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A Change in History for Women

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Nigel Liaw

Mr. Gobrail

English 3-5A

27 March 2006

A Change in History for Women

Women presently play a huge part in daily activities whether it is at school, sports, or work. Over the past three decades, women have gained many rights and privileges that men have had for half a century or longer. Gaining these rights and privileges has allowed women to play important roles in today’s society. One of the most debated issues between men and women is Title IX. This issue has created controversial problems that have caused a separation between men and women. Although, Title IX is constantly brought up, it was the beginning of a new era for women. An era that would allow women to be accepted as equals to men in everyday activities. Throughout the history of Title IX, regardless of its positive objectives it has accomplished, it brought along different controversies with it.

The history of Title IX has shown tremendous changes in women’s athletics. It has created a whole new revolutionary view and thought on both gender’s abilities and rights. Title IX has changed programs and athletics for women in the U.S. ever since its establishment. “Christine Grant, the women’s athletic director at the University of Iowa says: ‘It’s clearly the most important thing that has ever happened to women in sports in this century. Without Title IX, I don’t think we should have seen on-hundredth of the progress we have made’” (Hasday 97). Despite the bias opinions on Title IX, it has made a positive addendum to women’s lives. Since the addition of Title IX in the past 30 years, it has shown that more women statistically play collegiate and high school sports. The excerpt “Title IX is a Winner; Keep Giving it the Ball,” shows that Title IX has increased the number of girls in high school sports by ninefold in 30 years and quintupled in college (Title IX 1). According to U.S. General Accounting Office study, the number of women participant in intercollegiate sports was a modest 32,000 before Title IX but exploded to 163,000 in 1998-99, years after Title IX was established (Harasta 2). Through the statistic, it is easy to see how much of an effect Title IX’s history has for women.

The creation of Title IX in 1972 banned gender discrimination in schools nationwide, particularly in sports (Huffman 4). Without it, superstar female athletes such as Lisa Leslie, Mia Hamm, or the Williams sisters would not be internationally famous. They also would not have the media exposure they get in sports without Title IX. In addition to the few that were just named, media is focusing more and more on female athletes such as Michelle Wie and this year’s winter Olympic silver medalist in figure skating, Sasha Cowen. In conjunction with the popularity of female athletes, Title IX has pushed for equality over the past three decades. In Suzanna Huffman’s article from “Mass Communication and Society,” it states that “Title IX has encouraged school administrators to work toward gender equity in athletic spending, and now many more women participate in college sports and earn college athletic scholarships than in years past” (4). Although this statement is generalized, it is close to the truth in today’s culture among men and women. The impact that Title IX has bestowed on women has created a positive outcome. It is astonishing to see what one document in 1972 can do to increase equality for women, yet create so many controversies with it.

As it is seen time and time again, issues and problems about Title IX are discussed in a degrading manner. In the past, people have manipulated the meaning and context of Title IX. When such a thing happens, it gives different connotations and meanings to the phrase “Title IX.” In her article, Jessica Gavora talks about how Title IX has been changed and perverted into a sex quota that is the reason for the eradication of close to 400 men’s sports team since the early 1900s (1). Bias opinions often only look at the negative effects of Title IX and not the positive outcomes. Male critics often say that Title IX is the reason for a loss of funding for men’s teams at the high school and collegiate level. Yet this is not true, women’s sports still remain under funded with Title IX present. Many people often overlook the fact that institutions put most of their resources into high-profile men’s sports at the expense of other men’s sports rather than reallocating resources to maintain all the sports programs (Hammer 4). Women do not hold all responsibility for the decrease of men’s sports, rather men share equal blame in that.

Regardless of all these bias opinions and criticism on Title IX, society shows that it favors men’s sports

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