Wednesday, April 8, 2015

"The language of my amendment does not require reverse discrimination. It only requires that each individual be judged on merit, without regard to sex."--Senator Birch Bayh of Indiana. This reasoning behind his amendment to solve this issue is certainly admirable, I just wonder whether Title IX was the best way to end this discrimination. As we saw in looking at that timeline related to women, the Supreme Court is the most prone to protect and enforce the rights of women, so maybe taking a test case through the court system would have been more effective?

I'm not saying that I think that Title IX is ineffective because it is in that it puts fundamental rights that everyone should have into official law. In some ways however, I feel like the fact that we needed it put into words is itself admitting to a system that we are making illegal rather than actually ending. What I am trying to say is that if we make laws like this for every inequality and injustice that occurs, we are letting those actions continue and simply labeling them as 'illegal'. This is certainly a step in the right direction however, wouldn't helping people realize why these actions are wrong have more of an impact? I know it is unrealistic to go into the world and educate all those committing injustices, but if more people did it then future injustices may not have to be solved by future Title IX's. It's similar to what we talked about with the feminist movement as a whole--we all have to know what we believe and be willing to express ourselves, especially those who oppose it.

In order to do this, learning the history of this movement is quite helpful because it allows us to know where our ideas are coming from and what has already been done about them. The presentation on Monday was quite interesting, especially its discussion of the formation of Title IX. As noted earlier, we all saw how effective court cases are at bringing about change and OD showed us that again with the list of cases that have contributed to the evolution Title IX's meaning and importance. They began with the specifics of sexual harassment, the punishment of those who commit sexual discrimination crimes and lead to dealing with situations of discrimination in athletics, the discrimination against teen mothers, and the equality of schools that decide to separate genders in the classrooms. This proves just how powerful the court is and with these rulings, I think Title IX has achieved much more than its original passage. All those who knew or followed any number of these cases now know of this piece of legislature that should be a fundamental right to all. With what we learn in this class, hopefully we can spread these ideas even further.

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