On March 8, 2010, President Barack Obama stated, I didn’t run for President so that the dreams of our daughters could be deferred or denied. I didn’t run for President to see inequality and injustice persist in our time. I ran for President to put the same rights, the same opportunities, and the same dreams within reach for our daughters and our sons alike. I ran for President to put the American Dream within the reach of all of our people, no matter what their gender, or race, or faith, or station. With the President’s unwavering support for gender equality, one would assume that the United States’ government would be taking proactive and protective measures to eliminate the number of discrimination cases and incidences that continue to plague our society. Despite the fact that women face an array of obstacles in today’s culture, the source of these hurdles is often rooted in the notion of parity. Whether it is in the private or public domain, women have been pressing for equality and working towards eradicating gender stereotypes through governmental channels for centuries and despite immense strides, inequalities still plague our nation.
Even though both men and women have benefited from the implementation of Title IX and despite the fact that the law clearly states that its purpose is to promote fairness and equality, cases of inequity and discrimination are still emerging from the athletic realm. Although we live in an age where some people would agree that women have made tremendous strides towards social, political, economic equivalence, there is still much room for improvement and change. Within the context of intercollegiate sports, while the number of women and women participating in athletic programs and the number of teams at institutions have consistently trended upwards, why are there increases in the number of discrimination cases filed with the Office of Civil Rights?
 Barack Obama. “Obama Administration Record for Women and Girls,” White House, 2012, http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/womens_record.pdf, 1.
Athleticism is one of the main components of my personal identity. I consider myself to be pretty athletic and very competitive when it comes to sports. I grew up playing three sports (water polo, swimming, and softball) and succeeded in all three. Over the past three summers I have been a beach lifeguard in Corolla, NC where I have participated in big lifeguarding competitions and placed in multiple events in the South Atlantic Region. At Bucknell, I am a co-captain of the women’s water polo team (where we just went 4-1 this past weekend!) and have started all four years. Sports have consumed and play an important component of my life.
From my personal experience, I still see a large part of American society being sexist towards women’s athletics. For example, during high school gym class, we would play all sorts of co-ed sports including softball, basketball, handball, volleyball, and tennis. When it came time to the team sports, I would always become very frustrated. During handball for example, the boys would never pass me the ball even when I was wide open, in a scoring position, and calling for the ball. It was discouraging and frustrating and I ended up just walking back and forth on the court since there was no hope for me to get to participate. I have not only experienced this discrimination on the field but also by the attendance to female sporting events versus men. The men’s water polo team here at Bucknell will have the stands packed during their home games while the women’s team will have maybe a quarter of the attendance (mostly family). Continue reading