My letter to the recreation director and the mayor of Michigan City were polite but strongly worded. My post to a student columnist's anti-Title IX piece in the U of Illinois's Daily Illini was a little more harsh. I'm not really surprised that a university at which so many people thought that their use of a Native American mascot was just fine would produce such a misinformed piece. But I'm feeling feisty and annoyed--a bad combination.
I have copied my post below. The first line is in a response to this post:
Finally someone has the courage to write an article on this subject. No doubt he will be criticized by the activists within a few hours.
He will be criticized by the activists because he fails miserably in his understanding of Title IX. (Also, it doesn't take much courage at all to be anti-woman in a patriarchal society and, in particular, a historically misogynist venue: sport.)The prongs measure only one of 13 different areas of compliance with Title IX. They address only the issue of participation opportunities. And, by the way, it was men who, in 1979, came up with the prong system, because it benefitted them at the time because a higher proportion of men attended colleges and universities. Neither the prongs nor Title IX generally mandates equal funding. It asks for equitable funding, opportunities, and access. The law was designed to accomodate the fact that different sports cost different amounts (uniforms, travel, equipment, etc.). Additionally, perhaps the biggest misconception lies in the "equal number of sports" argument. It is not the number of sports--it is the total number of opportunities. Rosters differ significantly among sports. Even between baseball and softball, two allegedly similar sports; softball keeps a much smaller roster because it does not require carrying such a large pitching staff. This leads to this activist's final point. If you want men's soccer and swimming/diving, hockey, etc.--cut football. The over 100 participation opportunities for men through football could easily field 4 men's teams. Also, the money you save from football's excesses could fund these teams--and then some. Because, with a few exceptions like Ohio State, football does not make money. Stop blaming Title IX--start looking at the facts.