Tuesday, May 08, 2007

USA Today Editorialist Defends Title IX

Yesterday's editorial in USA Today defended Title IX against the charges that it is to blame when schools cut teams. It also went on to defend proportionality as a standard for compliance, even though men's declining enrollment in college is making it a difficult standard to attain. Though men's enrollment is a problem that should be examined,

[i]n the short term, if women make up a majority of students, they deserve a majority of athletic slots.

As you might expect, folks posting comments to this editorial decried this position as unfair to men. What I think is very interesting (ironic, even?) about the "proportionality is unfair to men" argument is that the people who came up with proportionality in the first place are the very people who decry it now: advocates for men's sports. Back in the 1970s, when OCR was coming up with the implementing regulations for Title IX, men's sports advocates favored proportionality because at that time, women constituted a 40-or-so percent minority of the college student population. OCR agreed, saying, essentially: You can comply with Title IX if you give everyone the same rate of opportunity to participate. You can give a majority of the opportunities to the population that's a majority on campus.

Interestingly, proportionality only became objectionably and "unfair" when women attained the same majority status on campus that men had back then.

1 comment:

Gender Blank said...

But...but...but...you can't hold us to this agreement if we never intended for it to actually result in equality in the first place!

Majority rules, but only so long as I'm in the majority!


(this was my attempt at impersonating MRAs, if you couldn't tell)