Before 1973, close to no one thought that there would be a law allowing women to compete in an area that had before been almost completely reserved for men. But, somehow, that all changed. In 1973 a law, or more specifically an amendment to a law, was passed called Title IX, which became one of the most important milestones in women’s rights. However, despite all that it has done, the law is not perfect and enforcement of it can be improved.
Title IX itself “is the landmark law that bans sex discrimination in federally funded education programs and activities” (“A Pregnancy Test for Schools” 1). Before this amendment was added to the Higher Education Act of 1965 in 1972, women’s athletic ...view middle of the document...
I, myself, may not have had the same opportunities in high school sports that I enjoy, such as water polo and swimming, and my classmates would not have opportunities in their respective sports either, if not for this amendment. One of the main sports that women have experienced the greatest leap in participation in is basketball. “Significant changes to women’s basketball…have occurred in recent years thanks to Title IX. Furthermore, it has led to greater acceptance of physically strong women” (Amandolare 1). In 2012, for the first time, women competed in all the same sports as men in the Olympics. Team USA’s women also out-numbered men and earned more medals than the men for the first time ever. But, one of the greatest moments in women’s sports and the advancement of women’s opportunities was on September 20, 1973, when female tennis star Billie Jean King defeated male player Bobby Riggs after he challenged her to a match and said that women didn’t have the capacity to play the sport. From that moment on, King had proved that women’s sports were serious business and they were worth protecting.
Title IX is not just about sports, however. It is also meant to protect the rights “for women when they are pregnant, rights for the sexually harassed, and the right to pursue math and science”(Teicher Khadaroo 1). The number of women pursuing math and science has exploded since Title IX started, yet math and technological classes are still predominantly male, despite
women having a slight majority at most colleges. There is still a long way to go in the rights of pregnant students and sexual harassment and assault victims, yet the existence of Title IX is crucial to these victims having any voice at all.
Title IX has been ruled to allow single-sex classes as long as they meet the 2006 criteria and co-ed options are also available. Separate-sex systems are credited with helping children focus because children are not distracted by matters with the opposite sex, while some are against them because they are supposedly discriminatory to girls, saying that teachers use “gender stereotypes and pseudoscience”. Those who are against the separate-sex classrooms say that teachers would leave the lights low and teach in a condescending manner to the female students, while the teachers said that the differences in teaching are more suited to “how females operate.” Not all single-sex schools teach differently to the sexes, however, and the number of schools that educate only one gender or two genders separately is growing and many have been very successful.
As with many things, Title IX has its shortfalls, as well. The amendment has been accused of being the reason men’s teams have been cut. Sports like swimming, tennis and wrestling are being cut, for both men and women, which leaves it perplexing to think why people are accusing Title IX of enacting reverse discrimination, when women suffer from the cutting along with the men. From 1981 to 2005, the number...