Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Is Title IX Hurting Men? (No)

On Jezebel, Anna North provides perspective from Donna Lopiano on recent headlines blaming Title IX for universities' decisions to eliminate men's teams (see, e.g.). Lopiano blames the arms race in spending on men's basketball and football, which at Division I institutions receive 78% of the funding for men's sports. It's this kind of favoritism that results in schools having to cut teams in the first place, and the existing disparities in opportunities that still favor men, that put men's sports like wrestling and tennis on the chopping block. North reported that Lopiano succinctly replied "oh god no" when she asked her if Title IX should be modified. She didn't need to say more. Though the disrespect that schools show to when they choose to favor the 120-worst football player over their best male wrestlers and tennis players is deplorable, it's not a Title IX violation. It's a collective-action problem that, as Donna Lopiano points out, can be solved when Congress, the NCAA, and its member institutions agree to get it done.

Honestly, though, as much as I like reading Donna Lopiano's perspective on this issue, my favorite part of this post was in the comments at the end, when readers put the Title IX-cutting-men's-teams issue into perspective not with statistics and policy arguments, but with pop culture.

One posted: What is this, a King of the Hill episode?

Another posted back:
Hank Hill: It's all well and good to talk about equal rights until some MAN loses his job! How's that equal?
Bobby Hill: Yeah! And it's worse when they take away our favors, 'cause we're USED to getting 'em!