[EDEQUITY]Talking points on Title IX Commission

From: Sundra Flansburg (sflansburg@edc.org)
Date: Mon Sep 09 2002 - 14:35:36 EDT

Sorry for any double postings...

For those who haven't yet seen them, Donna Lopiano of the Women's Sports
Foundation forwarded these "Talking Points" prepared by their group. She's
given permission and encouragement to share them!

Sundra Flansburg
Director, WEEA Equity Resource Center at EDC
55 Chapel Street, Newton, MA 02458
Tel.: 800-225-3088 / 617-969-7100, ext. 2925
TTY: 800-354-6798 / Fax: 617-332-4318


New Commission What's Going On With Title IX?
"There is a lot of talk going on about the new Commission that the
government has appointed to look into weakening Title IX regulations. A
lot of the women tennis players don't know about the law because they never
played school sports and are so busy with their pro careers that they are
not informed about what is going on in the world outside the U.S. Open.
All I know is that Title IX has been good for women, that parents support
this law. They want their daughters to have the same chance to play as
their sons. And we know that schools are still not in compliance with the
law. Boys get 1.1 million more opportunities to play at the high school
level; 30% more chances to play at the college level and $133 million more
in athletic scholarships. So, let's keep that law strong."

Boys Losing Their Opportunities to Play/Discontinuation of Wrestling
"If schools are dropping men's sports, it's not because Title IX tells them
they must. They are making budget decisions. They are choosing not to
tell football and men's basketball to get along with a little less money so
they can keep wrestling and give equal opportunity to female athletes.
They are continuing to spend millions on college coach salaries. Every
school has choices about the size of their program and what sports are
going to be emphasized. If schools choose to get rid of wrestling, that's
their right. It's wrong, but don't blame it on the women or Title IX,
blame it on the arms race in football or institutional decision-making.
Pitting men against women on the issue of equal opportunity for women is
not right."

Female Tennis Players Not Knowing About Title IX
If asked to comment on Capriati or Davenport who were shaky on Title
IX...i.e., is it
disappointing that the top US female tennis players aren't informed about
Title IX?
"I wasn't surprised since Capriati didn't play high school or college
tennis (where Title IX applies). She has not experienced any problems with
lack of opportunity to play. Her family was always able to provide these
experiences for her. I think her agent and PR advisor should get her up to
date on the issues."

Boys More Interested in Sports Than Girls
"If I had a daughter, I wouldn't want anyone telling her that boys are more
interested in sports than girls or assuming she is less interested. This
is no different than believing a stereotype like boys are more interested
in math or blacks aren't interested in playing tennis. Sports
participation is as important for our daughters as it is for our sons."

"Boys have never had to prove they were interested in sports to get the
opportunity to play. Why should girls have to "prove" their interest in
order to get that same opportunity? Society just encourages and expects
boys to play. We have never had a choice. Interest is a function of the
opportunity to play and encouragement to take advantage of that
opportunity. Boys are not born with a "sports interest" gene. They are
pushed, cajoled, expected and sometimes even embarrassed into playing and
we provide them we every opportunity to do so. All of us know that coaches
who see a big boy in school make them come out for football. Tall boys are
dragged onto the basketball team. Boys who run fast are encouraged to run
track. Why aren't we encouraging girls this way?

"All of this talk about administering interest surveys to prove that boys
are more interested in sports than girls and setting quotas on the number
of girls who can play based on that survey is wrong thinking at best and a
misuse of an instrument that measures attitudes, not behavior. I dare any
school to invite Serena Williams or Julie Foudy or Cynthia Cooper to come
speak to all the girls in that school and administer an interest survey
after she finishes. Serena would tell them how much fun it is to play
sports, that there is a sport out there in which every girl can experience
success. Cooper would simply tell them that they must play because it's
important for their confidence, health and success in life after sports.
Foudy would challenge them to pick the sport that's right for them. Every
girl would want to play after that kind of encouragement."

" I want to know why teachers and coaches are not encouraging girls to play
sports the same way they encourage boys to play. It seems like we're
trying to talk girls out of being interested. This is not and cannot be a
"male versus female" issue. Boys and girls should play sports and they
should be treated equally. Boys should grow up respecting the rights and
abilities of girls in sports. Our world will be a better place if we can
start acting on the basis of this point of view rather than embracing
stereotypical views about women."

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