Title IX turns 34 today
Last week I posted about Missouri's high school activities association withdrawing support for competitive cheerleading, and there was quite a good discussion about how skillful cheerleaders today are, as well as some observations about the way that young ladies are still struggling for equity in high school and collegiate sports.
So it seems an interesting convergence of coincidences that today is the 34th anniversary of Title IX. Most people, when hearing that phrase, immediately think about school sports teams. Maybe they go a little deeper and think of people like Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, and Brandy Chastain, whose skills playing world-class soccer would not be possible without Title IX. Maybe they think about the stars of the WNBA like Lisa Leslie, Cynthia Cooper, or Sheryl Swoopes. Other people may think of Title IX and blame it for the demise of male sports such as wrestling or men's gymnastics at some schools as institutions tried to expand opportunities for women without spending more money-- not exactly a fair indictment: it's kind of like blaming cars for the need for roads.
But Title IX is about much more than sports. The law prohibited sex discrimination in not just athletic opportunities but also in admissions, courses, financial aid, and educational counseling, among other things, for students in American public schools. As some of my commenters to the cheerleading story pointed out, there is still a long way to go in ensuring equal opportunities in schools.
So what do you think about Title IX? The floor is open for polite discussion.