Productive Equality

Today’s post is simple, & after some research, seems as if the tide is shifting to a more intelligent application of the rule.

Today is about Title IX.

For those who don’t know, Title IX was the incredibly good-hearted notion that women should be given the exact same athletic team rights & opportunities as men at public institutions of higher learning. Back in 1972, it could be argued that women were generally not encouraged to express themselves athletically, & as one who had a bad-ass athlete sister, I’m glad this sea change occurred in society in general.

But of course, according to a governmental law, the letter of the intention became the norm, & not the spirit. So eventually, men’s programs started getting hacked & eliminated, regardless of the interest or participation…simply because the quotas had to balance out between gender participation.

More & more, a lot of us are taking steps to keep ourselves fit as we get older. A simple question should probably be asked here—

If you’re a guy, generally what do you do to keep fit? Flag football, pickup basketball, a weekend soccer or softball league?

Women, what do you do? In lieu of the above, I’d guess the answer would veer more towards yoga, Pilates, jogging, spinning, zumba, etc.

So I guess I’m asking a simple question—should colleges start offering non-tuition classes/activities focusing on the above, & not worry so much about fielding teams? There’s no question that women & girls are now fully encouraged to be as athletic & active as they can be…but in 1972 when title IX came to the fore—how many of the above activities even existed, much less were popular?

Maybe a more realistic shift can occur, & then some of the women who don’t feel particularly athletic or competitive could have outlets sponsored by our institutions, like P.E. classes on steroids(*hey*, that was a fun description). And then maybe good habits can form at a key developmental age in women that will carry them a lifetime…& just maybe the insane pressure to stay “fit” in our culture can simply be dealt with in a more natural, positive, & nurturing way.

If enough girls want to play a sanctioned sport at a school, by all means, that sport needs to be put on. Same with men. But let’s let our academic institutions learn from the real world too…& start obeying the choices men & women make as adults.


2 thoughts on “Productive Equality

  1. Athletics is one of many arenas in which women have had to fight for equal rights. Title 9 forces a balance where it might not otherwise exist. Remember, it is not just for colleges, the rules apply to middle and high school athletic programs, which is where it has made a significant impact (speaking from experience). I hate to see budget cuts minimizing opportunities for male and female athletes as much as anyone else, but leaving the funding decision up to demand not split equally? That is a slippery slope. We put so much attention, admiration, and funding towards athletics, especially athletics for men. It’s not about being fit, let’s be honest. It is a money generating industry for the few. “If enough girls want to play a sanctioned sport”?? They do. That is why we have title 9, because women wanted to play and schools weren’t funding it the same way they funded men’s sports. Period.

    I think you’re on to something saying colleges should offer non-competitive fitness and exercise classes. In fact, most 4 year schools have state-of-the-art facilities for their athletes, students, and staff to use. It also serves a purpose for those going into physical fitness programs like athletic training. Where I went to school there was a phys ed requirement, only 3 credit hours, but it was still required. Courses ranged in topics from nutrition, to exercise walking, bowling, zumba, jazz, etc. So, I do think we’re seeing a shift in health consciousness and what is offered, but I hope it’s not to pacify women who would rather be on competitive, official school teams participating in mainstream sports. Yoga and pilates are not going to take the place of competitive sports for men or women.

    • Fair enough, & lord knows you know what you’re talking about, Alanna. I guess my key point would be “non-tuition” classes. You have to pay for any “fitness” class you take, yes? As well as fees for belonging to the health club/fitness center on campus, right? Like usual, my point is probably a bit Pollyanna-ish & wistful…if we’re killing sports that men want to play, & in general adult life, men *continue* to play organized competitive sports, as opposed to women—couldn’t the above be a solution? Probably not, I guess. Like I said, my little sis was a fairly superior 3 sport athlete, so I support any & all athletic endevours involving girls. Funnily enough, my sis gave up on sports, because she didn’t see a professional future in them, & decided to devote her time in college to other pursuits.

      Now, the “slippery slope” would probably also happen, because then women’s athletic scholarships would probably be reduced as well(a non-starter for me…I definitely would NOT want that to happen). & to be fair, the men’s sports that are eliminated are generally sports that men wouldn’t really play after college, or could do on their own(wrestling! Ha). So being the bottom line “can we afford it/what is it’s true worth” sort that I am…I don’t have too much of a problem with the “non-money producing” sports getting hacked(I’m sure that’s just me).

      Now…a whole OTHER column, & one that seems to be percolating in the national discourse—if these men are producing so much money, yet aren’t really being educated(i.e., graduated)…is this moral & ethical?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s