SAVE (Stop Abusive and Violent Environments) let us know that a study of sex-specific scholarships at 115 of the nation’s largest universities revealed widespread sex discrimination policies. Among 1,161 sex-specific scholarships, 91.6% were reserved for female students, with only 8.4% designated for male students. The analysis was conducted on colleges in 24 states across the nation; there is no reason to assume that studies of the remaining states would yield different results.
Yes, as you probably thought, sex-biased scholarships violate the terms of Title IX, which prohibits scholarships that “On the basis of sex, provide different amounts or types of such assistance, limit eligibility for such assistance which is of any particular type or source, apply different criteria, or otherwise discriminate.” (34 CFR 106.37(a)(1)) Nevertheless, Alabama scholarships show a male-female scholarship ratio of 2 to 81; Florida , 3 to 70), and Utah 2 to 86). Those were the states with the most egregious imbalance; South Carolina had the least, with 12 scholarship programs designated for men and 16 programs for women. That’s still 30% more.
SAVE is using the data it has gathered to contact the colleges about their per se discriminatory policies. The group has a hammer: when institutions refuse to remedy their discriminatory policies, complaints get forwarded to the federal Office for Civil Rights. According to SAVE, a typical OCR Title IX investigation costs colleges an average of $193,750.
Ouch. Also: GOOD. The Office for Civil Rights is investigating complaints of female-specific programs at the following universities: Brown, Clemson, Michigan, Rutgers , and Wayne State. Last year the OCR reached a Resolution Agreement with Tulane University to correct eight discriminatory programs such as its Women-to-Women Mentoring program. These are exactly the kinds of complaints that the Obama Justice Department and Civil Rights division showed no interest in at all.
Yet in college, men are the minority. It is not as if these female-boosting programs are needed to remedy a current under-representation problem. 43.7% of college students are male. African Americans students show a greater female imbalance: black women earned 178.2 bachelor’s degrees in 2017 for every 100 degrees earned by black men.
What’s going on here? SAVE ended its press release with the droll understatement, “Such disparities are incompatible with long-held aspirations for gender equality.” But we have learned, I hope, that remedial measures that once could be justified as necessary to repair the consequences of traditional discrimination against certain groups are never surrendered once they have accomplished their goals. To hear 2019 activists (and distaff Democratic Presidential candidates) talk, women are still being crushed and dominated by the “patriarchy,” in the workplace, in government, in sports, in education. Thus they must be given an edge, have special resources dedicated to their special needs, all while they get to proclaim their innate superiority over men in rhetoric that would be condemned from the XY side as sexist and misogynist.
This is dishonest, hypocritical, divisive and sinister, and as SAVE points out, illegal. Somehow, I don’t expect the Democratic Party to be very concerned about the problem, however, and if Republicans move to address it, they can expect to be attacked in the media and on the campaign trail.
*The young woman in the photo is bodybuilder Kate Hart.
Pointer: Amy Alkon