Thirty-Seven Words Changed the Course of Women’s History

As the oldest of five children born to a high school social studies teacher and homemaker, my siblings and I sought out sports for fun, friends and many times, intense competition.

My three sisters and I all played various sports at many levels. My youngest sister made it to the Junior Olympics competing in butterfly; another sister played collegiate volleyball and I was able to play lacrosse in college, winning a state championship.

Title IX was something we had heard about but didn’t quite understand how a seemingly insignificant bill of 37 words signed by President Nixon in 1972 would change the landscape, not only for women’s collegiate sports, but would positively affect women’s opportunities in many, many ways.

A little history …

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was written to end discrimination based on sex, religion, race, color, and national origin in the area of employment. However, it did not prohibit gender discrimination in public education and federally assisted programs, including high school and collegiate athletic programs.

In 1971, before Title IX passed, only 1% of college athletic budgets went to women’s sports programs. At the high school level, male athletes outnumbered female athletes 12.5 to 1. Title IX was signed into law on June 23, 1972 by President Richard Nixon.

Title IX helped me receive aid for college thereby changing the course of my life. With my lacrosse days long behind me, golf has replaced that joy. I found this video which eloquently describes how women’s golf and the opportunity for women to achieve their dreams has evolved since Title IX – enjoy!



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