As if it doesn’t have enough to worry about in its primary mission to govern college athletics, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has now discovered a new addition to its purpose in life–the policing of local cultural norms in its administration of college sporting events. In this new role, it has recently pulled seven major athletic events out of North Carolina, closely followed by the Atlantic Coast Conference, because the State of North Carolina, in its hateful temerity, has passed a bill requiring its citizens use the public bathrooms that correspond to their biological sex.
It seems to me that it is in no way the role of the NCAA to intervene in such matters involving contentious social change, which is otherwise being pursued through public deliberation as well as the judicial system, particularly in the employment of its considerable economic power derived from its member institutions to influence public policy and, worse as in this case, without consulting its member institutions.
There are many ramifications here. For 5,000 years we have held that gender is fixed in human nature. Now, just in a very short period of time, we are busy determining that gender is a self-selecting choice and are making sweeping decrees, without serious debate, with total disregard for our system of federalism, and with threatened penalties for failure to immediately comply. In addition, in so doing, in education we are using Title IX, which was written to address sex discrimination, in a perverse way that erases sexual differences altogether.
I warned about this over ten years ago in another context, but the bottom line and my caution then and now is that the underlying question in these and related issues that will torment us in this century is: what does it mean to be human?