Check out this jab at Title IX reformers in Sally Jenkins’ WaPost column about the U.S. women’s basketball team:
The next time some fool argues that Title IX should be rewritten, just show them the highlights of the U.S. women’s basketball team at this Olympics, and of Lisa Leslie in particular. Twelve years of playing for her country, not a single loss and four gold medals. Think she was worth the funding?
Just three short sentences, but, wow, there so much wrong in there. According to Jenkins, Title IX reformers are “fools” who don’t want to fund women’s athletics. Sophomoric jabs aside, Jenkins completely misses the point when it comes to Title IX reform. Other than scholarship money, Title IX makes no demands on schools in terms of athletic funding. But it does regulate the number of participants, through it’s proportionality requirement. Schools are forced to adapt their programing to this one-size-fits-all quota system and the results have been a mixed bag. As Jenkins alludes to, many female athletes have thrived in the post-Title IX world. But many men haven’t had that same opportunity to succeed because their programs have been cut to meet the demands of proportionality.
I don’t think it’s at all foolish to ask that Title IX’s enforcement mechanisms be reformed to allow both sexes to prosper.