Site Content Area:Title IX, Gender Equity in Athletics and Sports, Physical Education, Health, Health-related, Kinesiology, Fitness
One of our local girls’ softball teams is in the midst of a gender equity battle along the lines of a Title IX violation at the moment, which inspired me to find a website to review that fits this subject matter. How many times have we seen girls lose facilities, have the same uniforms for a decade or more, not have proper equipment, or get the bottom of the barrel for gym time, etc.? In this day and age, one would think that these things don’t go on, but the sad truth is, they do and in some places it is rampant. This chaps my hide to no end, so off I went on a journey of discovery and stumbled onto this site. At first glance, the name seems a tad overbearing, but do give it a chance! Once you check out the site, you will see that the section on girls and sports is quite good.
The Feminist Majority Foundation is dedicated to equal rights, works to empower both genders, uses research to support these rights, and works with various programs and legislation to bring forth important issues. “Equality around the world” is their motto~very fitting. For a more detailed description of what this foundation does, please review their mission and principles page.
Although this site does have multiple sections, this review will only focus on the girls and sports section.
There is top navigation which includes Home, Games, About Us, Links, Students, Teachers, and Store. The left side has a list of games by the body system and by the type. The right side has advertising, again, not the best for an educational site, but I suppose that is what we have to put up with now-a-days to get sites up and running. I noticed that there are several games listed under the game type list, but they are not listed in the particular section they belong to, in that section’s navigation.
The site is very pleasing to the eye with many background colors, sections, highlights, images, and an awesome banner with female athletes. There is a fly-out navigation system on the top, along with various links on the page itself. The top right corner has a place to search for jobs by electing to sign-up for this program. The right-hand column has links to their sister sites, information about political policies, and a Google search box for the site.
Features of the Site:
The section this review is concentrating on is titled Gender Equity in Athletics and Sports. There are five (5) topics, with a brief summary, and link to a more detailed description and information (regarding that particular topic).
The first topic, Commission on Opportunity in Athletics, gives the reader a little background about what this commission’s objective, which is to review Title IX and recommend changes in its enforcement. This foundation went on to give the facts surrounding this commission’s recommendations to weaken Title Ix, but that these were rejected by the Department of Education. There are some statistics that may surprise some of you; kudos given to two committee members who opposed the recommendations; and the Foundation’s actions in this matter.
Although the content is brief, it does give enough information to understand the situation, know the key players, and give ideas about what one could do to get involved or do more research. This could be a good starting place for teachers and students who want to learn more and begin a project on this topic.
Interesting Facts about Athletics, Sports, and Title IX is definitely interesting! The statistics recorded here are easy to read and understand, as the Foundation did a good job putting them in laypersons’ language, with numbers one can actually understand. It lists a few health benefits of athletics for girls and women as well as educational-related facts. At the bottom of the page there are links to other worthy organizations. I really appreciate the m listing their sources, a great way to follow-up on the facts and statistics.
Title IX Background and Continuing Challenges does a brief recap of the major dates in relation to Title IX. It is a quick read, reminding the reader of how far we have come, yet how far we still need to go in this issue. It indicates a few court cases and Acts, which have been instrumental in pushing this issue forward. These have external links to the actual cases and laws. Since I am a beneficiary of Title IX, it never crossed my mind that there was a time that, although the law was in place, few to no cases were filed, and the ones that were filed, no action was taken. I have taken it for granted that if I were on the winning side of a Title IX suit I would be compensated financially as well as the opposing party forced to comply. There was a time that if one won, no compensation was received, and enforcement was not followed-through. I do not remember if I ever knew that educational institutions are required to disclose funding and participation rates, but glad that this piece is part of this law.
Taking the Law Into Our Own Handshas some great information regarding several key lawsuits, including what is known as “whistle-blowers” protection. This is probably one of the more important aspects of Title IX; now folks who bring suits against programs, or who expose discrimination have protection under the law. There are many links to various other topics, how to get involved, how to take action, resources, and a link to sign-up to receive updates on this issue. After surfing this page, I found myself wandering all over, clicking links, then clicking more links, and well, you know the drill. Do expect to find more resources here then imaginable. Check It Out: Is the Playing Field Level for Women and Girls at Your School? Is a wonderful resource to help determine if your school is in compliance, along with listing some excellent contacts.
Sports & the Disabled: lays out the challenges for female athletes who are also disabled; statistics; the media; being disabled at school and its implications; and information on competition for the disabled female athlete.
Empowering Women in Sports link takes you to a new page with a brief description about what is contained within the publication and a link to the report. The publication is Empowering Women in Sports, The Empowering Women Series, No. 4; A Publication of the Feminist Majority Foundation, 1995
TheWomen in the Olympics page has facts about the biases against women in amateur sports, including the Olympics. It blew my mind that there is lack of compliance with the Amateur Sports Act, passed in 1978, at this level. The number of women holding positions within the various committees is astoundingly low (look for the links to these committees’ websites). Although this page had information about the Dead Sea Plan of Action, it calls for gender equality in national teams, leadership and technicians, and encourages female sports reporters to actively cover events, I would have liked to see a more thorough description or at least a link to the document. The cultural and religious reasons link will take you to another page with a positive story about the first female athlete from a repressed country, worth the read.
This is an excellent site to start learning more about Title IX and gender equity in sports. Each section gives the reader just enough information to be able to understand the issues, as well as peaking the reader’s interest, which encourages you to seek further information and resources. It is a great starting place for teachers, students, and parents. Educators can utilize this site to teach students about Title IX and gender equity in sports, assist with informing parents, administration, and school boards about these laws, as a springboard for student projects, and a resource for fighting the good fight. Regardless of your take on this subject, this site is well put together and the perfect place to come for guidance. As always, happy surfing!=)