Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Your World Without Feminism: Title IX

Not sure about how much feminism relates to your life? Let’s take a look at some of the things that wouldn’t exist without feminism.

Without feminism, there would be no…

Title IX: Passed in 1972, Title IX (Title Nine) ensures gender equality for federally funded educational programs. When most people think of Title IX, they think of sports. Before 1972, it was common and legal for schools to give more money to boys’ sports, and it was common for girls’ sports to not exist. Since the passage of Title IX, more girls have played sports, more girls have gotten sports scholarships (sports scholarships for women were not available prior to Title IX), and more girls have gotten to play more types of sports. However, the fight for equal funding and facilities is an on-going battle for too many current female sports teams.

When I was in 7th and 8th grade, (which was 2003-2004,) I played on the girls’ softball team. The boys’ baseball field was just outside the locker rooms, they always had new uniforms, and their field was always pristine. The softball team had to walk half a mile down the road to our fields, where the dugouts usually smelled like pee and the fields were never in as good condition as the boys’ fields. Our uniforms were old and stained. I went to a school in one of the most affluent areas in the state, so there was no feasible actual lack of funding excuse to explain the different treatment of the two teams. To add insult to injury, our team had a better record than the boys’ baseball team. Is that fair?

Other than athletics, Title IX protects the right to equal education (especially for female students in math and science), equality in career education (for example, home-ec and wood shop classes cannot deny students the opportunity to take them based on gender), fights gender stereotyping in curriculum, stands up to sexual harassment, challenges gender-bias in standardized testing, and protects the right for pregnant and parenting students to receive an education.

Any of this hit home for you? Go to to learn more about what Title IX is doing and can do for you, and what you can do to make sure that equality is a priority in your school.

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