace.
2) When I spoke of the Detroit team being "big," I was meaning in a muscular sense. I was not meaning "tall" or even what some might call "big-boned." We can't help our natural build. For example, I'm short and thin. The typical masculine ideal is tall and strong. I can't help that I don't naturally fit in that category. Of course, I am responsible for how I steward my body. But there is nothing inherently wrong with a girl being tall--nothing at all. With that clarification stated, I stand by what I wrote.
3) In response to Jed's question from last week about the Supreme Court regarding separated parties being inherently unequal, I would have to say that that has little bearing on the matter at hand. We're not talking about enforced segregation. We're talking about gender roles, and what we train our daughters for. In addition, men and women play sports separately, and I don't hear anyone complaining about that. So I find the question interesting but not that tangential.
4) The Bible does not say very much about sports. Paul uses sports as a metaphor, and we're told that physical exercise is of little profit. There's not a great deal said about sports, then. With that said, we are responsible for applying biblical principles and ideas to our present situation. The Bible says little about lots of things, but that doesn't mean that we don't attempt to fashion an approach to them. One of the primary things I'm trying to do on this blog is to think through areas that I don't see other Christians considering--sports, gender, etc. As I do so, I'm trying to speak humbly and to avoid presenting my conclusions as explicitly scriptural. However, I am trying to apply biblical ideas to all of life. I also attempt to speak directly. Academic-speak with its endless nuances and qualifications frustrates me. Noone says anything with such speech. Spinelessness reigns. I attempt to challenge readers of this blog to think through stuff with me, and I try to do so by taking definitive stances on issues after thinking them through. People are welcome to disagree, and state that disagreement--I want that, in fact. But folks should never think that because the Bible doesn't mention something there is nothing to say about it. That's a very common mistake, and I'm trying to avoid it, even as I'm trying to avoid presenting my statements as divine. They certainly are not.
5) It's not all sports I was talking about, but contact sports. Women are weaker than men and are not made for contact like men are. I thus would encourage women not to play high-contact sports but to play other sports that allow them to have fun, exercise, glorify God, develop teamwork, and other things, but that do not place them at risk of injury and pain. There are lots of sports that accomplish such aims--in fact, there are far more lower-contact sports than there are higher-contact. I'll push my daughters (if I have any) toward those, and discourage them from rugby, hockey, football, and others I've already mentioned.