When asked,"Who is a person, who you've never met but had a huge impact on your life?", my answer is almost always the same. For me the women who dedicated their lives to make sure that same sex equality became a law, are who made me who I am.
Without women like Maud Wood Park, Margret Sanger, Dorris Stevens and countless other women, I would never have had half the experiences that I have, and I most definitely would not have picked up playing rugby. For just 95 short years, women have had the right to vote. That's correct, just 95 YEARS! Women put themselves on the front line to be able to vote, to be able to keep their jobs after soldiers came home from WWI, to get out of the kitchen, and into the class room, and to what lead to Title IX, and me being me.
I went to Queen of Peace High School, in Burbank, IL. Queen of Peace molded me into a "woman of peace" and also a strong female who can see injustices and inequality probably faster than most people who received a co-ed high school experience. I remember my first few classes in college, and even being told my senior year that things would happen in a co-ed environment, still I was shocked when I noticed teachers only calling on male students despite me and two other girls always having our hand up in class.
We all know that there is NOT equal funding in sports in colleges or high school. There isn't even equal television time for female and male sports. Title IX, has done a lot for me though. It did not just make sure I got to play volleyball, softball, cheerleading and rugby, but it is also why I was able to go to college as well as all other females.
Title IX is not just about sports, it applies to every day life as we know it. Where many people have never heard of Title IX, it covers 10 key areas that are addressed by the law. Access to Higher Education, Career Education, Education for Pregnant and Parenting Students, Employment, Learning Environment, Math and Science, Sexual Harassment, Standardized Testing and Technology.
Think about "Riding in Cars with Boys". You would have been kick out of school if you were pregnant before Title IX. Colleges wouldn't have to let you in, or even let you apply. Why would women need to learn things like math or science, those are men's fields! Obviously Madame Curie was a fluke! As title IX, which is just 11 yeas older than I am, I cannot
imagine a would where I was told that because I'm female I cannot have access to education, I can be fired for being a woman, and that the only thing I need to learn is home ec, sewing, and earn my MRS.I can sew, I can cook, I do clean, but I am so much more than just that, and am glad I can be, that I can wear pants, and that I don't need a man to be reliant on. Though female referees in the NFL, NBA, and RWC, and female sports writers and reporters are rare, there will be more, and I will strive to be one of them.
So to the women who have changed my life, before I was even here, THANK YOU. I will try to continue the great things you have done by being a positive female role model.