Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Title IX Should Benefit All, Not Some

As the old saying goes, "One person's loss is another person's gain." It's often repeated in the context of finding a dropped 5 dollar bill, saying goodbye to a coworker or describing the current stock market situation.

But is it acceptable to throw around when talking about sports opportunities in K-12 and college? Absolutely not. Students' athletic experiences should not be interchangeable. Period.

Apparently, Gazettes reporter Mike Guardabascio seems to think that as long as some students are benefitting from athletics, it doesn't matter who or what is sacrificed along the way:
But for every hurdle Title IX creates, it also affords an opportunity, and a promise: that if the next Billie Jean King or Susie Atwood comes along, they’ll be given a chance to compete for their schools, and etch their name at the bottom of Long Beach’s long list of high school and college trailblazers.
It's clear that Guardabascio just doesn't understand the severity of Title IX's unintended consequences. The only negative aspect of Title IX enforcement he (barely) mentions is the inability of Long Beach State's football team to get reinstated, even though the effects of proportionality are much more profound.

An intentional shortage of opportunities is devastating to boys who have practiced sports their whole life, relied on scholarships, wanted to stay out of trouble, and reaped the physical and mental benefits of joining a team. When teams are cut to make way for new ones, real people are affected; this is an emotional aspect that so many reporters and activists ignore. Asking men to "get over it" and accept that they are pawns in a numbers game is not only unfair, but the complete antithesis of Title IX's spirit. Whereas we should be offering opportunities based on interest, blind to gender, we are striking them down at an alarming rate because of it.

It's time Guardabascio and the whole rest of the lot understand that getting rid of men's teams to try to produce "the next Billie Jean King or Susie Atwood" is sex discrimination at its finest and should not be tolerated. The law's regulations must reflect that both genders should be able to excel at sports, and that they can't to the fullest if one is being brought down to benefit the other.

No comments: