This past weekend was the 40th anniversary of Title IX. This is a big deal. What most people don’t know is that Title IX is not an actual law — it is one section of the of the Educational Amendments of 1972 — and in actuality it has nothing to do with sports. It has to do with equal access in education. It was signed into into law by Richard Nixon.
Here is the actual provision:
“No person in the U.S. shall, on the basis of sex be excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal aid.”
After it passed, people who worked on this issue realized pretty quickly (and some realized this before it passed) that not only would this law allow more women into all aspects of higher education, it would require schools to support women’s sports.
So here’s to all the women and men who worked their asses off to get this law passed because without them there wold be no WNBA, no US women’s soccer World Cup win in 1999 and no anything else that has to do with women’s sports. And I actually believe that if we didn’t see such great women’s sports role models, we would have even fewer role models on the big screen. Because how could you envision Katniss Everdeen without seeing a Mia Hamm before her. These women sports role models normalize for us what it is like to be athletic and a woman.