Recently our high school celebrated the 30th anniversary of girls soccer. I have fond memories of coaching my daughters and watching them play on the high school teams. What they got from competitive sports was toughness and the courage to fight for their place in a man’s world. They all wanted to go to college and achieve rewarding careers. Proud to say this happened.
I can’t help but think of their moms who grew up in the '60s. These girls were second-class citizens with very limited opportunities. Only cute athletic girls were cheerleaders, while cute girls that could dance were on the drill team. The remaining 90% were relegated to the pep club. Pep club girls learned a few cheers and showed up at the games to cheer on the boy’s teams.
These girls of the '60s were encouraged to take typing and shorthand. If for some reason they needed to contribute to the family income, they would likely be a secretary to some male executive. A few girls went to college to become school teachers and nurses (two honorable professions). However, I cannot name a single girl my age I knew who became a doctor, engineer, attorney or CPA.
I have to wonder what our nation would look like today if these 40 million girls had played competitive sports in high school. Maybe we would have more than 25% representation in Congress. And surely we would have had a women president a long time ago. On June 23, 1972 Title IX became law. Finally women were entitled to any education program or activity. As we approach the 50th anniversary of this act I hope we celebrate and remember.