'Let Me Play' author describes role of sport in women's movement

Mar 11, 2015

March is women’s history month. The two laws on the books pertaining to women in particular are the 19th amendment, giving women the right to vote, and Title IX, an educational law that gives women equal opportunities and facilities, not just in sports but in all area of education, from the beginning in school all the way up the ladder to doctoral school.

Karen Blumenthal spoke as part of the Texas A&M University-Commerce library series on women’s history month. Andrea Weddle is the committee chair that was in charge of bringing in Blumenthal. This was seen as a relative topic for the school because of the new softball team.

For future events and speakers, the goal is “To draw as big of a crowd, like today. The conference room was filled,” Weddle said.

“Girls need to understand the women’s movement,” and what it was like for women in the United States before Title IX, Blumenthal said.  

Her inspiration for “Let Me Play: The Story of Title IX: The Law That Changed the Future of Girls in America” came from her daughter during the 30 year anniversary. “Her school did a presentation over Title XI, she came home and said, ‘did you know that Title IX is about education.’”

Blumenthal did not. An avid sports fan, she was like many other native Texans and saw it as involving only sports.

As she gathered information, she saw there was no clear history over this law that was passed in 1972. “The history was combined with the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment) and the civil rights act that was seeing a lot of heat at the time,” Blumenthal said.

Sophomore Seth Fernandez sees future Title IX “encompassing all of the different things we label ourselves, such as bi, transgendered, Islamic, et cetera, being applied to a lot more.”

Blumenthal hopes the stigmas for male and female jobs can disappear.

“It needs to be no big deal for women to teach men and men to teach women,” Blumenthal said. She hopes for “True equal opportunities.”