A good idea doesn’t go very far, very fast without financing. In the early years of Title IX, key funds came through a new cohort of women hired or promoted by the Ford Foundation. Uppity women on the Foundation’s staff pressured senior management in the early 1970s to diversify its white-males bastion of decision-makers and to direct more of its funding to issues pertinent to women and people of color. The same process was happening in all parts of society thanks to civil rights movements and the second-wave women’s movement. Ford’s response […]
Eleven of the women most closely involved in the struggle to implement Title IX gathered on January 26, 2015 to give a living history of this most important legislation for U.S. women since the right to vote. Focusing mainly on the early years after its passage in 1972, they also shared their fears that Title IX’s hard-won gains could be lost if people don’t remain vigilant in supporting it. I’m thankful to Margaret Dunkle for organizing the luncheon at the Woman’s National Democratic Club and for including me as I research my book on the people behind Title IX.
(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 […]