Pawing through the papers of Title IX history

Here’s the thing about Title IX: Everybody I interview has a Title IX story. Some of the stories contradict each other. There are those that present clear pictures of the past, and others are a little blurry around the edges. Title IX is, after all, 45 years old — still young, but old enough for people to question their memories about it, or to question the memories of others. And old enough that some of the people involved in the beginning are, unfortunately, no longer with us. Part of my job as a journalist and historian is to question the […]

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Facades change, but Title IX foundation remains

An aging federal building in Portland, Ore. that was rehabilitated to model modern environmental ethics honors a woman, coincidentally named Green, who is best known for rehabbing federal laws to treat women ethically. Rep. Edith Louise Starrett Green (D-OR), a former teacher, birthed Title IX in 1971-1972 as chair of the Subcommittee on Education of the House Education and Labor Committee, giving girls and women equal opportunities in education. During her 10 terms from 1955 to 1974, Congress also felt her influence in the Equal Pay Act of 1963, a 1971 bill that outlawed sex discrimination in training doctors, nurses, and […]

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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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