The days of forcing girls to take home economics, while boys take shop, are long gone.
But, in 2017, sexism is alive and well in classrooms all across the country. Today in America, girls are kept from walking at graduation because they’re pregnant, punished for wearing tank-tops, harassed for using bathrooms consistent with their gender identity, raped by classmates at alarmingly high rates, and subjected to physical violence by school resource officers for alleged “attitude” violations.
This continuing reality of gender inequality in schools in 2017 is what makes Title IX so important to all of us over here at Feministing. Title IX is the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in educational programs and activities that receive federal funding. It’s the law that’s allowed lots of us to grow up playing sports. It’s kept others of us from dropping out of school after being raped or abused. And, in a country without a formal federal constitutional right to education, it’s about the closest thing we’ve got to a federal guarantee of educational access and equality.
This week, Title IX turns 45. We need it now more than ever.
Plenty of us know that Title IX requires parity in girls’ and boys’ athletics, but it does so much more. One of the single biggest barriers to fulfilling Title IX’s promise of equality in education is that girls and other students don’t realize it protects them. So today, in honor of Title IX’s big birthday, do the young people you love a solid and send them this post about their rights in school.
Who Title IX Protects
Title IX protects students at any educational level, from kindergarten to graduate school, who attend schools that receive federal funding. That means any public school, plus nearly every private college and university, as well as plenty of private K-12 schools that receive federal moneys through the federal lunch program and others like it. It protects girls, as well as students who don’t conform to traditional gender stereotypes. And it protects faculty and staff, too.
What Title IX Does
Title IX does a lot. Here are five examples.
1. Forbids schools from discriminating against pregnant and parenting students. It’s illegal for schools that receive federal dollars to kick a student who becomes pregnant out of the honors society, or to force her into a “special” (read: less rigorous) high school. But it happens all. the. time. Learn more about pregnant and parenting students’ rights from the National Women’s Law Center.
2. Prohibits discriminatory dress codes. Not a day goes by that we don’t hear about another school punishing a girl for shorts that fail to meet the “fingertips” test, outfits considered “distracting” to the boys, or a hairstyle that’s deemed “too messy.” Black and gender non-conforming girls often bear the brunt of these sexist — and racist — dress codes. And the sanctions that accompany them leave girls feeling humiliated and stigmatized, and forced to miss out on school. It’s all probably illegal — and on the cutting edge of Title IX (and Title VI) litigation today. Learn more from the ACLU here.
3. Requires schools to take action to stop anti-LGBT bullying and harassment. Under Title IX, schools must take action to protect students from harassment based on gender stereotyping. And, no matter what the Trump Administration says to the contrary, Title IX protects transgender and gender non-conforming students.
4. Protects student survivors of sexual violence and other forms of gender-based violence. Schools must take steps to prevent and respond to gender violence and harassment. Student survivors are entitled to the academic, housing, and other accommodations they need in order to stay in school and learn. Learn more from Know Your IX — and remember, Title IX protects K-12 sexual violence victims, too.
5. Requires parity in boys’ and girls’ athletics. Research shows that girls who play sports in high school are more likely than non-athletes to graduate and earn 7% higher wages as adults. Learn more from our friends at Legal Aid at Work.
What You Can Do
Spread the word! Students can’t stand up for their rights if they don’t know they have them to begin with. And if you think your school is violating girls’ rights, speak up. Write about it in your local newspaper. Organize your peers. Launch an activist campaign. Persist.
The home in London is for sale via The Modern House and I loooooooove it. So much fun with some really amazing wallpapers and fabric-covered walls by Pierre Frey, Cole & Sons, Timorous Beasties, House of Hackney and X and gorgeous tile by Bisazza and Emery & Cie. A total gem with lots of personality. (Remodelled by Paul Archer Design)
On Sunday, June 18, near the end of the holy month of Ramadan, Nabra Hassanen was brutally murdered.
She was 17 years old, black, and wore a headscarf. She was bludgeoned with a baseball bat by 22-year-old Darwin Martinez Torres, who then kidnapped her in his car, killed her, and dumped her body in a pond.
According to the Fairfax County Police Department, Nabra and her large group of friends were walking back from a fast food restaurant to the mosque at about 3:40 A.M., prior to the start of the day’s fast. Torres “came upon the teens while he was driving,” and quarreled with a teenage boy on a bike. He then caught up with the group in a nearby parking lot, got out of his car with a baseball bat, and began to chase as the teens ran. Torres was able to catch Nabra, who fell behind.
Nabra was female, black, and visibly Muslim. She and the girls in her group were dressed in long abayas and headscarves. Yet the police department released a statement the day after, saying that they had not found any evidence to consider this a hate crime:
“There is nothing to indicate at this point this tragic case was a hate crime. No evidence has been uncovered that shows this murder was motivated by race or religion. It appears the suspect became so enraged over the traffic dispute it escalated into deadly violence…”
Police Chief Edwin Roessler Jr. said police have “absolutely no evidence” that her killing was motivated by hate.
Responses on Twitter to the police department’s characterization of Nabra’s murder as a “road rage” incident were varied. Most of them were angry.
When did walking become a road rage incident? Stop silencing hate crimes – you’re only contributing to them by blatantly lying. — Nanditha (@nandithanr) June 20, 2017
“Torres then took Nabra with him in his car to a second location nearby in Loudoun County”. It was road rage up until he ABDUCTED her. — smolly (@MMMollyAnn) June 19, 2017
Just like the murder of the 3 young Muslims in Chapel Hill NC 2 yrs ago over a parking space. Bullshit! Say it- Hate crime! — val (@Shanti1) June 20, 2017
Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council of American-Islamic Relations, told CNN, “[T]here are not always overt statements of bias made during the crime. But we firmly believe that many of these crimes would not have occurred at all if the victims were not perceived as being Muslim.”
* * *
In February 2015, three young Muslims were killed in North Carolina. Deah Barakat and Yusor Abu-Salha were newly married, and Yusor’s younger sister Razan often came over to stay with the couple at their home. The two women both observed hijab.
Craig Hicks, a neighbor, harassed them continuously in the weeks leading up to the killings. Yusor’s father later said she had told him, “Daddy, I think it is because of the way we look and the way we dress.”
On the day of the murders, Hicks sprayed Deah with bullets, shot the sisters execution-style in the head, and shot Deah once more before he left. The Chapel Hill Police Department stated that the crime was motivated by “an ongoing neighbor dispute over parking.”
* * *
I am a young Muslim woman, and I wear hijab. I live in New York City, among people from every conceivable walk of life; but I harbor no illusion that my identities do not make me more vulnerable to attack.
I pin my headscarf tightly, so that it can’t easily be ripped off.
I throw in a few words of English when I speak Arabic, so that I am not kicked off a plane.
Muslims are increasingly likely to be targeted by hate crimes, with the latest FBI hate crime statistics showing an increase of 67% between 2014 and 2015. More recently, the Council on American-Islamic Relations has reported a sharp acceleration in Islamophobic incidents after Trump’s November election.
But Muslim women in particular – who can often be more easily identified by their clothing – are even more recognizable targets. Their very presence in public spaces, as both women and visibly Muslim people, places them at a doubly heightened risk of discrimination and violence. In Nabra’s case, she faced a risk that was triply heightened: she was also black.
On May 26, a man killed two people and injured a third on a train in Portland, after they confronted him for shouting racist and anti-Muslim slurs at two teenage girls. One of the girls was black. The other was Muslim, and wore a hijab.
* * *
In the early morning of June 21, a 24-year-old man reportedly set Nabra’s memorial on fire. He was arrested and charged with “attending or kindling bonfires.” Sergeant Anna Rose explained, “[T]he memorial did not appear to be specifically targeted.”
The police report did not list hate bias as a possible motivation.
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Also, was trying to watch Star Trek Beyond and why is Kirk so fucking TERRIBLE at negotiation? Is he or is he not supposed to have been tops in all his subjects? So why was he so sarcastic and impatient and lacking in empathy? Why was the entire negotiation scene played for jokes? Star Trek is SUPPOSED to be about diplomacy as well as fighting, these motherfuckers can only focus on action? Frankly I wouldn't want to live anywhere near the Federation, they are clearly the same shitheads that militaries today are. Which was not quite the intention of the original. This medicore ass, fratboy ass white imperialistic ass fuckwittery tho. Its so frustrating when the fanfic IS SO MUCH BETTER than the shit these so called professionals GET PAID FOR.
Finally watching Cowboy Bebop. SO GOOD. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the architecture of the world, the gates are BADASS and the diversity of the characters?! There are darskinned folk up in there! And I love the fact that they are having adventures but it aint about war. I am so SICK of war. I feel like describing war as action adventure is erasure. War isn't adventure. Not by a long shot.
One thing about it that I didnt like was the story line about terrorist environmentalists. Made me annoyed because I feel like I keep seeing movies in which environmentalists are set up as cuckoo terrorists who go too far. Considering teh fact that coporations and their captive govts are responsible for the current destruction of the planet for human habitation ... says a lot about the ideologies of the ruling class. More environmentalists as heroes I say. And more corporations as the destructive moneygrubbing villians that they are. Speaking of, I need several articles that look into the specifics of corporate welfare. The drumbeat of lazy mooching poor continues unabated while corporations make billions more than in tax dollars the poor ever manage to but have their misdeeds cozily hidden by our fourth estate. Then again corporations own the fourth estate. Apparently folk are going to have to learn up close and personal AGAIN that monopolies are bad for us. Hoo-fucking-ray.
I would like to seee a movie in which a James Bond type or platoon of them come in to fuck up a government in a POC majority country and the heroes are the security forces of said countries who repel the invaders and embarass the shit out of the colonizing country. Actually I would like to see several movies about this.
I need to write more. I am brimming with ideas but the resilency to sit down and write is lacking. Because I keep getting hung up on the fact that what sounds great in my head doesnt come out as such on paper. *sigh*
Anyway, I'm still reading Ninefox Gambit and enjoying it a lot. My health is better. Not "healthy person" better, but definitely better than it's been in say, two years. I'm going to London soon, which is so, so exciting.
The thesis has been... awful, but awful in the usual academic-grind sort of way.
This morning my maternal grandmother's youngest sister died. I couldn't make it to the funeral, but weekend plans (mostly thesis plans) will have to be altered to go grieve with family. Her granddaughter just got married a few weeks ago.
I'm sad, even though I didn't spend a lot of time with her in recent years, since my grandparents died and we stopped celebrating their birthdays and anniversaries as big family events.
My grandmother was 12 when she and her sisters and her mom and her grandma and two of her female cousins were all living in a Nazi concentration camp. This sister, the youngest, remembers that time the least, but she was old enough then to help with the missions, where their mom would send them out in pairs to try and escape the camp illegally and get food and supplies in the nearby village.
Every outing meant risk of capture and death, so the girls always went in pairs with a cousin, not a sister. My great-grandmother wanted to ensure that she could never be blamed for putting her own children ahead of her nieces.
Anyway, it's a sad day. My own grandmother in New York just got out of a 3 month stay at the hospital, and I'm grappling with the fact that it's very likely I'll never see her again.
The sun is shining, and there are flowers outside, and I still have a bed and a kitchen and a closet that are entirely my own. I suppose that's something.