Sunday, July 01, 2007

What's Next for SCOTUS? Gender? Title IX?

Title IX celebrates XXXV years
By DONNA A. LOPIANO-Seattle Post-Intelligencer

It's the 35th anniversary of Title IX, the federal law that ignited opportunities for girls in sports. OK, I remember 1972 pretty well. I could tell you I was barely out of diapers, but the fact of the matter is I was 25.

I was about to begin my career in athletic administration and I remember thinking about girls and women in sports -- how far we've come, how far we have to go -- and never would I have dreamed that:

A coach of a women's team would be paid a $1 million salary -- much less more than one (Pat Summit at the University of Tennessee and Gail Goestenkors of the University of Texas-Austin).

Women would be playing professional soccer and basketball -- much less win World Cups and Olympic gold medals and become household names like Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, Sue Bird and many more.

A woman would be an astronaut -- much less a nationally ranked tennis player (Sally Ride).

The president of Gatorade would be a woman -- much less an All-American swimmer and softball player at Yale University (Sue Wellington, now retired).

The U.S. secretary of state would have been a competitive ice skater -- much less an accomplished pianist (Condoleezza Rice).

As we enter a society where these imaginations are now reality, we need to create a culture that encourages girls to be strong and active. By the age of 17, a girl will see 250,000 television commercials that portray her as a decorative or sex object.
The times they are a changin.' Thirty five years ago, I could not have imagined a television program like "Dancing With the Stars," much less a female athlete performing on the show and needing knee surgery because of the intensive training for those performances.

But I am learning. I can now imagine a female president of the United States who used to be a respectable field hockey player.

The whole article

With SCOTUS' recent butchering of Brown v. Board of Education on race, can spending on gender be far behind? More spending on women's sports led to the women's great showing in Atlanta in '96 and Brandi Chastain's moment (and ours, of course) in the sun in '99.

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