Men Complain Things To Me

Writer Rebecca Solnit brilliantly described the commonplace phenomenon of mansplaining in her book Men Explain Things To Me. There’s a similar phenomenon — menplaining? dudespouting? — in which men co-opt women’s grievances to complain that they’re the victims of sexism when some advance in women’s rights constrains male advantages. Title IX‘s current battles and its history are full of menplaining in the courts. Male student athletes sued in the 1990s and 2000s. They complained of sex bias in the Title IX regulations  because they forced — forced! mind you — athletic directors to cut some men’s teams when budgets got tight. […]

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Legal muscle behind Title IX still flexing

The Chicago Public School District just got its sports programs schooled by a Hall of Famer. Not a sports star, mind you, but Marcia Greenberger, co-president of the National Women’s Law Center. (Video: Greenberger describes her reasons for pursuing legal justice for women.) Chicago has agreed to a settlement with the U.S. Office for Civil Rights resulting from a complaint filed by the Center in 2010 claiming that the city denies girls the sports opportunities it gives to boys. As a result, the District will have to create roughly 6,000 more opportunities for girls to engage in sports, affecting most of […]

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Video history from women behind Title IX

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.

Fresno tied to Title IX over decades

Video: Bernice Sandler coaches Women’s Studies students and faculty who are trying to improve policies at the California State University, Fresno, in November 2014. People all over the United States have links to Title IX. I’m enjoying seeing the fingers of this important law poke up in some unexpected places as I research its history and today’s in-the-news developments. Among them: Fresno, California, which appears often enough that it serves as an example of nearly every phase of Title IX. For example, Frederick W. Ness was president of Fresno State College just before becoming president of the Association of American Colleges and […]

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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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