Women's History: Title IX Opens Doors

"The equal opportunity to learn, taken for granted by most young women today, owes much to Title IX of the Education Codes of the Higher Education Act  legislation, passed in 1972 and enacted in 1977, prohibited gender discrimination by federally funded institutions.  It has become the primary tool for women's fuller participation in all aspects of education from scholarships, to facilities, to classes formerly closed to women.  Indeed, it transformed the educational landscape of the United States within the span of a generation."

Evidence of this transformation was made clear to me while I was getting my nails done.  I was explaining to my nail technician that I  trying to formulate ideas for my blog about Title IX and what it meant for women.  I explained that the law was enacted in 1977.  (Even a 20 something can wrap her or his head around that number.  Twenty-five years wasn't so long ago). 

I went on to explain that while attending high school my choices were narrow.  I was 
told I could go into teaching or nursing if I wanted to go to college.  The reason why these were great careers was because they would work well for a homemaker.  Also women weren't always accepted into pre-law, science, politics, research, psychology, social work, etc.  

My nail technician related to me how her grandmother was reprimanded for wanting to take shop classes in high school.  Her grandmother was interested in fixing and making things. She was discouraged by her family and the school.

Now, my nail tech has two careers. She works for a large corporation and on Saturday she does nails.  She does it because she likes doing it. She also likes to interact with women.  She thinks women know a lot.  She gets to meet a diverse group of women and have great discussions all day. 

Now that is the essence of Title IX isn't it?  The ability to have choices, to decide if you want to go to college, develop a trade or skill that is marketable, enter the service industry, or become an entrepreneur.  The essence about choices is that you have control. When you have employability or the ability to make money as a woman, you have freedom. 



delaware hiker said…
Yes, it has taken years to make real changes because we also had few female roll models. My grandmother graduated from college, but I knew her as a homemaker. My aunts taught school and then became homemakers. My mother taught school and worked as a librarian before marrying and you guessed it... We at least could try other professions later and hoped our daughters knew they had even more choices.

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