Prettification vs. women’s sports
7 October 2012
It’s the 40th anniversary of Title IX — that groundbreaking bit of legislation that facilitated women’s educational equality on many levels, including sports. No one would doubt the fundamentally radical effects on women’s senses of self as a result. Even if we acknowledge that the law never sought to establish, nor did it achieve, anything measuring true equity, as I’ve written about before.
And yet critics complain that giving any funds to women’s sports effectively takes money away from men’s sports — and as a result women’s teams still fight for the small funding they receive. The Bush Administration was particularly effective in dismantling some of rules that schools show increasing efforts to comply with the law. And so the Women’s Sports Foundation has produced this nice video remind us of the stakes. (Thanks, Eteokretan, for sending the link!)
Considering that the US women’s soccer team is surely one of the country’s most popular women’s athletic teams, perhaps it’s no surprise that Major League Soccer would be the institution funding this campaign. And yet aside from its national team, women’s pro soccer has floundered in the past 15 months — most of its pro teams have folded, leaving members of the US women’s team to languish without pro teams or to try their luck as pro players for women’s teams elsewhere in the world.
So happy birthday, Title IX: let’s hope the current anti-feminist backlash against women subsides sometime soon.