Title Nine Essay

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One of the great achievements of the women’s movement was the enactment of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The law states: “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.” Most people think Title IX only applies to sports, but athletics is only one of ten key areas addressed by the law. These areas include: access to higher education, career education, education for pregnant and parenting students, employment, learning environment, math and science, sexual harassment, standardized testing, and technology. It’s hard to imagine that just forty years ago, young women were not admitted into many colleges and universities, athletic scholarships were rare, and math and science was a realm reserved for boys. Girls square danced instead of playing sports, studied home economics instead of training for “male-oriented” trades. Girls could become teachers and nurses, but not doctors or principals; women rarely were awarded tenure and even more rarely appointed college presidents. There was no such thing as sexual harassment because “boys will be boys,” after all, and if a student got pregnant, her formal education ended. Graduate professional schools openly discriminated against women. In every area of athletics, girls and women faced discrimination, racism, homophobia, prejudice, and ridicule. Women were warned that physical activity was not only unfeminine but proof of lesbianism. Female athletes were depicted as physically unattractive and women were told that competitive sports would hurt reproductive organs as well as a woman’s chances of marriage. Women were seen as more “selfish” and not as team-oriented as men. Marginalized and trivialized, girls’ teams had to raise

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