Tuesday, April 7, 2015

I was always aware of Title IX however, before last nights presentation, I  thought it only pertained to sports. Not only did I learn that that was not the case in OD, Ms. Block, and Mrs. Stratton's presentation/assigned reading for us, but I learned that Title IX was not even originally made to help restrain discrimination in athletics. Title IX was originally created to simply end sex discrimination within the education system and the workplace. It made it so that colleges were not allowed to reject students based off gender.
The so called godmother of Title IX was Bernice Sandler. Sandler applied for a job but was told that although she was qualified, she came on too strong as a woman. Her rage led her to research and see if there was anything in the law regarding sexual discrimination and as luck had it, she found a small footnote regarding the issue. She began a campaign and filed a complaint which led to other women doing the same. In touch with Sandler was Representative Edith Green who started her process by holding the first congressional hearing regarding the issue. It was Senator Birch Bayh who brought the bill to senate and stressed that they wished to destroy quotas, not fill them. Eventually Title IX was passed and signed by President Nixon resulting in equal opportunities for students, especially female athletes who were now able to receive sports scholarships and overall gain better access to athletics.
Afterward, OD showed us a timeline of various cases that fell under Title IX. It was inspiring to see Title IX in action and view real life examples of how it was able to help those who had been discriminated.
Also interesting was the little experiment that OD, Ms, Block, and Mrs. Stratton attempted to perform. They separated our class into two groups. Each group had to read the same two articles but my group (Group 1) received brownies, chairs, access to the internet, plenty of space to work, and light. Opposed was the other group which was forced to crowd around one table with limited chairs, one brownie to share, and no light. Although the other group did not catch on, many girls in my group did. It made the presentation more comprehensible by being able to experience the discrimination ourselves during class.
Overall, I'm glad we were able to learn what Title IX was all about, aside from the sports aspect that I was previously aware of. It's comforting to know that people have fought to have things such as this in place so that we are all protected, at least under the law, from sex discrimination. Without this and so much more in place, our country would not have the ability to progress as far as it has.

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