What is Title IX? Courtesy of The University of Alaska Fairbanks
Since the passing of the revolutionary Title IX, millions have had equal opportunities in public education, changing the lives of every American citizen. In every public school across the country we see girls playing sports dominated by boys, we see boys joining sports that are predominately ruled by girls. Gender barriers and stereotypes are being crushed under the feet of Patsy Mink and her legacy. Sexual discrimination has been minimalized and sexual harrassment has been taken care of, for the most part, because of Title IX and its policy.
Title IX Rally, Courtesy of Women's Sports Foundation
Girls in their makeshift Boy Scouts uniforms, Courtesy of New York Times
The fight for equality is still raging. The very popular 105 year old organization, Boy Scouts, is not affected by Title IX. Congress wrote the club to be exempt from the law. They are allowed to exclude girls based on just their gender; this year many have tried to get in, but few have succeeded. The organization claims that their tradition is boys only. They have made exceptions and allowed girls to join certain activities, but do not allow them to be official boy scouts. Instead, the girls are forced to join girl scouts and participate in the gender sanctioned and stereotyped club that focuses on old 'womanly' duties, such as: sewing, cooking, being nice, and more. The girls do not learn the skills that the boys do: making a fire, tying knots, fishing, etc. Many are trying to take this to court and force the program to obey the rulings of Title IX, hopeful to abandon the sexist ways of the organization.
"The law lists a number of exemptions, only some of which are still in use. Religious educational institutions are exempt, for good reasons of religious liberty.... The law doesn’t give any explanation for the exemption, but it’s easy to see how it came about. Congress didn’t want to alter the existing parallel structure for boys and girls in a nationally prominent, traditional organization." Quote courtesy of Bloomberg View
“We can do the same things boys can — proven from camporee,” Ella said in an interview at her home. She waved a fistful of ribbons: first place in team building, second in backpacking, third in slingshot. “There’s no real ‘girl things’ or ‘boy things.’” Quote courtesy of New York Times
Number of athletes in college sports from 1971-2011, Courtesy of Mother Jones' Charts
Total Expense of Men's and Women's Athletics Programs, Courtesy of Lehigh
Title IX has changed and will forever evolve to fit the needs it approaches. Every year new cases emerge from the shadows of unjust systems and corrupt affiliations in public schools and Title IX has been there to assist and bring about justice to those women for over forty years. The law will forever impact the lives of female students and those around them, providing equal opportunity in sports, education, and rights.