Friday, May 04, 2007

Beware: radical feminist hijackers*

[Also beware of a fair amount of sarcasm to follow. I feel like I have been reading a lot of vitriolic anti-Title IX sentiments this week, so this is my response.]
Yep--we're out there infiltrating college athletics departments and making them implement Title IX.
In an article that showcased the success of the University of Minnesota's efforts to achieve equity in athletics, wrestling coach J Robinson thought Title IX--which he has no problem with, allegedly--has been perverted by radical feminists who have hijacked its enforcement.
It was amusing and, of course, disheartening.
The article itself was fairly thorough in its reporting on the state of gender equity at Minnesota. The reporter gets into some of the nuances of the law pointing out that just because Minnesota has achieved proportionality that does not mean they are Title IX compliant. For example, Athletic Director Joel Maturi noted that the distribution of scholarships is not in line yet. Unfortunately Maturi does not think they will get there, saying, that because football scholarships comprise 20 percent of aid given, "it's impossible for us." He goes on to complain that some of the promotions done for some (presumably "minor" sports) do not make back the money spent and that it might be better allocated to revenue-generating sports which could have benefits for the department as a whole.
Two problems (at least) with this. The first is that not spending money promoting minor teams just perpetuates the idea that some athletes are just more important than others. (And consequently puts more pressure on the programs and athletes who are generating revenue to continue to do so.) The second issue I see is that Minnesota is not in dire financial straits.^ Yet it doesn't want to even try to get more female scholarship athletes? And it resents having to print some posters and schedule cards for the golf teams?
And you say it's the radical feminists who are hijacking sports?

*I was thinking of screen printing Radical Feminist Hijacker on a t-shirt but I was worried that I might be arrested under some provision of the Patriot Act that impinges on my right to sartorial free expression.
^ According to data on the Chronicle of Higher Education website Minnesota was $10 million in the black last year. Of course we all know how problematic athletic department accounting can be. Certainly there are other costs the department incurs that do not fall neatly under the gender-segregated expenses/revenues columns. This being said, Minnesota is in better financial shape than many other institutions who are not showing profits in these categories.


Gender Blank said...

Radical Feminist Hijackers Unite!

Just out of curiosity, how much stuff do you think we could hijack in a day?

Anonymous said...

It's not the VOLUME of hijacking -- it's the QUALITY of the object hijack. Imagine being able to hijack the conservative agenda. What FUN we could have! (not that there's much qualilty there -- but some think it's valuable.) *exits to wash sarcasm out of her mouth*

Anonymous said...

So what should be done about Title IX? Should we eliminate it; amend it; leave it as is? Women's athletic programs have come a long ways in the past 30 years, but at what cost? I am high school student entering college next semester. I have been wrestling since I was in first grade and have become one of the best in the state, but because of diminishing scholarships and programs my chances of wrestling at a higher level have slowly faded away. I understand that life isn't fair and that when compared to football, wrestling does not have a large income. However I do not think that a softball program or a womens diving program should have more priority over wrestling. Title IX has become the biggest quota ever!