Saturday, October 25, 2008

Obama, McCain answer questions on Title IX and women in STEM

Earlier this month the Obama and McCain campaigns answered questions presented to them by the Association for Women in Science and the Society of Women Engineers. The entirety of their answers can be found here. The questions are largely centered on how the candidates intend to achieve more gender equity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, including how Title IX might be enforced across the academy--and not just in athletics.
Neither, of course, suggested there should not be gender equity, but once again John McCain took the opportunity to show his ignorance of Title IX while trying to diss the Democrats. Though he does plan to enforce Title IX according to its "original intent" he has some caveats:
I am concerned, however, that the Clinton administration took unwise liberties in interpreting Title IX with the consequence that many schools have adopted policies of strictly equal funding for male and female athletic programs. Unfortunately, many popular athletic programs have been cut because the overall amount of funding available for athletics programs will not sustain identical men's and women's programs in every sport.
Because I have made this complaint before, I will keep it brief, in the hopes that someone from the McCain campaign will absorb it and pass the info on to their boss.
Title IX does not call for identical programs in every sport. This rhetoric clearly belies your intent to exempt football from the Title IX equation. Don't think we don't see this. And second, I have yet to see (though would be happy to) an athletic department that is equally funding its men's and women's programs.