40 Years since Title IX, and still so far to go

Today marks 40 years since the passing of Title IX. The passage of Title IX granted women access to the same federally funded programs as men and got millions of girls in the game. Still,  40 years later there’s still plenty of work to be done. USA Rugby recently had fundraiser to help young women in sports, and are launching a campaign to support keeping girls in sports longer and provide funding for the Women's Sports Foundation.  Recent stats show that by age 14, girls drop out of sports twice the rate of boys. Girls who stay in sports are proven to have higher self-esteem, better body image, get better grades and avoid things
like drugs and teen pregnancy.

Since USA Rugby players are strong female role models, they asked female players to help keep girls in the game, through social networking. USA Women’s Rugby players were asked change their Facebook and/or Twitter profile pictures to a photo of them playing sports as a 14-year-old. Tell their followers why they are glad they stayed with sports and ask them to visit KeepHerInTheGame.org to donate to the Women’s Sports Foundation.

Without Title IX, there are hundreds and thousands of women who would not be the people who
they are today, but there is still plenty of work to be done for young women. I know for myself, I was always involved in athletics growing up. I was on cheerleading from k-12, played softball in grade school, played volleyball, participated in gymnastics, and when I got to college found rugby a sport that I not only love but truely helped shape my personality and made me a stronger woman physically and mentally. However, I also with young children in sports and my goal this summer is to teach the young women that they can be as competitive, if not better than the boys at our day camp. It saddens me when the boys are shocked I’m good at sports, or to hear them say to other boys, “Stop playing like such a girl.” The girls on my soccer team I am trying to teach them to be more aggressive and take advantage of the split second of indecision when a boy
isn’t sure if he should take the ball away from you.

It’s been 13 years only when soccer star Brandi Chastain pulled off her T-shirt after scoring the winning penalty kick against China at the 1999 World Cup. I remember my mother saying that she was disgusting, and how could she do such a thing on television. People in the stands went silent, it was all over the news if she was being in appropriate. She wasn’t trying to be controversial, she was celebrating one of the best moments in her life!

The WNBA is not taken as seriously as it should be. Why? I’m sure we’ve all heard that it’s not real basketball if they have to play with a smaller ball. Women’s Rugby, we have some of the best players in the nation in Chicago, not to mention the D1 National Champions, but are people coming to support the way they do lingerie football? Pro golf, Pro cycling, Pro volleyball, how often do you see those games televised? Roller Derby kicks some major ass, but why are they referred to as “girls” when they are full grown women who earn their respect in the rink every game. People say they aren’t on because there isn’t revenue to be made by airing them. Maybe if they were aired, there would be plenty of young women finding better role models than the Kardashians, Paris Hilton and Snookie.

It’s only been 92 years since we’ve had the right to vote. Most of our grandmother were born without
the right to vote. Cheerleading has gone for a joke of ladies on a side line bouncing around to some of the most well rounded athletes and gymnasts. In rugby we are still growing to get more than other sports. In 2007 was the FIRST ever NCCA Women’s Rugby game at Eastern Illinois University. Quinnipiac University is unequivocally and absolutely the only institution in the United States offering full athletic scholarships for NCAA Women's Rugby. Our USA 7s team for the Women is pretty f’in awesome! And still with the  minimum exposure of Rugby on TV, when they show the Vegas 7s, you still only see a total of 22.5 seconds of the female games that took place.

 

I'd like to say a BIG THANK YOU to all the women and men who fought for equal right for you
daughters, nieces, cousins, granddaughters and every girl in America. I’m off to go check out women, men, boys and girls, at Firehouse 7s in Lemont at the Blaze Pitch where over 30 teams will be playing today. Also, don’t forget that you can catch USA v Italy in their game in Houston tonight at 7:30 on Universal Sports. Tomorrow check out Chicago North Shore and the Chicago Dragons Marching in the Pride Parade

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"No person in the  United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be  denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education  program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance."

--Title IX of the Education Amendment, 1972

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