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A Bad Idea with Disastrous Results
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An article on the John W. Pope Center website dealing with Title IX by William L. Anderson begins with these passages:

When Congress passed the Higher Education Amendments of 1972, the new law included Title IX, which reads:

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

The law was not controversial at first. Female college enrollment grew (today, the female-male undergraduate ratio is 57 percent to 43) and women’s collegiate sports were just catching on. Title IX helped increase female participation in college sports, which became the law’s main focus for more than 30 years.

I was on the University of Tennessee men’s track team in the early 1970s, which received substantially more support than the women’s program. We stayed in nice facilities on road trips, while the women piled numerous athletes into one room. Those not lucky enough to have a bed slept on the floor.

According to Anderson, Title IX, which required that equal opportunities be created for women in higher education, was a “good idea,” indeed one that Anderson goes out of his way to defend. But alas this “good idea” turned quickly into “higher education’s worst nightmare.” Anderson painstakingly provides the details of this nightmare, showing how public administration has become entangled in every aspect of athletic, social and educational arrangements on American campuses. The government in the name of non-discrimination has created a stranglehold on what universities and colleges are allowed to do and offer, and this situation continues to grow worse.

Yet we’re supposed to believe this “nightmare” started with noble intentions when the government undertook to fight the scourge of gender discrimination, a move that, according to Anderson, may have been long overdue. Perhaps without this federal intervention, woman athletes at Anderson’s alma mater, University of Tennessee, would still be “piled into one room” during road trips, while the guys enjoyed “nice facilities.”

Allow me, however, to pose two non-prescribed questions as a member of the non-moderate Right. If, as Anderson indicates, women’s sports were taking off in the 1960s and 1970s, as women teams were winning soccer and basketball events, why was it necessary for federal administrators to dictate how universities should deal with female athletes and closely oversee the institutions affected? Apparently the relative neglect of female athletes would have been solved without the heavy hand of government bureaucrats and the accompanying threats of suits.


Even more relevant, why are we supposed to think that public administrators once put in charge of eliminating “discrimination” would not behave as they invariably do? There is absolutely no reason to ascribe noble intentions to a continuing power grab by the feds that has been going on for at least a century. Should I be surprised that within two years of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the EEOC was already putting pressure on commercial and educational enterprises to hire more women and blacks, lest they give even the impression of engaging in “discrimination”? This is no more shocking or disappointing than the fact that a crocodile would swallow me for dinner if I stand too close to where it’s looking for food.

Finally I would note that Anderson’s statements about a “good idea” going awry tell us a great deal about how the conservative establishment approaches opponents on the left. These respectable types do not dare suggest that the Left’s eagerness to use government to engage in social engineering is reprehensible. Rather what Sam Francis used to call “the harmless persuasion” prefers a sort of middle ground, arguing that leftist ideas are marvelous but that the government just carried them a bit too far. Never do we hear from these “moderate conservatives” that the Pandora’s Box that has been pried open allows public administrators to solve “problems of discrimination,” through continuing meddling.

In any case the response by the “harmless persuasion” has been far from devastating. For instance, there are “equity feminists” like Christina Hof Sommers, who are financed by AEI and Heritage, battling “gender feminists,” who wish to carry feminism a few steps further. Or else we are dealing with those who favor the civil rights movement minus Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton or “Black Lives Matter” opposing those who favor the same stuff plus more affirmative action and stricter speech codes. I’ve stopped taking seriously the noise generated by these battles. The partisans on each side represent the earlier and later phases of a process of government expansion that has been going on since the 1960s; and the major difference between them consists of favoring differing degrees of government control over our lives in the name of fighting “discrimination.” My own position has never wavered. I for one would like to rescind unconditionally all antidiscrimination laws at every level of government, starting of course with those efforts at behavioral modification undertaken by our pesky ruling class in Washington. Government bullying rarely starts with good intentions. It starts with bureaucrats and judges being given a pretext to push us around.

• Category: Ideology • Tags: Political Correctness, Title IX 
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  1. Priss Factor [AKA "Dominique Francon Society"] says: • Website

    I’m afraid Gottfried’s views are all too highbrow.

    This is college culture now:

    It’s funny now the kind of women who worry most about ‘rape culture’ are those no man would want to have sex with, not even by rape.


  2. tbraton says:

    Once again, you hit it out of the ball park, Prof. Gottfried. Excellent piece.

    You fail, however, to address a matter which lies at the heart of the women’s athletics business: separate but equal. A couple of recent incidences underscores the absurdity of the situation when it comes to women’s athletics. First, a lot of brouhaha has been made about opening up combat roles in the military. Nobody I know of makes the argument that this will make our military better at fighting wars, so I guess it is all about the symbolism. But, if women are equal to men when it comes to the strenuous demands of combat, why are women not forced to compete with men on the playing fields? Secondly, 60 Minutes recently had a segment moderated by Leslie Stahl about a young person who lived in the Watergate in Washington, D.C. who was recruited by Harvard to swim on the women’s swim team. At the time, the young person was thought to be a female, and she ranked as one of the top prep school swimmers in the country in her specialty. But, along the way, this young person discovered that she was a male and made the transition, including surgery to remove her breasts. As far as swimming went, he decided he wanted to compete as a male. So, after going to Harvard, he wound up finishing seventh (in an 8-man field) in swimming competitions against other males, whereas she would have been finishing first had “she” been competing against other females in intercollegiate competition. Now, when you stop and think about it, there are no physical reasons why swimming in a pool of water, where each competitor is assigned his or her own lane, needs to be segregated by sex. Whoever swims fastest should be declared the winner of the competition. In fact, certain competitions, such as the Boston Marathon, allow males and females to compete together at the same time. The person who runs the fastest time, always a male, is declared the winner. The female runner who finishes with the fastest time among the females is identified as such, and usually the time is about 15 minutes slower than the male champion. So, if one is worried about disparities between treatment of males and females in athletics, the first place to start is by eliminating the “artificial” barrier between “separate but equal” sporting competitions among males and females.

    • Replies: @Threecranes
  3. […] With the benefit of hindsight, I should have held strong. Any compromise, any deviation from freedom of association absolutism eventually leads to this and this — and don’t be so sure that your private barbecue is safe, either. Quote: […]

  4. Last September, my son and I went to the open house day on his soon-to-be college campus. It was a very exciting day for both of us, and especially so for him. One of the lectures was an introduction to campus life. The ENTIRE lecture was about Title 9. During the entire lecture, my son felt as though he was charged with being a villain. The entire lecture was about rape, yet the lecturer made it clear that the campus doesn’t have a rape problem.

    Coming on the heels of a divorce “agreement” in which a notoriously anti-male judge destroyed me, a near penniless disabled man, in favor of his mother, a six-figure earner who comes from a family of millions, my son is part of a new generation of men — and fair-minded women — who are already disgusted by my generation’s “corrective” excesses.

  5. @tbraton

    And in swimming, of all sports, the discrepancy between elite men and women’s performance, as evidenced by their record times, is smallest, due to women’s inherent, genetic advantage created by their more-uniformly-distributed subcutaneous body fat which gives them added buoyancy and hence a more streamlined body position in the water.

    So if they can’t make up the gap in swimming, then they are unlikely to do so in any of the other sports which require strength and power.

  6. Hepp says:

    The majority of women don’t want to engage in competitive sports. Psychologically and emotionally, they’re not equipped for it. It was bureaucrats who decided that if x percentage of males play sports, then x percentage of women should do the same. In the process, they basically eliminated wrestling programs, because equality.

  7. Hepp says:

    In any case the response by the “harmless persuasion” has been far from devastating. For instance, there are “equity feminists” like Christina Hof Sommers, who are financed by AEI and Heritage, battling “gender feminists,” who wish to carry feminism a few steps further. Or else we are dealing with those who favor the civil rights movement minus Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton or “Black Lives Matter” opposing those who favor the same stuff plus more affirmative action and stricter speech codes.

    Sommers is not nearly radical enough for my taste, but this isn’t an apt comparison. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton agree with BLM on just about every substantive issue, and consider them allies. Meanwhile Christina Hoff Sommers disagrees with mainstream feminists on every major public policy issue. In addition to that, she’s out there doing good in the world, taking the case to universities and exposing the absurd lunacy of the campus left on a weekly basis by going to where they live. I wish some alt right people would do the same instead of preaching to the choir.

    • Replies: @SMK
  8. Hepp says:

    By the way, it looks like we have no reason to worry. The government is now arguing in court that “gender identity is innate.” We can now acknowledge sex differences.

    “Gender identity is innate,” the suit declares, “and external efforts to change a person’s gender identity can be harmful to a person’s health and well-being.” Then the lawsuit affirms a simple truth that North Carolina has spent months attempting to deny: “A transgender man’s sex is male and a transgender woman’s sex is female.”

  9. Priss Factor [AKA "Dominique Francon Society"] says: • Website

    Feminism is a mental disease in so many ways.

    Just consider the feminist fixation on CAREERS.

    Feminists should be called famine-ists. Their way is reproductive famine.

    Femmies have this idea that love, marriage, and family are about living FOR OTHERS.

    In contrast, career is about living for oneself and individuality.

    They got it backward. It is love, marriage, and family that is really about living for what really belongs to you as a person and individual.

    Professions may pay well and come with social status, but they are about serving OTHERS, the strangers. Doctors serve patients, lawyers serve clients, chefs serve diners, bus drivers serve passengers, auto makers serve drivers, and etc. And most of these relations are impersonal and forgotten. I mean who cares about the dentist or doctor you saw 3 yrs ago, or even 6 months ago. What dentist cares about all the people he treated? What chef cares about all the people he served dishes to?

    Career only has meaning at work, and it’s about working with and for strangers. If a doctor were to die, all his patients over the yrs won’t know about it. And even if they did, they’d say, ‘oh, that’s sad’, and just go on with their lives.

    If someone dies, the ONLY PEOPLE who really care are the family members.

    Also, family loves you just for what you are.

    People go see doctors, lawyers, dentists, auto mechanics, accountants, and etc for specific services. Outside those services, there is no bond, no concern. But parents love children and children love parents and siblings love siblings simply because it’s All in the Family.

    Career means nothing once you come home to an empty apartment. All the people you worked with and worked for don’t care about you. They don’t own you, you don’t own them. If you were to quit or be fired, they’ll forget you in no time. There is no special bond. If a worker is replaced by a new worker, things just go on as usual.

    But if one has family, one has love and warmth in the house AFTER work and during the night when parents know the kids are asleep. This is why divorce or loss of family member is so tragic. Because of deep emotional bonds, it’s not just a case replacing one worker with another.

    So, it is family that really belongs to a woman. Career may be nice with money and status(if the job is ‘cool’, but then, most are not), but it’s all about serving strangers who don’t care about you and for whom you don’t care about for a fee.

    Surely, even a social worker hired by the government to ‘care’ for the people don’t have real bond with people standing in line for benefits. If she wants something that truly belongs to her in a deep emotional way, there is only the family.

    Also, in professions, people do things for others on the basis of MONEY. It’s all about money. Dentists, doctors, accountants, government workers, bus drivers, and etc. all do it because they get paid. They may seem to helping out fellow man, but they wouldn’t offer services unless there’s money in it.

    But in the family, parents take care of kids simply out of love and caring. And children later do things for parents out of love. It’s not about the Money.
    In a world where so much is about money, status, and hierarchy, isn’t it nice to have a family where the bonds are about love without conditions?

    Also, it is only through the children that adults can pass down their identity and culture.
    If you’re Jewish, you have to power to pass down Jewish identity and culture to your kids. You have no such power over other kids. It is only through your own kids that you have the power and means to pass down identity, heritage, and culture.

    This goes for Mormons, Catholics, Chinese, Russians, Iranians, Vietnamese, Hungarians, etc. Unless one has children, there is no guarantee of passing down identity and culture for future posterity.

    But our decadent world has deracinated people into atomized consumers without identity, tradition, culture, and heritage. For so many, the only culture that matters if junky pop culture with narcissistic celebrity freaks and the only ideology that matters is PC that comes with pat slogans about ‘racism’ and ‘homophobia’ and whatever. Indeed, with pop culture and PC, even true individualism has been lost because pop culture is like a drug that reduces people into amnesiac pleasure-junkies and PC demands conformism to dogma.

    • Agree: 415 reasons, 415 reasons
    • Replies: @Pat the Rat
  10. Curiously, none of this applies to schools, like Grove City College, that refuse to accept a single dollar of Federal money. Tuition is about 16k, and room and board about 9k. No screaming bargain, but substantially less than, say, Amherst College, with a TRB fee of over 60,000. Granted they discount from that for most students, but ya gotta pay for all those assistants and associate Deans to deal with Title IX, and IRB, and other things, somehow.

    Federal aid to higher education was a genius idea for the Feds. According to the Pew Charitable Trusts, Federal expenditures of $75 Billion comprise 16% of all the money spent annually on higher education. That 16% lets them control and channel ALL the rest of the money spent, which would be about $500 billion, an almost 7-1 return on their dollar. The universities are addicted to the money, and it has destroyed the liberal arts, and turned teaching at the undergrad level at research universities into a sick joke. Given the increase administrative bloat… Wait, I just looked something up.

    Benjamin Ginsberg reports: “between 1947 and 1995 (the last year for which the relevant data was published), administrative costs increased from barely 9 percent to nearly 15 percent of college and university budgets. … During this same time period, stated in constant dollars, overall university spending increased 148 percent. Instructional spending increased only 128 percent, 20 points less than the overall rate of spending increase. Administrative spending, though, increased by a whopping 235 percent.”

    It is almost certain that the Federal Government’s 16% expenditure in 2011 was more than eaten up by the percentage of university budgets spent on administration.

    • Replies: @athEIst
  11. The moderate conservatives have long been the enablers of the left. Whatever the left wants today will be defended fiercely by the moderate conservatives ten years later. Give me Paul Gottfried and Pat Buchanan any day over the “moderate conservatives”.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
  12. DES says:

    Many men’s colleges and universities, mine (Yale) included, decided to admit women before Title IX went into effect. There was no need for the federal government to get involved. (BTW I opposed the change then on the ground that men ought to have the option of attending an all-male school if that was their wish. Some men prefer a learning environment free from the distractions that inevitably accompany the presence of women (no, I’m not gay). In effect, their choices were being curtailed. Despite the self-congratulatory protestations of the Yale administrators that they had an “obligation” to provide the unique benefits of a Yale education to young women, there were plenty of fine schools, both all-female and coed, where young women could be educated. A woman had no more reason to demand a Yale education than I had to demand a Vassar or Smith education.)

  13. “I for one would like to rescind unconditionally all antidiscrimination laws at every level of government, starting of course with those efforts at behavioral modification undertaken by our pesky ruling class in Washington. Government bullying rarely starts with good intentions. It starts with bureaucrats and judges being given a pretext to push us around.”

    And this same bunch has recently invaded the ladies room.

    Dr. G, if you draw up a petition I’ll be the first one to sign it.

  14. athEIst says:

    C. Northcote Parkinson covered this in “Parkinson’s Law.” The numbers and percentages change from case to case but:
    Bureaucracy increases without regard to the amount of work(if any) to be accomplished.

    I’ve always liked that ‘IF ANY.”

  15. nickels says:

    It’s an odd mix of good ol’ American pragmatist puritanism, along with the Baeur ‘all is prejudice’, plus a little Russian nihilism.

    That’s what happens when God is not in the equation. Morality becomes a useful commodity, and administrators the priests.

    This is some type of outlandish legalist society.

  16. @Unz Reader

    Whatever the left wants today will be defended fiercely by the moderate conservatives ten years later.

    Nothing new. “Moderate conservatives” have been the biggest defenders of our nuclear warfare record, which was essentially little more than leftists murdering women and children by the hundreds of thousands.

    If you can’t even stand up to amoral baby killers, what good are you?

  17. “Every child in America entering school at the age of five is insane because he comes to school with certain allegiances to our founding fathers, toward our elected officials, toward his parents, toward a belief in a supernatural being, and toward the sovereignty of this nation as a separate entity. It’s up to you as teachers to make all these sick children well — by creating the international child of the future.”

    — Psychiatrist Chester M. Pierce, Address to the Childhood International Education Seminar, 1973

    We need a program of psychosurgery for political control of our society. The purpose is physical control of the mind. Everyone who deviates from the given norm can be surgically manipulated. The individual may think that the most important reality is his own existence, but this is only his personal point of view. This lacks historical perspective Man does not have the right to develop his own mind. This kind of liberal orientation has great appeal. We must electrically control the brain. Some day armies and generals will be controlled by electric stimulation of the brain.

    J. M. Delgado, renowned neuroscientist

    So you don’t see any good intentions there, Gottfried?
    It started from the conception of the human brain as a machine, a conception born out of positivism.

    • Replies: @empty
  18. empty says:

    those citations must be hoaxes.

  19. No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

    The way I read that it says you can’t keep women from going out for the football team.

    What could possibly go wrong?

  20. I for one would like to rescind unconditionally all antidiscrimination laws at every level of government, starting of course with those efforts at behavioral modification undertaken by our pesky ruling class in Washington.

    I am certain our Founding Fathers would have made it part of the Bill of Rights to discriminate on any basis one so chose in all private activities, if they could have even conceived that there could be any other way in any society save the basest despotism.

  21. @Biting the bullet | posttenuretourettes

    Obviously , this discussion applies even more so to Civil Rights Act.
    Virtually no one on right will argue against this , which undermines their entire argument.

  22. SMK says: • Website

    Anyone who uses the term “gender” and “gender discrimination” rather than sex and “sexual discrimination is appropriated the dogmas of feminist ideology. As Sartre’s lover and acolyte wrote long ago in “The Second Sex,”: “One is not born, but rather become, a woman.” Her point is that human are born male and female -how could on argue otherwise- but that society turns them into men and women, persons with feminine and masculine personalities. In the current feminist parlance, “gender” (masculine/feminine) as opposed to sex (male/female) is an “artificial social construct.”

  23. SMK says: • Website

    Soi-disant “equity feminists” like Sommers and Cathy Young support 80-90 percent of the orthodox feminist agendum: gender-neutral sex crime laws, the feminization of the military and women in combat and female conscription, etc. In some ways, “equity feminists” are even more radical and extreme than orthodox feminists who emphasize the importance of anatomical differences between the sexes in discussing such matters as wife-beating, pregnancy, rape. “Equity feminists” and MRAs deny and trivialize the significance of even purely anatomical differences between the sexes.

  24. We started out well, and progressively destroyed ourselves.

  25. @Priss Factor

    Feminism has created massive problems in the west, problems which are never mentioned in the MSN.

    Not only did women’s widespread entry into the workforce create a permanent underclass of unemployed men but because women tend to marry up we now have widespread assortative mating. The result being we have double income families at one end of society and no income families at the other. This is so unjust and has caused a great deal of social decay in marriage and behaviour in those who can no longer afford to form families supported by a steady well paid job.

    Many are now becoming aware that feminism is the main cause of the decline of births in the west, many women are too busy working, and as feminist influence has grown many women now opt to not have children at all. I read some fantastic statistic recently about aproximately 40% now of German women will never have children, we know the problems in Japan, etc. All of this has meant that there has had to be vast increases in immigration to sustain growth.

    Both of these things the destruction of opportunity for working class men, and widespread immigration not to mention the chaos of the sexual revolution has meant the state has become a behemoth exercising vast expenditure and influence.

    In fact if you agree that Feminism was the greatest revolution in the west in the last 60 years, it looks very much like the welfare state is expending vast amounts of money to support this revolution.

    It’s really no surprise we are all going broke and increasingly indebted: business, individuals and gov’t.

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