How much benefit have women’s sports had in the US since the implementation of the Title IX in 1972 and what were the main areas of evolution?
Women’s rights history
The 20th century has been notable by the industrial revolution, the world wars and the baby boom, a period that will last less than twenty years and would give birth to most of our parents. Historically, women had absolutely no existence rights without their husbands. Their lives were limited to home care taking jobs, such as the laundry, the food, and the children’s education. Sports were not any closer to be available for women. It was socially unacceptable to see a woman practicing a sport because of all of the sexist stereotype barriers. Since the beginning, women have to fight in order to get fundamental rights and dream about an equal society. In Quebec for example, it is only in 1922 that women got the right to vote at the federal elections after fighting for decades. It took another 50 years before women would get the right to abortion and also to utilize any birth control methods. Numerous women have fought all their lives as activists, some even died for the future society to be able to appreciate all the rights that, too often, our generation take for granted. “In the 1950s and 1960s, the social conscience of America was changing. The push for Civil Rights, which culminated in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, helped increase the status of women and minorities.” (The sport journal , 2007)
In relation to this topic but at another important level, American women have gained many rights concerning sports. The commencement of a feminist revolution for women in sports was, most likely, lead by Billie Jean King. First of all, at Wimbledon in 1968, she took charge and asked to stop the under-the-table payments. Shortly after her demand, she challenged on the court a patriarchal figure, Bobby Riggs, who she ended up defeating. This was the start of a very long, intense and never ending fight for women to get equal rights. (Women’s Pre Title IX, 2001)
This essay will highlight the progression of women’s sports in the United States and will describe the starting points of this evolution.
The start of an evolution
It is in the 80th century that took place new opportunities for women’s athletes. On the other hand, it is only in 1972 that would be passed the law that would want to put down all sort of discrimination towards women in the American school systems. Little did people know that this commandment would completely change the American sport systems. The law was signed by M. Richard Nixon, who was the American President at that time. “ No person in the United States shall, on the basic of sex, be excluded from participating in, be denied the benefits of or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” The purpose of this amendment was then to give women an equal opportunity in terms of participation in the physical activities of the American institutions. Before the approval of the Title IX, men sports possessed much more financial support than any women sport. The law has then played a major role by offering a greater sports selection that were accessible for women, a better financial and academic aid as well as qualified and full-time working coaches. Today, the salary paid to coaches of women’s teams are similar to those paid to coaches of men’s teams. This has attracted high quality of coaches to the women’s team compared to the decades before the law. (Bob Corran, 2009) During that period, the implementation of the Title IX was more than necessary because of the lack of athletic openings for women. "Before Title IX, there was the completely unfair stereotype of women not being able to play sports," says Neena Chaudhry, senior counsel at the National Women's Law Center in Washington, D.C. "And if they played