Should Title IX Apply to the Media?

Posted on March 17th, 2009 by Katherine Franke

Title IX, the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination by recipients of federal funds has had, among other things, a tremendous effect in equalizing the funding and status of women’s collegiate sports.  The Women’s NBA would not exist uconnwere it not for Title IX creating a pipeline of excellent collegiate female basketball players.  Many people, myself included, feel that women’s college basketball is much more fun to watch than men’s because the women do old fashioned things like pass the ball and play like a team, whereas the men’s game is all about individual ball hogging, dunking and general show-offery.

So I was more than usually annoyed at the New York Times’ Sports section NCAA Vanderbilt Maryland Basketballyesterday when it ran stories about the NCAA Basketball tournament draw – printing only the men’s bracket.  In past years they featured more prominently the men’s bracket, but covered the women’s bracket as well.  This year, they didn’t even bother to print the women’s draw.  Cost saving?  Probably.  Sexism?  Surely.

But this injury was horribly compounded when Rachel Maddow did the same thing last night with her (annoying, sorry) sidekick Kent Jones.  They finished off the hour with their usual fluffy banter, covering the men’s and not the women’s draw – each picking their favorites for the men’s final four.  Rachel Maddow too?  Oy – what has the world come to?  Should we amend Title IX to cover the media?  Seems we must.

So here it is and you can see it bigger here:


– Katherine Franke


  1. Here’s the Times’ URL for the men’s bracket:

    Here’s the Times’ URL for the women’s bracket:

    Pretty simple teaching example for the concept of treating ‘male’ as the default.

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