On Sept. 26, the Council of Presidents for National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) disregarded a nearly unanimous recommendation of its board of commissioners and athletic directors and voted 11-9 to remove their national cross country championships from the state of North Carolina. The reason? North Carolina’s “HB2 legislation creates an atmosphere where discrimination potentially exists for some NAIA student-athletes and personnel.” In other words, these university presidents believe the Tar Heel state should be punished for defending a woman’s right to have her own bathroom.
Have these people lost all sense of academic integrity? Have they lost their minds?
At the risk of stating the obvious, there is a reason we don’t just tell young women who want to play intercollegiate sports that they are welcome to do so, as long as they avail themselves of the men’s teams. There’s a reason we don’t just tell co-eds to go ahead and try out for the basketball, soccer, or baseball teams, but that we have no intention of spending the university’s time or money to provide separate coaches, facilities, and programs for them. If we were to be so callous, we would rightly be accused of being insensitive, unfair, and fully out of compliance with a federal law known as Title IX.
Title IX was enacted in 1972, primarily for the purpose of giving women equal access to the athletic field. Since its passage, programs and facilities have been made available to women in direct proportion to men at nearly all of our nation’s colleges and universities. As the result, women have enjoyed nearly a 500 percent increase in athletic participation nationwide over the past forty plus years.
But today, my NAIA peers—in their sagely wisdom—seem determined to reject the very premise of Title IX that requires colleges and universities to differentiate the female student from the male student and to, thereby, give women the same access to programs as men. If we didn’t “discriminate” in such a way, how in the world would it be possible to ever comply with Title IX?!
Surely even those not holding advanced degrees can understand this. A female is a biological reality and the distinction between the woman and her male counterpart is quite real. Failing to admit this difference is to pretend that a woman doesn’t even exist. Women are not merely a social construct. They are not make-believe. They are more than the delusional feelings of dysphoric males. They are scientific facts and women’s rights become meaningless if the female is not real and is, instead, nothing but a politically correct fabrication of higher education’s arrogant elites.
I don’t know what my peers were taught in their junior high biology classes, and I certainly have no idea what they are teaching today on their respective campuses, but at Oklahoma Wesleyan, we still believe in science. We, therefore, teach that male and female physiology is an objective reality and that there is little more empirically obvious than one’s sex.
Shocking as it may sound to my presidential peers, Oklahoma Wesleyan University actually agrees with the state of North Carolina. We, too, think that women should be granted the privacy of having their own toilets. We believe female students should be respected and not insulted, demeaned, and ignored. We stand with women in their fight against the arrogance of college presidents and the delusions of the male libido. Women attending our university will not only have their own basketball and soccer teams, but they, likewise, will have their own restrooms, showers, dorms, sports, scholarships and programs. Women at this university will have their identity and their privacy acknowledged and respected.
Oklahoma Wesleyan University (and dare I presume to speak for tens of thousands of other Oklahomans) proudly stands with the state of North Carolina. We thank its governor for defending the dignity of women and we join with tens millions nationwide in saying shame on the NAIA’s Council of Presidents for their mindless misogyny and for not having the moral clarity and intellectual courage to defend the rights of our female students.
Dr. Everett Piper is president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.
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