A & E
30 years later, a look at Title IX
I have never been told, "No, you can't play" or "Girls can't play sports" and especially "There is no money for girls programs." I've grown up in an era where I was encouraged to play and participate. I was always told that I could do anything I want as long as I put my mind to it. I have a feeling most girls my age went through the same types of things when it came to sports. But unfortunately it was not always like that.
This year we celebrate the 30th anniversary of a piece of legislation we know as Title IX. This turned around the opportunities for women to participate in any sport they chose.
On June 23rd of 1972 law title IX was passed through congress and signed by President Richard M. Nixon, this law was modeled after the 1964 civil rights act which prohibited any discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin.
Title IX apples to all aspects of education programs and activities. It requires all institutions to have equal funding for both women and men. This biggest area of change with this law came in sports. Finally women were allowed to take part in sports sponsored by the school. Although the opportunity was now available, it took many years for women in sports to be come culturally acceptable by many.
DID YOU KNOW?
Before Title IX was passed in 1972 1 in 27 High School girls competed in sports. Today 1 in every 2.5 High School Girls compete.
There are 3,714 more women's sports teams on college campuses than there were in 1972, while there are only 989 more men's teams.
In 1972 there were 32,000 female college athletes; the number today is 151,000.
33% of the total NCAA athletic budget is spent on ALL women's sports.
70% of the NCAA budget for men's athletics goes to Football and Basketball alone.
Information courtesy www.titleIXsports.com.
It seems odd to me to think that it would be looked at as unfeminine to play a sport; I guess that is because I grew up doing it. All of my friends played sports; in fact that is where I met most of my best friends. However, talking to people who were in junior high, high school and college around the time Title IX was passed, it was normal for girls who could play to be looked at as unfeminine.
During an interview with A WOMAN who was born in 1955, which makes her about 17 when Title IX was passed, she said "In high school prom queens didn't play in the dirt, we wore dresses and had our make-up done, the girls who came to class with scrapes and bruises, they just didn't fit in. Now my girls have sports to go to every weekend. They guys want to date the athletic types."
Not only do girls have the same opportunities to play sports, there are also other skills we have the chance to learn. Sports have shown time and time again to be self-esteem builder. Knowing you have the ability to do something and pursue it is very empowering. Working with others on a team gives you experience for later in life. I know for a fact, on a team you don't always get along with everyone; but, learning the skills early in life to work well in a close-nit situation will help you when you again find yourself in the same place.
Even now, 30 years later, women are still making their mark on the world of sports. The beginning of professional teams is starting. Yes, right now the money is not as good and the attendance is not as high. It is, however, a start, and we are letting the people know we are out there. We can play, and it is okay. Just because we come to class bruised and scraped up doesn't mean we won't be prom queens, homecoming princesses, and beautiful everyday. So get out there, play in the dirt and have a good time, do it for yourself and for all of the women who never had the chance to enjoy it like we do.
© 2002 Shoreline Community College