Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 turns 50 this year. Which doesn’t seem possible, because I was a high school freshman that year. (Stopping to count on my fingers.) Oh well, time flies when you’re kicking doors open, I guess.
The language of Title IX is dry, straight-forward, and clear: “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.” It does not sound like a revolutionary call to arms.
The stories surrounding its passage are anything but dry. For the last few weeks I’ve been following Nancy B. Kennedy’s weekly blog posts about Title IX: https://www.nancybkennedy.com/happy-50th-to-title-ix/
I’ve cheered for the wins, growled at the egregious acts of exclusion, and laughed out loud at brass comments by shin-kicking women and their male allies. Sometimes all in one blog post.
I strongly recommend Nancy’s blog for anyone who is interested in women’s history, the history of sports, or especially the history of women in sports.
Nancy will be posting Title IX stories throughout the year. If you have a Title IX-adjacent story to share, she’d love to hear from you, and I’d love to read about it. (You can contact her here.)
* My favorite line so far: “Is it too much for the democratic process to ask you to put your pants on?”