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.
Like Dispatches on Facebook: