Fake news generates fake history

Pop quiz: Who said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Go ahead, google it. You’ll find lots of sources all over the Web and social media agreeing that the quote came from poet and writer Maya Angelou. But they’re all wrong. The modern crisis of fake news has a corollary in fake history, which is why I find myself returning to original (“primary”) sources as I research the history of Title IX. It’s difficult to discern the fakeness of the quote above by online searching because it’s been repeated so often that it dominates search results. Eventually, another source […]

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Ten reasons to vote, for Title IX

Title IX itself isn’t on the ballot Nov. 8, but it might as well be. The gains made for sexual and gender fairness through Title IX were created by politicians, courts, and activists, and can be undone by them, too. Now that we’ve had several generations of women grow up and grow stronger under Title IX, I tend to think that we’ll never  go back to the days when “normal” meant only men got to make the decisions and to define what’s fair. We’ve still got a long way to go to reach equity in so many parts of our […]

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Name it to change it

(Video: Title IX expert Bernice Sandler on why words matter.) We swim in a sea of cultural assumptions. Norms surround us like the air we breathe, scarcely noticeable until we find them toxic, and then hard to explain to someone who isn’t feeling their poisonous effects. Parting the sea, cleaning the air of sexist assumptions takes time and effort, and even the cleaners may feel residual toxic effects. Women from the early history of Title IX have described to me insecurities from internalizing the sexism around them in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Bernice Sandler initially believed a colleague when he told […]

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37 words that inspired thousands

Bernice Sandler wanted to be a professor. Patsy Takemoto Mink hoped to be a doctor. Meg Newman wanted to play baseball in high school. Emma Sulkowicz just wanted to feel safe on her college campus. Thirty-seven words make those dreams possible today — too late for some of these women, but possible for millions of others, and only because people like Sandler, Mink, Newman, and Sulkowicz fought back when the people in charge told them to go away. These battles are not over. They’re in the news every day. Those 37 words make up Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, […]

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