Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Gender Equality

The NYTimes (gated) names names and harms reputations in an article about how colleges use creative "roster management" to get around the Title IX quota that prescribes a 1:1 ratio of women to men in college sports.

The article points out the unfairness of it all: only 46% of Div-I athletes are women, even though 53% of students are women. An activist is quoted, "Intercollegiate athletics are rare educational opportunities, subsidized with our tax dollars, which deliver superior lifelong returns on investment. When an athletic department engineers itself to produce only the appearance of fairness, they flout the law and cheat women."

To be sure, Global Review holds no brief for those who try to sneakily break the law. The law is the law. But this article is burying the lede! The real scandal here is that the Federal government believes that women must have equal athletic opportunities to men, but does not care whether men have equal educational opportunities to women. In its current application, the law rests on either the proposition (a) that women are more important than men, or (b) that athletics is more important than education.

Of course, the true reason for this law is historical, and the law is dated to an era when women were a minority on college campuses and when many of them felt incapable of advancing in society without the help of the government. While that may have been the case in 1972, surely it is not the case in 2011, in the most liberal branch of American life.

More generally, for those who believe that it is the government's job to continue leveling opportunities and rewards throughout life, why no law mandating that college enrollments be gender balanced?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The problem is that "fairness" is defined as participation in proportion to the number of students, rather than in proportion to interest. Male interest in sports is greater than women's. For every interested student, regardless of sex, to have an equal opportunity would mean that if twice as many men as women are interested in participating, there should be twice as many men (assuming a male-female balance in enrollments). Lacking an agreed-upon way to measure what fraction of male & female students are interested, the default is "equal." Everybody knows it isn't true, and so a certain amount of trying to get around an obviously biased law is to be expected.