On behalf of the Independent Women’s Forum, I’d like to thank you all once again for coming to today’s event.
Today we’ve heard from some very courageous students from James Madison University, but we must not forget that the issue we’re talking about affects every school in the country. The ten teams that were recently cut at James Madison are merely the latest victims of Title IX compliance. They join countless other teams in the Title IX graveyard and we’re here today to say enough is enough. We need meaningful Title IX reform now, before this can happen on yet another campus.
Women have made tremendous strides since Title IX’s implementation in 1972. Back then there was discrimination, barriers to entry for women in many areas of education, not just athletics. But the environment on college campuses has changed, and the law and the enforcement of the law has not.
Once a minority, women now represent the majority of college students. Nationally, six out of every ten college students are women. At JMU women represent 61% of the student body. We are excelling across the board in almost every category you can imagine.
Sadly, ideologues have hijacked the issue and often use women as a political weapon. They say that if you don’t support Title IX and the status quo that you are somehow anti-woman. We’re here to say that is simply not true. The current enforcement of Title IX does not fully serve women or men and we deserve better.
Title IX isn’t the problem, it’s the way it’s been applied and enforced. In fact, the current enforcement guidelines are a gross distortion of the original intent of Title IX.
Today, Title IX is used as a de facto quota system which more often takes opportunities away from student-athletes rather than providing anything positive for university communities. This was not the intent of the law. Back in 1972 both the House and Senate sponsors of the bill assured their fellow politicians and the public that no quotas would be involved in Title IX, that such quotas are exactly what Title IX intends to prohibit, and that the law only requires that each individual be judged on merit without regard to sex.
Fast forward to today, and you see colleges feeling compelled to use the proportionality prong of Title IX as a quota system. They are using massive cuts either to athletic teams or roster spots to meet an artificial ratio of male to female student athletes.
The status quo doesn’t serve women, and it certainly doesn’t serve men. Students deserve a law that is fair to both sexes. The Independent Women’s Forum is looking forward to our meeting with officials at the Department of Education later today so that we may move in the direction of a Title IX law that restores justice and equality on our nation’s campuses.
Thank you and I look forward to your questions.
Visit IWF’s Title IX page here.