The Women’s Law Project has filed complaints with the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education against nine of 14 members of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, claiming that the colleges have discriminated against female athletes.
While just about everyone agrees that female participation in athletic endeavors is great news, the down side is that sports injuries are on the rise since women—like men—often get hurt when they exert themselves.
Arguments against Title IX are based on two premises that are, in turn, grounded in cultural tradition: 1) Men and boys are the rightful “owners” of sports, and 2) Males are superior to females in athletic ability.
Social anxieties around female athleticism are rooted in the same fear of female mastery and autonomy that drives anxieties around reproductive rights. By taking on sexism towards athletes, we can help undermine hostility to reproductive rights.
After a lifetime of working different jobs, jockeying for promotions that resulted only in title changes, winning races and earning titles, and being a writer and author, I understand how much titles matter, and how much Title IX mattered.
There are a lot of issues with the Olympic media when it comes to the appearances and presentation of women athletes, and many untapped and emerging opportunities, as well.
The Olympic games allow us to take stock of how we view women athletes and of the flawed ways we talk about gender and the performance of gender roles in public.