The Bush administration has reaffirmed the Title IX outrages of President Clinton-era feminists, which impose a gender quota-like system on college sports. Feminists are squealing with joy, but President Bush is dreaming if he thinks they will reward him with their votes.
At least 56 percent of college students are women, yet only a fraction of those female students seek to compete in intercollegiate sports. The Clinton administration feminists' "proportionality" test laid down the absurd rule that a college or university with fewer than 56 percent of women on its athletic teams would be engaging in unlawful sex discrimination.
To protect against lawsuits, colleges have been disbanding men's teams, a practice that does not benefit women. College wrestling, one of the least expensive sports to operate, is a major casualty of this mindless demand for quota equality.
Other fatalities include men's track and field, swimming and gymnastics. Howard University even abandoned its baseball team. You don't have to be a math major to compare the total number of male and female athletes at a college and then dismantle men's teams until the proportion reflects enrollment.
A July 11, 2003, "guidance" letter sent by the Bush administration to all colleges tosses soft-soap language at the men such as "the elimination of teams is a disfavored practice." But the guidance preserves the "proportionality" methodology that invites attorneys to sue any deep-pocket college with a gender-quota discrepancy.
The new guidance promises that the Department of Education will "aggressively enforce" Title IX and continue to use the Clinton administration's three-prong test, which the guidance claims "has worked well." More important, the guidance keeps the door open for feminist lawyers to continue to take the "proportionality" prong all the way to the bank and hope to collect more than $1 million in attorneys' fees from each college. That was the lawyers' fee for suing Brown University.
The guidance proves that President Bush's statements against quotas are only rhetoric. The guidance allows colleges to continue using quotas, under the code guise of proportionality, which the liberals and feminists who run the colleges are eager to use.
Private funding cannot save men's sports teams because this battle is not about money. Many male teams, such as football, are excellent fund-raisers because alumni, like most sports fans, are bigger fans of men's sports than they are of women's sports.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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