TERRYVILLE, Connecticut, U.S.A. — Thanks in part to a federal law called Title IX, women are getting in the game.
Before Title IX was enacted in 1972, about one in 25 women students played sports and few were funded at the high school and university levels.
The law aimed to give women athletes the same opportunities as men and to fix the problem of disproportionate aid for male athletes.
The bill’s text says, in part, “No person in the United States, on the basis of sex, shall be excluded participation, be denied the benefits of, or be subject to discrimination under any education program or activities receiving federal financial assistance.”
So why the sudden talk about it?
Some complain that men’s sports have been sacrificed to achieve equality – with colleges tossing out standards like men’s baseball to even things up between the sexes – and others have questioned the separation of athletics from other extracurricular activities.
There was even a question about where to draw the line on what’s a sport and what’s not. Cheerleading, for example, has been caught in the middle.
Some of the men said that cheerleading could not be considered a sport and they are discriminated from playing it at some high schools and universities.
But cheerleading, which exemplifies athletics, is a sport.
Men are saying that it is reverse discrimination because money has to be taken away from their sports to sponsor women’s sports and they aren’t allowed to do cheerleading.
Yet it isn’t discriminatory because in some schools women have higher enrollment in extracurricular activities.
Moreover, schools that are in financial tend to cut out some men’s sports because women have the higher enrollment — so they need to put money towards women’s sports since there are more women students.
While men may not be able to participate in cheerleading in some high schools and universities, women are also discriminated against because they aren’t allowed to do football and wrestling at many schools.
As former President Woodrow Wilson once said, “We grow great by dreams. All big men are dreamers. They see things in the soft haze of a spring day or in the red fire of a long winter’s evening.
Some of us let these dreams died, but others nourish and protect them; nurse them through bad days till they bring them to the sunshine and light which always comes to those who hope that their dreams will come true.”
This applies in about 50 ways to Title IX because to women around the world it’s a dream come true that Title IX is here for women.
Autumn Church is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International. Kiernan Majerus-Collins, another YJI reporter, took the photograph of a women’s softball game at Bates College in 2018.