We spent spring break in Washington, D.C., with our kids touring the monuments, the museums, and historical buildings there. In one of the museums we were in we saw a video of one of the Supreme Court Justices giving an interview discussing how Title IX rulings had opened the door of equality for women and that led to equality for many different groups all the way down to the lesbian and gay movement of today.
I would like to be upfront and say that I have no problem with people being treated equally regardless of their sex, their race, or their religion. My personal experience has been that any legislation that has been designed to create equality for a certain group has created an unequal playing field for me. How can we come to the conclusion that creating a more difficult path for some is the solution to creating equal opportunity?
I have the pleasure of being a married, Christian, white man. While none of those are four letter words, you might have a hard time telling that in today’s society. When I graduated from college I remember going for an interview for a job that fit my degree. I did my research on the company, I prepped on standard interview questions, and picked out my best suit and power tie so that I could bring my best to the opportunity. I arrived early for the interview and waited for my appointment time. The time came and I went into the manager’s office to begin the interview. The manager looked up at me and said, “Thanks for coming in for the interview. I reviewed your resume and I appreciate you applying for the position. “ Then, picking up a huge stack of applications on the corner of his desk he turned to me and said, “Let me be honest with you. I am going to interview you but to tell you the truth if any of these applicants are women or minorities I will be choosing them for the position. Frankly, to hire you over any of them would require a substantial amount of paperwork on my behalf to justify why I didn’t hire them and I just don’t have the time.” Shocked that this was the fair and equal opportunity working environment that was advertised, I finished the interview and went home knowing my fate.
Sometime after that, I went to work for a company and I noticed that the owner seemed to handle all of the bigger decision making duties of the business while his wife handled the day-to-day management of the business. When it came time to bid on projects for the business, though, the wife was listed as the owner of the business because the business would then be eligible to be listed as a woman owned business and have advantages in the process and even benefits in obtaining business loans for equipment and necessary items. Here is another example of legislation that has created an unfair playing field for some to help the plight of a certain sector.
While I don’t have personal experience with this, I do not think that a man usually is given a fair shake in divorce courts or custody settlements. I have seen many men following divorce that had to work two jobs, drive an old car, and live in a small apartment just to try to make ends meet with the punishment they were given by the courts to support their spouse. While I am not saying that they shouldn’t take care of their responsibilities as a parent or husband, should the other spouse not have to make changes to their living conditions such that they both can have some quality of life. Some men arguably have been heinous in their roles as husbands and fathers, but there have been many men where a wife decided that she didn’t want to be married anymore and the courts still seem to put the primary burden on the man.
The original Title IX legislation led to a lot of wonderful opportunities for women, particularly in sports. It makes complete sense that college women’s sports should be supported and that there should be opportunities for women to get scholarships and be treated with similar respect to their male counterparts. The problem came when there was a ruling that universities couldn’t base their adherence to Title IX to sports where there were male and female teams like tennis, track, softball/baseball, basketball, and soccer. Institutions had to look at their sports teams as a whole and that there needed to be equal scholarships for men and women. This meant that most institutions’ money-making sport of football, which has the most scholarships needed of any sport, is only male, and has no equivalent female version would have to take the punishment for the sake of equal opportunity. So, scholarships for football programs were reduced to help balance the disparity between total men’s and women’s scholarships. But things didn’t stop there. Most universities had to reduce the number of scholarships for men in their other sports like basketball, baseball, and soccer below their women’s equivalent sport. Beyond that, universities created new competition sports only for women to create more female scholarship opportunities to balance the number of scholarships given out for athletics. This has all been done in the name of creating equality for everyone. No regards for the millions and millions of dollars that football brings in to a college that makes all of those scholarships possible in the first place. While some men’s basketball teams may make enough money to support more than their program and just a handful of women’s basketball teams may bring in a profit, most collegiate sports make little if anything to support their costs.
So, how long do we have to submit to equality by legislated inequality? How long should my color be a burden to my opportunity? How long should my sex be a reason that I should not have a fair playing field? How long should my beliefs be a reason that I must accept someone else’s sin in my business or church?