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50 Years Ago: 37 Words

Author note:I realized after I’d already written this post that I’m accomplishing a pretty big personal milestone today. This is my 50th blog. I think it’s pretty serendipitous that my 50th blog highlights 37 words that changed the course for so many as it pertains to sex-based discrimination, 50 years ago. The kismet of these coinciding numbers isn’t lost on me. It only reaffirms that the timing is right, right now. Happy reading.”


Completely unexpected as I hadn’t heard about it being advertised, I was channel surfing the other evening while watching TV, and stumbled upon the 4-part series, ’37 Words’ on ESPN. ’37 Words’ celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Law, Title IX. It marks the latest piece of programming in ESPN's month-long “Fifty/50” initiative to commemorate the landmark federal civil-rights law prohibiting sex-based discrimination in any educational institution that receives federal funding.

The ’37 Words’ series highlights current clashes to advance and keep in existence the 1972 law that forbids discrimination based on sex, including sexual orientation and gender identity. And WOW! It’s not only an inspirational series - it’s a TOTAL MUST WATCH. I watched three of the episodes, back to back!

The 37-word amendment called Title IX was passed by on June 23rd 1972, with regulations appearing two years later. Congress passed Title IX in response to the marked educational inequalities women faced prior to the 1970s. Title IX protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance. Title IX states,

“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.”

Title IX has provided access to educational opportunities for millions of students. It’s helped to ensure that not educational opportunity is denied to women on the basis of sex and that women are granted, “equal opportunity to aspire, achieve, participate in and contribute to society based on their individual talents and capacities.” (US v. Virginia 1996).

Title IX has been around for almost as long as I’ve been alive. It’s been riveting watching the series, and even more so, to gain better understanding about how Title IV has impacted human rights. Because yes, although it’s commonly used for women’s rights, Title IV is an initiative about human rights. It’s for all people, not just women. Title IX is about,

  • Pro-equality

  • Allyship

  • Positive change

  • The right to say, ‘This is my body. Stop telling me what I can or can’t do. Stop telling me that you don’t like it.’

But let’s get back to Title IX as it applies to women.

Not only did the Title IX law help to uncover the many harassments that are so commonly a part of women’s lives. Yes, even today. Title IX has provided the ability to identify and prevent sexual harassment and assault, to (hopefully) address it quickly and effectively.

People too, often only associate this law with sports. And while Title IX has definitely been a game changer for women’s sports and may even have received the most attention in the sports arena, it’s a civil rights law. This law has helped women of all ages who are encountering sexual harassment. It’s addressed the notion of what constitutes unacceptable and unlawful behaviors, and makes people and organizations liable.

It’s amazing to see what women have done, with support of course from allies, to impact change together. And while we can only hope to continually, always be moving forward... There’s still so much work to be done, because it’s far too easy to slip back into old ways.

In my mind, the Title IX Law is very prevalent to what’s occurring in our environment today regarding discrimination against women and the choices we can make, or lack thereof, regarding our own bodies.

In our society, it’s not uncommon for women to be conditioned, to be told to be grateful for what we have or get. Because it’s the status quo, always been done that way, or because we haven’t had the power to elicit appropriate change.

Stop that shit.

We need more women in leadership and positions of power.

We need more seats at the table.

Furthermore, we need to continue to carry the torch and make a difference for the next generation. We need to be role models in all shapes, sizes and forms, who may not necessarily look like what you or I do, but that don’t dissect based on gender or other biases. We need role models who are simply people, who show the rest of the world what’s possible.

We need this for all women.

We need this for all people. You already are. It’s time TO BE.♥️

P.S. Stay tuned for my next blog out next week about “When we compete and compare we can’t connect.”

I say that it’s time to be different. It’s time to talk about opportunities for women to be be better together. To have a unified voice and impact change.


⁉️Interested in learning how ‘female rivalry’ impacts the workplace? 🎉DOWNLOAD my FREE .pdf guide, ‘5 Reasons WHY Good Women Walk’ to learn more!


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