Steve G.

Guest Contributor George Phillies: Bob Barr Advocates for Discrimination Against Women

In Crazy Claims, Law, Libertarian Politics on August 18, 2008 at 7:26 pm

The following was authored by Dr. George Phillies, and is published on LFV with his permission.

As you can tell from this, or any other representation of sports, men are hardly getting discriminatd against in college athletics

Bob Barr is worried about all the men being discriminated against in college athletics .... wait, what?

At some point, you have to draw a line

Bob Barr Advocates for Discrimination Against Women

Of course, Bob Barr calls it “Title IX Reform”. And he doesn’t say the rest out loud. You have to read between the lines.

Three decades ago, Congress imposed a requirement on educational programs and activities that received Federal Financial assistance. If a school accepted both men and women, it could not have programs that discriminated against men or against women. In 1972, this was a very radical idea. College athletics meant ‘college *men’s* athletics, and at many universities programs for women were very much second rate in their support, even when women outnumbered men on campus.

Now there comes to us Libertarian Presidential candidate Bob Barr who in a August 11, 2008 press release calls for “an end to Title IX’s gender quota system that has devastated so many of our collegiate sports programs” and his claim “…In turn, this has forced colleges and universities to either cut men’s teams or shrink their roster size in order to comply…” He then signed an online petition found at and quoted below.

Barr quotes College Sports Council President Leo Kocher as claiming “…If the state’s schools were simply allowed to use online surveys to measure actual interest, they would be able to add wrestling programs without fear of running afoul of the law…”

Of course, a real libertarian might have advocated for ending those Federal programs, because if there were no Federal program, Title IX would have no effect. Many of the more purist readers on this list can even enumerate the Federal programs in question. But that’s not what Barr did.

A few will note that some of those programs are Veteran’s benefits, that the Veteran’s friends have already paid for, paid for by dying for their country*.

A Federal candidate who was actually interested in the health of future Americans might have advocated for intramural athletic participation, by voluntary choice, as opposed to varsity athletic programs. My alma mater did this, and in one year my dormitory fielded volleyball teams Burton House A, Burton House B,… on through Burton House VV. Barr didn’t advocate a policy that would substantively benefit America, either.

Instead, Barr inveighed against Federal antidiscrimination rules, using Republican reactionary dogwhistle language about ‘quota systems’. Dogwhistle? A reasonable libertarian reads ‘quota’ and hears ‘a Federal program. Where is the call to repeal it?’. A sexist Republican reads ‘quota’, starts foaming at the mouth, notes the references to ‘wrestling’, and hears ‘discrimination for good old boys! Yes!’.**

And that ‘a simple survey’? Does anyone know how to lean a survey?

In fact, what Title IX requires is that male and female students — most of whom are taxpayers who paid in part for the Federal programs in question — not have their tax dollars be used to subsidize discrimination against them.

The actual outcome of Title IX has been an enormous burgeoning of athletic teams for women in colleges across America. There has been an end to second-class treatment of women. I can see the result at my own university, where the fraction of women who choose to participate in varsity athletics now matches the fraction of men participating. Also, it has been extremely visible that team athletics are much more positive in their benefits for women than for men, which is not to say that many men have not benefited form intramural or varsity athletics.

Having said that, a school that wants to discriminate against its coeds without crossing Title IX has but to decline the Federal money paid by female taxpayers.

The Barr Press release “Barr signs petition for academic sports freedom” should be seen for what it is. It’s not a call for liberty. It’s a dog-whistle appeal to southern white male chauvinists.

Finally, as a college professor, I assure readers that wrestling programs are perfectly legal. I should know. My university, WPI, has one, not to mention one and a half dozen other varsity teams, and around 20 — depending on interest — club sports, many coed.

Oh, yes, the petition:

To: U.S. Congress

WHEREAS … Today, June 23, 2008 marks the 36th anniversary of the passage of Title IX …

WHEREAS … Men’s collegiate athletic teams are being eliminated and rosters are being capped at an alarming rate in order to comply with the “proportionality” enforcement prong …

WHEREAS … Women collegiate athletes are being robbed of their training partners, teammates and biggest supporters when men’s teams are eliminated …

WHEREAS … Straightforward and common-sense fixes to the enforcement mechanism are already available – such as a simple survey that would allow any student, male or female, to express interest and be given opportunity …

WHEREAS … The law’s current method of enforcement is discriminating against male athletes and artificially limiting opportunities to participate …

WHEREAS … The current tenor of the debate over the future of Title IX sets up a zero sum contest pitting men against women that hurts the collective cause of all college athletes …

BE IT RESOLVED … That men and women across the country come together to discuss and implement a set of common sense reforms to Title IX enforcement that maximizes the opportunities of all college athletes regardless of gender.

*One of my drill sergeants in basic showed me how to use this line, for which I am most grateful.

**Mind you, some football and wrestling teams have simply allowed coeds to join.

About these ads

    If 200 boys express sufficient interest to form 10 varsity teams and 100 girls express sufficient interest to form 5 varsity teams, the university must either field fewer than 10 male varsity teams or create some sort of incentive to convince more girls to become interested in sports.

    This is blatant sexual discrimination (although it can reasonably be attributed to the way our court systems interprets title IX and not title IX itself).

    We should be able to criticize Bob Barr for not upholding the principles of our party without endorsing this sort of crap.

  2. To claim that to support the repeal of Title IX amounts to supporting gender discrimination is wildly facetious and collectivist.

    Government forced equality is nothing more than slavery and the initiation of force. Where is the absolutist G.E. on this?

  3. Jeff Wartman, how did you manage to so bend out of shape to go from a Prof. Phillies supporter to Bob Barr apologist? Contortionist!

  4. I have seen first hand how colleges are constantly in conflict over what activities they can offer due to Title IX. You can have 50 guys begging you to start a la crosse team or 20 women ready to start a swim team, but if you can’t match up an equal activity with the opposite gender, they can’t have their team. This is especially hard on small schools that are trying to support the needs of a few thousand students instead of 25,000.

    Fun fact: Title IX forced many non-housed fraternities and sororities to become coed in the 1970’s. I am a member of an organization that is legally classified as a “fraternity,” named as a “sorority,” originated as a sorority, and is still all women on some campuses, but is coed on my campus. What’s funny is that the scholarships are almost all only offered to women, so I can’t apply to them. This actually causes more discrimination. It’s a lot like affirmative action.

  5. This whole argument raises the most important point of all: when you take the State’s money, you allow the State to tell you how to spend all of your money.

    This is true of corporations, universities, and individuals, with the exception that most individuals exist in such a system that there is no practical way to refuse the State’s largess and survive.

  6. Wartman has been drinking the Bob Barr tainted Kool-aid Shane Cory and Russ Verney force fed him.

  7. Government forced equality is nothing more than slavery and the initiation of force. Where is the absolutist G.E. on this?

    Jeff, you are 100% right, and Phillies (as usual) is wrong.

    Bob Barr still sucks because no real libertarian would ever call for TITLE IX to be “reformed,” but abolished altogether.

    And Phillies: I advocate discrimination against women, against gays, against blacks, and against straight while males like myself. I advocate discrimination against fat people, thin people, ugly people, beautiful people, dumb people, smart people, capable people, the disabled, etc.

    Discrimination = choice.

    If people discriminate on a basis that is incompatible with maximizing utility, then THEY WILL SUFFER. There’s no need for savage laws like Title IX.

    For those criticizing my friend Jeff: I do not condone his support for the horrendous statist Bob Barr, but I am no Bob Barr “apologist” and certainly no sexist but a laissez-faire “absolutist.”

    I would lay an ounce of gold on a wager than Mary Ruwart doesn’t support Title IX either!

  8. All of these years in the LP, and George Phillies still doesn’t understand what it means to be a libertarian. At least Barr’s background as a lifelong proponent of the status-quo gives him an excuse.

  9. An excuse you are all letting him get away with.

  10. Steve Newton has the rational handle on this one. The true libertarian position is not to quibble over how many women are interested in athletics, but to form your lacrosse team, guys, without government money.

    Douglass, you’re wrong. “You can have 50 guys begging you to start a la crosse team or 20 women ready to start a swim team, but if you can’t match up an equal activity with the opposite gender, they can’t have their team.”

    Yes, they can. The 50 guys can have their team and the 20 women can have their team, they just can’t have it at taxpayer expense under the current rules. If 50 guys can’t figure out how to form a lacrosse team, find corporate sponsors, and rent a field to play on, maybe they ought to be in business school studying planning and entrepreneurship.

    I hate jocks. I hate the professional sports arenas and teams that masquerade as amateur at major colleges and universities. I’m interested in educating minds, not providing testosterone-infused numbskulls televised opportunities to make touchdowns (explain to me, exactly, where the women’s college football is in Title 9?) on national television with occasional perks like hot cheerleaders in their hotel rooms and expensive cars to drive about. So if none of these scum can have sports teams on the taxpayer’s nickel, good. And if none of them are willing to organize their own sporting activities on their own with their own money, oh, boo fuckin’ hoo.

    Barr is a sexist. He doesn’t want lower taxes. He doesn’t want to end federal funds for college sports. He doesn’t want to be bothered with federal funds for women’s college sports, but he would be heart-broken if men’s college sports had fewer funds.

    Veterans benefits programs were not paid for by the blood of dead soldiers. They are paid for by taxpayers. And judging by the VA hospitals, veterans only get the health care they themselves pay for.

  11. John, you can have women’s college football when we also get men’s college softball and women’s college baseball and women’s college wrestling.

    As for Title IX, G.E. is right, it should be abolished, and forced equality by government in this case is discriminatory.

    Right now in colleges, both men and women can compete in the following sports, on some separate but some coed teams (may not be complete):

    ice hockey
    field hockey
    track and field
    cross country

    But they can’t in these:


    In those cases, women can try out for the men’s teams on football (like Katie Hnida did at CU) or wrestling. Unfortunatley the women get softball instead of baseball, but they are two separate sports treated as if they were the same (they are similar, but not the same, and any player of both will tell you that the strategies and playing techniques are different as well).

    Title IX was designed to deal with the football-ocracy of large NCAA football schools. It has succeeded in that it has created more sports opportuities for beyond the big four sports (football, basketball, baseball, and hockey), but at what cost otherwise?

    Me, I was a combination jockgeek in public high school–smart enough to be considered a geek (NHS, honor roll, academic competition wins, all that) but athletic enough to letter four years in baseball and play competitve basketball. I did it for the fitness more than anything else. In private college I did intramurals for the same reason. I still miss a good pickup game of ultimate frisbee.

    In an ideal world, the sports teams would be either coed or equally split by gender. Taint gonna happen. Barr is wrong in supporting “reform” of Title IX, but Phillies is also wrong in claiming that title IX ended discrimination of women. If anything it singled them out because of a perceived lack of equality, when it was actually a lack of interest. It’s not discrimiantion when they don’t want to do it in the first place.

  12. The guys at my school who couldn’t get athletic department support for their teams due to Title IX could start club sports. However, these teams could not run an NCAA schedule. They played awful opponents with horrible officials and no playoffs. Programs like this also can’t get good coaches, other staff, and facilities.

    It’s not that they are dumb jocks, they just can’t get the university’s support. And that means they can’t get most of the advantages that make college sports worthwhile and make them educational. If you can’t compete in the NCAA or NAIA, it is pretty worthless.

  13. Gosh, Douglass, that’s sad. I am not a jock strap, nor an athletic supporter of any other sort.

    Maybe you should contact the NCAA about changing its rules. Mind you, I’m not sure how helpful they would be, given their long history of actively discriminating against women. Wikipedia notes, “Until the 1980s, the association did not offer women’s athletics.”

    Easily, for you, the NCAA is now headquartered in Indianapolis, so you and your club sports enthusiast friends can go there when you want to run an NCAA schedule, whatever that might mean.

    Note from this list that NCAA active discrimination against women in many sports continues: “Sports sanctioned by the NCAA include basketball, baseball (men), softball (women), football (men), cross country, field hockey (women), bowling (women), golf, fencing (coeducational), lacrosse, soccer, gymnastics, rowing (women only), volleyball, ice hockey, water polo, rifle (coeducational), tennis, skiing (coeducational), track & field, swimming & diving, and wrestling (men’s).”

    So, maybe the problem isn’t Title IX but the NCAA, as clearly a cartel operating in restraint of trade (see televised football ruling against them, 1982) as one can find.

    Why no NCAA men’s rowing? Why no NCAA women’s football? Time for a sit-in?

  14. Dr. Phillies-

    Your point is that we should not advocate loosening the bonds of the federal government, that anything short of absolutism is pandering?

    To speak only in absolute terms against the government is to completely reject their force, their power over you. Few Americans are ready for that, and fewer still have the stomach to do what is needed to make that absolutism into more than an empty bluff.

    For now we should seek to snatch back our freedom, one bit at a time, until we have it all back, or until we are forced into a more dangerous course of action.

  15. Michael, you misunderstand me. I don’t want women’s college football, nor any other competitive sporting activity funded by taxpayers. Physical activity is not education, and calling it physical education is a lie.

    Justin, it doesn’t matter what you are ready for. It matters what each individual chooses to do. If you don’t like what George chooses, don’t vote for him. Your incrementalism is sickening. You are licking the boots of those who crush your face with them.

  16. Amendall,

    You apparently don’t understand.

    Federal funds are not used to fund college athletics. Title IX isn’t a rule for athletic programs that receive federal funds.

    If a college or university receives federal funds–for example, if the students who go there receive federal tuition assitance or the professors receive federal research grants–then the university is subject to Title IX regulation of athletic programs.

    The alternative is to go the route of Grove City College or Hilsdale College. For teaching schools, giving up federal research grants isn’t a problem. Telling students, however, that they can’t use federally guaranteed loans, pell grants, ROTC scholarships, of veterans benefits is more difficult.

    At my university, the Men’s Soccer and Golf teams were shut down. There remain women’s soccer and golf. It was to meet Title IX regulations.

  17. Woolsey, you apparently don’t understand. I don’t care.

    I don’t care what happened to your sports clubs. I hope none of your clubs were provided with any money by any group, ever. I hope you never get to see any of them play. I think your sports enthusiasms are stupid, and if you cannot fund them entirely yourself, you are something of a pig.

    You suggest that taxpayers don’t pay for college athletics. Yet, here in Texas, they do. You seem to think I give a flying flip whether the taxpayers are paying state or federal taxes. I don’t.

    Now, you might make the case that Rice University, say, is being extorted by the federal bad guys since they are a privately funded school, but they get federal funds in the ways you mention. And guess what? I don’t care if they aren’t able to have athletic teams, either. I rather like the fact that Rice doesn’t give the filthy frat rats and sor-whores any sway, but that doesn’t mean I think they ought to get federal funds if they discriminate against women in athletics, according to whatever arbitrary standards the feds establish.

    You say that teaching schools can and have done without federal funds. So, it can be done. Next you’ll say that research universities cannot do without federal funds, which I would then submit is a lie to justify spending on a government program you like.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 60 other followers

%d bloggers like this: