Thursday, August 09, 2012

This Gold Medal Moment ...

... brought to you by Title IX!

Passed in 1972, the legislation read in part:
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance
This landmark legislation opened the way for equal access to funding for women's athletics and created a culture where girls not only could but DID excel in sports and aspire to excellence -- just like their brothers.

So the next time someone tells you that you can't "legislate social change" send them the URL to this blog. Encourage them to revel in this Gold Medal Moment.

Or this one:

Or this one:

Or this one:

Or this one:

And remind them that until Title IX passed in 1972 first class athletes who happened to be girls did not have access to the equal funding, training, resources and support their brothers took for granted. That was then. This is now.

Let's hear it for legislated social change.

[h/t Sarah Lawton for the Facebook comment that reminded me of this connection!]


Terri said...

And although people initially complained that supporting girls in sports would deprive boys from funding in sports, that has not been so. However funding sports for women continues to be an issue: Faced with plans to eliminate three women’s sports teams, 12 female stu- dents at Slippery Rock University fought back and won the permanent reinstate- ment of one team, the temporary rein- statement of two others, and an array of significant improvements in the treat- ment of female athletes. Represented by the Women’s Law Project, they filed a lawsuit that quickly stopped the pro- posedteamcuts.i Anegotiatedsettle- ment led to improvements in the number of athletic slots for and treatment of female athletes.
iChoike v. Slippery Rock Univ. C.A. No. 06- 0622,2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49886 (W.D. PA., July 21, 2006).

(from here:

Sarah Lawton said...

Great post, Susan. Love those photos! My generation was the early beneficiary of Title IX (I was in junior high in the late 70s and high school from 1979-83) -- but organized sports for girls were not nearly as developed as they are now. The women on the U.S. Soccer Team grew up with organized soccer at all levels from developmental to highly competitive. And how awesome it is to see the most elite women competing on the world stage today.

My mom used to tell me about girls' basketball that was played only half court--there was a defensive and an offensive side. Girls were thought too weak to play the full court. Also, women were not allowed to run in the Boston Marathon until 1972 (though several did before, incognito). Now we know that women can excel in endurance sports.

One generation. Title IX.

Indie Pereira said...

Very interesting. I know my grandma played high school basketball in the 40s. I'll have to ask her if it was half court or not. I hadn't heard of that.

Unknown said...

Indie, I graduated from high school in 1973 and until 1970 we played half court basketball. There were six on a team, 2 forwards, 2 guard and 2 rovers and the rovers were the only ones to travel full court.
When I started college in 1973, it was the first time that I wore sneakers on the basketball court tht I did not buy! It was a little thing but because of Title IX my college was required to provide the woman's basketball team sneakers as they had for the men's team's. Prior to that women had to provide their own sneakers to wear on the court.
Wonderful celebration of women's sports, Susan, thank you!!

MK Buike said...

I was in school before Title IX. I attended a very small high school in rural Michigan. There were no girls sports. None. Then I went to college as a music major. Girls were not allowed in the marching band! I dropped out of music, but my cohort pressured the school, in the wake of Title IX, to include them because they were receiving an education not equal to the boys. They would have been at a disadvantage in competing for school teaching jobs if they did not learn how to run a marching band.