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PostWatch: An irregular correction to the Washington Post

Brought to you by Christopher Rake


Thursday, June 27, 2002
11:04 PM

You can read this Title IX post, or you can turn the page...Well, despite my rant earlier today about the makeup of this Title IX commission, defenders of current enforcement sure seem worried about it. The National Women's Law Center shot out a press release warning ominously about any changes, and Sen. Patty Murray, in a rushed hearing, asked Sec. Paige and other panelists pointed questions about whether they thought anything new would be learned from the commission (suggesting it was a waste of time), and whether the Dept. of Education would adopt any changes it might recommend. Paige said he wouldn't prejudge the commission, or that the department would automatically adopt anything.

Aside from aides to Paige, the other panelists were Sen. Birch Bayh (D-Ind.), the retired senator who is known as the father of Title IX; Art Coleman, an attorney who worked in the Clinton Administration on Title IX enforcement, and a three-time Olympic medalist whose name escapes me, but she is now a professor of law and loves Title IX. In other words, there were no witnesses to make even a brief case against current practices--of course no one from the College Sports Council, wrestling teams, etc..

Coleman defended enforcement and spoke of the glories of the three-pronged test, or the three ways you can satisfy the feds, saying it proved there isn't a quota. He's wrong.

Bayh referred to the wrestling programs and other men's sports that have been cut back, said several times that the law does not require quotas (that's right), and said he hoped that creative ways could be found to prevent men's programs from being cut back. He said Title IX was intended to expand opportunities for women, not cut them for men. He at least seemed to be aware of the problem. But he is, after all, a Democrat, and pointed to the National Women's Law Center press release on the small number of women in male-dominated vo-tech programs as another example of iniquity. Only on some androgynous, utopian science fiction planet do men and women wish to duplicate each other in every way.

It still puzzles me greatly that people like Bayh and Murray and Collins and Hillary Clinton are ready to storm the barricades over every collegiate gender imbalance except the really big one, which is women attending college in greater numbers than men.

I think it was Paige who said the latest statistics show 57% of students pursuing bachelor's degrees are women. No calls for a three-pronged test, however.

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