Thursday, April 17
Burk praises Title IX in speech
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Women's activist Martha Burk, three days
removed from a fizzled protest at the Masters, supported increased
enforcement of Title IX at a forum Wednesday night in Kansas City.
Burk, chair of the National Council of Women's Organizations,
made repeated references to the weekend protest outside Augusta
National Golf Club in a 15-minute speech at Union Station.
The protest against the club's lack of a female member attracted
only about 50 people and was relegated to a field a half-mile from
the golf course's entrance.
On Wednesday, Burk spoke about women's equality in general,
making references to unequal pay for women and infrequent
endorsement opportunities for WNBA players as compared to their
Burk also praised Title IX, saying it opened the door to
professional sports leagues and opportunities for women.
"We have taught girls that they can do anything that they want
to do, but we have not taught the boys that girls can do anything
they want to do,'' Burk said. "That is why we're still not in the
board room and we're still not at the top. We should not have to
prove why we should be there.''
An audience of about 100 people -- mostly women -- attended the
forum, held in conjunction with an exhibit of 139 photographs
titled "Game Face: What Does a Female Athlete Look Like?'' on
display at Union Station.
Burk said she considered Title IX a success, but said the law
needs to be enforced more.
"We've created opportunity where literally there was none
before,'' Burk said. "It has taken 30 years now to get women and
girls up to where they are. We're still not even with boys, but
we've come a long way.''
Burk also continued her assault on Augusta, the highly exclusive
all-male golf club.
A list of the chief executives of major corporations who are
members at Augusta was distributed at the forum. Burk has
identified the executives as a target, denouncing them for taking
money women spend and using it to support a club that does not
allow female members.
Burk said the club's exclusion of women can be reflected by the
executives and their corporations discriminating against women.
"It's not just about golf,'' Burk said.
Aside from Burk's speech, the night was centered entirely on
Athena Yiamouyiannis, executive director of the National
Association for Girls and Women in Sports, said the 1972
legislation "is under attack.''
Yiamouyiannis said Title IX often is blamed for eliminating
men's university sports programs when it is not truly the culprit.
Yiamouyiannis said many large universities have cut men's programs,
such as swimming or wrestling, and then spent lavishly on football
She said the costs of football and basketball coaches' salaries
and facilities improvements could be used to support other
Yiamouyiannis said many small men's programs choose to attack
Title IX, instead of the football and basketball programs that
receive large amounts of money.