Roughly 70 very fit high school girls walk tiredly to the parking lot following the second of two daily conditioning sessions, known throughout as “two a days.” And though its approximately 102 degrees in the middle of August in Houston, all return the next day for more. This particular scene involves the sport of Field Hockey though no doubt, unlike forty years ago, other girls in other sports perform the same exercises around the country.
Before the passage of Title IX in 1972 which required schools and colleges receiving federal money to provide the same opportunities for girls as for boys, only 1 in 27 girls participated in organized sports. Today that number is 1 in 3. As with boys, sports inspires, motivates, and helps educate students to improve themselves and learn life lessons in a fun and competitive environment. Kids participating in sports are generally more fit and adaptable. Some experts even credit Title IX for the 40 percent increase in employment for 25-to-34-year-old women.
Today, many lay blame for our ills on the impact of generic “big government.” The issue however, isn’t big, or small, government (In this case size really doesn’t matter.) It’s a question of good versus bad, or to put another way, effective versus ineffective government. Frustration and anger at government is understandable but not as justification for movements aimed at dismembering institutions for the sake of personal satisfaction. That’s the easy road, but not the road to redemption.
Just like all the boys and girls sweating in the oppressive August heat, the harder work requires creating solutions to seemingly insurmountable problems. Mere rhetoric won’t work us into shape when we require intellectual muscle and leadership to overcome our unhealthy predicament.
Title IX is just one example of the positive impact of governmental policies. Let’s spend our time on demanding effective representation, regardless of size.