Bush's nominee for secretary of education, Margaret Spellings, should be interrogated during her confirmation hearing as to the role she played in these most unusual actions.
Feminists in the Carter and Clinton administrations converted Title IX into a weapon to enforce gender quotas, thereby abolishing as many men's college athletic teams as possible.
Long forgotten were the words of Title IX's author, former U.S. Rep. Edith Green, D-Ohio, who stated that the law is "exceedingly explicit so that the establishment of quotas would be prohibited."
Gender quotas are created by the invention of an informal regulation called the "proportionality test," which means that the male-to-female ratio on competitive sports teams must equal the male-to-female ratio of college enrollment. About 56 percent of college students today are women, yet only a fraction seek to compete in intercollegiate sports.
The senseless numbers game called proportionality has resulted in the elimination of hundreds of male teams: 171 colleges dropped wresting, 37 colleges dropped football, 27 dropped outdoor track, 25 dropped swimming and 10 abolished ice hockey.
The abolition of wrestling teams proves that Title IX enforcement has nothing to do with equalizing funding or scholarships, because wrestling is one of the cheapest of all competitive sports. Eliminating wrestling does nothing for women; it simply feeds the anti-masculine animus of feminists.
Bush had the chance to remedy this nonsense when he appointed a commission to study the problem. But he put feminists on the commission, and then chickened out because the commission's report was not unanimous and allowed the proportionality rule to remain.
Feminists assert that proportionality is only one part of a three-prong test. But proportionality is the only prong that matters because college attorneys warn that the bean-counting approach is the only safe way to protect universities from lawsuits.
It is an incontrovertible fact that men are more interested in competitive sports than women, and it is typical for colleges to have difficulty finding women to meet their quota targets. Despite the claim that Title IX helps women athletes, the numbers game has actually caused the elimination of traditional girls' teams such as gymnastics (100 teams have been abolished) in favor of large-squad sports such as rowing or horseback riding.
In ridiculing the senselessness of gender quotas, the University of Kansas college newspaper published this ironic comment. "College sports for women should be compulsory. Granted, many women may insist they don't want to play sports, but after generations of patriarchal oppression, it isn't realistic to think women really know what they want. The goal of perfectly equal gender ratios is more important than what anybody 'wants.'"
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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