Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Traditional Catholic Women and Sports
It has been suggested that Traditional Catholic women, or girls for that matter should never engage in sports or any physical activity that involves competition. Critics believe that engaging in sports or athletics will make girls less feminine, more aggressive and compromise their modesty.
Leaving philosophy aside for a moment (never my strongpoint anyway)what is the natural and unfortunate result for the girl or young lady who never engages in physical exercise? Sadly I think obesity, poor health and a lack of stamina are the unavoidable eventualities. In marriage, once the babies start coming every year, as they do in the blessed Catholic marriage, it is difficult if not impossible to avoid it when one has never been active. Childbearing, child rearing, carrying around toddlers, especially uncooperative ones, heavy housework, moving furniture and keeping up with the day's demands are challenging enough when a mother is in excellent physical shape. When she is not the work is overwhelming.
If a prospective groom is looking for a wife who will lie upon a divan all day, direct the servants, supervise the nanny, entertain fainting spells, nurse depressed spirits and a nervous condition he would do very well to marry a woman who has never engaged in any activities or sports.
We have at least two examples of holy women who were avid athletes- St. Gianna del Molla was a mountaineer and skier and Venerable Maria Theresa Quevedo was a champion tennis player and the captain of her high school girls' basketball team. Neither compromised their femininity or modesty I dare say.
Philosophically speaking, what are the effects of sport on a woman's character? A woman learns perserverance, to overcome difficulty, to maintain a consistent effort in the face of adversity, to discipline her body, to work hard, graciousness in defeat and victory, teamwork, sacrifice, obedience to authority; all excellent attributes for the wife and mother.