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When you turn on the TV and look for a sports game to watch, there is much to choose from. You can choose women's basketball or men's basketball, softball or baseball, men's soccer or women's soccer. Usually the men choose to watch the men sports and the women choose to watch the women sports.

However there was a time when there wasn't women sports figures like Venus Williams or Mia Hamm that young girls looked up to. There wasn't even much competitive sports. The physical activity that girls participated in was cheerleading and square dancing! Talk about humiliating! Only 1 in 27 girls participated in sports.
That all began to change in 1972 when Title IX was passed. Title IX stated that,
"No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance..."

In other words, Title IX was the beginning of women's sports. But not only the beginning of women athletics, it also stated that men and women sports should be equal.

Part of the problem with men and women sports was that women was not rewarded for their achievement. Billie Jean King is know for her "battle of the sexes" competition with men's tennis star, Bobby Riggs. Proving that girls CAN do anything just as well as men can, Kings beat Riggs and was awarded 100,000 dollars. Quoting Larry Schwartz for ESPN, "She was instrumental in making it acceptable for American women to exert themselves in pursuits other than childbirth."
Also stated in the article, Neil Amdur wrote in The New York Times,"Most important perhaps for women everywhere, she convinced skeptics that a female athlete can survive pressure-filled situations and that men are as susceptible to nerves as women."

King knew that she wanted to stand up for women's equality ever since she was young. She made it clear that she was going to work on this goal until it was achieved. She said, "In the '70s we had to make it acceptable for people to accept girls and women as athletes," she said. "We had to make it OK for them to be active. Those were much scarier times for females in sports."

The song "Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better" is about a man and a women trying to out due each other. Though they do not mention sports, there is still that competition to which gender is better.

So next time you turn on the TV and watch Serena Williams win a match or girls, next time you play in a sport, remember that it is all thanks to TItle IX and for those who helped make equality exist.


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