Bicycling has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world.
I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride on a wheel. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. Susan B. Anthony, 1896
In 1969 after Bernice Sandler earned her doctorate from the University of Maryland, she was not considered for any of the seven job openings in her department. That set in motion the passage of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 requiring schools and colleges receiving federal money in any education program or activity to provide the same opportunities for girls as they provide for boys.
When Sandler began her fight:
The terms date rape, sexual harassment and sexism didn’t exist.
Her college application stated women needed higher test scores and grades to get in.
Medical and law schools had quotas for female students but not men.
Women were excluded from entire majors and courses.
1924 had been the last time the University of California, Berkley’s psychology department found a qualified female professor.
Major universities allotted huge amounts of money to male athletics and nothing to women.
Today 2 in 5 girls participate in high school sports as opposed to 1 in 27 in 1972, but:
Although approximately 40 percent of sport and physical activity participants are women, only 6 to 8 percent of total media sports coverage is devoted to their athletics.
In a study of four major newspapers, USA Today, the Boston Globe, the Orange County Register and the Dallas Morning news, women-only sports stories totaled 3.5 percent of all sports stories.
Women’s sports tend to be verbally and visually set apart by adding the word women in the name as in the case of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) as opposed to the NBA.
There are huge unspoken issues concerning race in women’s sports.
This week The Women’s Sports Foundation will celebrate forty years since the enactment of Title IX in 1972 by honoring forty women who made a significant impact on society after playing sports in high school or college instead of honoring forty athletes.