Anthony Robles: Mill’s Favorite Sportsman
Anthony Robles, a senior at Arizona State University, won the 125-pound title at the NCAA Wrestling Championships this past weekend — with one leg. Robles was born without his right leg, but that didn’t stop him from following his dream of becoming a wrestler.
Robles started his wrestling career his freshman year of high school. As one would expect, he struggled mightily that year. However, he went on to win state high school championships as well as a national championship. Despite his exceptional success in high school, Robles was not recruited by big-time wrestling programs and decided to stay near home and go to Arizona State. There he became an All-American, won multiple conference titles, and finally the national championship he wanted so badly.
Robles is an inspiration to us all — he defied the odds and became the best at his sport despite his disability. I think it is safe to say that all of us are Anthony Robles fans, but there would probably not have been a bigger fan of his than J.S. Mill. In Mill’s The Subjection of Women, he challenged the widely-held view of the time that women are inferior to men and can’t accomplish the same things as men because they are less intelligent and less physically able. Mill argued that women should not be discouraged from trying things just because society tells them they can’t. He believed that one can’t make generalizations about a group of people without prior evidence. Since women never even tried some of the things men did, there was no way of knowing if women couldn’t do them as well.
Robles, although not a woman, is disabled — a classification which women fit under during Mill’s time. He is a living example as to why Mill believed that you can’t write anyone off and say that they can’t do something. Robles tried to become a wrestler, but he ended up accomplishing much more than that. He became a national champion, a hero, and an inspiration to all people, disabled or not.
Sources: Wall Street Journal Online, CNN