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‘A Hero for Daisy’

Title IX revisited in new film

Katherine H. Allen
STAFF REPORTER

Despite the prevalence of female athletics today, women’s participation in intercollegiate sports, is largely a phenomenon of the last quarter of the 20th century. Since the adoption of Title IX legislation in 1972, women’s participation in intercollegiate sports has more than tripled. However, not all of these new athletes were well-received in their communities.

At many universities, and here at MIT, athletic discrimination was (and sometimes still is) a significant problem. The struggle to create and maintain women’s sports programs involved lawsuits, protests, and many groundbreaking student athletes who were willing to endure the negative publicity and mental anguish of fighting for equal treatment.

One of the most dramatic of these battles involved the women’s crew team at Yale. The women, including twice-Olympian Chris Ernst, stormed the Yale athletic director’s office in 1976 and stripped off their clothes to protest a lack of locker room and shower facilities revealing “Title IX” written on their backs. A New York Times reporter was in the office at the time, so the story was covered by major news outlets across the country.

“A Hero For Daisy,” a documentary about the Yale women;s crew protest, is screening Wednesday, February 2 at 7:30 p.m. in E15-070. After the film there will be a panel discussion of MIT Athlete Alums and Faculty, including Professor Sheila Widnall ’60 and Cady Coleman ’85 about the evolution of women’s sports at MIT.

The event is co-sponsored by the MIT Program in Women’s Studies, the MIT Athletic Department, the Webster-Mauze Fund in the Provost’s Office, and the Dean of Student Life. More information on the film is available at <http://www.aherofordaisy.com/daisy.html>