I’m pretty sure Title IX was created to appease feminists such as myself. Created in 1972, the federal act implemented a three-pronged system to enforce equality in athletics at universities throughout the United States that recieve federal government funds. It required that the sex of athletics teams be proportionate to student enrollment. Administrators across the nation no doubt that year were stunned, already envisioning the cutbacks they would have to make – monetary decreases for some men’s programs and outright elimination for others.
These unnecessary cutbacks, and the way the law had to be enforced, an idea which surely created animosity at universities, leads me to believe that Title IX did more damage in the long-term than it did good. Though it was devised with the best possible intentions by Hawaii representative Patsy T. Mink (for whom the law was renamed after her death in 2002), the act penalizes male athletes in its prongs requiring equal representation, which is in direct opposition to Title IX’s equality-seeking guidelines.
I’m a firm believer that women should fight for the rights they receive. If you want something, do the work yourself – don’t sit back and wait for change. In the 1970s, a new world was opening up to women, one in which it would not be impossible to receive equal sports representation if the women who wanted to compete worked hard for this goal. To change anything that either directly or indirectly discriminates against women, resolve is required. This is true in every arena, whether it be the boardroom or a volleyball court.
I can’t help but think that Title IX has done damage to our athletics program as well. The loss of our football team in 1999 has been blamed in part on the conditions of Title IX. Although CSUN athletic directors and coordinators have never publicly said this is so, rumors abound that without a football team composed entirely of men, we were instantly closer to fulfilling our Title IX obligations upon football’s elimination. The majority opinion that we hear at the Sundial states that school spirit at CSUN depends heavily on athletics, and as most schools have a football team at the center of the relationship between school spirit and athletics, some claim we are already at a disadvantage.
In seeking equality, we have sacrificed a bit of school spirit from some points of view.