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Friday, June 3, 2016

Will Further Perversions of Title IX Ruin Women’s Athletics? (UPDATED)

Quick (no web searching!), who was the 2016 NCAA Division I women’s basketball champion? (Don’t tell me that your office didn’t do a women’s NCAA tournament bracket contest!) Okay, given that they’ve (UConn) won it four times in-a-row, that’s too easy. Let’s try again: Who was the last (2015) WNBA champion? (Hint: They’ve won it four of the last five seasons.) Don’t feel bad, I didn’t know either, and twice in their recent five-year championship run they defeated the team from my home state in the championship series.

Even better: Can you name five WNBA teams? How about five WNBA players? Last year, the most watched women’s sporting event of all-time occurred. What was it? Can you name the teams or five players (a hint!) who competed? Neither could I.

Speaking of most-watched sporting events, of the 50 most-watched sporting events of 2015, 43 of them were NFL games. Only one was a female sporting event (the answer to the third question in the previous paragraph: last year’s Women’s World Cup final). I know, including the NFL just isn’t fair. Nevertheless, of the 50 most-watched non-NFL sporting events of 2015, only two were women’s events. Even non-humans outperform women’s sports in viewership—three of the 2015 non-NFL top 50 were horse racing events.

In spite of such glaring consumer-based evidence—and as fast as Bernie Sanders can dodge a question on Venezuela and socialism—liberals across the U.S. continue to insist that we must have “equality” when it comes to sports in America. When it comes to college and high school athletics, the infamous Title IX is the favorite instrument of liberals with which to discriminate in order to eliminate “discrimination.”

Enacted in 1972, Title IX benignly declares, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” In the initial hearings prior to the law being passed, very little mention was made of athletics. At that time, most of the focus was on the hiring and employment practices of federally funded educational institutions—especially colleges and universities.

Of course Title IX soon devolved into a weapon used to impose radical feminist ideology upon public colleges and universities. This is especially the case with college athletics.

In the 44-year history of Title IX, hundreds of men’s college athletic programs have been killed, with tens of thousands of male athletes losing the opportunity to compete at the collegiate level. In 1981 there were 146 Division I men’s wrestling programs. Today, only about half of that number (77) exists. According to the Government Accountability Office, from 1981 to 1999 a total of 171 college wrestling programs (all divisions) were eliminated. Since 1980, about 80 percent of Division I men’s gymnastics teams have been lost (from nearly 80 teams down to only 15).

On the other hand, colleges and universities are literally inventing opportunities for female athletes. For example, with 89 participants—which is 40 percent larger than the average NCAA Division I rowing program—the women’s rowing team at the University of Iowa is the second largest athletic program (behind football). According to a recent article in The Gazette, in order to create more opportunities for college females to participate in athletics, rowing teams across the U.S. “are unique in that they have a novice division for freshmen, most of whom have never rowed.”

This is unsurprising, as very few high schools in the U.S.—and none in Iowa—offer girls rowing. Thus, in order to fill Title IX quotas, schools are reduced to “recruiting” female rowers from their own campuses. Women’s college rowing teams scour their campuses in search of women who are “tall and athletic.” Instead of inflated rosters on existing sports teams, some women’s sports advocates are calling for new sports opportunities for females such as lacrosse or ice hockey. Yet scant numbers of high schools (less than 6%—about 2,200 teams out of more than 37,000 high schools) across the U.S. offer girl’s lacrosse. Even fewer offer ice hockey.

And virtually none of these college women’s teams produce revenues that can support their budgets. In the 2014-2015 season, the University of Iowa women’s rowing team’s net revenue was less than one-tenth of its operating budget. Almost every women’s college athletics program in America loses money. (Consistently, at the collegiate level, only football and men’s basketball make money.)

And this is true of women’s professional sports teams as well. On the heels of winning the 1999 World Cup and the gold medal at the 2000 Olympics, incorrectly sensing a growing interest in women’s soccer, American investors created the Women’s United Soccer Association. This professional women’s soccer league lasted only three seasons and lost over $100 million dollars. In 2009 the Women’s Professional Soccer league began play. It too lasted only three seasons.

The most “successful” American professional women’s sports league is the WNBA. Yet it was 14 seasons before a single WNBA team actually made money. It’s nearly impossible to find the hard figures—almost certainly because there is virtually no one in the mainstream sports media who wishes to acknowledge the truth—but the best I can tell, in nearly 20 years of operation, the WNBA as a whole has yet to turn a profit. (It’s only lasted as long as it has because it’s been financially propped up by the NBA.) Tellingly, as of 2014, over 50 NBA players made more money than every WNBA player combined.

There will never be “gender equality” when it comes to athletics, because human genders are not—and will never be—equal. Men are bigger, faster, and stronger than women. And “bigger, faster, and stronger” makes for more exciting and interesting sports. What’s more, as most anyone not devoted to a liberal worldview who’s observed human beings for at least 15 minutes was already aware, men are naturally more physically aggressive than are women. As Psychology Today points out:

The fact that males are more aggressive and more violent is reflected by their anatomy itself; in many animals species they are heavier, more muscular, better armed with means of attack and defense. In humans, for example, the arms of men are, on average, 75 percent more muscular than those of women; and the top of a male body is 90 percent stronger that the top of a female body [Bohannon, 1997; Abe et al., 2003, apud Goetz, 2010, p. 16]. Also, men are taller, they have denser and heavier bones, their jaw is more massive, their reaction time is shorter, their visual acuity is better, their muscle/fat ratio is greater, their heart is bulkier, their percentage of hemoglobin is higher, their skin is thicker, their lungs bigger, their resistance to dehydration is higher etc. In other words, from all points of view, men are more suited for battle than women, and these skills are native.

And as Ann Coulter noted over a decade ago, “Competitive sports are ritualized forms of fighting, and boys like to fight.” In other words, sports—especially those involving heavy contact—is a form of battle, and in spite of what the Obama administration would have us believe, men are much more suited for battle than are women. No amount of legislation or other forms of legal wrangling is going to change these facts.

But as we all know, liberalism has never let facts get in the way of their agenda, and with new efforts derived from an even more perverse interpretation of Title IX, liberals may have finally found a way to make women’s sports more interesting: let men compete as women.

Given the moral depths to which our culture has sunk on sex and sexuality, it’s very easy these days to find “transgender” advocates touting Title IX as giving students wide-ranging “rights” to live a lie. Among many other crazy things, on “transgender and gender non-conforming students,” The National Center for Transgender Equality declares:

  • You have the right to equal educational opportunities regardless of your gender, including your gender identity or expression, or your race, nationality, or disability. This includes not being punished or excluded from school activities or events [read: sports] because you are transgender or gender non-conforming.
  • You have the right to use restrooms, locker rooms, and other facilities that are consistent with your gender identity, and can’t be forced to use separate facilities.

As early as five years ago the NCAA “Office of Inclusion” produced a document that, among many other crazy things, recommended allowing humans who were born male to compete as females. They piously and ignorantly declared that assumptions commonly made about humans born male who wish to pretend they are female “are not well founded.”

Ignoring sound science and common sense, the June 2016 edition of the “science” magazine Cosmos concludes that, “It’s only a matter of time before trans female athletes compete in the Olympics,” and “they will not have an edge over the rest of the field.”

The state of Alaska is already allowing boys to compete against girls. Just days ago, KTUU in Anchorage reported that Nattaphon Wangyot—who was born male but identifies as a female—was allowed to represent Haines High School in the women’s 3A 200-meter race at the state track meet. I wonder what poor girl was kept out of the meet as the result of such blatant discrimination. Wangyot also played volleyball and basketball, presumably on the girl’s teams. I wonder what poor girls lost playing time as the result of having a boy participate on their team.

Given that we now live in a culture that has legally redefined the oldest institution in the history of humanity, whether we’re talking about locker rooms or restrooms, it should come as little surprise that we are now debating what is a male and what is a female. However, no one seems to be pointing out that this type of perverse thinking ONLY hurts (real) female athletes. If mental illness and hormone therapy were really all that’s necessary to level the playing field, why are no “transgender males” (females pretending to be men) beating (real) men, at any type of elite level, in any sport? In the combined 276-year history of MLB, the NFL, and the NBA, no human being born a female has ever been a regular member of any of those leagues.

Real women better rise up and notice what is happening. If this is the path the homosexual agenda (which includes the transgender apologists) now wants to take, Title IX (ironically) is now being used to render women athletics a farce.

(See this column at American Thinker and The Patriot Post.)

UPDATE: Some interesting recent articles (on the state of professional women's athletics) courtesy of some folks at the Free Republic (thanks DWW!):

U.S. women’s hockey team scrimmaging against high school boys with mixed results

What happened to girl power? Australia's national women's soccer team the Matildas lose 7-0 to an under FIFTEENS boys' side

UPDATE 2: It seems that the guy competing against girls at the high school state track meet in Alaska got 3rd place in the 200-meter race! So this is where radical feminism has taken us: guys taking medals from girls! I guess there's no end to the absurdity that liberalism will yield.

Copyright 2016, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
www.trevorgrantthomas.com
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

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