Last Saturday was the 40th anniversary of Title IX. To celebrate the National Women’s Law Center had a blog carnival of stories about how Title IX has helped shape women’s and girls’ experiences in the classroom and in athletics. So, here’s my story, a little late.
I came of age just as Title IX was coming into effect. My first recollection of something having to do with this from 7th or 8th grade, when there was an announcement that girls could try out for Little League. Of course I had no idea at that time what Title IX was and since my baseball skills were poor to non-existent, I had no interest in trying out for the team. I was active in other sports and was best at ones that didn’t involve balls or sticks — i.e. swimming (in summer) and cross-country and track during the school year. I wasn’t the best athlete but did show enough determination to be receive “most improved track athlete” my senior year. Athletics definitely helped make me more confident as a high school student and also helped me deal with the stress of adolescence. I also developed a life-long interest in fitness and a healthy lifestyle. Now I mostly bike, run, or swim for fun, although I do attempt the occasional triathlon. I’m also a women’s history professor, so I get to teach students about the importance of Title IX not just for athletics but for educational equality as a whole. We still have a ways to go but look how far we’ve come. Thanks Title IX for helping improve the minds and bodies of girls and women in the U.S.