Want to go a step farther than Title IX? How about this: Title 9 3/4. And a boycott by players — mostly male — until each team in your league either plays mixed-gender games or fields an equivalent women’s team?
That’s the story I wrote for The Guardian today.
Gender equity has become one of those topics about which it’s nearly impossible to have a rational discussion.
If you see the last discussion I had on this topic, you can get a sense of my frustration. Legitimate points are there to be made — sports programs are getting cut, and while Title IX may sometimes be a convenient scapegoat, it’s hard to ignore that complying with Title IX can be messy or even counterproductive.
The examples I always use are Georgia Tech and North Carolina. The latter could easily be a victim of its success if it were ever seriously pressed to meet “Prong 1” of the Title IX test, proportionality (tying athletic opportunities to the gender ratio of the student body). In reading The Man Watching, the biography of Carolina women’s soccer coach Anson Dorrance, you can trace Chapel Hill’s history from an overwhelmingly male student body to a 60-40 female ratio as, only partly coincidentally, it gets serious about women’s sports. Georgia Tech is still puttering along with a 64% male student body. Guess who has no trouble meeting the proportionality prong. Why use this law, which was supposed to be about educational opportunities and not just sports, to make things difficult on the university that has become a haven, if not heaven, for female students and student-athletes while not using it to encourage more women to go to schools like Georgia Tech?
Continue reading Gender equity debate won’t end, but can it change?