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Old 06-21-2012, 07:55 AM   #1
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Default Title 9 Anniversary - Only 40 years?

Title IX became law on June 23, 1972. Although it was intended to be about job opportunities for women at universities, I think most people associate it with supporting athletics for girls and women.

I started kindergarten in 1970, and I might have dropped out of high school if I hadn't played sports. I stayed in school because the school had equipment and coaches and teams to play on. I'm glad I played sports, because softball leagues became one of the few places (outside of bars) to find other dykes.

I'd love to hear if Title IX/sports made a difference in your education.
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Old 06-22-2012, 02:02 PM   #2
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*bump* (I'm interested in this!)
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Old 06-22-2012, 04:44 PM   #3
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While attending a Mid-western university I watched women's basketball and softball. The b-ball team had a great arena to play in because that was the same place the men played. The women's softball team, on the other hand, played at this crappy field that the city folk played in. The city did not keep it up and it was a shame to welcome this team along with other university teams to play. There were no locker rooms or anything to prep the women for the game. I can't imagine where they went before and after the games, probably the men's locker room. Anyway, it was found that this powerhouse football (which I love football)university was not Title IX compliant, so the university decided to make them more in line with Title IX and they built a state of the art softball stadium for the women's team. It was a great addition to the university campus and life. It is a shame it took an outside force to make them get in line when they could have done it long before.
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Old 06-23-2012, 08:00 AM   #4
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Before Title IX, girls in my school could either be cheerleaders or play field hockey. We also had a strange thing called 'Red and Blue', (school colours), which was some sort of thing where the participating girls were divided up into competing teams where they were graded in weird, non-sporty events. That's what passed for girl's sports. I'm not making this up! Besides cheerleading, field hockey and Red and Blue, there was no other funding for girl's sports.

A few other bold girls and I ran on 'the track team'. That is, the boy's track team. It was the only team, and I was fast enough to compete. All eyes were on me all the time, which was especially harsh for me while my body was changing and I was having trouble handling an ever increasing level of unwanted sexual attention from men. As bad as that was, it was worse to be so unsettled about how to handle my level of competitiveness. When I beat boys, they were subject to extreme shaming. If I didn't, I proved what all the boys thought, which was that I didn't really belong there. It was excruciating, but I stuck with it. I loved the feeling of physical power, and I really loved to run and win, but I hated the pressure. Interestingly, I didn't even know I was under pressure. It's just what my life looked like. Young people often don't know that the trials they're experiencing are unusual. They accept the situation as given. I certainly did.

Because of Title IX, we suddenly had a girl's track team. It was awesome! I found myself competing against my peers, not testosterone driven, somewhat menacing creatures who were rapidly growing to be twice my size. I could relax into a supportive, relatively fair competitive environment. I was welcome to be there! I never stopped feeling relieved about that.

I found out some time ago that one of my HS records was retired unbroken when the event was changed to a different length.
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Old 06-23-2012, 01:24 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by CherylNYC View Post
Before Title IX, girls in my school could either be cheerleaders or play field hockey. We also had a strange thing called 'Red and Blue', (school colours), which was some sort of thing where the participating girls were divided up into competing teams where they were graded in weird, non-sporty events. That's what passed for girl's sports. I'm not making this up! Besides cheerleading, field hockey and Red and Blue, there was no other funding for girl's sports.

A few other bold girls and I ran on 'the track team'. That is, the boy's track team. It was the only team, and I was fast enough to compete. All eyes were on me all the time, which was especially harsh for me while my body was changing and I was having trouble handling an ever increasing level of unwanted sexual attention from men. As bad as that was, it was worse to be so unsettled about how to handle my level of competitiveness. When I beat boys, they were subject to extreme shaming. If I didn't, I proved what all the boys thought, which was that I didn't really belong there. It was excruciating, but I stuck with it. I loved the feeling of physical power, and I really loved to run and win, but I hated the pressure. Interestingly, I didn't even know I was under pressure. It's just what my life looked like. Young people often don't know that the trials they're experiencing are unusual. They accept the situation as given. I certainly did.

Because of Title IX, we suddenly had a girl's track team. It was awesome! I found myself competing against my peers, not testosterone driven, somewhat menacing creatures who were rapidly growing to be twice my size. I could relax into a supportive, relatively fair competitive environment. I was welcome to be there! I never stopped feeling relieved about that.

I found out some time ago that one of my HS records was retired unbroken when the event was changed to a different length.
Thanks, Cheryl. That's a fascinating post. The "red and blue" competition can hardly be believed to happen in our lifetimes, right?!
I also remember the change from playing on boys sports teams to girls teams. The level of play was so much lower than what I was used to, but I was glad to have girl teammates anyway. I had to do a lot of teaching because the coaches we had either were women who had never played sports, or men who just took the coaching jobs for the money and didnt take girls sports seriously.

We also need to talk some evening soon about sexism, and how our excellent skills were not just taken for this own merits-- they were to be viewed through the lens of how they made boys feel. Those days of witnessing boys be shamed because I was a better athlete, and also being aware that my abilities were not welcome, are the embodied roots of my feminism.
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Old 06-23-2012, 05:42 PM   #6
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There was an awesome Title IX documentary broadcast earlier today on ESPN2 called Sporting Chance...watch it if you are able...

It's hard to believe that Title IX was only 5 years old when i was in my college's athletic program...programs for women were limited...just basketball, tennis, softball, track & swimming...In my program (swimming) there was no difference in the quality of our equipment and that of the guys...

Where i really noticed the difference was in the PE Department...women were automatically issued these horrid PE uniforms made from that indestructible 70s heavy double knit polyester and consisted of knee lenglth shorts and a v-neck sleeveless top...ugly, hot & uncomfortable...ugh! Thanks to one of the ladies in my dorm i learned we could turn it in and ask for the same cotton shorts and t-shirt issued to the guys.

Does anyone remember the old girls basketball where until 1971 we played 6 to a side?
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Old 06-23-2012, 06:33 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Miss Scarlett View Post


Does anyone remember the old girls basketball where until 1971 we played 6 to a side?
They played half-court 6-on-6 girls basketball in Iowa into the 1980s!

Hilarious to me when you consider that "conservative" forces expected women to safely survive pregnancy, labor and delivery every time she is made pregnant, and yet women were too frail to run the length of a basketball court!!
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