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Phyllis Schlafly
by: Phyllis Schlafly

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Bush Administration Caves Into The Feminists On Title IX
July 23, 2003

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The Bush Administration has just re-affirmed the Clintonian feminists' Title IX outrages, which impose a gender quota-like system on college sports. The feminists are squealing with joy, but Bush is dreaming if he thinks they will ever reward him with their votes.

At least 56 percent of college students are women, yet only a fraction seek to compete in intercollegiate sports. The Clintonian feminists' "proportionality" test laid down the absurd rule that fewer than 56 percent of women on athletic teams would be judged unlawful sex discrimination.

To protect against lawsuits, colleges have been disbanding men's teams, a practice that doesn't benefit women in the slightest. Wrestling, one of the least expensive sports, is a major casualty of this mindless demand for quota equality.

Other fatalities include men's track and field, swimming and gymnastics; Howard University even abandoned its baseball team. You don't have to be a math major to compare the total number of male and female athletes at a college and then dismantle men's teams until the proportion reflects enrollment.

A July 11 "guidance" letter sent by the Bush Administration to all colleges tosses some soft-soap language at the men such as "the elimination of teams is a disfavored practice." But the guidance preserves the "proportionality" methodology that invites an army of attorneys to sue any deep-pocket college with a gender-quota discrepancy.

The new guidance promises that the Department of Education will "aggressively enforce" Title IX and continue to use the Clinton Administration's three-prong test which the guidance claims "has worked well." More important, the guidance keeps the door open for feminist lawyers to continue to take the "proportionality" prong all the way to the bank and hope to collect over $1 million in attorneys' fees from each college (which was the lawyers' fee for suing Brown University).

The guidance proves that President Bush's statements against quotas are just empty rhetoric. The guidance allows the colleges to continue using quotas (under the code word proportionality), which the liberals and feminists who run the colleges are eager to use.

Men's sports teams can't be saved by private funding since this battle is not about money. Many male teams such as football are excellent fundraisers because alumni (like most sports fans) are bigger fans of men's sports than women's.

Walk-on athletes who are not recruited or financed by the college should be removed from gender comparisons, since they reflect the fact that men are far more interested in sports. Older women, who increasingly attend college but are beyond their athletically competitive years, should also be excluded.

At the very least, the Bush Administration should have called for comparing the gender ratio of those who make the teams against those who tried out. If a higher percentage of women make the teams than men do, which is usually the case, then the college is probably not discriminating.

Last year Education Secretary Rod Paige appointed a panel to study the effect of Title IX on college sports. But after the feminists went on a media attack against reform, the Bush Administration retreated in fem-fear.

Paige quelled the commotion by announcing he would consider only proposals that received unanimous commission support. That guaranteed perpetuation of the status quo.

Men on sports teams act like men, and the feminists are hostile to the male culture. College football produces social conservatives such as Jack Kemp, Steve Largent, J.C. Watts and the late Supreme Court Justice Byron White.

College wrestling programs brought us conservative stalwarts Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Speaker Dennis Hastert. Track and field yielded Jim Ryun, one of the greatest milers of all time and now a Congressman.

While football players are known to date cheerleaders, women collegiate athletes are not known to chase quarterbacks. The radical feminists' hostility toward men is manifested in the abolition of sports in which men excel, such as wrestling.

Young women are ultimately hurt by this irrational feminist agenda. Girls are unwittingly pushed into higher risks of injury and hormonal-changing drugs.

Studies show that female competitors have a higher incidence of knee and head injuries compared to men. Torn anterior cruciate ligaments (ACLs) are crippling women athletes at an alarming rate, and last year decimated even the well-trained women's professional soccer league.

A 1999 study found that girls softball had double the rate of serious head injuries as boys baseball, despite a baseball's greater hardness and speed. Last fall, the only girl in a junior football league in Chicago suddenly collapsed and died from a blood clot in the brain, apparently caused by a routine tackle days earlier.

It is unjust to limit the number of men in intercollegiate sports to the relative number of women in college. Discrimination should be based on opportunity (the word in the regulation) rather than on equal results.

Just imagine what would happen if our military refused to enlist men unless an equal number of women enlisted!


 
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