Saturday, March 8, 2014

Patsy Mink

Did you benefit from Title IX?

If you're a girl and you played sports in school, say "thank you" to Patsy Mink.

One of my favorite research finds (so far) is a joint letter from Ohio State football coach Woody Hayes and University of Michigan football coach Bo Schembechler to then President Gerald Ford, complaining about how Title IX was threatening their precious football money.

Woody and Bo were worried that girls would want to play football, and more worried that funding girls sports would take away resources for boys sports.  Ford told the coaches not to worry about it.

Thankfully, as a key congressional sponsor, Patsy Mink worried about more than girls sports when crafting Title IX.  While most of the attention paid to this important legislation focuses on sports, Title IX also protects girls and women in other, equally important ways.

This means employment protection, sexual harassment, STEM programs for girls, pregnancy protections, and education programs like Women's History were developed.  And, until Reagan became president, even funded.

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