One of my favorite athletes of all time- Laila Ali- has kicked of a conference at the University of Michigan to promote the awareness of the historic law passed 40 years ago on June 23, 1972. She noted that women will box for gold for the first time this summer in London, something that she couldn't do before. Some people may wonder why there would be a need for a law like this. Laila Ali acknowledged that, saying, “If things were fair, we wouldn't have to be at this conference." Has Title IX made things fair?
A 13-year-old boy was recently kicked off a girls' field hockey team for being "too good". The boy was raised in Ireland and has been playing field hockey all off his life. Since there are no boys' hockey teams in America, he has no choice but to play on a girls' team.Make no mistake, he is very good at it. But that is like trying to ban Walter Payton from the NFL for being "too good". It's his gender that is mainly driving this decision. He has been trying to appeal the decision through Title IX, but as Professor Joanna Grossman of Hofstra University notes, his chances of winning the appeal are very little because he is not an underrepresented individual. Which, in my mind, doesn't make sense. A boy in an all girls field hockey league fits the description just as much as anyone. I remember we used to have a girl as a kicker on my football team back in Virginia a couple of years ago. How fair is it that when a girl wants to play a "male" sport she is covered by a law, but when a boy wants to play a "female" sport he is not covered by that same law?
Title IX has done a lot of good for equality between the sexes, but true equality is equality for everyone. As the young man's case goes along, I hope it gets those who are deciding the case, and everyone else, thinking about how Title IX can be improved. I feel that Title IX can do more good in society breaking down stereotypes, not reinforcing them.