On this date in 1972, the eventual ethics train wreck known as Title IX was passed. Its stated purpose was to prohibit sexual desecration on federally funded campuses, but since most of that discrimination was against women, the law was eventually weaponized to be an anti-male measure, notably by the Obama administration and its pressure on schools to employ a presumed guilty approach to student accusations of sexual harassment and assault. Title IX or something like it was clearly needed, but the law stands as a useful example of how, when a failure of ethics makes it necessary for law to step in, the law too often mucks things up.
1. Pop Ethics Quiz!
That’s a fantastic duo-costume at a cos-play convention: Peter Pan and his shadow! But is it offensive? Isn’t that “blackface”? If not, why not? Of course it isn’t supposed to evoke minstrel shows or be denigrating to blacks, but neither was Laurence Olivier’s make-up to play Othello on film. Define the rule for me. Continue reading
I was considering making this an ethics quiz, but it would be too easy: of course graduate programs that practice gender and racial discrimination in admission are unethical, though the dead-ethics alarms administrators who approve such monstrosities apparently don’t think so. Thus this is an inquiry into who, what, when, and why, all addressing the question of how this could happen?
Perhaps I should rephrase that slightly: How the hell could this happen?
Yum! Brands, which owns Pizza Hut, Taco Bell and KFC, operated a franchise owner training and business degree program at two universities, the University of Louisville (where Jack Marshall Sr. attended college until he transferred) and Howard University. The Yum! Franchise Accelerator MBA was limited, according to its materials, to “underrepresented people of color and women.” Following a federal investigation, the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Education announced in a letter last week that the two universities had agreed to make the “Yum! Franchise Accelerator Fellowship is open to all eligible students regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age.”
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbid discrimination on the basis of race at institutions that receive federal funding. Did the two institutions miss it? It was in all the papers. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 forbids discrimination on the basis of sex. This, I thought, was also rather well-publicized. Not enough, apparently.
And yet here we are, or were.
In “Utopia,” the strange and violent Amazon series about a mysterious graphic novel that turns out to be both true and a coded guide to an upcoming pandemic, the diversity propaganda is so heavy-handed that it could knock out Godzilla with a left cross. Let’s see: all the good couples are mixed race. A middle -class black woman takes in troubled white children. A white husband and wife have a family including multiple black and Asian children, which you would think violates the good couples are mixed-race rule, but it’s a trick: that white couple is villainous, and their white children are too, tough the minority kids seem to be OK. A group of assassins appears to include only whites, and the main heroine is black, though her character in the graphic novel that everyone is chasing after is white. Her female mentor is white, but she is so covered in grime that she looks black. (Why isn’t that blackface?)
At what point does this become so forced and absurd that audiences object to it? None of the race obsession adds a thing to the story except weirdness, and trust me, “Utopia” needs no more of THAT.
1. Welcome to my world! Here is a submitted comment to this post: the proud idiot “RidenwithBiden” (Oooh, clever!) writes, “My God, an entire website dedicated the the sanctimonious and bottomless brainwashed hypocrisy of traitorous right wing nut jobs.”
2. Here are some Biden voters I have no sympathy with whatsoever…President Biden signed an executive order that will require institutions receiving Title IX funding to allow biological males who identify as female to compete in women’s athletic events. This should effectively kill women’s sports while making a joke out of “competition.” Women voted overwhelmingly for Joe Biden, a serial sexual harasser who was accused of rape on the record by a staffer, and he was clearly going to do this. Now feminists and women’s sports advocates are whining?
What betrayal? Sorry that you weren’t paying attention, but it was always obvious that the most extreme end of the LGBTQ lobby was pulling Joe’s strings. The one who betrayed female athletes were feminist voters. Own it, ladies.
It was rotting.
The non-profit organization that is supposedly dedicated to protecting the rights of all Americans against government incursions, as the Bill of Rights holds in both letter and spirit, made no effort to protect the citizens whose liberties have been arbitrarily manacled by power-mad governor and mayors, though the pandemic over-reach seemed to be a perfect battleground for the once non-partisan and idealistic group.
However, once Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos spearheaded a much-needed revision of Title IX designed to protect the due process rights of male students accused of sexual misconduct on campus, the ACLU sprung into action—to try to block her.
It is hard for me to imagine how any objective reader could peruse the revised federal guidelines on how sexual assault allegations should be handled on college and K-12 campuses and conclude that they are hostile to the Bill of Rights in any way. Nevertheless, the federal lawsuit filed yesterday, with the backing of the ACLU, claims the changes would “inflict significant harm” on victims and “dramatically undermine” the civil rights of accusers—you know, those women who must be believed when they want men to be punished.
The suit was filed on behalf of four advocacy groups for such women, including Know Your IX and Girls for Gender Equity. The objective is to block the Education Department’s fixes, made necessary by the Obama Education Department’s unethical “Dear Colleague” letter that threatened universities with the loss of funds and other sanctions if they didn’t make it easier for women to get male students kicked out of school in she said/he said disputes. The reform regulations will go into effect by August 14 unless they are rejected by the courts.
The rules championed by DeVos bolster the due process rights of those accused of sexual assault and harassment, allowing for live hearings and cross-examinations.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Maryland by the American Civil Liberties Union and the New York-based law firm Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, is Orwellian. “This new federal effort to weaken Title IX makes it more difficult for victims of sexual harassment or sexual assault to continue their educations and needlessly comes amid a global pandemic.”
What does the pandemic have to do with anything? I guess it’s because the ACLU had a retreat or something and decided that the Wuhan virus suspended civil liberties. Says Yahoo!, Continue reading
Naturally, the common sense measures are being condemned as bigoted and unethical.
Idaho is now Ground Zero in the controversy over the ethical and equitable treatment of transgender individuals. In addition to the newly passed and signed Fairness in Women’s Sports Act, which bans biologically male transgender athletes from competing in women’s sports events, Idaho Governor Brad Little (a Republican, of course) signed a bill making it more difficult to change the sex designation on a birth certificate.
Ethics Alarms has discussed the transgender/women’s sports controversy in many posts. It’s admittedly a difficult ethics conflict that has played out in many strange ways across the country, including a female high school wrestler transitioning to male being forced to compete against females, and many instances of formerly male athletes competing as women crushing their double-X opposition while giving us photographs like this:
Female athletes who have protested the unfairness of this development, like Martina Navratalova, have been attacked as bigots, while some feminists have predicted that allowing trans athletes to continue to take advantage of their passing through puberty as males will destroy women’s sports, negating the salutary effects of Title IX, the law that made gender discrimination in sports illegal. Idaho state Rep. Barbara Ehardt , who played basketball at Idaho State University and later coached Division I women’s teams, led the way in pushing the legislation through to law. “If I had had to compete against biological boys and men, I don’t think I would have had the opportunity to play,” she told reporters. “Honestly, I know firsthand that we simply can’t compete against the inherent physiological and scientifically proven advantages that boys and men possess. We simply can’t do it, regardless of any hormone usage.”
Intersex competitors, like Caster Semenya, pose a different ethical problem. Continue reading
Poor dear. She needs all the help she can get in this brutal, male dominated institution.
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. Continue reading
“Even as we must treat accusers with seriousness and dignity, we must hear out the accused fairly and respectfully, and recognize the potential lifetime consequences that such an allegation can bring. If believing the woman is the beginning and the end of a search for the truth, then we have left the realm of justice for religion.”
—-Emily Yoffe in her essay titled, “The Problem With #BelieveSurvivors”
…in a Senate floor speech the day before the hearing, Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York announced that it was unnecessary for her to hear Kavanaugh’s testimony. Gillibrand declared, “I believe Dr. Blasey Ford.” Many Democrats, in keeping with #BelieveSurvivors, are taking their certainty about Ford’s account and extrapolating it to all accounts of all accusers. This tendency has campus echoes, too: The Obama administration’s well-intended activism on campus sexual assault resulted in reforms that went too far and failed to protect the rights of the accused.
The impulse to arrive at a predetermined conclusion is familiar to Samantha Harris, a vice president at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). Harris says that under Title IX, students who report that they are victims of sexual misconduct must be provided with staffers who advocate on their behalf. These staffers should “hear them out, believe them, and help them navigate the process,” she said, but added, “When the instruction to ‘believe them’ extends to the people who are actually adjudicating guilt or innocence, fundamental fairness is compromised.” Harris says that many Title IX proceedings have this serious flaw. As a result, in recent years, many accused students have filed lawsuits claiming that they were subjected to grossly unjust proceedings; these suits have met with increasingly favorable results in the courts…
…The legitimacy and credibility of our institutions are rapidly eroding. It is a difficult and brave thing for victims of sexual violence to step forward and exercise their rights to seek justice. When they do, we should make sure our system honors justice’s most basic principles.
All true, but here is my question: How did we arrive at a place where any of what Joffe writes needed to be said at all?
1. Unethical tweet of the week, right wing nut division: Jerry Falwell Jr, who heads Liberty University. The acorn that didn’t fall far from the tree tweeted:
Are there any grownups w/ integrity left in the DOJ? When I was a kid, I watched Repubs join Dems to force Nixon out. Now Dems won’t join Repubs to lock up Comey, Lynch, Ohr, Rosenstein, Strzok, , & maybe even despite damning evidence!
Here’s an ethics tip for college age students and their parents: if the leader of a school has this tenuous a grip on basic Constitutional law, pay tuition to some place, any place, else.
2. Then we have the left-wing Pro Publica, which is trying to fuel the desperate Democratic efforts to find dirt on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, and thus issued this…
3. Which political party is more deranged today? Well, an Ipsos public opinion survey claims that 43 % of self-identified Republicans agreed that “the President should have the authority to close news outlets engaged in bad behavior.” Only 36% of surveyed Republicans disagreed with giving a President the power to shut down news outlets like CNN and The Washington Post.
First of all, this primarily raises legitimate concerns regarding the educational level and intelligence quotient of Americans. 99% of those polled could advocate repealing the First Amendment, just as a majority could proclaim its belief that the national language ought to be Finnish. It’s not happening. Professor Turley’s take-away is that “Trump has truly and irrecoverably changed the party and much of the country . . . and, in this case, not for the better.” Baloney. The fact that journalists have exposed themselves as being partisan operatives uninterested in conveying facts to the public in a fair and unbiased manner has changed the public perception of the value of the news media, and not for the better. Whether the change is “irrecoverable” depends on whether American journalism sees the dangerous error of its path over the past several decades, and becomes trustworthy again. Continue reading
Heidi/Andreas Krieger, Esat German women’s shotput champion
There were an unusual number of superb comments on this topic. This one is a worthy representative of them all.
Here is Sue Denim’s Comment of the Day on the post, Regarding Hormone Restrictions In Women’s Sports:
While I strongly support the use of science and evidence to make these decisions – this stinks to high heaven. The books were cooked, and very obviously so.
”One of the world’s most respected sports lawyers has quit his position on a committee of the governing body of international athletics, slamming the controversial new rule that is believed to target gold medal-winning South African runner Caster Semenya.”
Four months after being appointed to the IAAF’s disciplinary tribunal, Steve Cornelius said “in good conscience” he could not continue in the role.”
Without going into allegations about “real reasons”, let’s just look at the facts.
“A peer-reviewed article co-authored by Dr Bermon and published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found female athletes with high testosterone had the greatest advantage in the pole vault and hammer throw, yet these events were not included in the newly created “restricted events” category.
The IAAF’s investigation also found no advantage in the 1,500 metres event but it was included..”
Let’s look at the evidence of advantage. Continue reading
Here we go again.
Since the infamous Soviet Press sisters dominated their events in Sixties Era Olympic games, both looking like Hulk Hogan in a dress, and the female East German swimmers won medal after medal while sporting shoulders that would make an NFL draftee feel proud, the issue of hormone levels in female competitors has been contentious. The confounding complications of intersex and transitioning competitors has only made the mud muddier. What’s the right thing to do?
Last week, track and field’s world governing body passed new rules limiting women’s events to athletes with testosterone levels that are “capable of being produced solely by ovaries.” These rules apply across the board to athletes regardless of what gender they were presumed to be at birth. These new rules could force female athletes with naturally elevated testosterone levels to have to lower their hormones with medication or have to compete against men in certain Olympic events.
Initially the limitations will be enforced in middle distance races of 400 meters to one mile, events requiring the kind of speed, power and endurance that testosterone assists. I assume that if this compromise, for a compromise it is, gains acceptance, then the substitution of hormone levels for biological sex will travel to other realms of sport, as it should.
Duke law professor Doriane Lambelet Coleman makes a strong argument for the new rules in a column today in the New York Times. She writes in part,
“In competitive sport, winning and room at the top are what ultimately matter, so relative numbers are irrelevant. It doesn’t matter that there are 100 females and three males in a girls’ race if the three males win spots in the final or on the podium because they are males. The unusually high incidence of intersex athletes in the women’s middle distances and their reported 100 percent win share in the women’s 800 meters at the Olympic Games in Rio show their disproportionate power. Indeed, it is because they clustered in the middle distances that these events are the initial focus of the rules. Their supremacy was proof of principle. Testosterone readings outside of the female range were also found in the throws, but these were attributed to doping, not intersex conditions.
The I.A.A.F. is requiring that affected athletes lower their testosterone levels to within the female range if they want to continue competing in the middle distances in the women’s category. By definition, the required hormone therapy causes medically unnecessary physiological change, and no one should be forced to take drugs they don’t want or need.”
Taking the opposite position, Alice Dreger, the author of “Galileo’s Middle Finger: Heretics, Activists and One Scholar’s Search for Justice,” argues that the new rules are discriminatory and cruel: Continue reading