This time, the feds got it right
I can live with that. As I teach my economic students, there are times when government needs to intervene. And in political science I often sound the same themes.
Civil rights would not have evolved on its own as libertarians often claim.
In the Olympics, I watched April Ross and Jennifer Kessy pull off a come-from-behind victory in beach volleyball that contained all the elements of true grit and sportsmanship. I watched women excel at indoor volleyball, gymnastics, water polo and dozens of other sports.
When I was in high school, field hockey and gymnastics were about the only sports options for girls.
Libertarians would argue that social change and market forces would have recognized the need for expansion of women’s opportunities in sports.
What sounds good in theory does not necessarily translate into reality. I doubt any of my high school coaches would have voluntarily shared athletic dollars with women’s sports, much less acknowledged women had the physical and mental capabilities to excel in competitive sports.
Title IX forced the issue in high schools and college. In the academic world the results are indisputable as women have entered medical, law, accounting, and just about any other professional class in numbers close to male enrollment.
But the progress in sports is nothing less than astounding. Whether it’s golf, tennis, crew, ice hockey, water polo, basketball, gymnastics or soccer—women are proving they can bring physicality and a compelling spectator experience to sports.
Fathers, who in my generation paid scant attention to their daughter’s athletic abilities, are now among the biggest cheerleaders—and political activists where women’s sports are concerned.
Sports unite families, communities and nations. I tear up watching any American win a gold medal at the Olympics. And I watch the women’s events with as much, perhaps even more attention than I do the male sports.
By my reckoning, Title IX increased the potential brainpower the U.S. can bring to the table in medicine, science, business and the professional fields while at the same time doubling my sporting pleasure.
And the increase in the number of American’s standing atop the winner’s podium in London is icing on the cake.
Sometimes the government does get it right.
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