No one would hire her. So she wrote Title IX and changed the history of millions of women. Meet Education Pioneer Patsy Mink – The 74

March is National Women’s History Month. In recognition, The 74 is sharing stories of remarkable women who transformed American education.

Sshe applied to a dozen medical schools, but she was denied admission because she was a woman. Instead, she earned a law degree, but companies refused to hire her because she had a daughter and employers said she couldn’t work long hours. So she became a politician and wrote legislation that changed gender politics, breaking down barriers to educational opportunities for millions of women.

“I didn’t start out wanting to be in politics,” Patsy Takemoto Mink once said. told a reporter. “Not being able to get a job from anyone changed things.”

And Mink changed a lot of things. The first woman of color elected to Congress, she co-authored Title IX, which mandated equal treatment for women and men in education. After 45 years, the law has led to spectacular progress: now 11.5 million women attend university, compared to 8.9 million men. Before Title IX, only 300,000 girls nationwide participated in high school sports each year, compared to 3.5 million what do they do today The fields of medicine and law that first excluded Mink are now about equal in enrollment of male and female students.

No one would hire her. So she wrote Title IX and changed the history of millions of women. Meet Education Pioneer Patsy Mink – The 74 Men vs Women Bachelors

“She changed the course of history, and how many people can we say that about?” said Representative Rosa DeLauro after Mink’s death in 2002.

Mink served 13 sessions in the House of Representatives as a congressman from Hawaii, first from 1965 to 1977 and then from 1990 until his death at age 74. In between, after an unsuccessful run for the Senate, he worked for the Carter administration, ran for US president in the Oregon primary, worked for a liberal political lobbying organization, and served on the City Council of Honolulu. He returned to Congress in 1990.

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After her success with Title IX, she helped pass the Women’s Educational Equity Act in 1974, which provided funding to prevent discrimination in educational programs. For example, schools could use the money to replace stereotyped textbooks that push men toward careers in medicine and engineering while encouraging women to stay at home.

No one would hire her. So she wrote Title IX and changed the history of millions of women. Meet Education Pioneer Patsy Mink – The 74 Men vs Women Sports participation

“As long as some part of our society subscribes to a sexist notion that men should do certain things and women should do certain things and then begins to instill these certain notions in our babies through curriculum development and so on, then we will never be able to get rid of the root causes of sex discrimination,” Mink said in an interview in 1974.

He also supported legislation on bilingual education, child care, student loans, and support for students with disabilities.

For many, Mink’s life was an example of how to kick in doors, no matter how many times they slammed in their faces. When Honolulu law firms refused to hire her because she was her mother, she started her own private practice and accepted a fish as payment for her first case. A newcomer to politics, she won her first race for a Hawaiian territorial House seat by walking through neighborhoods, knocking on doors and talking to constituents, a rare tactic for 1956. Even after Title IX was signed into law, Mink had to fight subsequent bills that tried to undermine it in the areas to which it applied, such as athletics.

Nor was it easy being an Asian-American female politician. When Mink first arrived in Washington, the press called her “tiny” and “exotic.” She and her female colleagues were banned from House facilities, such as the gym, or dismissed with comments about the “raging hormonal imbalance[s].” She was accused of neglecting her son because of her career.

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But as people soon learned, Mink fought back.

No one would hire her. So she wrote Title IX and changed the history of millions of women. Meet Education Pioneer Patsy Mink – The 74 patsy mink poster
Source: Library of Congress

“I think that’s the most offensive question ever asked,” she said calmly, after a reporter asked her how she balanced being a married congresswoman. “I’ve never heard anyone ask a man, ‘How’s your family been?’ ”

When President George HW Bush vetoed the Civil Rights Act in 1990, she harshly criticized him, saying he had gone back on his campaign promise. She called on voters to judge him on this vote, which was “an affront to all of us, men and women, in the workplace.” she said.

And for all the progress Title IX had made, Mink was quick to recognize when he returned to Congress in 1990 that there was still a lot of work to be done to achieve equality.

“I’ve been out of Congress for about 14 years, and I’m surprised to find that in the first month of my return here… we’re still debating the question of what equality really means in this country.” she said.

That reality isn’t too far off from what women face today, advocates said. “Although women now supposedly have equal access to educational opportunities, they still earn less than men, regardless of their educational level, and women actually have to earn a Ph.D. — basically the highest degree possible in academia — to match the lifetime earnings of men who have bachelor’s degrees,” said Lenora Lapidus, director of the ACLU’s Women’s Rights Project.

Still, for women looking to rise to positions of power overwhelmingly held by men, Mink is an icon. Mazie Hirono, now a US Senator, remembered how Mink encouraged her as a young politician, and when Hirono was first elected to the House of Representatives, she cast her first vote for Nancy Pelosi for president. Hirono dedicated her vote to Mink, an announcement that made Pelosi turn in her chair and smile: Mink had told Pelosi that she would one day become a speaker. And Pelosi did, the first woman to head the US House of Representatives.

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“No matter how many times she was excluded from traditionally masculine spheres, this did not stop Patsy, inspiring me and many others along the way through her perseverance and risk-taking,” Hirono wrote in an essay for political.

Title IX was eventually renamed the Patsy Mink Equal Educational Opportunity Act, and in 2014, President Barack Obama posthumously awarded Mink, his former congressman, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. .

“All the little league girls, all the women who play varsity sports, and all the parents, including Michelle and myself, who watch their daughter on the field or in the classroom, we will be forever grateful to the late Patsy Takemoto Mink. ”. he said. “Patsy was a passionate advocate for opportunity and equality and for realizing the full promise of the American Dream.”


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