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Sep 26 2012

Schlafly’s Bizarre Title IX Claims

Phyllis Schlafly is a fountain of absurd and crazy claims, but this one may take the cake. On her radio show last week, she actually attacked Title IX on the grounds that women won too many medals at the Summer Olympics and the men didn’t win enough.

Feminist-imposed gender quotas hurt us at the Olympics in events which our Nation once dominated. The systematic elimination of certain men’s sports from colleges has weakened our competitiveness. We won only four medals in all of men’s wrestling, less than half the total won by Iran, and only a fraction of the medals won by Russia in this masculine sport. Wrestling is an immensely popular and valuable sport; it’s inexpensive and safer than other sports. Wrestling develops discipline in boys. Many high-achievers, such as Donald Rumsfeld and pro-life attorney Phill Kline, developed their toughness as wrestlers.

But although tens of thousands of high schools have thriving wrestling programs for boys, at the college level Title IX gender quotas have cancelled wrestling at all but a fraction of colleges. Many hundreds of successful college men’s wrestling programs have been eliminated, not for financial reasons, but due to Title IX gender quotas. These quotas typically require that the percentage of men and women in intercollegiate sports at a college equal the percentage of men and women enrolled as students, even though many colleges have become 60% women and only 40% men.

Other men’s sports have also been hurt by this feminist quota, such as swimming and track. Private swimming clubs and a few aging stars like Michael Phelps filled that gap this time, but we nearly struck out in men’s track in the marquee events of 100, 200, 400 and 800 meters, events the Americans historically dominated. While our Nation won the most medals for the fifth consecutive Summer Olympics, many of our medals were in contests of dubious value like beach volleyball. Title IX quotas have hurt our competitiveness in sports that are most helpful to the development of our young men.

Wrestling is a sport that is particularly helpful to the development of young men? She obviously never knew my wrestling coach (also my gym teacher), Mike McCloughan. Actually, scratch that; she would have loved him. He was dumb as a box of hammers and had a concept of masculinity that was downright prehistoric. He was particularly fond of telling his students that those who play other sports, like basketball, are “sissies.” And you don’t even want to know what he said when my best friend told him he had to be excused from one gym class because he had a dress rehearsal for the school play. They actually run a tournament named after him now. And he was a first class asshole.

Sorry for that digression, which doesn’t really have anything to do with Schlafly’s point. But why is that male sports are so key to the development of men, but women don’t get the same benefit from sports? Why is beach volleyball of any more “dubious” value than wrestling? So much stupid.

33 comments

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  1. 1
    Gregory in Seattle

    Neocon idiots like her have slashed funding for higher education to the point where if a sport doesn’t turn a sizeable profit, it gets cut. Wrestling has never been the money-maker that football and basketball are, therefore wrestling programs at the college level have largely disappeared. So have baseball, soccer, archery, swimming and most other sports.

    Not that I would expect Schlafly to take responsibility for her rhetoric or anything.

  2. 2
    hexidecima

    I can remember guys in middle school and high school starving themselves for wrestling. They were in general nicer than the football players but that’s damning with faint praise. Phyllis must like to watch the sweaty mens grapple because with her record, I would have figured she would find wrestling a “gateway” to being homosexual. And finally, it’s typical, oh, not it’s not the republicans who want to gut schools that are too blame, it’s those feminists!

  3. 3
    slc1

    What else can one expect from a moron like Schlafly who has stated that women who jog in jogging bras and shorts are asking to be raped.

    Interestingly enough, Schlafly the schmuck doesn’t even mention the fact that the major TV sports, Football and Basketball are running deficits at most colleges which are the reason that minor sports like wrestling have been canceled.

  4. 4
    imrryr

    Right Wing Watch helpfully points out that the USA has never dominated Olympic wrestling.

  5. 5
    kyle

    I have taken a Foundations of Physical Education class in college and the most important thing my instructor stressed was the financial side of Title IX. Mainly, school funds had to spent equally on male and female sports.

  6. 6
    andrewjohnston

    Her son’s been going on about that nonsense too, so clearly the apple doesn’t fall far.

    Note that her examples of masculinity are Rumsfeld and Phill Kline. Because it takes discipline and toughness to harass teenage girls and lie to the state boards, right?

  7. 7
    ArtK

    But why is that male sports are so key to the development of men, but women don’t get the same benefit from sports? Why is beach volleyball of any more “dubious” value than wrestling?

    Because it upsets the Natural Order of Things. Like all RWAs, Schlafly has a very narrow idea of The Way Things Must Be. Anything that deviates from that way is automatically bad. She then has to apply ad hoc “reasoning” to find “evidence” to prove that it’s bad.

    In this particular case, we have violations of the Roles of Men and Women as well as a serious violation of American Exceptionalism. Women must be meek and submissive while men are aggressive and physical. Didn’t you know that we always win everything? Any events that we don’t win at are just pseudo-sports and don’t really count.

  8. 8
    YankeeCynic

    “Many high-achievers, such as Donald Rumsfeld and pro-life attorney Phill Kline, developed their toughness as wrestlers.”

    Well, there’s two good reasons not to bother with supporting wrestling programs.

  9. 9
    jakc

    You’d think someone who hates teh gay as much as Phyllis would want boys to be watching tall women in bikinis jumping around and not guys hugging each other.

  10. 10
    Michael Heath

    I’m at the point in Chris Mooney’s newest book, The Republican Brain, where he’s using Phyllis Schlafly as an example of a well-educated supposedly intelligent wingnut, who wins her political fights. I forgot how thoroughly reprehensible her tactics were. I think Mr. Mooney’s motivation to use her as his foil was to reveal how she was a founder of what is now mainstream populist politics from the Republican party.

    It was also interesting having Mr. Mooney reporting responses by a handful of liberals to Ms. Schlafly back then, where they wished her dead. Some fantasized about using torturous methods. It’s another example of how liberals are continually improving on their tactics, we don’t now observe death wishes from well-known liberals, while Republicans increasingly popularize the very worst attributes of conservatism.

  11. 11
    matty1

    How has funding women hurt American success in Olympic swimming, I just checked and you got 16 medals – 8 each from the men’s and women’s teams. Does she want half the medals given back or is she arguing Phelps should have been allowed in the women’s races as well because Socialism?

  12. 12
    Ben P

    These quotas typically require that the percentage of men and women in intercollegiate sports at a college equal the percentage of men and women enrolled as students, even though many colleges have become 60% women and only 40% men.

    I’ve never worked with Title IX, but I’m reasonably certain that’s just flat wrong. There is no rigid gender quota for sports.

    Title IX provides that no education program recieving federal funding can discriminate on the basis of gender, admit or exclude anyone from any activity on the basis of gender, or condition participation on the basis of gender.

    Due to concern over collegiate athletics, the Javits amendment to Title IX allows for “reasonable provisions considering the nature of particular sports.” Federal Regulations generally require universities to offer “equal opportunities” to each sex and there are numerous specific factors and a three prong test.

    One of the most common conditions is that in order to offer “equal opportunity” a University must have balanced numbers of male and female programs (not necessarily individual athletes). For all the sports that are “male only” there must be at least one female only or female dominant program.

    Swimming, Tennis, Basketball, Track and Field, Baseball/Softball, etc. are their own twins and don’t through this balance into question.

    Football is male dominated, Volleyball and Cheerleading are female dominated. Sometimes field hockey is present, but is twinned with Lacrosse in most placees it exists.

    There’s not, to my knowledge, however, any requirement that college have hard matching quotas for male and female athletes.

  13. 13
    Ben P

    I have taken a Foundations of Physical Education class in college and the most important thing my instructor stressed was the financial side of Title IX. Mainly, school funds had to spent equally on male and female sports.

    This is also true, but in a twist is much more of a problem at smaller schools.

    A lots of major universities the football and mens basketball programs are revenue positive, while the rest of the sports are revenue negative. Usually the athletic department as a whole is revenue negative, but this is not always the case. LSU, for example, avoids sports Title IX restrictions because its athletic program does not accept any money either from the university general fund or the federal government.

    As long as the schools redirect the revenue into the athletic budget that goes to both male and female programs, they don’t get stuck in the trap of having to justify why football gets a $100 million stadium and practice facility whereas volleyball practices in the old gym.

    On the other hand a small school which has to positively fund its football program has to consider whether its upsetting equal funding if it wants to pump up the football program.

  14. 14
    Area Man

    Title IX? That is like, so 1990s. Is her next article going to be about OJ?

    Many hundreds of successful college men’s wrestling programs have been eliminated, not for financial reasons, but due to Title IX gender quotas.

    No, it’s definitely for financial reasons. There is nothing stopping a school from putting together a money-losing female wrestling squad (or any other sport) along side it’s money-losing male wrestling squad. If that costs too much, well, it’s because they don’t have enough money. In order to think it’s okay to have one but not the other, you have to think that there’s preferable in losing money on male sports over losing money on female sports.

  15. 15
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    The systematic elimination of certain men’s sports from colleges has weakened our competitiveness.

    What and what?

  16. 16
    Area Man

    I have taken a Foundations of Physical Education class in college and the most important thing my instructor stressed was the financial side of Title IX. Mainly, school funds had to spent equally on male and female sports.

    This isn’t true. There is no requirement to spend equal amounts on both male and female sports, although it may be that some schools choose to spend equal amounts just to be on the safe side.

    This is really one of those things that isn’t too hard to accommodate, kind of like the whole school prayer thing, unless one outright rejects the intent of the law. For people who consider sports to be for boys, while girls should play with dolls, then having equal opportunity for women’s sports probably does seem burdensome. Otherwise, not such a big deal.

  17. 17
    tbp1

    When has she ever made a claim that WASN’T bizarre?

  18. 18
    thalwen

    To people like her, anything that benefits women is bad and hurting men. Since Title IX benefits women it has to hurt men, even if it doesn’t hurt their sports, it hurts their fragile egos knowing that the law requires women to be treated equally.

  19. 19
    timgueguen

    I would imagine the rise of mixed martial arts won’t help anyone\s Olympic wrestling team. Why aspire to compete in an amateur sport when there’s the possibility of making big money in the UFC?

  20. 20
    lofgren

    A lots of major universities the football and mens basketball programs are revenue positive, while the rest of the sports are revenue negative

    This is a highly dubious claim.

    The actual revenues from football tend to be buried in a labyrinth of accounting, but more than one journalist attempting to investigate this claim has come back to report that at almost all schools, football may bring in a lot of money but it consumes even more, taking money from the school budget and from wealth donors as well as the larger chunk of tickets sales and merchandising. Only a very small handful of top ranked university teams actually produce net revenue that goes back into academics rather than directly into the athletics department.

    The counter argument that the schools make is that having a popular sports team allows them to be more competitive, charging higher tuition from more promising prospective students. Polls of high school seniors seem to support this, since having a successful sports team (absurdly) tends to be ranked very highly as a priority amongst students. But once you account for what the school spends on land, facilities, and incidentals like elaborate gifts to players who are already on full athletic scholarships, that advantage is significantly diminished as well.

    I was primarily interested in this topic when I was a student ten years ago. I know there has been a little change over time. UCONN, for example, has made an effort to make accounting practices more transparent, and the current president has promised that the football team will be revenue positive or at least neutral, at least as far as the broader school budget goes. (I have not followed up on how truthful that has turned out to be.)

  21. 21
    Ben P

    This is a highly dubious claim.

    The actual revenues from football tend to be buried in a labyrinth of accounting, but more than one journalist attempting to investigate this claim has come back to report that at almost all schools, football may bring in a lot of money but it consumes even more, taking money from the school budget and from wealth donors as well as the larger chunk of tickets sales and merchandising. Only a very small handful of top ranked university teams actually produce net revenue that goes back into academics rather than directly into the athletics department.

    (1) You didn’t actually read what I wrote, and (2) I was specifically talking about top programs.

    The profit generating athletics teams at schools, which again, are almost exclusively Football and Men’s basketball, rarely contribute back into the general academic fund of the University. Rather, those programs carry a chunk of the weight for the rest of the Athletic Department, and athletics as a whole still cost the school money, but generally far less than it would without the TV revenue.

    There’s a website called the business of college sports which lists collegiate athletic teams in terms of the profit they generate. You can go well past the top 50 and teams are still generating millions of dollars a year in revenue. The top 25 programs generate north of 25 million a year in profit and the top 5 generate over 50 million a year in profit. I’m not linking it because that always seems to make my comments vanish into moderation purgatory.

    But you missed the overall point that schools plow this money directly back into the overall athletics department precisely because the structure of Title IX offers them an incentive to do so.

    Suppose the school budgets $25 million a year in expenditures for the football team. As a male only sport, this expenditure, in rough terms, has to be matched by expenditures on female sports programs. The school can’t spend on football without matching the expenditure elsewhere.

    However, if the team generates revenue, the school can solve much of that problem by turning that revenue into other sports, including Women’s sports.

  22. 22
    Ben P

    Which football and basketball programs have the largest profits

    Maybe it goes into moderation, maybe it doesn’t.

  23. 23
    lofgren

    There’s a website called the business of college sports which lists collegiate athletic teams in terms of the profit they generate. You can go well past the top 50 and teams are still generating millions of dollars a year in revenue.

    (1) You didn’t read what I wrote. (2) I was also talking about top teams.

    Specifically, you ignored the point that accounting practices surrounding football teams are deliberately shady, precisely so that contextless numbers can be reported as “revenue,” when in reality that money will get eaten directly by the same team that generated it.

    The last article I read on the subject was able to identify only five teams who could support their claim to being revenue positive. All others appeared to be revenue negative. All of the revenue generated by those five teams went back into athletics.

    The part of your claim that was dubious were the words “a lot.”

    You should have said, “a very small number.”

  24. 24
    fifthdentist

    Yeah, because if there’s one thing the world needs it’s more Don Rumsfelds …

  25. 25
    Area Man

    The actual revenues from football tend to be buried in a labyrinth of accounting, but more than one journalist attempting to investigate this claim has come back to report that at almost all schools, football may bring in a lot of money but it consumes even more, taking money from the school budget and from wealth donors as well as the larger chunk of tickets sales and merchandising. Only a very small handful of top ranked university teams actually produce net revenue that goes back into academics rather than directly into the athletics department.

    Last I checked, as of a few years ago, nearly half of FBS football programs (the major conferences) lost money. That’s just football. Nearly all athletic departments lost money, with the exception of about 10-15 of the top ones. Although some of those produce a lot of money, so in a handful of cases it’s a real boon, while in the rest it’s a huge drain.

    What I’m highly skeptical if is that any of this could be attributed to Title IX since the biggest problem is spending within the football programs themselves. If anything, shouldn’t Title IX force them to spend less? And if Title IX were to reduce the number of non-revenue producing sports, then… good. That should help athletic departments balance their books. No one wants to see the poor lawn bowling team get disbanded, but if they can’t field both a men’s and women’s team at a reasonable price, then they shouldn’t field either. As things stand though, I haven’t seen anything that leads me to believe that Title IX has any real impact on big time college sports.

    The real problem is that athletic department spending is out of control, and college presidents and boards of trustees are either unable or unwilling to do anything about it. It doesn’t have to be this way. But why try to fix it when you can blame the females?

  26. 26
    Ben P

    Specifically, you ignored the point that accounting practices surrounding football teams are deliberately shady, precisely so that contextless numbers can be reported as “revenue,” when in reality that money will get eaten directly by the same team that generated it.

    The link comes from numbers that all public universities have to report to the department of education, in part to ensure Title IX compliance.

    There is some wiggle room in those numbers particularly with how TV revenue is apportioned and where the cost of capital improvements comes from (typically stadiums are built through private foundations) but not a lot. Waving your hands and suggesting that all the profit is just accounting fluff doesn’t hold water.

  27. 27
    Area Man

    Here is report put out by the NCAA itself showing that in 2009, a whopping 14 schools had net positive revenue in their athletic departments. That’s up from 25 in 2008 and 2007. About 57% of FBS football programs were profitable.

    You can also see, in Table 3.24-3.25, that the amount of money spent on men’s sports is 2-3 times that spent on women’s sports, and that the discrepancy is more pronounced at the higher levels.

    It has only been recently that the NCAA, bowing to pressure, has bothered to make a full accounting of actual expenses and revenues. In previous reports they would add stuff like mandatory student fees to the revenue side of the ledger, as if the football team had created that money.

  28. 28
    justawriter

    One the other hand, Paul Wellstone and Al Franken were both college wrestlers. I agree that they are both more man than Phyllis could ever hope to handle. So maybe we could limit wrestling programs to “funny looking jews”* from Minnesota.

    *I took that from a Wellstone self-description

  29. 29
    d cwilson

    So, who wants to tell Schlafly that Greco-Roman wrestling was originally played in the nude?

  30. 30
    jayarrrr

    It must really burn Schafly’s cookies that the gold in that manly-man sport of Skeet was taken by a woman.

    Same woman who has medaled in Skeet/Trap for the previous FOUR Olympiads, Kim Rhode…

  31. 31
    jayarrrr

    “So, who wants to tell Schlafly that Greco-Roman wrestling was originally played in the nude?”

    She knows, dirty-minded little hypocrite probably faps to the mental image of grunting, sweaty, NEKKID mens…

  32. 32
    Brad

    Scholastic wrestling in Wisconsin is co-ed, and before I fucked up my back, I wasn’t aware of a shortage of collegiate wrestling teams in the upper mid-west.

    And, shit, the wrestling in American high schools and colleges isn’t even the same rules set as the Olympics. She’s whinging about nothing, and even if she did, she has no idea what she’s talking about.

  33. 33
    stace

    Yeah, that wrestling thing, never held much interest for me back then, too much close contact with other guys. The only wrestling I engaged in in high school was with my girlfriend on her basement couch.

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