Black and White Women Far From Equal Under Title IX
By WILLIAM C. RHODEN
... But the focus of Title IX has been gender equity, not racial equity in women’s sports. The most glaring outcome of the legislation is that white women — as athletes and administrators — have been the overwhelming beneficiaries.
... In Harlem, there was a sense — among some, although certainly not all — that the gap was in some ways a moat designed to protect white privilege, opportunity and power.
... She said she did not think that the inequities in sports opportunities were an accident. “These white women don’t want us to compete with them,” she said. “They want their kids to get the scholarships. They’re thinking about themselves. They give us all kinds of awards, but when it comes time to distributing the money, it’s a whole other story.”...
Yeah, pretty much. Upper middle class white people are damn good at figuring out what's in their own children's best interests. It gives daughters something to put on college applications and the best get a few college scholarships. Notice how they keep adding women's versions of white sports like water polo. (The Olympics added women's water polo in 2000.) I'm from L.A., I've played water polo in gym class, I had friends in high school who were star water polo players, and I'm still not interested in water polo.
“But in the grand scheme of things, Caucasian girls have benefited disproportionately well, especially suburban girls and wealthy Caucasian girls.”
According to a 2007 report by the United States Department of Education, among high school sophomores, white girls had a 51 percent participation rate in sports, compared with 40 percent for black girls. The percentages were lower for Asian/Pacific Islanders (34 percent) and Hispanics (32 percent).
The lack of access to sports at youth levels becomes manifest at the intercollegiate level, where African-American women are underrepresented in all but two sports: Division I basketball, where black women represent 50.6 percent of athletes, and indoor and outdoor track and field, where they represent 28.2 and 27.5 percent. They are all but missing in lacrosse (2.2 percent), swimming (2.0), soccer (5.3) and softball (8.2). They are an underrepresented rising presence in volleyball (11.6).
And, of course, Hispanic females are far more underrepresented in sports than black females, but my typing fingers are becoming heavy and sleepy as I merely try to grind out a conclusion to this sentence about how virtually nobody is interested in Mexican women athletes, especially Mexican women. Zzzzzzz ...
Anyway, Title IX's emphasis on women's versions of minor sports has set the clock back a century to a time when most sports mostly consisted of affluent amateurs getting together on Daddy's dime: e.g., back when the annual Harvard v. Yale football game was the 1912 equivalent of the Super Bowl for the small number of people who cared.
And, you know, maybe that's a good thing.