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04/09/2009
John
Cheney, WA

I believe girls should be allowed to wrestle but only with other girls. Its not that girls can't compete or are not as good as the boys because in some cases they are much better skilled. There is still societal stigmas to boys losing to girls (but there shouldn't be)and the sexual part of it is always there and may make the boys afraid to be really aggressive and do their best.

02/03/2009
Columbia, SC

I agree with Tara Neal. If I had to wrestle her I would. Though I am probably old enough to be a grandfather by now. I am a baby-boomer who grew up all over the world and saw title IX start growing when I was a Junior in HS at CloverPark HS in Tacoma WA. I saw and heard of lots of girls and women who wrestled then. Like Tara said. It is going to happen. I even think that one day they will have CO-ED wrestling and CO-ED competion in the Olympics in Boxing (according to strict weight conditions,size,experience and so on) since it is called "Good-Will" Games. That day is coming. I'll be in the audience clapping. Chip

12/24/2008
Russ
NJ

My teenage son wrestles and now my daughter wants to also. But my son tells me , all the guys , hate to wrestle against a girl .. During a match or practice he won't put his hand across a gals breasts or between their legs because it is very embarrassing for him thus he'd rather decline then have to "half wrestle" against a female.. This is totally unfair for him and the other boys. They also have a saying (which they would never tell the coach) " all the guys know Amy" because when you wrestle against a female (i.e.> Amy) you get to put your hands all over her.. I won't let my daughter wrestles because of the male/female inappropriate contact involved. It brothers the boys much more than it seems to bother the girls but it doesn't let the boys really wrestle 100% against a female when they are worried about inappropriate contact. I have a very unique view of the wrestling "girl/guy" problem having a child on both sides and I have to conclude that after 6th grade, boys and girls should only w restle against their own gender.. FYI > For years in my state you only had girls volleyball in schools with plenty of boys who would have loved to play volleyball as a team sport . BUT you didn't see the boys trying to break into the girls teams! The boys organized (with their parents help) and push for boys volleyball in the schools and finally got what they wanted. It took a long time and many boys never got to play Volleyball for their school but with persistence they won out and now there are plenty of boys volleyball teams in the high schools here..

Girls wrestling needs to get organized and push their sport as the boys did here in volleyball. They need to wait till there are enough girls interest in wrestling to organize girls wrestling and quit trying to crash the boys wrestling teams where they are highly unwanted by the boys and coaches. Yes coaches too, but coaches have to be "Political Correct" about it so they keep their mouths shut.

12/09/2008
kaylynn

I am in wresting and there are two more girl wreslers on my team shanie and hannah hannah is so good she got like 10 scholerships so far and yes it is harder when ur a girl becuse u have periods and girl arint as strong as guys they can be but guys would beat us in a strong match eny time.

12/09/2008
shanie
illinois

I also am a girl in wrestling and sure its tough but thats what makes it so great... people have told me your just going to quit so whats the point of wrestling... and while their saying that i'm kicking butt. because this is something i enjoy and nothing is going to make me quit...

07/22/2008
Katelynn

I am a girl wrestler and im not going to quit, for anyone. My dad doesn't agree && my grandma doesn't either, and either do some kids in our school. Being a wrestler is not about oh u cant do it, its about if you can make it though the practices, cut the weight, wake up every Saturday morning at 5-6 to catch the bus to enjoy a long day tournament, clipping your nails, getting along with your coaches, and much more. I have did all of these things countless times, and im still living, even better than before. I quit volleyball, softball, and track because nothing compares to wrestling. The coaches are so much different, a wrestling coach is your alarm clock, your nutritionist, your drill Sargent, your aid along the mat, and your friend. So i am going to be strong and not quit for the ladies who aren't strong enough too.

06/03/2008

Title IX - Girls Wrestling Looks like a one way street. What's in it for boys? Thought Title IX was for equality for both genders. Why are boys not joining girls teams? Why did the Womens Sports Foundation lie about 21000 boys being forced out of wrestling in only one year. They lost their scholerships because of Title Ix. Looks like a scam to me.

06/03/2008
Ashley Bowe
Elma Washington

I think that no matter where you are girl wrestlers are looked at differently. I am a wrestler at my high school, elma high school. There is only two other girls on our wrestling team.In our school everyone knows everone because it is a smaller school. I wrestle at the weight class 125 lbs. I think that there are people in our school that are surprised that we wrestle, but they are mostly okay with it. but most poeple talk about it and dont really approve of it. They don't really know what to think because we are "normal" girls. I'm also a Varsity football cheerleader, track particiant, and class President as well as a wrestler. One of the other girls on the wrestling team is on football dance and drill team. i think that we are dicriminated against for paticaipating in a sport that some poeple consider to be a predominantly male sport, but if the girl can take the bad feedback and jokes that she gets from her fellow peers and can keep up with the practices and other athletes then she deserves the right to be on the team. who cares about the gender?

02/19/2008
rachael

I have been playing soccer for 3 years and now we are starting co-ed.The boys say that we shouldn't be on the team becuase we arent as good as them but to tell you the truth some of us are better.At recces the girls want to play football but the boys say we cant because we dont know how but we do. Know one knows whybut we feel left out that the boys woun't let us play any sports we want to play."I say go girls we can do what we want to do and play any sport that we want to play. So come on girls you can do it."

01/15/2008
california

I feel that a woman or girl should be allowed to play whatever they want. they shouldn't have some person telling them they'll make because they would is full of currupt people as it is and we don't need anymore. I'm a guy and i think it is cool if a girl want to play any sport.

10/24/2007
amanda

I''ve done wrestling for 5 years and im quitting my JR. year to do competitive cheer because i just cant take it anymore. Its people like you that make girls give up there dreams. I mean,yea i wasnt that good, but i improved alot,and who knows,if i would of done it this year i could have been great. I wouldnt have found out anyways because of my coach. He dosent let me challenge and makes me do statts. Lets me wrestle once in a great while. I dont know,it could just be me whimping out though, it sucks i have to second guess my self because of having a coche not believeing in you.

8/14/07
Yuri

Girls can compete in any sport, but I see a mixed-gender wrestling (especially for teenagers) as a very wrong thing. Everyone here is going on about how good and beneficial this wrestling is for the girls, how much they learn and how good they feel after they beat male opponent. What about some thinking about the boys, who are very valnurable in this age? They have to be in a very close physical contact with a girl (yes, boy or girl - it matters, ask your son), and that distracts from the wrestling itself, they feel embarrassed and confused (it's just mother-nature). As a result, they are more oftenly loosing to the female opponent than one would expect. Isn't it a bit strange, 80% victory rate over a boys for an average girl wrestler? The self-confidence of the boys is ruined - this is exactly the opposite to the desired effect of any sport, especially this one. Bottom line - talking about the beneficial side in mixed-gender wrestling, let's not forget about the boys, who got into a lose-lose situation every time they step on the mat to wrestle a girl.

8/2/07

My name is Kirsten and i am a high school female wrestler in Texas. When I was first introduced to the world of girls wrestling I found myself ignorant in believing by joining it would make me some how less of a women or what many of you call "feminine". This is pure ludicrousness. I have now been wrestling for three years now and I live for the sport, it doesn't change the fact that I'm still a girl and love to get dressed up and go to the mall just as every other teenage girl in the world. As to Title IX, although I've practiced and even competed with guys on other states and find it beneficial. I believe Title IX is a positive placement, not because I think the ladies cannot compete at the mens level, for I know multiple girls who put most guys to shame, my reasoning is simply because it has proved to boost the numbers of ladies willing to try the sport. The fact is when most teenage girls think of wrestling they think of WWE type wrestling and frankly have the snot beat of of you by a guy doesn't appeal to most of these ladies. By placing the the girls in a league of their own we have actually increased the number of willing participants and opened many doors in the world of womens athletics. Every year the level of completion increases and more younger ladies compete. In Texas the sport has caught on like a wildfire because more ladies are given a chance to prove themselves they don't have to play catch up to these guys that have been wrestling since diapers. The girls might not have as much respect all around, rightfully because we aren't as developed as the mens division, but given the chance we can be just as competitive.

7/4/07
Garfield Lairson
Edmonton, Alberta

Regarding girls and young women (older teens) wrestling with each other or against boys, I am firmly in favor of it since it allows for a break-out from the constricting stereotypes which our society has saddled women with for centuries. Aside from differences in reproductive function, there is no difference in the way either sex can use their bodies or their intelligence. It is absolutely absurd to limit one or the other sex in any way as far as being able to participate in sports or any other activities.

To "teach girls how to be feminine" is to have no idea whatsoever that they are naturally feminine, and that they don't need contrived images of what women "should be" forced upon them. Wrestling is another means by which they can come into their totallity and not be pidgeon-holed into trying to maintain an image that insecure men find acceptable. Feminine strength displayed in powerful ways is just as inspiring and desireable as is feminine softness and tenderness. Why limit either? The future of girls/women in sports like wrestling can only get better. Societies around the world which seek to restrain or retard the lives and activities of the female half of their populations will explode or degenerate and fall further and further behind those other societies which do allow ALL members ( regardless of sex ) full expression of what they can do. For now there will still be some inequality simply because there are still so many insecure, narrow-minded types in positions of responsibily and authority, but as each generation passes, there will be less and less of these types and more and more of those who wish all people well - male and female - and want them to happily express themselves will every possible opportunity society has available.

4/25/07
Renzo Rosales
Peru

I do,girls have proven so far that they can be competitive in any sport.But how they can keep going, improving and winning competitions if we stop them because an unreasonable fear.tara and the other girls need to be encouraged and supported , only in that way they can be a role model for other girls to come.

First, It is obvious that a law must be passed or modified, title ix needs revision.I hope girls like Tara can continue practicing this sports without having to worry about if she fight a guy or a girl.

Main problem is that there still some people who are uncomfortable with contact in wrestling. I just mentioned what a heard from a father of one of these girls, it goes pretty much like this:

"I dont worry about mi daughter fighting a man in the arena. I would probably be more concerned about my daughter going out with a guy i dont know in the back of a car , ready to go. My daughter will probably get beaten but not pregnant"

It is what this is about, sports!!!, competition and courage. I just want to say: "Keep going girls"
4/3/07
Anothermom
Belgrade, Mt

My 9 y.o. daughter is just finishing her fifth year in Little Guy wrestling. Almost always she wrestles boys. We'd love to see more girls in the sport - enough to have their own league. But until they are, this is their only chance. She wins some, loses some, but is getting tougher and better every year - and is completely feminine off the mat! My little girl is developing a bit early and it does get awkward - there's no denying that. In a few years it will be more than awkward. That will be a tough choice for her if she still is up against boys. But whatever her choice, stay or change sports, she has our full support!
3/22/07
Domingo Sanchez
Caracas Venezuela

This is snother madness from the usa. When I see this type of insanity--I am proud that our presidente Hugo Chavez has declared on many times thst he will defend our culture against the usa. Our girls in Venezuela are raised to be proper & feminine--not like these usa type girls who are not feminine. No father in Venezuelaa would ever allow this type of activity for his daughter-as when this wrestling occurs--the boy must touch the girl in the intimate areas. The usa needs to keep this type of madness in the usa--& not try to colonialize other nations with this type of activity--by force or by propaganda. I like usa people but you must realize that in other nations we have the right to defend our cultures & raise our girls to be proper feminine ladies--a prime example--you see the usa pop girls like Britney Spears doing those things in public--while you never see Shakira--who was taught to be a proper latina--doing these types of activities--thats the difference between the latinas & usa girl--I feel very sorry for these usa males that are forced to accept this type of activity--they should be macho & declare an end to this --suerte
3/22/07
Andrew Bello
Waco, TX

Former 3x State Wrestling Champion....Manassas Park VA. 1988 Olympic Qualifier, Multiple school Boy and Open Tournament Gold Medalist..Record 168-2-1. Only ever placed 2nd twice. I think it's great to see these girls starting at such a young age! It builds confidence discipline and many other good qualities all young persons can use throughout their life. Maybe their will be a girls league in the future for them to compete in but why wait? We need to start building a foundation now, and that's not such a bad thing!
2/26/07
Leslie
Yuba City, Ca

As a young female athlete, I used to think girls should be able to compete against boys in wrestling. Now, years later, I'm the mother of a son who has just started wrestling, and it has become very clear to me that it is completely unfair to the young men to expect them to compete against young women in a contact sport such as wrestling. It's hard enough for an adolescent boy to even speak to a pretty girl without getting embarrassed, can you imagine how horribly awkward most of these young boys feel to get into those close contact positions with a girl? I know my son HATES having to wrestle girls, even during practice with the girls on his own team. He's afraid to wrestly hard, because they often cry when they get hurt, and he's been raised to respect women, not body slam them like you would a male buddy. Boys and girls are differant, no matter how hard society tries to gender sterilize our children. If girls want to wrestly girls, I have no problem with it, but it's not a fair match when you cross gender compete.
1/25/07
Sara
Attleboro

Ranked third in the ASWWA National Collegiate Championship 2001, I only started wrestling in college and at 105 lbs everyone on my team had at least 20 lbs on me. This helped me at nationals but I could tell that the girls who wrestled in middle school and high school were stronger and better skilled becuase of the practice and training with boys. I wish more girls would give wresling a try and that girls continue to wrestle boys right up until college.
12/19/06

I have just graduated high school and was part of the wrestling team for 6 years and i have wrestled my share of girls in the smaller weight classes. I have no problem with girls wrestling and most girls can only compete in the lighter weight classes because they are more developed that some 13 year old boy wrestling. When the girls get into the bigger weight classes men are naturally stronger that females and most girls just drop out of a male wrestling teams/clubs becuase they just become over powered.
9/25/06
ashley
charleston wv

hey im a gurl wrestler i have been wrestling 3 years i wrestle 155 i love the sport it is awsome i have only wrestled 1 gurl an i beat her but i think gurls can do as much as guys were tough as the guys an some times tougher i support all the gurl wrestlers keep on keeping it on
8/30/06
Aaron Matthews
St. Louis

I have two problems with girls wrestling.

First, boys aren't offered an out. No matter how uncomfortable he feels doing it, he's forced to wrestle or take a forfeit. No one in their right mind would force a girl into that. If the boy is ok with it, then go for it

Second. Ms Zander needs to look at the discrimination boys face. Many states prohibit boys of any age from playing on a girls� team no matter how small the are. That means my third grade undersized nephew can't play against the 7th grade girls legally and by policy.

Sexual harassment should take precedent over rights to play, and rights to play should be equal for both sexes.

Until girls are cut and forced into club leagues at the rate boys are, they shouldn't get open reign on boys sports.
7/5/06
Michel

I am a male who believes in role-playing. I believe that women should be muscular and men feminine so that we reach a genderless society. So, my answer to the first question is absolutely yes. For me, a muscular woman is absolutely my best style of women without competitors.

Concerning the second and third questions, i think more and more women will be muscular as these days the belief in a genderless society is increasing.
6/26/06
Erin Hackworth
findlay, ohio

Hi, i love women wrestling and I think that it is a great way to show boys that girls can do just as much as they can I also have an older sister that is 11 months older we always play around I just want to be a great womens wrestler just like Tish Stratus when I get older!!!!!!!!!
6/19/06
Dee
ME

This year I was in 8th grade, it was my first year on the wrestling team. I got to win 2 of my meets, I was sooo happy. I beleive I wrestled at 119 (and I want to lose weight for next year.) I was the first GIRL EVER to win for WJHS, it was amazing. After every season we have an awards night and when coach was talking about me I totally blanked out I had know idea what was going on until I heard my name called and my friend sitting next to me said "Go, Dee"
5/30/06
ashley
charleston wv

hi im a girl wrestler ive wrestled for 3 years ive been on varisity team all three year i love wrestling im a tough girl i wrestle 155 thaths a tough weigh class girls dont listen to discrimage because i went through it but the guys new i would not quit now they treat me like thir sister its mostly the oppenet i wrestle and its thir father next year ill be at high wrestling and the high i go to has only been around for about 5 year and ill be the fist girl to wrestle there my mother is very proud of me she supports me all the way and i love her for thath my school back me 100 % of the way well peace out keep on keeping it on
5/22/06
Austin, Texas

It never fails. Whenever a story is done the most ignorant people are quoted and showed. Way to pump up the sport.
5/1/06
Gabe Contreras
El Doroto Hills CA

as a guy i think that wrestling a girl is weird because there are some moves that go places guys are not supose to go with a girl and when you are about to do it you say to your self oh no wate i am not suposed to do that and you get messed up and loose. but if all you girls say its not sexual harasment well i think that you wouldnt like it if your privet parts got tuched by a guy and ever one would look at that guy and say he is sick, but ya i am perfictly fine with girls wrestling.
4/18/06
Gerti
Troy, Michigan

Im a male wrestler here in michigan and some of my team mates have competed against girls in duel meets and tournaments, and im not to happy to say that they had a tough match. From a guys point of view.. it is a little weird because you go to grab somewhere and its a bad part so you try for something else but by the time you go to the something else you're on your back. In my opinion girls should have the right to wrestle. They know their responsibilitys and their limits. In my eyes... The sky is the limit. but i have to say, if i wrestled a girl, and i lost, i wouldn't be able to show my face at practice the next day ;)
4/14/06
bosia
florda

well I think grils can be a wrestler cause we are smart and if boys can do it we can to so dont let a boy say you cant be smart
4/7/06
Katie Ball
St.Charles MN

I am a coaches daughter for high school wrestling and i am the wrestling manager. I think girls have every right to be in wrestling with guys. If they make that choice to wrestle with them that is a risk they are taking on harrasment, bad touch and a tough match. I think girls can do this and i don't any dought in my mind. LET'S DO THIS GIRLS... WE WILL SHOW THESE OFFICIALS, COACHES AND GUY WRESTLERS HOW GOOD WE ACTUALLY ARE!
4/4/06
hannah
Lebanon, KY

Hey i think that girls can do anything guys can do too. so girls are stronger and smarter than guys..
4/3/06
mpls,mn

i think that girl can wrestle better than some guys because some girls are stronger and faster than some guys.so why can we gurl have chance to play any sport we want to play.This american and a free country too.so the right the guys have,it also same as the gilrs should have.ilove to wrestly but i cnannot wrestly cause inmy school they only allow guys to play,that kind of messed cuz i win some guys in my scholl wrestly team bacuase they sucks.
3/28/06
Texas

I think that if a girl has enough strength and enough will power to get er done they can be just as good as a guy can! I mean look at me I wrestle in the 128 weight class and I am a powerlifter, I can lift more than most of the jocks on our football team!It really p***es me off when people say I earned my spot just to fill in a weight class, when I work just as hard as the guys do and I have to wrestle off for the spot!!! Oh and my Girls Wrestling team was 1st in district and 3rd in REGION!
3/28/06
Mark
Connecticut

I enjoyed the documentary, and as a former competitive wrestler, I see nothing wrong with girls wrestling. If they possess the strength and discipline the sport requires, power to them. On the mat an opponent is just that, regardless of gender.
3/14/06

i think if girls want to be wrestling, i think they can. Guys are just afraid of wresling girls because they might loss..
2/10/06

To DC, Don't be down with girls wrestling boys. Boys make them try harder to want to be winners to do their best. To be as good as or better. It sounds to me you have been beaten by a girl. Nobody has stepped on any boy. Most high schools don't have girl wrestling teams so if you have a problem with it get with your school Board and help your school establish one. Let me tell you my daughter is a beautiful and wrestling has helped her build her character. AND SHE WILL BE Going to the PROM. So don't sweat it, go with the flow no one is trying to take from the boys but times have changed every thing is equal now get used to it.
2/3/06
Thomas Collins
San Jose, California

I had to wrestle a girl in junior high once. I was grabbed by the neck and put in a half nelson almost instantly. The only way way I could gain control was to roll off the mat and have a restart; which I did. As luck would have it; my female opponent slipped and I was able to pin her in a few extra seconds. So I Could say it was a close call; other wise I would never hear the end of it from the other boys in the locker room.
1/31/06

In response to Kimberly of Wichita, Kansas:
The Kansas Krusaders may be good to try out. It is an all girls wrestling club, and they attend many girls tournaments throughout the year. Good Luck.
1/23/06
CAREYANN
Santa Monica, CA

I wrestled at my high school in Tucson in '80s. At that time it was a new concept to see females wrestling against the boys and it took a lot of guts to start the girl's team.
I participated in bodybuilding as well and that enabled me to advance the sport. I am proud to see the girls today join without too much opposition and with even greater interest by both boys and girls.
We had to work twice as hard, but it was worth it.
At first I felt terrible beating the boys. Then I realized I motivated them to work harder and be better.
1/19/06
Tracy de Gracia
West Covina, California

I wrestle at 114lbs for the South Hills High girls wrestling team and Im so proud to be a part of it. Some of you guys say that you get harrassed by the other guys on the team. As for me, they're all like my brothers and they push me to get better and better each day. Its amazing how girls wrestling has become so big. on my team alone there are 25 girls that wrestle and we're excited for this weekend which will be the first Girls State meet hosted by CIF which will make it a sanctioned sport. All those long hours and hard work really paid off!
1/6/06
Kristina Lords
Rigby, Idaho

i think girl wrestling rocks!!!! i am a 119 varsity wrestler for rigby high school. i have been wrestling for two years. i think we should make teams for just girls, it is really hard to go against guys with huge muscles, we just have to be really fast, and just do our low level shots. i don't really beat the other guys, bu ti like the fact that many people respect me for wrestling, it makes me feel good, and helps me get better at it. i don't think that if the guys feel uncomfortable wrestling a girl that it should be considered "sexual harassment" i don't think that wrestling has anything to do with sexual harrassment towrd girls. i think we all should just respect a girl wrestlere, and if they can't handle it, or be comfortable with it, they should forfeit, or just not even be on the team.
12/14/05
Billings Mt

I enjoyed the movie as did my daughter. It is nice to see that Texas is proactive in developing the sport in high school for girls to do this. as you all should know Girl wrestling is for real it will only get bigger as the years go by and to all you title IX complainers out there the answer is in the law if colleges would offer girl wrestling along side the boy program their would be no reason to cut the programs from college and you would have a stronger wrestling team for this. As a father and a coach I see no problem with girls wrestling it taeches females that they can be an equal on and off the mat. Montana the wheels are turning slow so my Daughter will have to fight adversity all the way through middle school and high school. But allong this path she is making believers out of people and gaining respect of other competetors and coaches in order to have an all girl sport such as wrestling girls need to be encouraged to come out and not be diswaided by old school coaches and old school views on this the more girls that come out the more likly hood you can get away from the boy against girl issue and we can all wrestle to have fun and enjoy the sport that we all truely love MY hats off to all the girls that go out for this sport because it will teach you somthing about life self sacrafice and the will and determination to succedeed in life after the sport THanx
12/13/05

i would love to just try wrestling to see what its like i am very flexible, and kinda small, i think i could use that as an advantage, but our wrestling coach doesnt like girl wrestlers, and sort of discriminates them a little - he hates, and my dad doesnt really like it that my brother does it - idk thats my story
12/6/05
Sashia

Awesome!! i am 16 and i am a 135 lb wrestler at my school. Alot of the guys don't agree that girls should do wrestling, But i say to hell with them. I'll do what i want, girls shouldn't be told what they can and can't do. i Am really glad that their are girl out their who do wrestling. Rock on and kick butt!!
11/22/05

Hi! I'd like to respond to Rachel S, NY, from the 6/7/05 post; Talk to your parents, fill them in, let them know what's going on. They will be able to do something in case the coach is against you. Go to the Board of Ed, get the principal involved, if it doesn't work, go to your local newspaper... they would love to write up an article about it, I'm sure!
My daughter wrestles, luckly she has her coaches back at all times, she has gained their respect. If they were against her... I would've turned the town upside down, your parents would too!
School has already started, I hope all is well. Don't let anyone stop you from doing what you enjoy!
10/27/05
DC

Girls wrestling is ok. Boys forced to wrestle girls or lose their match is wrong. If a boy feels uncomfortable for any reason, it becomes sexual harassment. Girls can form their own teams as is done in every other sport.
If a girl wants to give up her femininity and act like a man (wrestling) she is free to do it. Boys should not suffer because of it. My guess is that the girl will not be going to the prom.
8/29/05
Kimberly
Wichita, Kansas

I'm a junior girl at a private Chatholic high school, and i want to be a part of our school wrestling team. I'm about to confront our administration about this, but i'm having troubles finding things to back me up. If anyone has knowledge of and other high schools with female wrestlers and a link to a website about it, if they'd let me know. I want to do this not to prove a point, but to be a part of something i've wanted to do for so long. I have just never found the courage to come out about it. I strongly believe in womens equal rights to athletics and i am about to prove that to my fellow pupils. And to all those women out there who have accomplished that..more power to ya...hope it's as fun as it looks!
8/21/05

Admission to a team of any kind should require the same things of every person trying out. If a girl can handle it than she should be given a spot. At some smaller schools wrestling coaches will give guys a chance even if they aren't very good. Yet if a girl who could beat them came along there are those who would consider denying her a place on the team. Maybe some guys don't like the idea that a girl can be in some way physically superior to them. They should either learn to beat those girls or keep their mouths shut on the sideline.
8/12/05
Holly
California

I'm a freshmen in highschool I think every girl should try wrestling at least once. when i did wrestling i gained self confendence. I have never wrestled a girl but am looking forwarded to. I think that there should be more girl wrestling programs. I'm so happy that girl wrestling is growing. At my school there is 4 girls with me. I also think there needs to be more girl wrestling colleges.
8/12/05
EJ

Hello the movie is called " Girl Wrestler " for a reason! It's from a female perspective not neccessarily from an equal point of view. What concerned me though was how some of the girls were tlaking about keeping up with the male strenght advantage and some other comments from Tara's mother after Tara won a match that struck a nerve. These girls maybe be impressionable, but they have stuff cooking up there in those heads! Wonder how they will turn out when they're adults. True feminism was there, but hey the female version of what men do: " teach and train to ignore ". Women don't care about boys crying especially if it's they're daughters wrestling. They want to see the girls succeeed!

I do hear you DC. The male POV was brief and swift. Maybe they should make a doc of boys wrestling girls, both when they win and lose. Since it's moslty boys wrestling anyway, it should be alot of info. I wouldn't mind hearing why it hit them so hard when their potential girlfriend has him helpless in front of his team, mom, dad, and siblings! Is it the warrior inside crying out in frustration?!

Boys don't cry if u honestly gave it your best, but do feel ashame if u slacked off and the girl did u in. She doesn't know or really don't care about chivalry. Not at 13 anyway!
8/9/05
DC

The movie shows the good side for girls. But like all feminists movements they don't care if the boys get stepped on. Typical.

7/25/05
Haley
Gainesville, Florida

I am 13 years old. I was on my schools wrestling team this previous school year.I'm lucky that I have never had trouble losing weight. I have always been small. I use it to my advantage. I have alays liked physical sports.I started taking taewondo when I was just 5 years old. I watched my brother wrestle when I was just 9 years old. I then started learn to wrestle. My brother would teach me. I was able to learn from my brother because I was already discplined from taking taekwondo. I also wrestled boys in my neigborhood and did well.By the time I was 11 years old I was able to beat my 20 year old sister wrestling. I am kind of a tomboy. He partly infleunced me to become a wrestler. He supports me 100% and so do most of the boys on my team.
6/23/05
Kaylee
Wisconsin

well id just like to say...i know exactly what you mean. last year (well the school year that just got over with) i transfered from public schools over to my city's catholic high school cuz my parents made me and it went from 9th-12th grade. anyways...that was my first year wrestling and my cousin was the coach so i fit in good with the team, well now im transfering over to SPASH, our public high school and it's the biggest in the state...close to 3,000 i think or something liek taht and i know exactly how you feel. right now everyone's telling me (about the coach at spash), "he's not going to give you the time of day" and just like you said "he's going to rip you to pieces so you quit"...and i dont really have any advice for you except for if i were you, i'd go out for the team anyways...and show the coach that wrestling means a lot to you and you're serious about it and that your gender is not going to stop you from wrestling...hopefully then he'll realize you're serious about it and finally start to respect you for that...

Good Luck!!

--** too bad not everybody is as open-minded about women wrestling on a "men's" team **--

6/7/05
Rachel S
Locust Valley NY

I have been wrestling for 3 years now. Next year i will be entering JV. There is only one problem, my new coach hates me and i've never even had a chance to really talk to him. He hates me because i am a female wrestler. I am afraid to wrestle next year because all the guys tell me he will tare me to pieces trying to make me quit. I wouldnt have a problem with him if there were other girl wrestlers on the team, but i am the only one and have been in the history of my school so he definatly know who i am. What should i do? Should i try anyway and just deal with him? It's not easy being the lowest one on the food chain and not being the best to help support you. Can anyone give me come advise on what to do? I really nead it.... Thanks a bunch!
5/25/05
Kaylee Frisch
Wisconsin

i have another comment...

girls shouldnt HAVE to wrestle ONLY girls...take alyssa lampe for example.... DAMN GOOD WRESTLER.... lets see; she qualified for, went to state (WIAA--so it was the "guys" state-not the girls state thing) and she was also the first girl from wisconsin to even compete in that..., yet alone win a match there.... and dude; some of you ppl think guys and girls should be separated?.. i dont think so... when you got girls totally commited to wreswtling and love it...and are GREAT at it... why not let them wrestle with the boys?..seriously... alyssa shows that and shes great... so there ya go...point proven...
5/9/05
California
Girls work just as hard as the guy do so they have every right to wrestle against them. Sometimes girls have to work even harder so they can prove to people thats they can. Wrestling is a sport its not anything sexual!! Sice we do not have enough girl wrestlers to have there own team yet BOYs you just have to deal with wrestling girls till then
4/14/05
Pittsville, WI
I don't really care that a girl goes out for wrestling. Thats brave.
4/11/05
Kaylee Frisch
Plover, Wisconsin
Im a 14-year old girl wrestler from wisconsin and i pretty much grew up in a neighborhood with all boys. So games were always competative and i loved beating boys (in the games) and also in random stuff like arm wrestling.

My brother is 15 and started wrestling 2 years ago, (his freshman year; he is a sophomore now) and at the beginning of this year I decided to try it. I absolutly LOVED it even though i have never tried it before. Unlike some other ("girl") sports, it was actually a challenge, which made it fun. I never thought about "oo, i can go touch some guys!", although some guys would joke around and say "ooo you just wanna touch them."...

Right now im in softball, and I must say going from wrestling to softball is pretty tough because I was used to being around guys (*totally different personalities) and I was used to working out and stuff; now softball just seems pointless, easy, and not very fun anymore (i played it since i was 9).

Im really looking forward to next (wrestling) season. My main point in saying all this is yes, wrestling isn't meant for 'all' girls, (because it is true that some wouldnt be able to handle it, and some might just want to join it as a joke)...but there ARE girls out here/there who LOVE wrestling and other "guy" sports that are actually INTERESTED in it and want to do it.

I think its completely selfish when guys (just a selected few) refuse to wrestle girls and/or say "they shouldnt be allowed to wrestle. wrestling is a man's sport."...Well, can anyone who thinks it IS just a mans sport, define for me what a mans sport really is?

Also, this is just a personal opinion but... I dont necessarily hope that someday there will be seperate teams (some JUST for boys, and others JUST for girls). I want co-ed teams to stay because personally I like wrestling guys. I love the feeling of "wanting to win against a guy". To me, thats an accomplishment.

That is it, but for all the girl wrestlers out there; keep it up!!
3/28/05
Angel
Athletic participation are especially important for teens and girls because it builds confidence through teamwork, exercise, contructive competition. Women's wrestling will definately take a long time to gain popularity. I have been a female wrestler and coach for a long time and I know that uneducated Americans/popular culture will always look at Women's wrestling as entertainment or a taboo...never a true sport.
3/22/05
Larry
enid ok
I think this is a WONDEFUL thing-women are just beginning to "scratch the surface" of their strenght and power-their lower bodies can be stronger than a mans and their upper body-on some women(genetically gifted) can be just as strong-so overall in time-women will become much stronger-if the will is there-so Tara POWER TO YOU-no pun intended-you are MEGA cool!!!
3/14/05
Mo'nique
Milford PA
I think female wrestlers are great. My friend and I were in wrestling for Deleware Valley. Of course the men had a problem with it but we always kept in mind how we will prove them wrong. I believe what my coach had told me was right. He told me 'if a female joins wrestling then they should be expected to take on what ever a male can and no diffrent.' That statement should be made to all people who think it is wrong for a girl to wrestle. Then maybe then they will realise that we are makeing the effort to do what we want to do and not what they think we are only capeable doing.Wrestling was hard for me because most guys did not want to wrestel a girl but when I was able to I proved to them how a girl can be as good as a boy. I even had coaches come to me and tell me I could even teach the boys a lesson. But no matter what anyone said i stuck with it and loved every min. of it. SO my word to all female wrestlers is to keep it up and never let anyone tell you ,you can't because you can.
3/9/05
Cory Parker
Houston, TX
I might me a little late for this, but here's my two cents anyway. I have wrestled Tara before, so I am one to have more knowledge on this subject than a "Pro" wrestler who dances around in a choreographed balet that somehow is called wrestling. No matter how much people want women and men to be equal, they will never be equal in some physical areas. Plus, the rules of society are put on the line when a guy has to wrestle a girl. What will everyone say if the guy comes out and slams the girl just as he would the top guy? Certain areas are to be avoided now, which is a problem for many moves where you wouldnt even stop to think in a normal situation. I do agree that Texas does have a small womens division, but that is not the man's fault at all. A guy should not have to risk his ranking or stats in wrestling a girl. There's no way it can benefit him. There is no co-ed wrestling in the Olypics or college, so why create one here? It doesn't make sense. I do hope the girls division grows, but shuffling them into the boys division only creates more problems. No, I didn't lose, if anyone thinks I'm just bitter on that. I did however not "go all-out" because I knew that she was not at the same physical status as me. I try to word that the best I can, and I know it won't sound fair, but thats how it was and is. I admit, some females are at our above most males in physical speed and strength, but on average, men are much higher in these catagories. Sorry girls, and good luck to you all in your divisions.. in wrestling and life. God bless.
3/9/05
Ruben Garza
Mineola, Texas
I think that girls should be able to play sports that a man could play, because some girls are as strong as guys where I live if a girl puts self in a man position she is to take it like a man
2/25/05
Morgan
IN
I think that girl wrestlers have all the power in the world. Guys actually get intemidated when they see a girl i would know I'm the one and only girl on my wrestling team. I think its fine for girls to wrestle on boys teams it proves gorls can do just as much as guys. Oh and by the way guys invented wrestling, girls perfected it.
2/14/05
Eric
Warrenton, VA
I think that girls should wrestle.....I am a senior in High School, and had to wrestle a girl, and she killed me, lol I think some girls are as strong as some guys(even me)
2/7/05
Anna Ryan
Tara Neal says hopefully at the end of the film that someday there will be more girls wrestling and everyone's going to be ok about it. I sure hope so! I was estatic when I found out that women's wrestling would be making the Olympics this year. I started wrestling in seventh grade in Oregon--the only girl on a team of thirty. The next year we moved to Arizona, where I wrestled again. Vista Verde has the largest middle school wreslting team in the state of Arizona. There were over a hundred twenty boys, and ten girls, including me.

Some refs definetly hold it against you that you're a girl when you're werslting, but for the most part, they're just doing their job.

This was my first year wreslting on a highshcool level team, and I loved it. I know I'll be back for more, even though the acceptance level, it seems, has gone down quite a bit. In middle school, adults thought it was cute what I was trying to do, but when their sons got beat it high school, it just wasn't acceptable. Not by a girl, at least.
2/1/05
Chelsea
Great Falls, Virginia
I am a sophmore in high school and I joined the new women's wrestling team. I love wrestling with a passion! We are facing a lot of problems...this being our first year and all...there are some people who disapprove of us, but we are not going down without a fight. I want to show people in my school that we are as tough as any of their guys. Girl wrestlers are awesome!!!
1/27/05
Le Sueur, MN
I really enjoyed the documentary. When I was a senior in high school in Las Cruces, NM, several of us girl runners from the cross-country team decided to go out for the boy's wrestling team before the upcoming track season started. We didn't know what we were getting ourselves into, but after we heard that the boys were betting on who would quit first, we got serious. Out of the five that went out, one quit and one dislocated her elbow. There happened to already be a girl on the team, so we ended up with four girls wrestling. Although it was tough, many of the girls had more endurance then the boys. We wrestled all boys, except when we went to matches in Texas of course, where it isn't allowed. During state, they had the first all girl's dual where 23 girls across the state matched up. I haven't wrestled since, but am grateful for the opportunity. It saddens me that Tara had to quit. She was really good. I hope one day girls have the same opportunties as boys and men do. For those who say that it isn't right for girls to wrestle boys for sexual reasons, is ridiculous! The same can be said with boys and boys! What if one was gay! Anyhow, that isn't the point, but I commend Tara for all she did!
1/27/05
Olivia
Ohio
I'm a junior and this is my 1st year wrestling. This is my schools 2nd year with wrestling, last year we had it in the Junior High. A couple of my friends told me I should wrestle. When I went into the meeting I was the only girl. Some of the guys were excited about the fact that I was going to do this. Others just gazed at me like "what is she thinking". I made it through conditioning which many people didnt think I would, including my mom. My first match I didn't make weight due to some water gain. I was crushed, but I still got to wrestle. I put my head gear on, warmed up and stepped to the table. My coaches were patting me on the back and my team mates were cheering me on as well as the crowd. I felt ready to go. Then the other teams coach called my coach to the table with the ref's. I could see them looking at their clip boards, and I noticed the boy I was supposed to wrestle sat down. My coach kept looking back at me as if he couldnt believe what he was hearing. He came back to me and told me that they didn't want me to wrestle one of their boy's because he was "trying to build a program and if one of his boys lost to a girl he would never wrestle again". My coach just snickered. I could tell he thought it was stupid too. So I sat down, held back the tears, because I knew there was "no crying in wrestling" but inside I felt crushed. So the next team let me wrestle and I got pinned in like 13 seconds. No, I havent won a match yet, but that drives me even more. I guess it's like people say, I've gained respect for not quitting and working just as hard as the boys do, and I can't wait for next year.

My coaches are great and my team mates are great. I'm sure there are a few people who talk about it behind me, but thats fine. They're not me. I am me and I am proud of myself and any other girl who is not only wrestling, but pursuing something anyone thought not possible by a girl, or something no one thought they could.

Keep strong girls and never give up!
1/18/05
Mary
Saint Louis, MO
I had just returned from my brother's wrestling tournament and flipped on the film 15 min through. It made me laugh, made me cry, and made me want to tell Tara how amazing she is. Considering the footage is probably 3-4 yrs old, she's only 5 years younger than I. As a "big sister" I would tell her that I had been there too. I was 14 when I wanted my all-girls school to start a wrestling team. They said no b/c of money so I went to the USA Wrestling website and got in contact with them. I wanted to practice w/ club teams in the area and was told to play volleyball like a "good girl." I continued to practice with my dad and push for a team in Saint Louis. I truly believe I was before my time and perhaps so was Tara. However, it is in the industrial spirit of equality that will see women's wrestling prevail.

I currently race for an all-women's cycling team where our mission fosters the active participation of women in athletic activity. I believe that young women consistently fall victim to discrimination within athletics--young girls stop playing tag b/c they don't want to be tomboys. I consider myself a strong woman who feels comfortable in racing bibs and dresses.

I want to shout out to all those gals who may feel discouraged--please, push yourself if you want to succeed. Do what you want for your own sake and not someone else's. Be your own boss and never fail to drive yourself if you want something. To all those guys out there bashing women wrestlers, you could learn from women about the finesse of using the lower body to topple your opponent. To moms and dads, support your girls and don't let them give in to smack talk.

Girls, you can do it!

---Mary
Team Revolution Cycling
1/18/05
Shaun Holton
Brunswikc, Georgia
I am a wrestler at my high school and we have girls wrestle in are area and I think they should wrestle if they want. People say that you look like a (Bad Guy) if you beat a girl but if you get Lose to a girl then you are weak. I think that if she beats you the she beat you on skill if I was to wreslte a girl i would think of her as a competion not a a girl or male.

I believe that tara neal should be able to wreslt if she wants.
1/12/05
Sacramento CA
I was flipping thru the channels and ran across this film. I thought it was local wrestling on some cable access channel. At the end of the show, I got the website addy. After seeing the show I combed thru this site and found other sites to see what was going on. There's alot of articles on this subject. The film gave me a clearer image of what some of those articles were saying about the issue of girls werstling boys. There were something that went along with the words. This is definitely a new day and time. Tara was brave to be wrestling against boys. If she had more testosterone in those broad shoulders, she probably would have won more matches before high school. We can nature began to take over as she started to become a teenager.

The Power Ranger generation with the Title Ix law is in full effect. Boys BEWARE :-)
1/10/05
Kevin Skene
Phillips Ranch, CA
I enjoyed your program on girls participating in competitive wrestling very much. It touched on issues of equity and opportunity for girls and women in competitive athletics that I am glad to see being explored. I believe it is an area of public policy that does not get enough attention.

I have been involved with gymnastics for over 20 years. I was an age group and college competitor. I�ve coached boys and girls from beginners to elite college athletes. I have also been an administrator and sports official. Both my sisters and brothers were active in competitive athletics. I completely support improving the opportunities for girls and women to benefit from participating in competitive athletics. But I also support improving the opportunities for boys and men to benefit from participating in competitive athletics.

While title IX clearly has helped increase the opportunities for girls and women, it has undoubtedly been a major factor in reducing the number and variety of opportunities for boys and men to participate in competitive athletics. This has been especially true of the minor men's sports like gymnastics and wrestling. It is wonderful to see girls and women participating in athletics in every increasing numbers, yet at the same time, it is very disheartening to see opportunities for men to participate in wonderful sports like wrestling and gymnastics evaporating, despite increased athlete interest.

As well meaning as Title IX was, it seems obvious to me that it has proven to be a flawed solution to the problem of increasing athletic opportunities for women. Unfortunately, the current climate discourages open discussion of potential improvements to Title IX or creative alternative solutions. Advocates of preserving opportunities in minor college sports for men have been attacked as hostile to women's rights. I don't believe that charge to be fair or accurate in the vast majority of individuals calling for a re-examination of title IX.

It is my hope that creative leaders will emerge with more constructive solutions to improving opportunities for girls and women to participate in athletics, and rational minds will ultimately prevail, before additional damage is done to men's sports participation and the dedicated athletes that have devoted so much to the wonderful sports they love.
1/10/05
Joel Haas
Los Angeles, CA
I wrestled all four years in high school, wrestled one girl in that time, and there was a girl on my team for the last two or three years of it (in Michigan girls could wrestle against boys). Watching this documentary I kept wanting to tell Tara not to give up.

When on the mat, gender doesn't matter. If some guy can't stand losing to a girl to the point that he quits, he wasn't that dedicated to begin with. Or at least he would be quitting at the first sign of adversity, rather than trying to improve.

One segments in particular left a sour taste in my mouth: the kid listing moves that get their names from sexual references. I wonder if he ever threw a double grapevine (basically the missionary position) on a guy. Or a guillotine. Or any of dozens of moves that, when seen out of context, would make that guy seem homosexual. Yet doing this move on a girl while wrestling is somehow different. On the mat, speaking from firsthand experience, it doesn't matter.

I hope that Tara found another way to channel her passion.
1/10/05
Truong
Westmisnter, CA
The film is so incredible. Thank you PBS and Tarra, because now i'm going back to wrestling. i've decided that if Tara has the determination to do it, so do i. girls wrestling would definitely be important. last year, in my wrestling team, there was only one girl. yet when we go to a state meet, she was the only one in the team that got through the first round. i think god is unfair. women have something that men dont, and that is sometimes inner strength. yet they are discriminated. i hope in the years to come, women wrestling will emerge. i'd love to wrestle girls again, because boys think they're better than the girls and go easy. im not gonna go easy but go all my might. i'll just look at girl wrestlers as a guy who wears bra and panties with super duper inner strength.
1/7/05
Hmmm,

This is a poinless discussion. We all know stupid feminists will detroy the already queer sport of wrestling. Why must girls insist upon wrestling males? Do you get something out of it? I have a friend who was in the wrestling team, and there was a girl in there too. She never won a match. And most girls dont. They just are too weak. You are weaker than boys. Why would you want to wrestle them. Bottom line is this: Since you people are so damn annoying, we get rid of wrestling in school, make private clubs by private companies so they can choose not to include girls. Then they will have to go and make their own stupid clubs and everything will be perfect. This is just like gay marrige; you just cant have it.
1/7/05
The film was interesting. It had more messages than the fact of girls wrestling boys. From this site and the research of other sites, this footage is around 3 to 4 years old. The big message that I got was it was about kids wanting to do what they want regardless of who or what they have to go thru. This case was a 13yr old girl who wanted to wrestle and had to wrestle boys. The sport to me seem boreing with the underline message of control. It seem like a game of chess and the crowds seem small or non-exsitent. More co-ed matches might bring a higher level of excitement. I don't know.

Tara did everything the boys did and pinned some of them and beat them at their own game. The camera was right there with the action( some of it questionable like the close up scene of Tara being pinned and trying to kick out). Some comments like the one from the mother in the stands telling her son not to hesitate against Tara was interesting just like the girls stories about their matches and how the refs took awhile to call the match. Tara forseen comment about "it will be common to see girls wrestling". Will it be common to see girls wrestling other girls or more co-ed stuff being accepted?

Tara father saying he's hungry and rather get something to eat instead of takeing her to wrestling practice was messed up. There were some scenes I had question about like the hero scene where he told Tara girls and boys shouldn't compete against each other. Before that he said he saw a girl wrestle and beat two boys. Was that his reason for his opinion? He's a big guy now and I'm sure he can do a number on the girl.

Tara drop in performance might have been from the fact that she can't wrestle boys after grade school or her parents divorce or both. If the camera wasn't visible, I think we would've seen more raw reactions. It felt like the folks in the film had a low key feel to them like everything was normal even the girls seem mellow and played the girlie-girl/innocent roll perfectly. We know underneath they're TOMBOYS. They just have a female exterior. Overall the film was good like Faranhiet 9/11. Fresh and thought provokeing!!!!

My bottom line after seeing the documentary is neither yay or nay for girls wrestling and wrestling with boys. Girls wrestling Boys not Women wrestling Men is the bigger picture. Folks that have to worry about that problem are the parents and kids involved. Kids say and do the darndest things as the film shows. They have a pass to expieriment cause they don't really know better. People shouldn't fight Title IX, but the schools and institutions that are cutting out sport programs for boys. Change wether people like it or not will come from these young kids like Tara who dare to do the darndest things!
1/7/05
Gianine D. Rosenblum, Ph.D.
Metuchen, NJ
I am a woman, a psychologist who specializes in adolescent development, women's body image and sexual violence. I am also a martial artist of over 10 years a self defense instructor and the mom of a young daughter. I have many thoughts about this excellent film. Though it focused on one issue and one girl, it provided a snapshot of the issues that most girls in America face today. Girls are constantly struggling with the need and desire to be and feel strong, to be and feel equal, to be respected, and to feel entitled to win "fair and square", whether that be in athletics, in academics, or any other part of life.

Part of the "ego crushing" aspect of losing for boys is that girls wrestling (and winning) forces boys to challenge their beliefs about what is means to be a boy/man, and the fact that superiority and dominance is not a simply birthright of being male. Perceiving girls as capable of "fighting back," even in an athletic context, can contribute to reducing the image of girls and women as victims, and has the potential to reduce the degree to which girls as the submmissive sex is seen as part of the natural order of things. The father who said he'd be more worried about a girl alone with a boy on a date than out on the mat, made an excellent point.

It is true that emerging sexuality in adolescence represents a challenge to boys and girls wrestling together, but it is just as inappropriate for a boy to grab another boy's crotch in a match unneccesarily as it would be for a boy to grab a girl's breast, or a girl to grab a boy's crotch. Yet the boys don't seem to have any problem working this out amongst themelves. Any boy or girl knowledgable about thier sport knows the difference between an accidental touch and and when someone is just out to "do some damage".

I plan to order a copy of the film, and will encourage the boys and girls in our karate school to watch it and voice their own thoughts. Because in our school, the girls surely do kick some butt on a regular basis. And the boys, well, they have learned to check their assumptions at the door and take every match as it comes.
1/6/05
Alexandra
Clintonville, Wisconsin
I am a cheerleader and I was going to go out for wrestling as a joke. I am a very strong willed person and nobody tells me what NOT to do. One day, before cheerleading practice, I walked up to the wrestling coach, my boyfriends father, and told him I wanted to go out for wrestling. He simply responded, "Nope, you won't be able to do that, wrestling is a guys sport." Now, when someone tells me no AND it's dicrimination among sex, that just didn't fly with me...
1/5/05
Katie
Alpine, California
I play ice hockey and alot of people think of that as a man's sport when I know plenty of women who play. I used to be on a women's league and there were enough women for 4 full teams. I play with guys now and their views are different depending on who they are, but alot of them think they shouldn't be tough on us women because we might get hurt. When I was in high school I was the only girl on my team and the boys didn't seem to like me. They wouldn't pass very often so I wouldn't actually get to play too much, even when I was on the rink. I can beat any of those guys I play against. They are just full of themselves and don't know anything about women. Power to ya, Tara, and all the women athletes who want to play a "thought-of-as-a-man's-sport" sport!!
1/3/05
Kristen
hagerstown, IN
I think that if a girl want to wretle and is able to handle the situation she should be allowed to wrestle! and why is it if you are allowed to wrestle in middle school why not let it continue on to the high school level! you would get the same reaction out of a boy that wanted to paly a "girls" sport... their isnt really any sport that is just for boys or just for girls if either want to try out and they are good at it LET THEM PLAY!!! you could also think of it as if you are having your child play a sport they would have less free time to go out and do harmful things to themselves or others!
1/3/05
Cliff
Chicago, IL
It's cool for girls to wrestle. That's good they can reap the same benefits as boys, but when it's time for actual competition for medals, it's a different story. I commend the boys who forfeit their matches and see the sport as a game. " I'm beating up a girl for a little medal?! " should ring out in most if not all boys head. Two wrongs don't make a right no matter if the girl want to wrestle boys or not.

Wrestling can teach girls self defense. They can wrestle boys in practice to get better and ready to handle other girls in competiton for medals and trophies. Wrestling in school is not self defense demonstration, it's a game, a quite game that few participate. It draw the wrong kind of attention when girls and boys grapple each other. Really the girl is not in danger, so why should she defend herself against somebody that's not suppose to attack her, but is being forced to for nothing but some tin and strap?

Boys and girls should practice together, but when it come time for serious competition for medals, girls and boys should have different divisons. Boys have common sense to know it's just a game and they don't need to treat girls that way no matter the situation. Some will try and give a match, but won't really be into it like they would another guy. The sport was not created for some political agenda!!!

True it was created by man so men could play and build their fighting skills. It turned into a game and was put into schools as recreation during gym. Some girls want to do things boys do and vice versa. Wrestling is big enough to share. It's bigger than the guys who started it. Wrestling should still remain recreation for all to enjoy and NOT A BATTLEFIELD FOR POLITICS!!! Help
1/3/05
Stephanie Avery
Houston, Texas
I AM A GIRL WRESTLER. I can relate to what Tara went through. I am 16 and on my High School's Wrestling Team. I think she should know that more girls are joining every year. My team is Co-Ed, I practice against a boy, and UIL rules only allow me to compete against girls. So I do. I'm proud Tara did the documentary, and can say that she is a leader for girls everywhere. I know what the stereotypes are like, and the insults that come from being on the team. The rest of the guys on my team have no problem with me and the other 4 girls, but other guys do. People may not understand why we do it, but the other girls and I agree, Women can do everything they can. I am so proud to be a female wrestler, that me and my teammates made shirts. They say " Singlets should be a part of EVERY girls wardrobe" and we sport them proudly around our school. To Tara I say thanks, its girls like you that made it possible for a girls team to even exist.
1/3/05
Jim Rogers
Fresno CA
Why is it that the boys continue to look at the sexual side of boys wrestling girls? I guarantee you that when my daughter wrestles, the last thing on her mind is where the boy is touching her. The only thing she is thinking about is pinning her opponent. As a father of a girl wrestler I had mixed emotions, but after seeing the dedication and hard work my daughter puts into it, I feel she deserves to be out there. She has earned the respect of many boys she has wrestled. Could most girls handle it? Probably not, but there are a lot out there who can, and they need to be given the opportunities that the boys get. All my daughter asks for is to be treated the same as the boys. She loves the sport, and it is to bad that so many people have the mindset that they do.
1/3/05
Sienna Valdez
mishawaka In
Hi my name is Sienna and I am 15 years old and I have been wrestling for 7 years now. I am a sophmore in high school and I am on the "BOYS" wrestling team, I moved to my new school in about Febuary of last year (the end of wrestling season) But i did wrestle at my old school on the varsity team. My new team is veary cocky and i think it could be because they are ranked in the state. So that makes it even harder for me to be excepted as a girl wrestler.Altho my team is hard on me sometimes i am not planing on quiting anytime in the future because i am dedicated to this sport and also because my alltime favorite dream/goal is to wrestle at Missouri Valley and I have got to keep it up and hopfully the guys will come thru.

P.S. (to girl wrestlers and awesome parents helping and saving womens wrestling) Never give up !!!!!!! YOUR AWESOME
1/3/05
Emma Randall
Jamestown, Ohio
I am 14 years old and i have wrestled since third grade. Now I am a freshman at Greeneview High School in Jamestown. I love to wrestle, it is the main focus of my life. But I am active in a lot of other sports,too. I play Tennis, Rodeo, Track ,and I am in 4-H also. I work really hard to be a scolar athlete, because my family not excactly going to be able to afford my college of choice, but I have a 4.27 grade point average. I find it extremely hard to cut weight because of all the stress. I work as hard as I can at practice so I can do good at meets and tournaments. I don't get a lot of opposition to my wrestling because i've done it for so long only other teams care. This docamentary was exellent and I really enjoyed it. It really showed that girls who wrestle don't wrestle just to touch guys, but because they love the sport. Thanks so much making a great film!
1/3/05
J Nixon
B.C, Canada
I am 16, and have been wrestling for 4 years now. In my town alot of girls wrestler go on and wrestle is SFU and are successful. I believe there is nothing wrong with girls wrestling, even if it's a girl wrestling a boy. Girls wrestle because they can take the pain we have the drive courage and we have the ability to push our self out of "our comfort zone" which others lack. And Tara if you want a good match against a girl, come to our small town, and I'll give that hard match that you were looking for.

And for those who are opposed to girls wrestling, tough luck cause we aren't going any where and is going to become more and more popular!! Good luck Tara, get back out there and wrestle hard and smart.

(you know when a girl is in wrestling because she likes the sport and has what it takes when you see her in the ring, or if she is there for the boys it all shows in the ring)
1/3/05
Estherwood, LA
I say that as long as girls like Tara can hold their own against guys in any kind of sport, we shouldn't have some stupid law holding them back.
1/3/05
Heather
Schuylerville, NY
A wrestlers a wrestler no matter what sex, size, or shape. I'm Heather Thompson and i'm a female wrestler. I would like Tara to know that there are a lot of people out there that think girls shouldn't wrestle boys but i think we all know why.. BOYS ARE AFRAID TO GET BEAT! I'm on the boys varsity wrestling team in my school... there are boys out there that choose not to go out on the mat with me mainly because i'm a girl and they don't want to get beat by me.. but i guess thats too bad they should train harder. I train year round not just at my school but at wrestling clubs, i travel all over the country (Colorado, Michigan, Minnesota, Puerto Rico, North Dakota). Last i knew it was against the law to not let a girl wrestler wrestle guys if there is not a girls team offered by the school.
12/24/04
Greg Buford
Las Vegas, Nevada
I too watched the documentary and feel it is necessary to express my opinion and perhaps clear up some misconceptions regarding the sport. First, let's address the whole intergender wrestling controversy. In no other competitive high school or college sport do males and females compete against one another. Not in basketball, golf, tennis, swimming, track, or volleyball. Sure, you occasionally hear about a girl on some random high school that goes out for the football team, but they are usually relegated to positions such as kicker and are more of a curiosity than anything else. Every other competitive sport in the world is strictly segregated by sex, why should wrestling be any different? For those of you that have never competed in the sport, let me tell you that it is the toughest, most physically demanding sport that a high school athlete can participate in. It blows football out of the water. In addition, there is the potential for somebody to get seriously hurt if they are pitted against an oppenent with superior physical and technical skills. When I competed, I personally had my nose broken several times, a separated shoulder, and more black eyes than I can count. It's definitely not a sport for the faint of heart. Now like it or not, there is a physical difference between boys and girls that becomes somewhat pronounced with the onset of puberty. If there were not such a difference, all sports would be integrated equally between the sexes. Unfortunately, this sport is so physical in nature that the potential for a girl to become injured is exponentially increased if she were to go up against a boy that was at the top of his game, so to speak. In respect for the safety of the girls involved, I do not think it is wise to allow them to wrestle boys.

��� �Personally, I think it is great that so many girls are showing an interest in wrestling and I am excited about the possibilities of having women's teams compete in the future. Texas should be commended for being one of the only states to think progressively and set up a girl's sport at the high school level. The filmmaker didn't tell you that Texas has more girls competing in wrestling than any other state or that it has the most developed girl's state wrestling tournament in the country. Why did she leave this important detail out?

��� �In regards to the weight cutting, this was blown completely out of proportion. Sure, some kids pull weight, but most coaches discourage the practice and keep the safety of their kids at the pinnacle of their practice. I must say that I find it somewhat ironic for people to castigate children for attempting to slim down a little in a nation where more than 50% of all school age children are overweight. At the same time, people never consider the consequences of having football players bulk up to unnatural weights in an attempt to make them more competitive on the field. Personally, I did not see one wrestler on the documentary that appeared to be obese, and that should be commended as well.

��� Last, I would like to comment on the unfair portrayal of 2000 Olympic gold medalist Brandon Slay. The little snippet the filmmaker chose to run of him made him appear to be a calloused chauvinist that was completely indifferent to Tara. Somehow, this is not the same Brandon Slay I have known for 17 years. Mr. Slay is a class act that has pulled himself up from humble beginnings to achieve greatness, yet has managed to maintain a great deal of humility with his success. He managed to graduate with honors from the Wharton College of business and win a gold medal in the Olympics, all because of wrestling. With a resume like that, he could have very easily commanded a top salary with any corporation in the country. Yet, he chose to focus his energies on sending a positive message to the youth of America. In an age of outlandish behavior by many of our pro athletes, I can't think of a better role model than Brandon. So why did the director choose to omit this information? In fact, why didn't she at least give Brandon a chance to explain why he was opposed to teenage girls wrestling teenage boys? I am beginning to think Diane Zander went to the Michael Moore school of filmmaking.
12/22/04
L. Baum
Houston, Texas
Tara rocks! She seems like such a great young lady. Her determination and honesty are brave. I hope she and her father are closer.
12/21/04
judy
baton rouge
I could not pull myself away from the piece on Tara. It showed her emotion and passion for the sport. For those people who say girls should not wrestle boys - I say - Who are you to judge? It should not be anyone's decision but the girl and her parents. Tara proved she really wanted to compete even knowing she was reaching the age when boys out-muscle the girls. That did not stop her. Why should anyone stop her from trying? I was really disappointed in the callousness of the Olympic wrestler who signed her shirt then told her boys and girls should not wrestler each other. From Tara's face you could see her hero fall. A little encouragement from him would not have cost him anything. If a girls wants to wrestle, let them. I think less of the state of Texas for denying her the opportunity to try.

12/21/04
Darren McDaniel
Crowley/ Tx
Hi well I just saw the PBS show on the Girl Wrestler Tara Neal, I think that it is great that she is fighting for her goal. Weman Should be able to Wrestle Men there is nothing dirty or bad about it. If the men don't like it then they need to learn SPORTSMANSHIP and GROW UP. I am a Pro Wrestler I go by (Mr Big) I was trained bye the legandary ( ICEMAN King Parsons ) And if tara wants I will train here my self and put her in the pro setting

12/21/04
Brady Black
Flagstaff, AZ
I currently have 10 girls on my high school wrestling team. I have heard many people complain about girls having "something to prove" and I have found this frame of mind to work in the girls favor. Our girls wrestle like they have something to prove and in a tough sport like wrestling it only helps. I wish my whole team wrestled like it had something to prove. I have had other coaches criticize me because I am encouraging the degradation of their boys self esteem when one of our girls beats them. I have found the degradation of ones ego comes from the coaches that tell or imply to their wrestlers that if a girl beats them they are weak or ? In our room no one that gets beat by a girl takes it personally and is ruined. On the contrary it only means they have something to work on. A wrestlers a wrestler. I have found only positives so far from both sexes in the room. There is definitely more respect for woman amongst our wrestlers. Also,I think(this should be studied) the boys are less likely to grow up looking at women as objects when they have relationships with the opposite sex that are equal and unromantic in nature. Our wrestling room has matured through this transition. And one last thing. Our college town recently had two boys drag a girl down the hall out of her dorm and rape her outside in the bushes. Our girl wrestlers would not have passively sat by and let this happen. Though two men could easily restrict a women. A women with confidence and experience to struggle with men would have been able to free herself for a moment to yell and get help.

12/17/04
Karen Dolan
Dwight, Illinois
I feel if a girl wants to wrestle that is fine. Whether it be against a boy or a girl. If she does everything like she is suppose to and can handle it, then she should be able to wrestle. She is not there to say "ha ha I beat a boy". She is there cause she likes the sport.

12/17/04
Linda Dousharm
Clermont NY
12 years ago my daughter wrestled in a small school district in Red Hook NY. She took care of presenting her agenda and plan to join the team by appealing to the School BOard. She was no stranger to wrestling as both her older brothers wrestled all through high school. She was assertive, aggressive and fair and had less trouble with being a girl on a boys team than the boys had trouble with her. It is still a male dominated world!! Parents objected to her wrestling not the boys! She continues to amaze people with her determination and spirit. She wrestled for only a year. An insightful wonderful year in retrospect. Girls can do anything! Wrestling is a sport that causes one to be solely self-reliant. It is about the team but it is also about cutting weight, dedication to practice, sore muscles and you being the sole person on the mat. Wrestling when done properly can cause shy withdrawn people be bold and daring!

12/17/04
Bobbette Nacco
Wyckoff, New Jersey
I enjoyed watching this film. As a mother of a female wrestler, it was refreshing to see other girls meet and overcome the same dilema's my daughter faces. Although there are now some girl westling teams, there is certainly not enough of them to have all girls teams. If my daughter was not allowed to wrestle with the boys, she would maybe have 2 - 3 matches only a year. My hope is that in the future there will be all girls teams. Until then the girls that want to wrestle only have the opportunity to westle on the co-ed teams available to them.

12/17/04
Rigby, Idaho
I would like to comment on two general areas involved, those being girls wrestling with boys and Title IX.

I wrestled in junior high school, high school, and college. Several times, I wrestled a brave kid with a physical disability, and I won each time - I doubt if he ever won a match. Although I'm sure this was a great thing for the other kid to do, it was a lose-lose situation for me. After one of the matches, the opposing team's chearleaders criticized me for being "mean" to my disabled opponent, even though I wrestled as clean and as "nice" as I possibly could have. I don't think the kid shouldn't have been wrestling, but kids are mean. I was just a kid and this made me feel extremely bad about the match. At least with this situation, there wasn't also the significant problem of different sexes. My point is that while everyone seems to look at a girl wrestling against boys as some kind of great feminist thing, the affect on any boy that has to wrestle against a girl or worse, loses to a girl, will be devastating. Why are the boy's feelings at such a critical age being completely disregarded? There are other sports that girls can participate in. Should boys be allowed to play on the girls basketball teams? As for different sexes wrestling each other, please find out what a "trailer hitch" is and what a "honeymooner" is in wrestling. Everyone on my team was told to use the "trailer hitch" to prevent an escape, and I often pinned opponents in a "honeymooner", simply because my style of wrestling resulted in it. If I had done those moves to a girl, what kind of trauma would I have inflicted on a girl and what's to stop her parents from suing me for sexual assault? Boys wrestling girls is wrong!

As for Title IX, I attended college about the time that title IX was devestating collegiate wrestling programs across the country. Although Title IX was supposed to create more opportunities for women and girls, it's primary affect seemed to be to reduce opportunities for men. I wrestled at a two-year college then planned on transferring to a four year college and continue wrestling. The four-year college that I had planned on attending cut their wrestling program the year that I transferred. I was forced to terminate my wrestling career because of Title IX. Men and women are different. On average, men are more likely to be interested in sports than women - it's human nature. Why then, does Title IX require equal funding, only to have some colleges have to cut men's programs to comply? Common sense needs to be incorporated somewhere!

12/17/04
Pam Boggs
Helena MT
WOW! Thanks for airing this film and raising our awareness! I actually only caught the last half and had to come to your website to find out more and the schedule. The information posted is very in-depth and I appreciate having the information and links provided. Fantastic! THANK YOU!!

12/17/04
P Nixon
Port Alberni B.C Vancouver Island Canada
My daughter and I watched this program last night and couldnt believe that there are no girls wrestling. British Columbia has the largest wrestling group of both boys and girls.We have had many girls leave our club with scholarships to University at SFU. I hope things change for the girls in that area because it is a great sport. We enjoyed the doucumentary. Best of luck to Tara.

12/15/04
There is nothing wrong about girls wanting to participate in sports, in fact, I believe it should be encouraged.

As far as contact sports between males and females, I believe it should remain seperate. Let us be logical about this. Let the girls wrestle with girls and boys wrestle with boys. If my daughter wanted to wrestle boys, I should be so considerate and seek permission with the team first because of the "touching" involved. Perhaps, so top it off, we could establish boys' teams, girls teams, and co-ed teams' for the students who have no objection for co-ed wrestling. What if the situation were reversed? What if a male wanted to participate in a contact sport that was predominately female? Think about it...

12/15/04
Brandi Kaslausky
Ewa Beach, Hawai'i
As a former female wrestler, Radford High School was the first high school to start a girls wrestling.Later down the road more and more high schools started a female wrestling team.In 1999, the female wrestlers went to the state capital to fight over gender equality.Since then after my years after that we would practice guys' who were in our weight class only during practice, but not during tournaments.I honestly think that there is nothing wrong with wrestling guys' besides us probably beating them during a tournament which will eventually embarrass them in public. But it is true that us girls do better wrestling guys'. And if it wasn't for me to practice with guys' during practice i'd probably be as bad as you may think of. Just fighting for equality rights is what every school should fight for. Girls shouldn't be looken at we can't do what guys' can do which is totally wrong.I think that Tara should have went on her own to fight over gender equality in her state.It maybe that these guys'think that girls can't do what they can do which needs to be proven wrong. Equality is always a problem many places.

12/15/04
Brian Burzynski
Easton, PA
For a male wrestler, wrestling a female, it is a lose/lose situation. There is no good outcome for the male. If he wins, he beat a girl, big deal, and if he loses, he lost to a girl.

There is also a problem with contact and "expectable touch" that makes it very hard for males to wrestle females to their full potential. Also, losing an aggressive physical battle to female can have a very detrimental effect to a young male's ego and development in the sport, especially for a novice.

At the same time female wrestling is excellent for the sport. Wrestling is great for teaching young adults accountability, self-reliance, and determination. The more people that are involved in wrestling, the better. Although, there are typically not enough female wrestlers to sustain their own teams and leagues (yet), it would be best if they did separate the males from the females, as in other sports. I'm sure there are many girls' basketball teams that could currently beat their male counterparts, yet there is no rush to match up these teams to publicly humiliate the males.

I come from the national hotbed for high-school wrestling and I've competed against women before. I have always respected and welcomed females in practice and in competition, but I also understand the uncomfortably others express. Regardless, female wrestling is now an Olympic sport and we need to support our females, encourage their involvement, and work toward getting their own leagues to compete separately.

Ps. Real Pro Wrestling television series starts in February - www.realprowrestling.com

12/15/04
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Some of my friends wrestle at an elite level(both men and women)so I found the film very interesting. The women I know are fortunate to be part of a very supportive and active group of other female wrestlers. While discrimination does exist and men's attitudes are often very negative towards female wrestlers, I think that this network has helped to preserve and increase the opportunities women have in wrestling locally, nationally, and internationally. In Junior High and Middle school in my city, girls often out-number boys on the wrestling teams. Like other sports, wrestling provides structure and training, an outlet for competitive and aggressive young people, a supportive community, and facilitates positive self-esteem in participants. We can only hope that policy-makers in places like Texas will change their antiquated and discriminatory practices.

12/15/04
Adam
Oklahoma
Im going to be as honest as I possibly can about this, i'm a 16 year old high school wrestler and I have been wrestling since I was 5 years old. I dont not have a problem with girl wrestlers in there elementary years but what most of you dont understand is that when you become a freshman in highschool its not just a game any more.She will never again wrestle a "boy" she will be wrestling grown "MEN". There is an extreme difference between the 2.

Only some of you will understand what would happen 2 her if she were on the mat with a man who probably cut 20 pounds to wrestle where hes at.

Alot of you are probably going to call me sexest or something around there, but there is no doubt about it, girls cannot compete with men at the high school level. It's the honest truth. I wouldn't even mind if they let girls wrestle for a varsity team. Then they would know what really are going to be facing from then on. And if they enjoy that "level" of competiton so be it. She'll be facing seniors with tattoos and facial hair you know. It's not right. Im not gonna play parent here but if you let your daughter go on the mat and let her wrestle a guy who is gonna shave when he gets home and benches 230 pounds theres is something wrong with you. It would become such an enviroment change as far as skill, strenght,and speed, go. They couldn't compare. But you know what if you absolutly love the sport dont stop trying. Im not trying to put any girl wrestlers down or say that they have no chance, im just being thruthful. Again if its what you truly love doing then continue doing it no matter what the consequences. This is for sure, you wont have any girls messing with you.

12/15/04
Janet Balej
Decatur, GA
Tara's story was very inspiring and I applaud her for her determination to compete in wrestling. I relate to her story because I was the only girl playing ice hockey with boys for 8 years when I was growing up in Minnesota and I know all about the subtle, and not so subtle, discrimination that girls face when competing in sports not traditionally available to them. Fortunately, girls hockey has now become commonplace in MN, so times have certainly changed in the last 20 years. Hopefully the same will be said of wrestling for girls in the not-too-distant future. It's criminal that Texas and Hawaii are allowed to forbid girls from wrestling against boys. I think it's ridiculous for boys to have such fragile egos that they can't handle losing to or competing against a girl. Boys need to suck it up and learn to compete fairly with girls and not treat them any differently. Girls who compete in rough sports know what they're in for or they wouldn't be there. Boys are no more entitled to have sports opportunities available to them then are girls - particularly in the public schools where the parents of girls and boys pay taxes equally. In situations where boys' sports are apparently "threatened" by Title IX, scrutiny should be given to other sports that are offered, like football, where excessive numbers of players are allowed on the team - many who just suit up and stand on the sidelines for the entire season and use resources that could be given to other sports. I loved this documentary - thanks to Tara for sharing her story!

12/15/04
Suzanne Rogers
Fresno, CA
Great Film! I wish they would've shown more of the snickers and comments from the other parents and kids, and how Tara and her mom dealt with those issues. My daughter wrestles boys, and to me that is the hardest thing to endure. There's a long road ahead, before girls will ever be able to wrestle with the boys fairly and without prejudice.

12/15/04
James Neal
Point Venture, Texas
I am Tara's father and supported her in wanting to wrestle boys or play football in school. A lot of parents, teachers and some coaches supported and encouraged her.

Unfortunately I found that there are coaches and referees out there that will do things to discourage girls to play sports with boys from not allowing them to play, bending the rules to fit the desired outcome to out right telling girls they should not be there and they are just going to fail so save face and leave now. There was no bias in what Diane filmed and no scripting, what you see and hear is some of what happened. Mr. Rizzuti was interviewed and gave his opinion in this matter and everyone I met knew what his opinion was in this matter even before the film. This film was edited to show both sides of the story. I was there with Tara at these tournaments and was embarrassed by some things that happened. How do you tell your 12 and 13 year olds, yes we are a society with equal rights for men and women but unfortunately there are some people out there that still think otherwise. Title IX did not destroy men's athletic programs the administrations did to save a buck or two. If they had given equal access to both sexes in the first place they would not be in the fix they are in.

12/15/04
Mark Montgomery
Cumberland, VA
I am not a fan of female wrestling any more than I am a fan of female boxing or basketball for that matter. Having said that, I found this documentary to be compelling, inspiring, honest, and even disturbing in certain aspects. Your main character, Tara, embodies the reason why girls should be allowed to compete on an even playing field.

Yes, yes I know all about the fragile male ego, at all ages, but especially at that age. But at the same time denying girls the right to follow their dreams because a boy might suffer a cataclysmic implosion of his ego just isn't right either. I will gladly leave it to others how to best integrate opportunity with morality. Although God only knows that when a guy is trying his best to balance his incredible desire to not get beat by a girl with his desire not to injure a girl, the last thing on his mind is where his hands are going.

It was disturbing to once again see children being pressured into making the weight with absolutely no guidance on how to do so safely. The coaches say one thing in public yet fail to address the reality of what they know goes on behind the scenes. If you're going to lay that kind of pressure on kids, you should be obligated to teach the proper way to manipulate bodyweight that would minimize long-term damage.

Anyways, that's my 2 1/2 cents. Great pic. My best to all of the girls featured. I hope that they do find a way to follow their dreams, with or without state sanctions. I would hate for them to become the unsung heroes that broke the ground for future athletes, but never saw the limelight themselves. They deserve better than that.

PS - Please make an show more pics like this.

12/15/04
Mike Elliott
Park Forest, IL
As the father of a 10 year old girl athlete that wrestles boys, I can certainly relate to Tara Neal and her struggle to gain respect in a sport dominated by males. Tara's type of courage and determination is exactly whats needed to inspire the next wave of female athletes, who by the way, will not accept the denial of their rights to equal treatment and funding! It is our job, as parents and supporters, to provide our female athletes with strongest support system possible. With us by their side, they will continue to make us proud and while paving the way for generations to come!

12/15/04
Bridget
Milwaukee, Wi
After watching this documentary I was furious. People think that it may be biased because of a woman making the film. That comment epitomizes the greater problem we're facing. I am also a female athlete who was lucky enough to love a sport where I did not face the trials this girl did. But, I can sympathize. I remember trying out for the boys baseball team with hundreds of boys and only one other girl. The reason young girls are facing these problems is deeper than just athletics and Title IX. It is because little girls are sexualized from the time of birth. We give them pink clothes and dolls and tell them to be nurturing young ladies. Very few parents are giving their daughters blue rooms, or a football for their birthday. Girls learn early on how they are expected to act. Because they are sexualized, young boys and male adults feel girls should not wrestle a boy after a certain age because of changing bodies and sexual undertones. The only reason there is that stigma is because society puts it there. If girls were treated equal, and not like a dainty flower from day one, there would not even be this problem. Even the names of some of the wrestling moves they named were sexist. ("the honeymoon!") I was so proud of that little girl, and I want a copy of this tape so I can show it to my daughter one day and hopefully show her how far things have come since her mom was in sports.

12/15/04
Kevin Bracken
I have felt the effects of Title IX first hand. I graduated from Illinois State University in 1995. During my tenure at Illinois State I was fortunate enough to break the schools record for the most wins at the university. I mention this to accent the trend of the programs success. Upon returning from the N.C.A.A. championships (2 days later) I received a call from my coach to meet him at the athletic director's office. I was informed that the program had been dropped due to title IX. Also that the men's soccer program was being eliminated and a women's soccer was to be added. As caption I had to report to my teammates that we not valuable enough to the university to continue to represent them and that they had a new group in mind. With no blame place on the young ladies whom also simply wanted to compete in their sport. We were out and they were in. I continued on to make the 2000 Olympic Team in Greco-Roman Wrestling. Think of the young men in wrestling and soccer that had lost their opportunity to pursue their dreams and goal of becoming an Olympic Team Member. I was lucky it was my senior year and I was able to move locations to continue to train. Think of the others that could have come after me almost ten years of lost opportunity. Could we not have competed along with the new women's soccer program? Was this a just decision? Was this what the law was intended for?

Kevin Bracken
2000 Olympic Team Member

12/15/04
Katherine Chanak
Remer, Minnesota
Although the film may stir up sympathy for Tara Neal, when it really gets down to the "mat" 99% of the people involved in school wrestling just don't want girls on that mat. My son wrestled and at one point, had to wrestle a girl. I later spoke to the young girls mother who informed me how "great" her daughter was, and that she wins medals left and right. And the reason - None of the boys, including my son, would wrestle this girl like they would wrestle a boy. They would lie down, let her take the pins, and then walk away. She had no "competition". And I think it is confusing for our children in this day and age to tell them repeatedly that they are not allowed to man-handle girls, and then throw them into a competition where they are to grab them, twist their bodies and them pin them down to the mat.

Sorry ladies and gentleman, but until we have enough female wrestlers for the schools, so that they can compete against each other, the girls need to stay off the mat.

12/15/04
S. Thompson
Lexington KY
I have been the instructor for the Adolescent Development course at the University of Kentucky. I have absolutely no problem with adolescent girls wrestling adolescent girls. I have no problem with small children wrestling with each other regardless of the sex, and were it an issue, neither would I oppose adult women wrestling publicly with adult men.

I have a HUGE problem with adolescent girls wrestling adolescent boys.

Why?

I'm dumbfounded that I have to answer the question, but here goes...

1. Obviously, girls participating in wrestling events with boys, at that age, open themselves up to groping by boys... maybe not so much an issue right now because it is so "under the microscope" and the few times when boys actually are matched against girls, they feel the spotlight because of the uniqueness of the situation... let this become a commonly accepted practice (as apparently the producers of this film and this website would like it to become), and you will find that the developing brain of some adolescent boys will come to enjoy the prospect of wrestling girls for the titilation of it all... that's a good thing?

2. While it is valid to say that adolescent girls ought to be able to compete and show their abilities, counterintuitively, there is a sexist mentality that proponents bring to this debate... illuminated in the point that the sensitivity is reserved exclusively for the young females, and there is no sensitivity extended toward the young males. First, many young males are going to approach wrestling a young female at a decided handicap, always cautious not to place their hands in the breast, thigh, or crotch areas, and thus limiting them moves they can make (... that's a good thing?).

Second, relevant to a quote on this site, why are you apparently taking joy in a developing young male's comment that if he loses to a girl he must give up the sport? (... that's a good thing?)

These are still children, whether they are male or female, and we need to care equally for both and attempt to raise them to respect each other without regard for physical prominence.

3. It has long been a social taboo for boys to hit girls... and though sexist in its own way, I think we would all agree that's mostly a good standard of society. While this isn't boxing, there's at least a point to be made that in endorsing gender-neutral wrestling and promoting its acceptance, you will inadvertently challenge the taboo for a number of males... who will grow up to see a gray area that will allow them, maybe not to hit their girlfriends, but still to engage in physical abuse of their "significant other" through wrestling, shoving, and such... that's a good thing?

So these are the common sense reasons I will adamantly oppose people who want to advance this cause -- the consequences are not right, for adolescent boys to be sure, and even, ultimately, for adolescent girls.

12/15/04
Simonie
Liberty, MO
I have so many thoughts after seeing this great film, I'm sure I won't be able to remember them all to type them here. I don't see why wrestling should be looked at differently than any other sport as far as boys and girls. From school to professional level, most sports end up segregated when enough demand is created, but before that, every sport has had to fight the same kind of discrimation. Any objections to this sport seem to come from a person's own sexual issues or worries about men's sexual or agression issues, not being focused on the women losing opportunity at all. If anything, women in wrestling should better prepare both women to protect themselves and men to realize that women are more physcially formidable than they thought. I also know it's well documented that kids in sports, women in particular, do better in school, stay in school longer and have less problems with drugs and unplanned pregnancy. I'm sure Tara is as happy with her new baby daughter as I am with my own and I wish her the best of luck, but with the greatest respect to her after seeing the film, statistically her life might not have followed the path it has in recent years if she had been allowed to wrestle in high school too. I think it's ridiculous to object for a certain age level and not before, as per my earlier comments. The fact that they would let her join the team, but wouldn't even let her practice is hypocritical and humiliating. Tara, you have something special in you and let that continue in your life, whether you wrestle or not.

12/15/04
Brittany Dell
Ashtabula,Ohio
I'm a female wrestler myself and I have been for the past 4 years. I've taken alot of criticism from alot of male wrestlers.i've been tryin to earn respect from other wrestlers.Every match i wrestle, i dont jus give it to them they have to earn the pins, thats how i get my respect.For the 4 years I have been wrestling, i've been trying to get people to understand what i have gone through to get to where i am now. I have earned my respect from my teammate this year to where when another male wrestler talks sexual stuff about me and wrestling that they have my back. Ive gone through everything she has and maybe even more. Im lookin forward to seeing this film to campare how ive been criticised and her. I've been trying to get the publicity that tara has because i want people to know that girls can do the same thing boys can do. That we are just a strong and deserve the type of respect that males do. I think every girl wrestler should have a say in these kind of videos to tell people how they feel, so for the filmmakers, its an idea to look at...its a way to try to get the type of respect we deserve. (Dont mind how i wrote this cus i jus wrote wut i thought)

12/15/04
Trisha
Centerville Ohio
I was the first girl to wrestle in my city high I was on the team from jr. high to high school I was faced with many of the same difficulties faced in this story but in the end I made many friends and have lots of happy memories of that time in my life.

12/13/04
Teresa Glover
I know there will be many effects from this film. The good thing will be that there's a spotlight on this subject no matter if one person or one group made it. It's exposure. Change will happen and hopefully positive actions will be taken. My main concern is the pscychological aspects of it. More girls may or may not want to get into wrestling after the movie, but I'm wondering about the boys reaction state.

I don't care about them rough houseing with each other like that, I understand they play that way to sharpen their protective skills for manhood. Eventhough I'm a woman ,I understand, that's how they play, that I get, but by having them see girls rough houseing with them give them the message" it's okay to be doing it cause they're doing it to me ". I don't want to see that new mind set take place. I don't want to see that directed towards us. Some guys do it for control purposes, but to have it be justified, I don't know.

12/8/04
Suzanne Rogers
Fresno, CA
I can't wait to see this documentary. My daughter is going through the same struggle in wrestling right now. She has to work twice as hard as any boy just to prove herself. Why shouldn't she be out there? If she can hold her own, and compete equally she should be given that opportunity. She's not out there to prove she's better than a boy, she's out there because she truly enjoys the sport.

12/8/04
june Coan
Riverside, RI
As a former female wrestler, I'm looking forward to seeing this film. I want to see the hardships she went through, and compare and contrast mine to hers. So far I see a lot in common. We both had our parents divorced. She started in middle school, me in high school. I didn't really diet but did some of the weight loss program too. I think everyone including boys and men because they need to view our world for a change. Men have this stuff for the most part handed to them, while women struggle and have to work in order to get somewhere. Guys and girls should wrestle together, because it's the only way the two sexes can figure out each other. Guys might be uncomfortable, but they'll never get over it if they don't try. The only way we can figure out a way to compromise is to have girls and guys wrestle to figure out what works and what doesn't. Coaches are supposed to be supportive yet many fail. Their job is to teach, and by not cooperating and complying with Title IX, their making things difficult and make an emotional hardship on a female grappler who just wants to play the sport, no matter who's on the other side. I used to play football with the guys too, I would love to make a documentary. I had double the problems, I should be able to do what I want without hassle, and yet I had a lot of headache and heartache because people are sexist and critical when they're supposed to be supportive and actually coach. I think this film won't be bias, because I think this film is made to teach everyone how to deal and what not to do. I hope everyone pays close attention when this film airs.

11/29/04
Norman Hemphill
Chicago, IL
One person doing this documentary will have alittle bias toward the main character he/she put the spotlight on. In this case it's a gutsy yet naive girl doing what she like regardless of all the drama. I'll watch it just to see how one-sided it might be, plus see the young girl wrestle and embarrass some of the boys.

I know they will show that for the sake of equal rights. There should've been a woman and a man doing the doc so we the viewer will have two sets of eyes to look thru especially from the after math of Tara defeating her stronger yet confused and ashamed male opponent that may or may not have been willing to go along with wrestling her, but tried to be fair and let her wrestle cause the schools are too cheap to have both girls and boys wrestling teams.

The Title IX part is fine. Girls should be able to wrestle. The main topic or one of the topics should've been on what are schools doing to try and provide sports teams for both sexes. Instead both boys and girls are put in a comprimiseing situation with everyone rooting for the girl, so it's okay for her to battle the big, bad boys with no hesitation while it's the opposite for boys to battle girls. This is a wrong, contradicting message.

Girls should wrestle boys in practice to be able to handle other female competition, or battle guys after school on their free time if the girls still feel the need to test their mettle against boys to prove to themselves whatever.

Cooperation will be much higher that way if both boys and girls feel they're helping each other out instead of looking like a circus show or being some kind of science project for the public to see. This doc won't show that. There's will be no solutions just glorification of those girls that are making do of what they have to work with and sometimes if not most, come out on top. I have much respect for those girls doing it and to those guys that are being cool about it, understanding the girls situation, and letting them play too!

Guys if you don't want to see yourselves as villians, don't look at girl wrestler on 12/14/04. It won't be for you to see!!! It doesn't cover your issues or how you feel. It'll show how some of you may feel , only for the girls who are watching to be desensitized by it,and ignore it, so they can keep doing what they're doing!

All it is is denying the real problem!

11/24/04
Pamela Stevens
I think this will beintersting. I've heard stories that they allow girls to wrestle boys at anearly age. I wonder how the male/female relations will be affected by this when these young girls and boys become adults. Girls and boys physically fighthing each is some new trnd now? My boys both had to wrestle girls and they said they didn't like it. They never had to wrestle girls and had no interest in wrestling them like boys. I hope this movie can show some solutions instead of showing some crusade that will keep this mess going!

11/5/04
John Rizzuti
Carrollton Texas
I was the head of the Texas Wrestling Officials Association in 1996 and led the decision to disband rather than officiate inter-gender wrestling. We had a myriad of reasons why we took that course. It would have been nice for Diane Zander to get my feedback for the film. But alas, that wouldn't fit in with the picture she wants to paint. I can't wait to see the film, if nothing more than to se how biased it will be. History has proven our path was correct. More girls now wrestle in Texas than any other state.

7/20/04
Todd Smith
Austin Tx.
This looks to be an interesting film. Older generations as well as young should be able to benefit from this young lady and her experiences. This film's underlying theme is of great importance to our society. The film has outstanding educational value. It's good to see this type of programming broadcast on PBS!

7/20/04
Austin, Texas
Having seen the documentary at its SXSW world premiere, I am ecstatic that PBS has chosen to air this compelling story. As a former girl wrestler, I can relate to the documentary on so many levels; however, I believe everyone will take a piece of this story into their hearts for continuous reflection.

12/13/04
Teresa Glover
I know there will be many effects from this film. The good thing will be that there's a spotlight on this subject no matter if one person or one group made it. It's exposure. Change will happen and hopefully positive actions will be taken. My main concern is the pscychological aspects of it. More girls may or may not want to get into wrestling after the movie, but I'm wondering about the boys reaction state.

I don't care about them rough houseing with each other like that, I understand they play that way to sharpen their protective skills for manhood. Eventhough I'm a woman ,I understand, that's how they play, that I get, but by having them see girls rough houseing with them give them the message" it's okay to be doing it cause they're doing it to me ". I don't want to see that new mind set take place. I don't want to see that directed towards us. Some guys do it for control purposes, but to have it be justified, I don't know.

12/8/04
Suzanne Rogers
Fresno, CA
I can't wait to see this documentary. My daughter is going through the same struggle in wrestling right now. She has to work twice as hard as any boy just to prove herself. Why shouldn't she be out there? If she can hold her own, and compete equally she should be given that opportunity. She's not out there to prove she's better than a boy, she's out there because she truly enjoys the sport.

12/8/04
june Coan
Riverside, RI
As a former female wrestler, I'm looking forward to seeing this film. I want to see the hardships she went through, and compare and contrast mine to hers. So far I see a lot in common. We both had our parents divorced. She started in middle school, me in high school. I didn't really diet but did some of the weight loss program too. I think everyone including boys and men because they need to view our world for a change. Men have this stuff for the most part handed to them, while women struggle and have to work in order to get somewhere. Guys and girls should wrestle together, because it's the only way the two sexes can figure out each other. Guys might be uncomfortable, but they'll never get over it if they don't try. The only way we can figure out a way to compromise is to have girls and guys wrestle to figure out what works and what doesn't. Coaches are supposed to be supportive yet many fail. Their job is to teach, and by not cooperating and complying with Title IX, their making things difficult and make an emotional hardship on a female grappler who just wants to play the sport, no matter who's on the other side. I used to play football with the guys too, I would love to make a documentary. I had double the problems, I should be able to do what I want without hassle, and yet I had a lot of headache and heartache because people are sexist and critical when they're supposed to be supportive and actually coach. I think this film won't be bias, because I think this film is made to teach everyone how to deal and what not to do. I hope everyone pays close attention when this film airs.

11/29/04
Norman Hemphill
Chicago, IL
One person doing this documentary will have alittle bias toward the main character he/she put the spotlight on. In this case it's a gutsy yet naive girl doing what she like regardless of all the drama. I'll watch it just to see how one-sided it might be, plus see the young girl wrestle and embarrass some of the boys.

I know they will show that for the sake of equal rights. There should've been a woman and a man doing the doc so we the viewer will have two sets of eyes to look thru especially from the after math of Tara defeating her stronger yet confused and ashamed male opponent that may or may not have been willing to go along with wrestling her, but tried to be fair and let her wrestle cause the schools are too cheap to have both girls and boys wrestling teams.

The Title IX part is fine. Girls should be able to wrestle. The main topic or one of the topics should've been on what are schools doing to try and provide sports teams for both sexes. Instead both boys and girls are put in a comprimiseing situation with everyone rooting for the girl, so it's okay for her to battle the big, bad boys with no hesitation while it's the opposite for boys to battle girls. This is a wrong, contradicting message.

Girls should wrestle boys in practice to be able to handle other female competition, or battle guys after school on their free time if the girls still feel the need to test their mettle against boys to prove to themselves whatever.

Cooperation will be much higher that way if both boys and girls feel they're helping each other out instead of looking like a circus show or being some kind of science project for the public to see. This doc won't show that. There's will be no solutions just glorification of those girls that are making do of what they have to work with and sometimes if not most, come out on top. I have much respect for those girls doing it and to those guys that are being cool about it, understanding the girls situation, and letting them play too!

Guys if you don't want to see yourselves as villians, don't look at girl wrestler on 12/14/04. It won't be for you to see!!! It doesn't cover your issues or how you feel. It'll show how some of you may feel , only for the girls who are watching to be desensitized by it,and ignore it, so they can keep doing what they're doing!

All it is is denying the real problem!

11/24/04
Pamela Stevens
I think this will beintersting. I've heard stories that they allow girls to wrestle boys at anearly age. I wonder how the male/female relations will be affected by this when these young girls and boys become adults. Girls and boys physically fighthing each is some new trnd now? My boys both had to wrestle girls and they said they didn't like it. They never had to wrestle girls and had no interest in wrestling them like boys. I hope this movie can show some solutions instead of showing some crusade that will keep this mess going!

11/5/04
John Rizzuti
Carrollton Texas
I was the head of the Texas Wrestling Officials Association in 1996 and led the decision to disband rather than officiate inter-gender wrestling. We had a myriad of reasons why we took that course. It would have been nice for Diane Zander to get my feedback for the film. But alas, that wouldn't fit in with the picture she wants to paint. I can't wait to see the film, if nothing more than to se how biased it will be. History has proven our path was correct. More girls now wrestle in Texas than any other state.

7/20/04
Todd Smith
Austin Tx.
This looks to be an interesting film. Older generations as well as young should be able to benefit from this young lady and her experiences. This film's underlying theme is of great importance to our society. The film has outstanding educational value. It's good to see this type of programming broadcast on PBS!

7/20/04
Austin, Texas
Having seen the documentary at its SXSW world premiere, I am ecstatic that PBS has chosen to air this compelling story. As a former girl wrestler, I can relate to the documentary on so many levels; however, I believe everyone will take a piece of this story into their hearts for continuous reflection.

Girl Wrestler