Sunday, August 21, 2011

I wasn't going to say anything but...

...I can't not.
I usually let whatever Phyllis Schlafly says just go by. Most of it I don't even read more than a paragraph of. But she invoked Title IX last week and made statements that don't even border on reality so...
Her basic premise: feminists hate everything masculine so we have wielded Title IX like a sledgehammer destroying men's intercollegiate sports left and right and, in the process, making college a less desirable option for young men, which is why almost 60 percent of undergraduates these days are women. Really? So high school boys are saying, "Well, I'm a pretty smart person. I know that it's probably better to have a college degree in this economy than not. But I can't play sports, so I'm not going to bother." If that's the reason high school boys are opting not to go to college...well methinks they probably couldn't get into one in the first place. First, so few college students actually play intercollegiate sports. Second, men still have more opportunities to play sports. Third, club sports and intramurals. There are plenty of opportunities. Sure not every opportunity offers one the chance to pawn a championship bowl ring or exchange school-issued team gear for favors and cash--but broom ball is still really, really fun and doesn't involve criminal investigations.
Also, feminists don't hate masculinity. The loss of wrestling teams--the example Schlafly cites--is not because we feminists hate masculinity. It's because wrestling is not as prized a form of masculinity (perhaps because it does not bring in revenue??) as the masculinity associated with football. And when schools feel they can't keep all the masculinities because they are being required to be equitable--well wrestling suffers. (There are other reasons as well for the loss of wrestling teams. See our previous posts about it.)
Finally, if feminists--specifically Title IX advocates (not all of whom consider themselves feminists, by the way)--hated masculinity, we wouldn't be encouraging girls to play sports--one of the most historically masculine activities. We wouldn't be advocating for more girls to wrestle or to get the chance to play football--and every other sport.
Once in a while, I feel a smidge of sympathy for Schlafly. She got really burned by the Republican party early in her political career when she tried to run for public office and they would not back her. But the woman is the definition of cognitive dissonance. And, in this case, she's making odd and unsupportable claims about something she seems to know very little about.