THE WEIRS TIMES & THE COCHECO TIMES, Thursday, December 29, 2011
by Mike Moffett Contributing Writer
Equal Rights in Sports Unintended conse- quences. Attempts to promote
gender equity in sports have created many such consequences. Consider the countless
men’s college wrestling, cross country, swimming, gymnastics, basebal l (UNH!) or even football (Boston University!) teams that have vanished from the sports landscape, largely due to pressure to comply with gender equity legislation, such as 1972 Title IX federal law which mandated eq- uitable spending at any public educational insti- tution which accepts fed- eral money. Beware those attached strings. And beware those legal
precedents. A number of girls filed successful civil actions over the years so they could get on boys’ football teams. The argu- ment was that as there were no football teams for girls, females should be allowed to play on boys’ teams. And so they did. But consider the con- verse. What if a boy want- ed to play field hockey? There actually was such a case in N.H., involving a young man from the Asian subcontinent who wanted to continue to play a sport that is popular with males there. There being no boys’ field hock- ey teams in N.H., he sued to play on the girls’ team. Of course he had a case, given the precedent set when girls were allowed to play football. The problem with boys
playing field hockey is that it threatened the very sport. Imagine a 200 pound guy wielding a stick on a collision course with
a 90 pound freshman high school girl? Ironically, the ill-fated Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), so touted by the feminists in the 1970’s, would have made the case for boys playing field hockey even stronger. Unintended conse- quences. Fortunately, people fi-
nally figured out what a bad idea the ERA was and it fell three states short of constitutional ratification, not counting the states which rescinded their rat- ifications. Anyway, consider all
the boys now swimming on girls’ swim teams. The New York Times reported that dozens of boys are now competing on girls’ teams in Massachusetts because their schools do not have boys’ swimming programs. They are able to do so because of the open access amendment to the state constitution, which was voted into law in the 1970s and mandates that boys and girls must be afforded equal access to athletics. Boys have been mem-
bers of girls’ swim teams since the 1980s, but until recently they were mostly a sideshow. It has only been in the last year or two that boys have swum well enough to draw at- tention — and people’s ire. The epicenter of the debate is the 50-yard free- style, an event in which strength can trump talent or technique. Now boys can set re-
cords and win girls’ swim- ming titles. That’s a great thing for a guy to have on his resume. “Massachu- setts Girls 50-yard Free- style Champion.” Femini s t ac t i v i s t s pushed for that Bay State law to advocate for girls. And what did they get? Unintended conse- quences!
There have been several recent attempts on the
state and federal levels to pass legislation requir- ing that public buildings provide more restroom facilities for women, as opposed to men. That’s reasonable. We all can picture those long lines of females outside the women’s rooms at sports events, while the men just go in and out of restrooms so much more quickly. I get it. Feminist activists, of
course, are at the forefront of the “Potty Parity” move- ment, although parity re- ally isn’t the right word, as the women want more stalls than the men get. No problemo. Let them have more stalls. But let them also understand that if
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