Scores of reporters and various others were disappointed a few years ago when Michelle Wie failed to make the cut and finish all four rounds at the US Open at Augusta, GA. (No female golfer has ever done it.) She shot rounds of 68 and 75, finishing far down the field. Of course, it was terrific for her just to be there, as electronic and print media ceaselessly reminded us. She was just 16 at the time.
Miss Wie is an excellent golfer. Her skills certainly exceed all but a very select group of perhaps one hundred golfers, worldwide. Millions of weekend duffers have never dreamed of playing anywhere near her level. Experts say her shots have great power and precision. She was a teen-sensation, and at 28 is a LPGA champ. Undoubtedly she will get even better. I’m pulling for her.
Perhaps Michelle Wie will eventually win a tournament on the men’s PGA Tour, as her fans so fondly hope, but I doubt it. The unyielding fact of competitive sport is that men are generally better at games involving a ball. They can throw, hit and kick farther and more accurately than most women athletes. Men are bigger and stronger, and they run faster. This is why women have their own leagues and professional associations. If they didn’t, few women would be seen on the fields, courts, and links of college or professional sports, except as spectators.
But this is not good enough for feminists and their media fellow-travelers. They want more than a place in the sun for women athletes. They want women to beat men at their own games. This is why Michelle Wie was, for a time, the Great White Hope of female sports. (I know – she’s Hawaian/Asian. It’s a figure of speech.)
I doubt if Miss Wie wants to be a GWH. She probably just wants to play for the big bucks in pro golf. (Who could blame her?) But she became an icon for feminists desperately trying to bust through the final frontier of male sports – perhaps the last true meritocracy in the country. Miss Wie lives in the merciless, real world of professional golf, but feminists are living in a delusion.
The twenty-first century is truly the Age of Women. American women have entered nearly every occupation and profession. They are cops, fire-fighters, truck drivers, soldiers (even marines), CEOs, technicians, managers, airline pilots, senators, governors, judges, lobbyists, news anchors, doctors, lawyers, and Indian-chiefs. (Not a complete list.) In 2016 Hillary Clinton was the first-ever presidential candidate of a major political party.
Movies and TV dramas depict women as the smartest, toughest, most capable and most caring characters. Women are shown firing automatic weapons and defeating hulking men – things very few women could really do. But in the movies it’s all in a day’s work for shapely babes with perfect cheekbones.
Besides being tougher-, badder- and dirtier-than-thou, cinematic women retain that marvelous Hollywood patina of seductive femininity that has defined every actress since Jean Harlow. We watch actress Kyra Sedgwick, as The Closer, winsomely succeed where clumsy (and ugly) men cannot. And we cheer as Hilary Swank, the female Karate Kid, defeats the swinish enemies of her physically less gifted boyfriend. Girls and young women watch these inventions and believe they can be true.
Vanessa Ray as Officer Eddie Janko in Bluebloods
But it is all delusional – a highly organized campaign to convince the public that women really can outdo men in every endeavor. Unfortunately, reality is stubborn. Few flesh-and-blood women are a match for a determined male adversary, as bitter experience has shown. Sometimes a failure to recognize this can have fatal consequences.
In 2005, Brian Nichols, 33 – a 200-pound prisoner – overwhelmed Cynthia Hall (the deputy escorting him through the Atlanta courthouse), knocked her senseless and took her weapon, then entered a courtroom where he fatally shot Judge Rowland Barnes and court stenographer Julie Brandau. Nichols also killed sheriff’s deputy Hoyt Teasley, who pursued him into the street. He pistol-whipped a journalist, stole his car, and escaped.
How many prisoners who escape are being guarded by women when they break out? We’ll never know because journalists delicately omit inconvenient gender-info unless a woman is actually injured during the event. Even an armed woman can be no match for a prisoner unafraid to face a loaded firearm. Law-enforcement ain’t bean-bag.
Feminists must know that women aren’t as physically capable as men. Is this why they think eliminating male college-sports programs under Title IX is important? (If you can’t beat them, cancel their sports.) Title IX (of the Education Amendments of 1972) requires a school’s female/male athlete-ratio to equal its female/male student-ratio. If too few female athletes show up, some male programs must be cut to balance a school’s numbers. This has eliminated some men’s track teams which had produced world-class runners. Instead, we now have women’s college basketball, played at perhaps a boys’ high school level. (Is this really progress?)
In 2002, some college coaches sued the US Department of Education. They claimed Title IX discriminates against men by causing male sports to be eliminated when colleges lack enough female athletes. Plaintiffs said 170 wrestling programs, 80 men’s tennis teams, 70 men’s gymnastic teams and 45 men’s track teams were cut under Title IX rules. (The Supreme Court refused to hear the suit.)
Male college sports are hit by a Title IX “double whammy.” Female/male student-ratios keep increasing, dictating ever-more female- and fewer male-athletes. (Evidently, running laps in the rain and knocking yourself out in training is not many women’s idea of a good time.) The current female/male student-ratio is 60:40. At some colleges the ratio is higher. Women earn degrees at all levels in the same proportion.
Experts predict diminishing percentages of males on college campuses – in all races, income groups and fields. Policy analyst Thomas Mortenson, publisher of Postsecondary Education Opportunity (a newsletter from Oskaloosa, Iowa) has tracked – and warned about – the dwindling male-student college population since 1995. Hard-core feminists see no problem, but every parent and educator – every American! – should be alarmed: not just because of male college sports, but because this educational trend cannot be good for the country.
In an earlier article I cited Christina Hoff Sommers’ observation that an initially well-intentioned effort to elevate the prospects and academic achievements of girls has morphed into a grotesque campaign to pathologize boyhood and harm manhood.* Dr. Sommers notes that discussions of boys center on how to modify their “antisocial” behavior – i.e., how to make them more like girls.
Dr. Sommers says boys are losing ground in an educational system that currently devotes more attention to the needs of girls. Even recess – a long-standing way for boys to let off steam – is being cancelled in many places. (Officials say recess is “too rough.”) Some schools are letting homosexual activists “help” boys find their true sexual orientation. And now the transgender craze offers a more permanent treatment for the “disease” of masculinity. (I wonder how many parents know that this is what public education is today.)
Notwithstanding this vile pogrom to injure a whole gender, upon which the nation’s security and survival may depend, the abilities of boys and young men still glow like a divine spark that cannot be extinguished. National statistics show that boys in grades 4, 8, and 12 still test higher than girls in all academic subjects. The gap is widest in mathematics and science.
Commentators like Morton Kondracke call this a flaw that needs fixing (“Fixing Math, Science Gaps;” June 6, 2006). But I disagree. Something more than discrimination or social conditioning is at work here. Harvard President Lawrence Summers got the boot for suggesting that it might be innate ability – some gender-difference in the brain. Boys and men might simply be more able in math and science than girls and women – not uniformly, but measurably so in the aggregate. (That might not seem fair, but was it fair that I couldn’t dunk a basketball?) Harvard’s politically correct faculty drove Dr. Summers out for saying this, but firing him won’t change nature.
Women might outnumber men in college, but they still lag male enrollment in math, science, engineering, and computing. My nephew graduated magna cum laude from Cedarville University (Ohio) with a computer-science engineering degree. Sixty-two engineering students – only five of them women – represented a tenth of the 2006 graduating class. Meanwhile, colleges with weak math and science programs are having trouble attracting male students. A college I know well is scrambling to construct an engineering program to enroll more men. Men care about these disciplines, so they go where they can get them.
One shouldn’t overreach here, but I see a certain similarity in competitive sports and math/science. In most sports (excluding figure-skating and gymnastics), winners are determined objectively. Outcomes are clear-cut: the best score or best time wins. Similarly, in math or science you’ve either solved a problem or you haven’t. There’s a right answer, and there are no gray areas – no subjective judgments or finessing of results. (You don’t get extra credit for community service or political activism.)
Boys respond to this kind of definitive stimulus. Many have been equipped by Providence – physically and mentally – to work within the unforgiving constraints of these disciplines. If you can’t do the work, you can’t appeal your grade on “compassionate grounds.” Some girls can operate in this severe arena, too, but not as many. Feminists hate this, but they consistently fail to see that girls and boys – women and men – are unique creations, not interchangeable parts.
Please hold the tar and feathers. I have a daughter and four granddaughters – one a college athlete. I want each to exercise her special gifts, without restraint, in a world of reality.
But I also have two sons, five grandsons, and a great-grandson. Each little guy – blazing with a boy’s wonderful physical energy – looks out on the world with the bright gaze of a keen mind that promises boundless possibilities. Each is learning at his father’s knee what it means to treat a woman with love and respect. And, by God’s grace, each will grow into a man of faith, optimism, action, strength and daring. Delusions of man-hating feminists must not keep a single one from reaching his full potential. Every boy in America deserves that future.
If the rest of my life means anything, it must involve a complete commitment to defeating feminist unreality and safeguarding the futures of millions of boys. More than ever, we’re going to need them. Not one must be wasted.
* See Ms. Sommers’ book, The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men.