I graduated from High School in 1971, the truly dark ages of women sports. Title IX was passed in 1972, 40 years ago this week. Women who grew up in the 1980’s are the true first beneficiaries of Title IX in women’s sports because they had coaches!
Even if you are not into sports, the experience was denied to many of us to be able to participate in a school team. We never had the experience to put our hands together in a circle and chant, ““Be the Best You Can Be”.
Today, high school girls can participate on a team and learn first-hand the team player dynamics so much talked about in business. These girls understand all the sports analogies used in the world of business and in conversations. Those of us who did not have the privilege of Title IX have had to translate these analogies, and learn the team player dynamics on our own.
Back in the dark ages of my High School experience, we wore hideous gym suits, not shorts and T-shirts. We never showered and in fact the goal of PE was to get through it without breaking into a sweat! If we did go outside we would play field hockey. Adolescent girls with long sticks in a muddy field not wanting to get dirty; not much of a team experience!
Younger women take it for granted that sports participation in school is comparable to men’s sports. Their teams were never called “Powder Puff”. Parents will fund raise, chauffeur, and cheer their son’s and daughter’s teams. Of course one of the best results of Title IX is sports college scholarship for women. How many women since 1972 have been able to go to college on a sports scholarship, as the only way they would ever been able to afford a higher education? Many!
More Magazine has a great story this month about Title IX. Dollars spent on women athletes before 1972 at University of Oregon, $0.00.Today, over $3M!
Have you benefited from Title IX?