Title IX was never intended to be the protector of women’s sports. It was intended to ensure women’s access to all education and educational services. But thanks in part to myopic administrators, its identity has become entirely consumed with college sports, and a misreading of the law (not only did the law not refer to athletics it begins with “no person…”) has led to even well-meaning regulators becoming misguided – the modern interpretation of the law obsesses over how much sports schools offer in proportion to the student population, and – in part to schools today having a gender imbalance in favor of females, and the lack of female football programs when football teams are massive compared to other sports – actually calls for, if one gender must have more sports than the other, that gender being the female.
This is totally bass-ackwards.
If a girl wants to play lacrosse, let her play lacrosse, assuming she can find enough other girls to field a team. But bringing bureaucracy into the mix and enforcing insane hard limits and reverse discrimination not only misses the point of the law, it misses the point of sports.
Sports is rooted in the spirit of competition: in beating the other guy to achieve dominance. It’s a modern expression of our ancestors fighting each other to woo the women. It’s an inherently male institution; in some sense, there are not only cultural but biological reasons for women to have less interest in sports. Women are, generally, more interested in cooperation than competition; when women do turn against one another, it tends to take more subtle, less physical forms. (It is shocking to me that two of the three most popular female sports in this country, golf and tennis, are individual rather than team sports. Then again, golf doesn’t involve direct competition and the appeal of women’s tennis isn’t in the game.)
Part of the problem is deeper, of course, and points at the bureaucratization of society…