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.
Although most people know that Title IX requires schools to provide girls and boys with equal athletic opportunities, it goes much further and is intended to ensure that our schools are free of gender-based discrimination and harassment across all educational and extra-curricular programs. It’s time to put more effort into making this a reality.
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.