By Julie Murray, Margaret Fund Fellow, National Women's Law Center
Around the country today, bloggers are clacking at their keyboards, writing about the impact that playing sports had on their lives. Their collective efforts are part of the Blog to Rally for Girls' Sports Day, organized by the National Women's Law Center.
As the stories add up, they form a powerful narrative about the life of Title IX, the federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in educational programs, including athletics. Nearly all of us now know women and girls who had the chance to play sports and relished it. And we know that when asked, women often credit the chance to compete with shaping their physical, social, and even professional development.
Nevertheless, many people still routinely argue that girls just don't want to play sports, so schools shouldn't be penalized for athletic programs in which they receive fewer opportunities to play than boys. The National Women's Law Center heard this argument repeatedly just last month when it filed administrative complaints with the U.S. Department of Education against 12 school districts around the country for violations of Title IX's requirement to offer equal athletic opportunities to high school girls and boys.