Hooray! Gender… Equality?
Whitney H. - LLI Toledo
I was just recently told that, “ All women do is complain.”
Here’s the thing. Never, at one point in history have women been treated equal to men across the board, in America at least. Even after every rally and specific law put in place in favor of gender equality, the cries of women for equal opportunities are still being muffled.
Out of the Education Amendments, Title IX was put in place to protect the underrepresented gender in athletics among other activities in education that receive federal financial assistance. In almost all cases, the underrepresented gender is female. At first, women were discouraged from playing any sport.
If Title IX is creating equality in women in athletics in schools, then what’s the problem? Us women should be happy right? Wrong. You would think that since schools receiving federal financial aid are legally obligated to comply to the amendments of Title IX then women should finally have the level playing field we deserve. This isn’t the case however. There are some institutions that have a hard time understanding the significance of Title IX and therefore want to fight against it.
Some people argue that Title IX is the reason behind some men’s sports being eliminated in schools; which might not sound fair. You know what else isn’t fair? Women having to fight for what sports we are able to play. What isn’t fair is the simple fact that before there was a law, few people cared about women wanting to play sports. What isn’t fair is that battle after battle women still fight for equality in so many different fields. What isn’t fair is a male dominated sport can receive more funding and more coverage than most female sports. What isn’t fair is a woman being asked more questions about her husband or her appearance than her performance on the field.
In the case of Cohen v. Brown university in 1996, Brown university chose to cut 4 sports due to financial pitfalls. Two of the sports were for men and the other two were for women which would have been fair except for the fact that Brown university was already failing to meet the requirements of Title IX. The percent of female student athletes was already lower than the total percent of female students. One of the female athletes of a sport that was getting cut decided to sue and won. Heather Sue Mercer from Duke University filed suit against Duke on the account of that she was not treated equally to the men trying out for the football team. She also won her case.
These small victories can only be the beginning. For any degree of effectiveness, the federal system needs to crack down on the violations of Title IX. It’s hard not for a woman to complain when us women were born with a spoon that was far from silver in our mouths.
- Glover, William H., Jr. "Gender Participation Issues Related to Sports - Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972." Web Blog Post. Lexis Hub - Practice Legal Commentary. LexisNexis, 3 March 2011.
- Lloyd, Carli. "Carli Lloyd: Why I'm Fighting for Equal Pay." Web Blog Post. The New York Times. The New York Times Company, 10 April 2016.
- Das, Andrew. "Long Days, Google Docs and Anonymous Surveys: How the U.S. Soccer Team Forged a Deal." Web Blog Post. The New York Times. The New York Times Company, 5 April 2017.
- Rios, Edwin. "The US Women's Soccer Team Scored a Much-Needed Pay Bump." Web Blog Post. Mother Jones. 5 April 2017.