Title 9 and Those of Us Too Old

Working with younger women the subject of sports will sometimes come up. The question is “What sports did you play in High School?” My answer, like many women of my age group, is none. I was in High School before Title 9 became a law. Sports for girls were very limited. There was of course ballet and private dance classes, but none of the team sports.

Title 9 really influenced women in the late 1980’s when enough older Title 9 women recipients were able to become coaches. Now of course women sports in High School are plentiful. High School girls can participate on a team and learn first-hand the team player dynamics so much talked about in business. These girls understand all the sports analogies used in the world of business and in conversations. Those of us who did not have the privilege of Title 9 have had to translate these analogies, and learn the team player dynamics on our own.

Recently I read Sarah Palin’s book, ‘Going Rogue’. In it, she categorizes herself as a ‘jock’. She is a product of Title 9. In comparing Sarah to Secretary of State Clinton, Oprah, or the millions of us who never had the opportunity to even think of ourselves as a jock, I wonder.

I wonder what our lives would be if we had the opportunity to huddle with our peers and put our right hands together and chant “Be the Best You Can Be”?

 I know there are traumas that haunt people from high school sports 40 years later of the missed shot, the strike-out, or the fumble. I know there are the traumas of people hating sports but forced to play because that was expected.  All I am musing is, I wonder?


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