"In one generation we've gone from girls hoping there was a team, to girls hoping they'd make the team."
-Mary Jo Kane,
read her story
by Kathy Magnuson and Norma Smith Olson
"Thirty-seven words that changed our society," is how Rayla Allison, associate director at the University of Minnesota School of Kinesiology, described Title IX in April at an event at the University of Minnesota.
"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 educational program or activity receiving federal financial assistance."
This civil rights legislation mentions education but not sports, though this is the area where its impact for women and girls is the most visible.
June 23, 2012, is the 40th anniversary of Title IX and we celebrate it in this June issue of the Women's Press. You'll find women's stories, expertise and opinions about changes since Title IX was signed into law, including Nicole LaVoi and Mary Jo Kane of the U of M Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport; Dorothy McIntyre, longtime advocate for girls' athletics at the MN State High School League; St. Paul Central 1976 basketball stars and cousins, Linda Roberts and Lisa Lissimore, and younger family members Ashley Ellin-Milan and Roxanne Lissimore; Peg Brenden, one of the first legal challengers of the Title IX legislation; Lisa Blackstone and her film, "Grappling Girls" about girls and wrestling. Beyond sports, Julie Seger writes about the importance of Title IX in education, especially concerning sexual harassment and bullying. MWP Columnist Shannon Drury tackles changes in girls' thinking about math and science.
As we celebrate Title IX in this issue, we celebrate women in many arenas. Kelly Westhoff takes us on a world tour with suggestions of books by women solo travelers; author Marion Dane Bauer reflects on her coming-out story through editing an anthology of LGBT stories; Kate Brickman shares her family story in the context of why she's voting "no" in November on the marriage amendment. And, we're making a call for women to help stop pornography when they choose places to stay on their family vacations.
As we do every issue, we share stories that celebrate the successes and acknowledge the challenges of women and girls. Girls interested in sports pre-Title IX were called "tomboys"-a term that has disappeared from our language. Today girls interested in sports are called athletes. We like to hear people say: She plays like a girl!
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