cover image 37 Words: Title IX and Fifty Years of Fighting Sex Discrimination

37 Words: Title IX and Fifty Years of Fighting Sex Discrimination

Sherry Boschert. New Press, $29.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-62097-583-1

Journalist Boschert (Plug in Hybrids) chronicles in this inspiring history how Title IX, which bans sex discrimination in federally funded education, has evolved from its passage in 1972 to the present day. Noting that the law was initially designed to address gaps in the 1963 Equal Pay Act and the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Boschert focuses on three key women who helped shape Title IX. University of Maryland doctoral candidate Bernice Resnick Sandler came up with the idea of using universities’ federal contracts to file class action complaints demanding fairness in hiring and admissions. Yale University student Pamela Price was one of the plaintiffs in 1977’s Alexander v. Yale, which established that sexual harassment was a form of sex discrimination. Diane Milutinovich, an athletics administrator at CSU Fresno, used Title IX in the 1990s to insist on equal resources for men’s and women’s sports. Throughout, Boschert emphasizes that protection under the law is not automatic but relies on pressure from government officials and outside activists; stresses the importance of Title IX in addressing inequities that are grounded in both race and gender; and highlights the persistence and optimism of the educators, lawyers, students, and athletes she profiles. Readers will take heart in this story of hard won progress in the fight for equality. (Apr.)