Editorial: Title IX scored USWNT victory | TribLIVE.com

Editorial: Title IX scored USWNT victory


You can’t watch a glacier move. You can’t watch the continents shift. You can’t watch a redwood grow.

The big things take a long time to come to fruition. But that doesn’t mean nothing is happening.

The law can be like that, too. Something can be voted on and passed and signed into being, but it might take a while to see what the impact really is.

On Sunday, the whole world saw the impact of one part of one law passed in 1972.

Title IX says, “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

Title IX is why the U.S. Women’s National Team won the World Cup for a record fourth time.

Women have always been capable of athletics. That didn’t start in 1972. But that was the year the law said that a school couldn’t say boys were athletes and girls organized the pep rally. It was when boys having an opportunity meant girls had to have one, too.

It laid the groundwork. Nothing changed overnight. Sure, Billie Jean King won her Battle of the Sexes tennis match against Bobby Riggs in 1973. But while that gave girls a role model, it didn’t give them the framework to succeed the way the new law did.

The oldest woman on the USWNT is Carli Lloyd, 36. Title IX was 11 years old when she was born. Maybe you couldn’t see the earth moving, but it was happening slowly.

Penn State alum Ali Krieger didn’t grow up watching her brother play. She was out on the field because the law gave her that right.

While Penn State can’t confirm that she got a scholarship (thanks to a 1974 federal law) they will say that during Krieger’s tenure, the program had 14 scholarship athletes. Those women got scholarships because Title IX said the university couldn’t just give them to football players and wrestlers. The girls had to get a chance to play for their education, too.

The USWNT grew up not just with talent and drive but permission to use them. Little girls had opportunity and ran with it. Big girls honed their skills and watched for their openings. Women scored.

And everyone won because equality is about putting everyone on the same playing field.

It’s still a work in progress. The glacier is still moving, even if we can’t see it. But 47 years after Title IX was passed, the USWNT has shown us how far we have come.

Categories: Opinion | Editorials
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.