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Kailey Olbrich-Daniels

Malcolm Campbell

UWRT 1104

May 2, 2017

Title IX: Is it fair?

An Oregon softball team from Lake Oswego High School is in need of facilities and

equipment that they do not currently have. The reason is that the school provides better facilities

and equipment for the baseball team while the softball team keeps being promised they will

receive better facilities and equipment. There has yet to be any action towards giving the softball

team the things they have been promised over the years. Therefore, the softball team is filing a

Title IX lawsuit hoping that this will bring about changes and make sure that the softball team

will be treated as equals to the baseball team (Oregon Girls Softball Team).

In 1964, during the Civil Rights Movement there were many laws passed in order to help

with gender discrimination including one known as Title VII, which was part of the Civil Rights

Act. Title VII was a law that was passed which, prohibits discrimination in employment based

on race, gender, or religious beliefs (Title IX, Women, and Sports). However, the issue is since

they did not specifically mention gender in the writings of the law it allowed a loophole which

let companies still discriminate against gender when hiring. There were a couple US

representatives who worked with an activist and they made complaints on how the education

system is violating Title VII. Some of the issues that were brought to the senators attention were

that the education system discriminated against women when it came to admission, educational
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programs, and certain resources within the school. Many Senators became aware of all the issues

within the education system and realized they needed to do something. Therefore, Indiana

senator Birch Bayh became the primary Senate sponsor of the bill that became known as Title

IX, which expressly forbid sex and gender discrimination in any university program that received

federal funding. (Title IX, Women, and Sports). Title IX was passed on June 23,1972 and has

helped stop gender discrimination because unlike Title VII it specifically mentioned gender and

that there cannot be discrimination within schools.

After Title IX was passed it was met with various challenges including challenges from

Senator John Tower. Senator John Tower challenged the Title IX law because he did not think

that if athletic programs received money that they should be covered by the law. However,

Senator John Towers proposal was rejected because Title IX was created to make sure there was

not any gender discrimination anywhere. Senator Towers was not the only one who thought that

since athletic programs made money that it was fair that the law covered athletics. Another

Senator proposed that each of the sports should be given a set of regulations, which was adopted.

The regulations were proposed to make sure that all the sports were equal to prevent further

discrimination. Under Title IX, federally funded organizations were not required to provide

"equal" funding to athletic programs for men and women, but rather to provide equality in

opportunity and in the quality of educational options offered to both sexes. (Title IX, Women,

and Sports). In other words, many of the organizations could get away with not funding all the

athletic programs equally because they were fulfilling the law by allowing an equal opportunity

to men and women. This led to women still having a hard time because even with equality in the

opportunity for athletics and educational options their programs were given the less then the
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men. In 1979, the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare introduced three primary

methods by which a university could comply with the standards of the law, a system that became

known as the "three-prong test." (Title IX, Women, and Sports). The three-prong test allowed

schools to pick from three options and if they satisfied one of the options then it showed that they

were compliant with Title IX. The options they had to satisfy Title IX were to provide athletic

participation opportunities that are substantially proportionate to the undergraduate enrollment,

demonstrate a continual expansion of athletic opportunities for the underrepresented sex, and

fully accommodate the interests and abilities of the underrepresented sex. (Title IX: the Three-

Prong Test.). This test made it look like many places were following the requirements of Title

IX because it looked like they had athletic opportunities for both male and females, even though

they did not. Due to the lack of enforcement of Title IX allowed for things like the three-prong

test to occur which let gender discrimination to still occur. This demonstrates how the

government did not really make sure that places were actually complying with Title IX. Which

led to a coalition of women's rights activists and congressional leaders passing the Civil Rights

Restoration Act of 1988 (Title IX, Women, and Sports). This act was important because it

made sure that there couldnt be any gender discrimination in any educational institute even if

they receive federal funding. Finally made sure that every place even if it was federally funded

would comply with Title IX and making sure that there wasnt any gender discrimination. This

was put in place to make sure that people could not use the federal funding as a reason to get out

of enforcing Title IX and letting gender discrimination happen. Another change to Title IX came

with an amendment to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1994, which required

universities and high schools to release all information regarding their spending on athletic

programs. (Title IX, Women, and Sports). Before they created this amendment many of the
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colleges and high school did not have to release any information regarding how much they spent

on athletics. Since they did not have to release the information it made it difficult to know how

much funding was going towards women organizations which made it hard to tell how the

institutions were fulfilling the Title IX funding requirements. With this amendment it made sure

that all athletic programs were following the Title X funding requirements and providing equal

funding to all the athletic programs.

Before Title IX was passed many women did not have a lot of athletic and educational

opportunities and they could not get any scholarships for sports. In the 1972 Summer Olympics

women were struggling to succeed on a professional level because the male athletes got a

significantly larger amount of medals than the females did. Also In 1972, according to the

Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, there were 31,852 women participating in

collegiate athletics (as compared to 170,526 male athletes) (Title IX, Women, and Sports). In

other words, there were more male athletes participating in collegiate sports than women due to

male athletes receiving scholarships and that women were being discriminated in athletics. After

the passage of Title IX many women were participating in sports due to more athletic programs

being available to women. Also more and more sports are being added to the Olympics therefore

more and more women are participating. In the 2012 London Olympics, U.S. women won more

medals than American men 58 to 45 for the first time. London also marked the first time

the U.S. sent more women to the games than men (U.S. Women Will Rule In Rio). The

London Olympics showed the world that women are just as good as men and that they deserve to

be in the world of athletics. Women were finally able to succeed in sports especially on a

professional level. This an important step moving toward the future of gender equality in
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athletics. Since more and more sports are being added to the Olympics more and more women

are participating President Barack Obama described the historic legislation as an important step

in gender equality in the United States and emphasized the importance of the continued effort to

promote equality in educational and athletic benefits. (Title IX, Women, and Sports).

According to Obama he thinks that Title IX has really helped with moving towards gender

equality. President Obama also remarked that he shared the belief that the psychological and

sociological benefits of Title IX expanded beyond allowing equality in sports participation to

helping inculcate in generations of young women in the United States the idea that they are free

to pursue achievement in any field. (Title IX, Women, and Sports). President Obama mentions

that Title IX is very helpful because not only is it helping with equality in athletics but it is also

encouraging girls to pursue their goals. Having many women succeeding in education allows

girls to look up to them and know that they can make it. Having many successful professional

women athletes encourages many young girls to participate in sports. All of the successful

athletes show girls wanting to participate in sports that they can and they can make it. Young

girls looking to go into sports have people like Gabby Douglas, Simone Biles, Katie Ledecky to

look up to as role models. Title IX makes sure that there is equality for women in sports and has

also made sure that the quality of women athletic facilities is increased. Many women are also

succeeding in collegiate sports and many of them are moving on to play professionally. Many of

the national women teams and professional teams are doing much better since the passage of

Title IX. Increasing the quality of facilities for women also encourages girls to participate

because they are going into sports feeling they are getting the short end of the stick. What the

history of Title IX shows us is that if you provide women with quality sports opportunities,

they'll come and they'll excel, said Nancy Hogshead- Makar, winner of three gold medals and a
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silver as a swimmer at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.(U.S. Women Will Rule In Rio. In

other words, since Title IX and the multiple amendments have allowed women more athletic

opportunities is the reason women are doing so well in sports. Title IX has also made sure that

many women are now receiving scholarships for playing sports. However, even though they

receive scholarships they still receive less scholarship opportunities than male athletes. Even

though Title IX has improved athletics for women there is still more that needs to be done to

make sure that there is equality among all athletes male and female.

Title IX did not end all the issues of gender discrimination like many hoped it would

when the law was passed. Even today female high school athletes are offered approximately 1.3

million fewer opportunities than their male counterparts. At the collegiate level, women have

sixty thousand fewer opportunities to become involved in athletics. (Title IX, Women, and

Sports). This shows that Title IX is not completely solving the issue of gender discrimination

since gender discrimination is still an issue. Even if we encourage girls to pursue what they want

that is all good but they should also have equal options as boys do when they are pursuing their

goals. For many women who are involved in athletics, those athletic programs that they are

involved in receive less funding then male athletic programs do. Many people argue that women

simply have lower levels of interest in athletics participation, studies indicate that female sports

programs receive proportionately lower levels of funding even if adjusted to account for differing

levels of interest. (Title IX, Women, and Sports). In other words, even if less women

participate women do indeed receive less funding then men do. With Title IX in place even if the

participation levels are low they should still receive the proper amount of funding. Participation

levels should not affect how much funding the programs do or do not get. There are many
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women and women rights advocates out there who are fighting for gender equality and they are

targeting all the places that are violating Title IX. The advocates are hoping if they keep fighting

that they will eventually make a change that will bring about an end to gender discrimination.

The discrimination that the Oregon softball team experienced is happening in a majority of other

places and there needs to be change so that there is equality for both genders in athletics.

Laws and amendments are created in order to help fix issues. Title VII was created to

help fix the issue of gender discrimination. However, it did not help bring an end to gender

discrimination which led to the passage of Title IX. Title IX was passed in hopes of gender

equality in athletics and educational institutes. This shows how fighting for a cause can lead to

change. However, sometimes the change will take a while but if you are passionate about it and

stick to it it will eventually happen. Women started to get the equality they hoped they would get

from the law. However, just like anything else there will not be an immediate change there will

always be more that needs to be done. Hopefully there will be equality for both male and female

athletes in the future.


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Works Cited

Issitt, Micah. "Title IX, Women, and Sports." Points of View: Reference Shelf- Sports Culture,

May 2014, p. 1. EBSCOhost, librarylink.uncc.edu/login?

url=http://search.ebscohost.com.librarylink.uncc.edu/login.aspx?

direct=true&db=pwh&AN=96411800&site=pov-live. Web.

Jacobo, Julia. Oregon Girls' Softball Team Files Title IX Lawsuit Against School District.ABC

News, ABC, 6 Apr. 2016, abcnews.go.com/US/oregon-girls-softball-team-files-title-ix-

lawsuit/story?id. Web. Accessed 18 Mar. 2017.

Myre, Greg. U.S. Women Will Rule In Rio (You Can Thank Title IX). NPR, NPR, 4 Aug.

2016, www.npr.org/sections/thetorch/2016/08/04/487765827/u-s-women-will-rule-at-the-

olympics-you-can-thank-title-ix. Web. Accessed 18 Mar. 2017.

Staff, Times-Dispatch. Title IX: the Three-Prong Test. Richmond Times-Dispatch, 23 June

2012, www.richmond.com/sports/title-ix-the-three-prong-test/article_be3ede40-9561-

53ff-bdbb-6c426b1e6286.html. Accessed 2 May 2017.

Title IX and Mens Sports: A False Conflict. National Women's Law Center, 11 Aug. 2015,

nwlc.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/title_ix_and_mens_sports_8.11.15.pdf. Web.

Accessed 18 Mar. 2017.

Title IX Enacted. History.com, A&E Television Networks, www.history.com/this-day-in-

history/title-ix-enacted. Accessed 6 Apr. 2017.