- The Washington Times - Friday, August 20, 2004

Olympic quotas

“Not only do women account for more than half of the Olympics’ television viewers, female athletes are Olympic stars. …

“Among the most anticipated events is return of soccer darlings Mia Hamm and Brandi Chastain. They won the gold in 1996 and will compete one last time as a team in Athens. …

“These female Olympians deserve to be celebrated: Their hard work will inspire many young girls to participate in sports. … Sports similarly benefit boys and may play an important role in helping them socialize and form positive relationships with their peers. That’s why girls and boys should both be encouraged to participate in athletic activity at early age.

“Unfortunately, instead of just encouraging participation in sports, the federal law known as Title IX pits our male and female athletes against each other. Under this regime, it’s not just female athletes’ progress that’s celebrated, but the elimination of male athletes. …

“This federal law was intended to prevent discrimination based on sex on college campuses, including athletics, but has since become a death sentence for many male sports teams.”

Carrie Lukas, writing on “No Gold in Gender Olympics,” Tuesday in National Review Online at www.nationalreview.com

Coming apart

“In 1994, 19 scholars of American history and politics were asked to evaluate the level of American unity in 1930, 1950, 1970 and 1990. The year 1950, according to these experts, was the ‘zenith of American national integration.’ Since then ‘cultural and political fragmentation has increased’ and ‘conflict emanating from intensified ethnic and religious consciousness poses the main current challenge to the American nation.’

“Fanning all of this was the new popularity among liberal elites of the doctrines of ‘multiculturalism’ and ‘diversity.’ … Multiculturalism is basically an anti-Western ideology. Multiculturalists argue that white Anglo-America has suppressed other cultural alternatives, and that America in the future should not be a society with a single pervasive national culture, but instead should become a ‘tossed salad’ of many starkly different ingredients.”

Samuel Huntington, writing on “One Nation, Out of Many,” in the September issue of the American Enterprise

‘Pretty little girls

“A sport in which women become washed up years before they reach their athletic prime is a sport that needs redesigning. A sport that supposedly emphasizes strength and athleticism, among other things, but for which you’re in trouble if you tip the scales [over 100 pounds] and you’re just about disqualified if you top 115 is a sport that needs fixing.

“Enough with the pretty little girls. This stuff might have been OK when athletic opportunities for girls were severely limited, but women can be and are real athletes on the world stage now. …

“If you’re years into retirement age for a sport [by your mid-20s], then it’s a children’s sport and should be reconfigured for adult bodies when grown-ups play. Think T-ball and baseball.

“Instead, gymnastics tries to reconfigure women’s bodies, to keep them childlike. It’s sick and wrong. And when so much emphasis is placed on how cute and pretty they are … it’s off-the-chart sick and wrong. …

“This is the 21st century. It’s time to ditch the little-girl fantasies and let women play.”

King Kaufman, writing on “Women’s gymnastics should grow up,” Wednesday in Salon at www.salon.com

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