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“And the Crooked Places Made Straight,” Luke, Chapter 3, Verse 5

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “The arc of the moral universe is

long, but it bends toward justice.” The reforms of Progressivism at the

beginning of the 20th century, Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and

Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society are evidence of this reality.

Today, the pages of every newspaper’s sports section in the

country, especially The Joplin Globe, herald the good news. Young

women today participate in middle school, high school and college

sports. If a college accepts federal funding, it must provide funding for

women’s athletics in kind.

Prior toe 1972, according to academic Barbara Winslow, “Young

women were not admitted into many colleges and universities, athletic

scholarships for women were rare, and math and science was a realm

reserved for boys. Girls square danced instead of playing sports, studied

home economics instead of training for “male-oriented” (read: higher-

paying) trades. Girls could become teachers and nurses, but not doctors

or principals; women rarely were awarded tenure and even more rarely

appointed college presidents. There was no such thing as sexual

harassment because “boys will be boys,” after all, and if a student got

pregnant, her formal education ended. Graduate professional schools

openly discriminated against women.” Prior to Title IX, college co-eds

pursued the most popular degree available to them: the MRS. degree.

What changed ? The answer, Second Wave Feminism. The female

grandchildren of grandmothers who had campaigned for the Nineteenth

Amendment began to take to the streets and demand change.

In the winter of 1963, a housewife and mother__though she

worked professionally as a copy editor and writer__Betty Friedan

authored a book she titled The Feminine Mystique. She described

something she called “the problem that has no name,” explaining some

women, herself included, had begun to believe they were mentally ill.

Instead, Friedan analyzed the problem concluding women lived

unfulfilled lives which contributed to mental anguish leading to low self-


Meanwhile, President Lyndon Baines Johnson addressed

workplace discrimination in his Civil Rights Act of 1964. This one of the

hallmarks of his Great Society, it addressed race, color, religion or