There have been quite a lot of personal testimonials about individuals’ experiences with Title IX in the months preceding and since the 40th anniversary.
I wanted to share a piece of this one by Jennifer Imsande because it was not just about how sports generally benefited her (in career or schooling or relationships or life lessons–themes of many other testimonials). Imsande talks about the specific benefits Title IX afforded her as an athlete in pursuit of athletic success.
I’ve only ever experienced sport as both possible and accessible. My high school canceled classes when my basketball team went to the state tournament. In college I received expert coaching and flew on airplanes to get to meets — where, if my Achilles tendon started acting up, I could use the team massage therapist or trainer.
These are examples of the equal treatment Title IX mandates. We have been on kind of an equal treatment push during this anniversary coverage because we want people to realize that Title IX is not just about opportunities but about the quality of the opportunity. More and more complaints and/or lawsuits have focused on equal treatment measures (in addition to those mentioned by Imsande there are issues like uniform and equipment quality and age–and who pays for it; quality of competitive experience; quality of coaching; access to facilities–and the quality of facilities).
Obviously the issue of opportunities is still one that needs attention. But the experience of the girls and women who are receiving opportunities needs to be assessed as well.