- Paperback: 165 pages
- Publisher: Encounter Books,USA (1 January 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1893554805
- ISBN-13: 978-1893554801
- Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 1.9 x 21.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
Tilting the Playing Field: Schools, Sports, Sex and Title IX Paperback – 1 Jan 2003
"[I]t is refreshing to find a volume that delivers more than it promises. Jessica Gavora's Tilting the Playing Field ... does so in a way that will prove enlightening to the general reader and indispensable for the public-policy specialist."
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In sports specifically, since Title IX mandates that men and women participate equally even though women generally are not as interested, male sports (as for example wrestling) are thus a typical casualty, with young men who would like to play unable to do so because their college is forced, at the risk of litigation or losing funding, to cut their team so that a (feministically envisioned statistical) 'gender balance' will be achieved.
Title IX's contrafactual foundational ideology and dysfunctional results don't end with sports, but continue to other areas of gender interest and relations as well-one being female participation in technology and the 'hard sciences'. Here, again, women on their own freely choose not to study these subjects as much as men, but, instead of accepting that these differences are natural, feminist thinkers such as Andrea Dworkin, Catherine MacKinnon, and others, and the federal and state courts who accept their Dworkin-in-Wonderland reasoning, fantasize that they must be due to sexism and continued patriarchal dominance-allowing them to thus use Title IX to grab more state funding for women.
Among many other points, Gavora also discusses:
a) how Title IX is often accredited by liberal thinkers and the media for being responsible for increasing female participation in college sports in the seventies and eighties-but, as with other social phenomenon like the long-time trend towards reduced rates of poverty before the introduction of Great Society programs, these effects were likely already occuring in civil society and would have continued. Thus, Nike's trumpeting of the U.S. Women's 1999 World Cup Soccer victory, as due to Title IX, is likely pure flattery, and an abject attempt to 'validate' its client base. Does anyone happen to remember the U.S. Women's previous World Cup win over Norway? In 1991?
b) the feminist hatred of football and envy of its huge funding stream,
c) the feminist indifference to the harms visited upon young men by their legislative and bureaucratic overreach,
d) the formulaic application of the equality principle, wasting resources in many different ways (such as in one instance discarding an old softball stadium because because it wasn't exactly proportional to the more modern one for the mens baseball team),
e) the inane refusal to let men's sports teams even PAY THEIR OWN WAY in order to continue their existence,
f) the head-scratching attempt to make colleges legally culpable in somehow not creating interest among women in general for increased sports participation-as if colleges should somehow have the ability to propagandize women from cradle to high school and inculcate in them the degree of love of sports only found among lesbian women, and
g) the fact that many young college women, seeing the damage wrought to their male friends by this legislation and these out-of-control bureaucracies, also dislike the effects of Title IX.
Of course, as with every road to Hell, it's the UNINTENDED consequences that get you. In the case of Title IX, Ms. Gavora lucidly and compellingly documents what the unintended consequences have been: Title IX has been used to assault collegiate men's athletic programs.
But wait, you say. Surely you must be in favor of increased opportunities for women, even if that means fewer opportunities for men! Isn't that fair?
Well, it sure sounds fair -- but that isn't what Title IX is being used to do. The gender totalitarians enforcing Title IX have introduced into it the notion that it requires gender parity, or even that funding of and participation in athletic programs need to be distributed on the same gender proportions as general university enrollment.
So universities that have been unable to attract a sufficient number of women athletes -- universities where spots on women's teams sit unfilled because of lack of applicants -- have cut thriving and even self-funded men's programs to get their women-men ratio to the right level.
In other words, Title IX is being used to reduce the opportunities for men to play college sports even where no new opportunities for women are created or where women patently do not want those opportunities.
What woman actually want does not matter to these gender militants. What matters is that men's athletics programs must be smashed to bits, and the Federal government, levered into play with Title IX, is the biggest stick around.
Ms. Gavora is an excellent and convincing writer and this is an important and honest book.
Tilting the Playing Field: Schools, Sports, Sex and Title IX by Jessica Gavora is exceptionally well written and researched. One could do worse than read this book to get an overview of what is going on with Title IX and its effect on school funded sports.
In all honesty, I have little interest or background in this subject. However, since I knew the author and had been impressed by some of her writing and verbal arguments on other subjects; decided to invest some time in learning about this hot button issue.
Even if all of Ms Gavora's facts and arguments are spot on, it is difficult for me to see why anyone would care about publicly funded sports in high school and college. When I attended college at the University of Oklahoma, that institution was a hot bed of out of control athletes. Cutting some funding and forcing these folks to compete in student funded and ran intramural activities seems like it would have been an improvement. Indeed, many of the athletes I met or observed in college had no business being in college. When I hear that certain universities have an 80% or 90% graduation rate among athletes, I know that someone is cooking the books. The graduation among ALL students at a typical state university normally hovers around 50% of any incoming freshman class.
Moreover, if one looks at the military academies, it is easy to make the argument that the attempt to develop competitive football and basketball teams has lowered standards academically and professionally. The recent scandals at the Naval Academy have all largely involved those on athletic scholarships. Fundamentally, one must ask if student funded and student led intramural sports are more effective at developing leadership and management skills than the current system.
Since I feel that the current system is so inherently flawed, the fact that Title IX is badly "tilting" it in an unnatural state is not an issue, in my humble opinion, for concern.
Regardless, this book is extremely well researched and written. While I disagree with the thesis of this book, I would gladly read another book by the same author just to enjoy her academic rigor and beautiful writing.