Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Women Beat Men at Olympics, 58 to 46!

The media have been gushing all week; as one outlet put it, “This year [is the] 40th anniversary of Title IX, the barrier-breaking law that opened doors in sports for women in the United States. For the first time this year, women outnumbered men on the U.S. Olympic team, … 273 to 261.” Women also brought back 58 of the 104 medals won by the U.S.

Title IX didn’t just open doors for women, it closed doors for men. The law forced schools that did not field the exact same number of teams for women as they did for men to cut men’s teams. Since women are not as interested in competitive sports as men are, this has meant a lot of young men deprived of the opportunity to compete in their sport of choice. Perhaps this is showing up in the stats for American male Olympians: a smaller pool resulitng in fewer medals?

In some cases men have gone to colleges on sports scholarships only to find their sport canceled because not enough women could be found to join the requisite number of women’s teams. At the same time, for instance, women who have never held an oar before are being recruited to crew teams at many schools.

Returning to the Olympics, analysts are also crowing that U.S. women alone brought home more gold medals (29) than all but two entire nations. The true meaning of this staggering statistic needs to be seen clearly: The United States is the best place on earth to be a woman. Period.

In keeping with the general divisiveness of the Obama years, there has been a tone of vengefulness to some of the Olympic coverage, as if women went head to head with men and dominated. Both sexes are now eligible to compete in all sports (except for softball, synchronized swimming and rhythmic gymnastics, which are women-only). But there are actually only two Olympic sports where men and women compete directly against one another: equestrian events and one sailing event. So American women proved themselves superior to other women the world over – again, because they hail from the best-place-ever on the planet to be born female.

In 2012 the advanced countries have even been able to pressure backwaters like Qatar, Brunei and Saudi Arabia to field at least one woman for the first time. Considering that European men invented almost all the sports played at the Olympics and, furthermore, created the Olympic Games themselves, their gradual, generous inclusion of other nationalities and now the “fairer sex” should be commended, not derided and resented. But of course it won’t be.

One American female Olympian even had the gracelessness to sneer, “I remember [when growing up] boys would be saying, ‘She can’t be out here playing.’ But I have a gold medal around my neck. And those guys don’t.” Gee, that's great. Makes you wonder if some of those guys didn’t get to have an athletic career because of Title IX darlings like her. And of course it’s always healthy for a society to stir up envy and bad blood between its men and women. ...

When I used to play softball in a community league in the Bay Area, the Nanny State rule was that if your team didn’t have any female players, you could win by a blowout and still have to forfeit the game. When I realized the guys on the team wanted me on it only to avoid forfeiting, I quit. Sorry, guys – can’t win for losing.

1 comment:

Anne Allen said...

There are so often unintended consequences to new rules. But those who demand the changes don't care. Common sense be damned!