Title IX: Why It’s Needed, Why It’s Just

This page was originally posted on Righteous Anger.
I argue the glory the Title IX all the time. There are far too many out there who think it’s all about sports. ¬†These are the ones who are most vociferously opposed to the law. ¬†They comment on the law based upon what they’ve been told, having never bothered to read or research the law for themselves. This is the law that keeps schools from kicking pregnant girls out (while allowing the baby daddy to continue). Schools used to do that all the time. A girl who was pregnant or married was forced to quit; a boy who had impregnated a girl or gotten married could continue.

Even if it were sports-only, I would support it wholeheartedly. Our daughter played sports. I never suggested it to her. Her dad never suggested it to her. She wanted to play. Why should a boy who has that interest be given the opportunity, but a girl shouldn’t? There are a lot of really good things that come from playing sports. Comradery. Team work. Respect for others. Thinking on your feet. Girls need those things, too.

I hear opponents of the law claim that it takes away males’ opportunities. They ignore the fact that not one damn thing in the law mandates that. A school can reach compliance simply by showing that they’ve met the need of their student body. In other words, that girls don’t want to play. If it was true that girls and women didn’t care about playing sports, that would be the simplest thing in the world to meet, wouldn’t it? They can also comply just by showing that they’re “trying” to meet the law’s guidelines. Not doing, but “trying.”

More than that, though, I want to know why a male has an inherent right to play sports at a school receiving public money, but a female does not. Why is the male gymnast or wrestler more important than the female volleyball or soccer player? Neither raise money for their athletic department, so this claim that it should be based upon money raised is shot to shit.

Of course, then we have the “football makes money” argument that so many opponents of Title IX fall back on. A very, very few college football programs turn a profit. The sport is so expensive to play that most money “raised” by football goes to pay for football. Only a few big-name schools, mostly in the SEC or BIG XII, actually turn profits. At one time, the only sport at the University of Arizona that made more than it spent was men’s basketball. I didn’t hear the cries of how unfair it was for baseball or football to continue being funded, even though they did nothing but take money.

The tl;dr version? Title IX is awesome, and I’m so glad my daughter grew up in the Title IX era.

Welfare reform, or How I came to hate the Democrats

I walked by my bookcase today and picked up Susan Faludi’s Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women. It was written in the days of Bush the Father and Reagan. It was a big influence on me at the time. I remember how Bill Clinton was elected after that, and we were told it would be all better. You remember, “Don’t stop thinkin’ about tomorrow…”

Then, we had Clinton signing into law “welfare reform” and making his wife look like a fool on the grand public stage. Go, Democrats, y’all.

I think I finally came to the realization that the Democrats would never be an answer to the problems faced by the poor, minorities or women when Clinton was in office. Before that, I had focused my hatred on the Republicans and Bush’s wars. But how was Clinton better? In fact, he had a more negative impact on my life than Bush ever did.

At the time Clinton climbed into bed with the right-wing to paint the poor as unworthy, I was enrolled fulltime at University of Arizona and my husband was working the same fulltime job he’s held since he was 15. Our daughter was about five, so childcare was very important. My education would be our way out of poverty, but Clinton and both political parties wouldn’t have it. As soon as Arizona had the excuse of “welfare reform”, they ended childcare subsidies for poor students. Apparently, the so-called Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 had this effect on many Americans, because it had never been allowed before.  We were living on less than $12,000 a year. There was no way in hell we could afford childcare for me to go to school. So, I had to quit. It would be another ten years before I finally got my degree, and it came at great expense. U of A had penalized me for quitting in the middle of a semester, so I had to go to an over-priced technical school. That left huge, huge student loan debt that we’re still drowning under today.  Thanks, Bill.