Title IX turns 5o today, and she doesn’t look a day over 49!
The landmark legislation, signed into law by Richard Nixon on June 23, 1972, is often mistaken as a law that only prohibits gender inequality in athletics, since some of its biggest wins and most notable advocates have been in the sports world. But, luckily for those of us who aren’t athletically gifted, it actually prohibits gender inequality for anyone attending a publicly-funded institution.
Title IX has laid the foundation for some monumental gains in the ongoing fight for gender equality. The statute—which people love to say is but one mere sentence and only 37 words—states: “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 education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” Seems simple enough!
The law still has a lot to accomplish when it comes to addressing campus sexual assault, racial discrimination, and trans rights. But for now, we celebrate its birthday with a brief stroll down memory lane.