One of the main stories to come out of the 2012 London Olympics was the outright dominance of American female athletes, another sign of the success of the Title IX, which barred discrimination between men’s and women’s educational programs and is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. But Title IX has always provoked the ire of Phyllis Schlafly and the Eagle Forum. In a radio alert today, Schlafly claims Title IX in fact “weakened our competitiveness” at the Olympics.
The US won 104 medals in London (58 for women and 45 for men), which Schlafly believes shows that male athletes suffered a severe injustice. “Feminist-imposed gender quotas hurt us at the Olympics in events which our Nation once dominated,” Schlafly claims, “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.” Schlafly points to the US failure to win medals in wrestling as a sign of Title IX’s allegedly disastrous impact; however, throughout Olympic history the US has never dominated wrestling in the Olympics” And while Schlafly believes that the policy wreaked havoc on male collegiate sports, female athletes and women’s teams still receive significantly less financial support compared to their male peers.
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.