Friday, January 18, 2008

Those Darned Muslims -- Wait a Minute, I Agree

A Muslim high-school athlete in Washington, D.C., was banned from track competition because she competes in a bodysuit. I'm with the Muslim girl on this one.

I'm against bilingual education, bi- or multi-lingual signs and forms, and other such accommodations to language, religion, culture in general.

Normally I wouldn't give a second thought to this kind of case. This one is different for two reasons.

One, she's wearing a kind of form-fitting bodysuit no different from what athletes wear in track and other sports. It has a hood so that the only skin showing is on her face and hands. Think of a speed skater's suit. She wears her track uniform over the bodysuit.

I don't have a lot time to research this, but the few stories I read did not identify the reason the sports officials decided the bodysuit would disqualify the athlete. She had been wearing it in previous years -- and winning. Maybe that's why!

Two, I like the idea of modesty in the face of the cultural pressure on females to present themselves as meat.

I must confess that, except for the second-class status of Jesus and the terrorism and the compulsion to convert or kill everyone on the planet, I like the general impetus of Islam: devotion to God and rejection of the sewage in modern popular culture.

Female college volleyball players compete in what is basically underwear. Why? Please don't try to tell me that athletes can jump higher or move quicker in briefs than they can in basketball shorts. Even if that were true, doesn't the dignity of women come first?

I haven't been to a Creighton basketball game this year, but in recent years our local Jesuit university has had jiggle girls -- not cheerleaders but one of those skin-tight-outfit dance teams or whatever they're supposed to be -- performing at basketball games.

A few years ago a neighbor told my wife about a ferocious argument she had with her daughter, a high-school senior. Mother and daughter were going to a school picnic and the daughter came bounding downstairs with too much skin showing. When mom protested, daughter countered that everybody else would be dressed the same way.

As I recall, a compromise unsatisfactory to both parties was reached. But the sad postscript to the story was that the mother reported that her daughter was right -- most of the other girls were dressed like sluts.

And that was at a Catholic school.

So I'm willing to make an exception to the non-accommodation policy in this case.

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