Sunday, May 20, 2007

Newsweek Gives Right Wing Fruitcake Forum to Attack Title IX

This book, and its author, tilts to the right.

Newsweek: Is Title IX Sidelining the Boys?
While federal law made sports more accessible to women, critics charge it works against male athletes.


Jessica Gavora's at it again. This time on the pages of Newsweek magazine, where she is described as "the vice president for policy of The College Sports Council and author of 'Tilting the Playing Field'". In reality, Gavora is a former speechwriter for radical conservatives Newt Gingrich, John Ashcroft, and Alberto Gonzales. Five years ago when Kathy Jean Lopez was reviewing Tilting the Playing Field on NRO, Gavora was described much more accurately: "Today, Gavora is chief speechwriter to attorney general John Ashcroft (and wife of NRO editor Jonah Goldberg)".

[Yes, that's NRO editor Jonah Goldberg, the famous chickenhawk who, while exhorting soldiers to the killing fields of Iraq, said he can't go because "I'm 35 years old, my family couldn't afford the lost income, I have a baby daughter, my a** is, er, sorry"; so Jessica Gavora, Title IX-attacker, is the mother of said daughter. Sad.]

Of course, Newsweek provides none of this biographical information. She's the vice president of The College Sports Council. Doesn't that sound all even-handed and above-board? The fact that this is a group advocating for the interests of wrestling, swimming and gymnastics (small, expensive sports that get cut so schools can have 85 or 95 or 105 man football squads) is not mentioned. That would have involved reporting rather than stenography.

But I digress. Back to Jessica Gavora. The wingers' first attempt to dismantle Title IX failed miserably; public blowback ended their chances of eliminating equality by legislation. So the Bush Administration put out regulations that allow schools to say girls aren't interested in sports by administering a survey; these regulations were roundly and soundly criticized, but they're still in effect. They've only got 1 3/4 years left to attack Title IX, so they're trotting out the new tactics.

Jessica sounds so pro-equality as she attacks Title IX. She's just a pal trying to make things even more equitable:

Do you advocate getting rid of Title IX?

I do think we still need title IX. I think that everybody in our educational institutions deserves protection against sex discrimination. I think that’s an important part of equality in this country. But we need to change the way we are judging schools. They need to be able to offer sports on the basis of student interest. That’s why we applauded the student interest survey, [which surveyed the student body based on interest in athletics, allowing for representative sports teams] because right now we have this very arbitrary numerical formula that we are applying and it’s hurting athletes. Not just male athletes, but female athletes on small roster squads. Women who play smaller roster sports don’t get the same opportunity.

Who's radical? It's all us equality folks, that's who! We're out there trying to brainwash women into thinking they're athletic or something:

What do the people on the other side of the issue argue?

The people on the other side of this believe that it isn’t the role of the university to accommodate the interests of women; they believe it’s the role of the university to create interest. They believe it is the role of the university to educate women on how athletic they are.

No one on the equality side of the ledger has ever said or advocated any such thing, but Newsweek lets it go.

Jessica blames everything on us old women (as Gloria Steinem said, women may be the one group that grow radical with age):

What do female athletes say?

I know that I’ve heard from lots of female athletes who are starting to say that this law has outlived its purpose. They don’t understand what this law means because they’re seeing it limit the opportunities of the men they travel and train with and who make them better athletes. And they think it’s insane. There’s a big generational divide here. Some of the women who are of the “if you build it they will com”’ mentality are older women and they lived at a time and went to college at a time when women were being given the short end of the stick in a major way. But these women today have had a very different experience and they don’t agree with what this law is doing to their male colleagues.

See, from Jessica's perspective, these young women, they're being given the short end of the stick in a minor way, and that's all right. If only us old women would only shut up and know our place. We say it's all about football. What does Jessica think of this argument?

What about the big-money sports, like college football teams, that have 80 players [n.b., actually, there are Division I schools with over 100 men on the football team; the University of South Dakota has 113) when they only really need 30. Do you think they are taking up spaces for smaller men’s sports?

Some people like to say it’s all football, because schools are spending all their money on football teams, but that’s not what this is about. Those football players aren’t taking any opportunities away from females. The money they spend on football is not the reason they can only have 15 guys on their baseball team, when if they took their walk-ons they could have 50. Women don’t come out and play for the team without scholarships the way men do. Women have a lot more things they want to do. Look at the gender balance for every extracurricular activity and they’re all dominated by women, except sports. Women have more diverse interests; men are more maniacally interested in sports. Some people say that’s gender heresy but I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

"Those football players aren't taking any opportunities away from females." That's the crux of the Title IX haters argument: Just take football out of the equation, and you'll see that men are getting screwed. Like it isn't male athletes who are playing football. They're an alien race of large-boned androids, or something. That's what they'd like to have us believe, but football players are indeed male athletes, and get counted toward Title IX compliance.

"Women have a lot more things they want to do. Look at the gender balance for every extracurricular activity and they’re all dominated by women, except sports. Women have more diverse interests; men are more maniacally interested in sports. Some people say that’s gender heresy but I don’t think that’s a bad thing." Gavora used to call this "The sportsmania gap"; but she's abandoned that and other incendiary phraseology like "affirmative androgyny" for more palatable, but still sexist, words:

This mostly applies to college sports, but how is it relevant to high schools?


This proportionality has so far been pretty much confined to colleges and universities and it would really be a tragedy if it were applied to high schools. Like I said, look at who’s doing what extracurricular activity in high schools and then tell me we need to force equality of participation in sports. You’re going to hurt a lot of boys because a lot of girls are busy after school doing other things, so I think it would be terrible if we expanded this to high schools.

"[T]hen tell me we need to force equality of participation in sports...". That's what she's against. She's against equality. Newsweek doesn't hear that dog whistle, but we do. Gavora is for Title IX, but against forced equality. But you can't have it both ways. Either you're for equality, or you're not. She's clearly in the anti-equality camp, and Newsweek should have called her on it. But that would have involved journalism. And this is just stenography, letting another right-wing fruitcake have her say in the corporate media.

33 comments:

JB said...

Wrestling is HARDLY an expensive sport to run. In fact there are 10 starters and the NCAA maximum only allows 9.9 scholarships should say something right there.

Wrestling is one of FOUR NCAA championships that make money -- the Men's Final Four, the College World Series, The Men's Hockey Frozen Four and the Division I Men's wrestling championships.

Wrestling is also the sixth-highest sport in terms of participation among boys, and it's been rising despite the fact college teams have been cut heavily at the biggest college levels.

Please see past the party line and look at how perverted the law has become and how many more men's cuts (at schools WITHOUT FOOTBALL) there are than women's opportunites added.

Anonymous said...

When did the truth ever get into print when it comes to this administration and their "doublespeak" that is snickered into fact by the likes of that toady Frank Luntz who on Bill Maher's show proudly names off his "Clear Skies Initiative" and "Responsible Oil Exploration" titles he keeps at his fingertips as if they aren't really blatant fucking backdoor obfuscation.

Fuck this group of anti-women, anti-gay, anti-thought scumholes who cannot be driven fast enough out of office, out of print and out of my country.

truth said...

jb: I'm not defending the choices college administrators make. I'd rather they keep men's wrestling, and add women's wrestling to balance it out. Or some other sport where there are 10 starters. Instead, administrators (99% male) are choosing to cut men's wrestling so (a) they don't have to provide a sport for female athletes with an equivalent number of participants, and (b) so they don't have to touch the sacred cow of football. A professional football team has 53 players. The University of South Dakota has 113. Does that make sense to you?

truth said...

P.S., meant to add, and once the big football schools started dropping wrestling, all the other schools followed. Why? Because they're sheep? I really don't know, but that's what's happened.

Anonymous said...

What, I don't get a follow up comment? Don't be so cheap, you CHEESE SANDWICH!

truth said...

Why does Wayne Rooney keep coming to this site?

Anonymous said...

Why are all liberals totally full of shit? I don't get it.

Anonymous said...

The reason college football programs need many more players is that the players on the teams leave after at most 4 years, sometimes sooner. College football needs the depth to groom the next group of players, unlike the pros where players stick around much longer.

Also, don't forget that men's college football and basketball are usually the only positive revenue sports. Attacking men's football is silly because it's money from those two sports that allow the others to exist.

Anonymous said...

What an absolutely shameless conflation of equality of opportunity with equality of results. If only the media would "call" people like you on your advocacy of endless quotas and sexual gerrymandering in order to obtain a preset social outcome, regardless of how well it matches with the actual interests of college students.

Anonymous said...

As the earlier poster noted, college football teams need more players because because underclassmen haven't yet matured & the difference between a 22 year old senior and a 19 year old freshman is almost as large as that between the best NCAA women's basketball player and the average high school male basketball player. Almost.

One word springs to mind at someone who is clueless about sports yet who still laments about how many players are really "needed": ignorant

So, was it the quarterback or the defensive back that dumped you when you were a teen?

Anonymous said...

There is an easy solution to this. Exempt all sports whose revenue pays for itself from title 9 consideration. The inequality is in what the university speds money on. Football pays for itself at all the major football schools. There is no other sport on campus that can pack in 80,000 fans in a weekend for a single game. It pays for itself. Take all the sports that don't and make them equal. Even with doing this i can't for the life of me fgiure out how this should ever apply to a private institution. They should be able to do whatever they want. If you don't like it go somewhere else.

Anonymous said...

As a former collegiate wrestler and football player, I feel the need to chime in. The real problem is that more men than women wish to participate in collegiate. Our Division III (non-scholarship) Football team rountinely saw ten to twenty new men try-out, as did our wrestling team. The women's teams needed to extensively recruit on-campus to even come close to fielding a team. Many of the women that they recruited had never played the sport before and showed little athletic prowess. Maybe it's time that we admit that men and women have different interests.

Anonymous said...

Do you play for the NY Liberty? Legislating how colleges are run sounds like a great idea! How about a Title 999, equality of political viewpoints. Now brace yourself for tens of thousands of liberal profs with no employable skills in the unemployement line.

Caps Nut said...

In addition to needing time to "mature" players on a college football team, there's also no such thing as "free agency" or the "waiver wire" to pick up players when current spots are vacated by injury or incompetence.

That is the main reason why college football teams have more than twice the number of players as pro teams because they cannot replace players as easily as the pros do. As a matter of fact, pro teams used to bring over 100 players to training camp 20 years ago. The pros did this so that they would know who to bring onto the team in case of injury and the player brought in once the season was underway would already be familiar with the coaching staff and team environment.

But I digress, Gavora is spot-on in that the interest in women's athletics is not high as the interest in men's athletics. Case in point is what the University of Maryland did a few years ago. They added scholarship opportunities for women by creating a women’s water polo and an all-female competitive cheerleading team. Maryland plainly said that not only were they being proactive in Title IX compliance, they were adding the women's water polo team because it would help the women's swim team at the same time (because athletes could easily participate in both sports) and there was huge interest cheerleading; an activity feminists, such as yourself, decry.

What hasn't been as widely publicized was that Maryland (who has a female AD BTW) seriously considered adding women's ice hockey instead of competitive cheerleading. They went with cheerleading not only because of the interest level was higher, but because they also wanted to avoid the pressure of having to create a men's ice hockey team (which there is already growing interest). Here is a classic example of Title IX denying men an opportunity to compete at the collegiate level in favor of women. Reverse discrimination is still discrimination.

Anonymous said...

Why in hell am I going to listen to anyone who fucks Jonah Goldberg--who fell out of the cunt of the even more disgusting Lucianne Goldberg?

Anonymous said...

Maybe the Skull and Bones crowd that has found this place to vent their anger after being left off the company softball team enough times to feel the pain and loss of not being included. Do you morons know why there is more "interest" in men's sport than supposedly in women's sports programs? Because every single geek that posted here at one point thought they were gonna walk on at Appalachian State and become the next Wayne Chrebet. Unfortunately the facts also don't bear out what most of these chumps are laying on as "truth" Football programs don't make money. They suck the life out of all sports programs that exist on Division One athletic programmable levels. The travel, equipping and marketing of these football factories eats up all funding for all sports, they don't support other sports like wrestling, volleyball, soccer and lesser "revenue producing" sports. None of the other sports would have to make a profit if the football programs kept the team numbers at realistic levels. 113 kids on the South Dakota roster? Stop fumbling the truth to try to make a point, football is killing all sports, not Title IX requirements.

Anonymous said...

CAPS NUT SAID:

In addition to needing time to "mature" players on a college football team, there's also no such thing as "free agency" or the "waiver wire" to pick up players when current spots are vacated by injury or incompetence.

That is the main reason why college football teams have more than twice the number of players as pro teams because they cannot replace players as easily as the pros do. As a matter of fact, pro teams used to bring over 100 players to training camp 20 years ago. The pros did this so that they would know who to bring onto the team in case of injury and the player brought in once the season was underway would already be familiar with the coaching staff and team environment.

WHAT A LOAD OF COMPLETE AND UTTER BULLSHIT! Did you ever play college sports? I doubt it...if you did you'd know that teams put all of those kids on scolarship to keep them from going to other programs...there is no replacement of players by injury problem that would reach the number of players at more than 50 players per team as a maximum. Come up with another set of reasons; they're all crap anyway but keep pounding out the misdirection and trap reasoning. Title IX does not hurt men's programs. It helps women's programs. PUT DOWN YOUR REMOTE CONTROL AND WAKE THE FUCK UP....

Caps Nut said...

"Football programs don't make money. They suck the life out of all sports programs that exist on Division One athletic programmable levels. The travel, equipping and marketing of these football factories eats up all funding for all sports, they don't support other sports like wrestling, volleyball, soccer and lesser "revenue producing" sports."

Proof?

As a University of Maryland Alum I can attest to the vast improvements that the "non-revenue/ Olympic" sports have received since the football program started turning a profit beginning with the 2001 season.

At the lower levels, football can eat up a lot of revenue but at the D1-A level, it is the cash cow that drives the entire athletic department. There are even schools, like F$U for one, that use the football revenue to pay for the expenses of the school's marching band.

I think the real problem is some sort of jealousy over football. I wonder what that is all about?

Caps Nut said...

To foul-mouthed anonymous person....

Tell that to the College Football coaches.

Better yet, tell that to any college coach.

While that may have been true back in the days of Bear Bryant, that does not work today. Today Division 1-A schools are allowed 85 scholarships for football. (South Dakota is allowed 36 as a Division II school).

You can't "hide" players with just 85 full scholarships to play with lettalone 36.

Though maybe you can explain why more scholarships are allowed for the women's basketball teams (15) compared to the men's teams (13) or the other imbalances in scholarship opportunities between male and female athletes?

http://www.campuschamps.com/rulebook/ncaa_scholarship_limits.shtml

Anonymous said...

"[T]hen tell me we need to force equality of participation in sports...". That's what she's against. She's against equality.

No, you idiot, she's against force. Forcing girls to play sports they don't want to play and forcing boys to sit out of sports they do want to play simply because the older hags don't approve of the choices boys and girl make.

Anonymous said...

Unlike a lot of the posters here, I know what I'm talking about.

A top tier D1 AA school, like U of Iowa, will pay a D1 A school, like U of Norther Iowa $300,000 to play them in football in a early non-conference game which is always and easy win for the Hawkeyes.

That $300,000 funds all of the U of NI athletic programs for the entire year.

truth said...

Jeez, I go out to watch a high school softball doubleheader (30 girls obviously being forced to enjoy sports by old hags like me) and come back to find that William F. Buckley's National Review has unleashed the winger hordes on me!

So I'll try to respond to some of the points made here, civil or no:

(1) I'm not attacking football. I'm attacking people who attack Title IX and equality for women in sports opportunities, by pointing out that any cutting of men's sports is being done because football counts as a men's sport, and colleges have bloated football rosters.

(2) Schools are notoriously loathe to give out actual financial information on sports programs, but even the most optimistic studies show that less than half of D-1 football programs make money.

(3) To the person who said I am clueless about sports, (a) you clearly didn't look at anything else on the blog and (b) when you get quoted in Sports Illustrated call me. I already did.

(4) If schools don't want to comply with Title IX there is a simple way: Just stop accepting federal funds. Private schools that don't take federal money can discriminate all they want to. The feds don't have to exempt revenue producing sports. We all pay equal taxes, and girls and parents of girls get equal treatment by law. Tough noogies.

(5) You say women aren't as interested in sports, but that is a fact that is affected by the historic discrimination against women. And it's argument by anecdote. My college soccer team had 90 women try out for 20 spots.

(6) Hey Caps Nut, sorry for your years of fruitless professional sports rooting, from the home of the Pats and the Sawx. "just 85 full scholarships" almost made me spit out my tea. Are you joking? That U. S.Dakota link is for real. They had 113 on the roster, scholarship and nonscholarship. Those are participation opportunities and girls deserve to be treated equally. It's a state school, for crying out loud.

I'm sure none of you will be back, so sayonara (except for that foul-mouthed anonymous guy, I recognize that voice!)

Anfield Iron said...

I love this part of Gavora's "analysis":

"They don’t understand what this law means because they’re seeing it limit the opportunities of the men they travel and train with and who make them better athletes."

See, this so fits into that whole Christian conservative viewpoint -- women aren't capable of standing on their own two feet -- they must be propped up by the men who are the ordained-by-God leaders of the family unit, and from whom women must derive their talent. So, if the men are not being put in (kept in) their rightfully dominant position -- the men who make the women better athletes, because the women can't do it by themselves -- well, then, the law that is responsible for this madness must be evil incarnate!

This is so Monica Goodling.

Also, here is what Jessica wrote back on January 31, 2003 in her National Review Online article "Girl Power:
Will Feminist Mau-Mauing Kill Title IX reform?" (http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment-gavora013103.asp -- gee, what's your point of view?):

"The hard, politically perilous work of reform will be left to the Bush administration."

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

I'm sorry, I had to laugh at that.

You know, the Bush administration is just a bastion, a veritable font, of people who are just so, so, so adept at things like "hard, politically perilous work of reform." I'm guessing that this is a job for Wolfowitz, Brownie, Bremer, Kiley, Gonzalez and Goodling.

Love you, Truth.

Anfield Iron

truth said...

Go you Reds!

Anonymous said...

Anfield Iron, You were so eager to launch into a screed about the 'conservative Christian viewpoint' that you completely missed the point she was making.

I really really hate to break this to you, but it is a sad reality of life that men are better athletes than women. And having womens teams practice against mens teams makes them better. (Womens NCAA hoops teams do this all the time to make their players better. They must be part of that 'conservative Christian Conspiracy' to keep women in their places.)

Now I know this must really make your head hurt but I'll try to explain why. When you play against someone who's better than you, you get better yourself. Having played sports at any time in your life would probably make this somewhat clearer.

So when Gavora says she talks to upset girls who practice against boys teams that are suddenly disbanded 'to comply with title IX' she's not lying or relying on hyperbole to make a point.

That's actually something you should look into by the way....

truth said...

Back to my point: Title IX doesn't require the cutting of small men's sports. It merely says, if you take federal funds, you can't discriminate. Whoo, radical, there.

While these female athletes may have been told by their schools that their male friends' teams have been cut because of Title IX, that's wrong. They've been cut so the school can continue to maintain a bloated football squad. James Madison is in the news lately for cutting men's sports. Guess how many are on the JMU football roster: 91 players. That's why those smaller men's sports got cut. Not because of Title IX.

I'm sure those girls are genuinely upset when their male friends sports get cut. They're athletes. They understand the joy of playing. They just don't understand that those sports got cut so football could continue to have a huge roster. Not because of Title IX.

sourcreamus said...

JMU had to choose between football and smaller sports. That choice was forced by Title IX. The smaller sports coexisted with football before. The reason they could not continue to do so, is was Title IX. Those athletes lost their sports because of Title IX. Perhaps the prospect of one day being elected president will take the sting away.

truth said...

Well, if you want to be reductive, the choice was forced when the school decided to accept federal funds. Title IX only applies to institutions that get federal money.

If JMU wants to go totally private and stop accepting federal funds, they can have all the men's teams they want. They can have 500 guys on the football team. Of course, they won't find many students who can afford their tuition without using federal student aid programs.

Could it be...all about the Benjamins?

Anonymous said...

Caps? FOUL MOUTHED?

FUCK YOU.

Anfield Iron said...

Wayne Rooney has too much time on his hands. Still bitter about the FA Cup final.

I actually get the point that training against better athletes makes you better. Only that's a great athletic point. Jessica Gavora is not making an athletic point. This debate isn't about saving male athletes positions to train female athletes. And if you really believe that Jessica is just SOOOOOOO concerned about the athletic achievement of female athletes, well, dude (babe?) you really need to rethink that assumption.

I wrote a screed!!! Awesome!!!

"We're your friends," said my attorney. "We're not like the others." O Christ, I thought, he's gone around the bend. "No more of that talk" I said sharply, "or I'll put the leeches on you."

Anfield Iron

truth said...

Dude. Definitely dude.

You write a screed, I'm a silly, ignorant, clueless, shameless old hag who got dumped by the high school quarterback. Tee hee!

Anonymous said...

Jessica Gavora called her next door neighbour 'a dirty n*gger' and 'why don't you back to Africa' over a dispute over a parking space. She really is a nasty racist piece of work.

bball fan said...

I've wandered onto this blog, and seeing some of these comments from anonymous about the number of football players needed for college...consider this

in the early 1990's, NCAA schools were working on finding ways to cut expenses. NCAA sought input from all the coaches, including football, etc. The men's basketball coaches got together, and one of the key issues they pointed to as being unnecessary...you guessed it--105 scholarships for football.

In fact, it was Dean Smith who spoke up, and said, (and I was there), It's not women's sports or Title IX that's the problem--why does football need 105 scholarships when the pros only have 45?

He's right-it promotes stockpiling of players (e.g. my brother's roomate played at a big-time Div. I football school, but never once stepped onto the field in his 5 years there--the school didn't want him signing with a rival school), and denies alot of other men's sports opportunities to play. Just as the men's bball coaches were coming around to Smith's point of view, an AD of a big-time football school jumped to his feet and told the men's coaches they needed to stick together with the other men's sports.

I'd love to see Dean Smith become more vocal on this one...he's got such credibility with sports fans around the country (as he should). He gets it. Maybe it's because he has granddaughters who are athletes.