PATSY MINK / by Molly Schiot

Patsy Mink was one of the principal authors of the Education Amendments of 1972, largely referred to as Title IX.  As the first Asian American woman and woman of color to serve on the United States Congress, she battled gender discrimination and racism from the very start. The native Hawaiian played basketball for Maui High School, but was never allowed to play full court because the school believed that it would be too arduous for girls. After her college years at the University of Hawaii, Mink applied to medical school but received twelve rejections due to what she believed to be gender discrimination. She and Edith Green, a fellow congresswoman from Oregon, were given the chance to help other women pursue their dreams without gender discrimination, and they took it. It wasn't a walk in the park, however. Title IX was highly controversial, and although some supported the law, others thought it would be too dangerous—"forcing" schools to accept women would ruin American education, some felt. However, there have been many times in the last forty years when it has been challenged. People have tried to change the law or abolish it completely. Title IX has gone back to Congress many more times than most other laws—24 times by 2007. Although Title IX is safe for now, “[w]e all need to be reminded that since Title IX was put in place by a legislative body, it can be taken away by a legislative body," Mink said.

Patsy Mink was one of the principal authors of the Education Amendments of 1972, largely referred to as Title IX.  As the first Asian American woman and woman of color to serve on the United States Congress, she battled gender discrimination and racism from the very start. The native Hawaiian played basketball for Maui High School, but was never allowed to play full court because the school believed that it would be too arduous for girls. After her college years at the University of Hawaii, Mink applied to medical school but received twelve rejections due to what she believed to be gender discrimination. She and Edith Green, a fellow congresswoman from Oregon, were given the chance to help other women pursue their dreams without gender discrimination, and they took it. It wasn't a walk in the park, however. Title IX was highly controversial, and although some supported the law, others thought it would be too dangerous—"forcing" schools to accept women would ruin American education, some felt. However, there have been many times in the last forty years when it has been challenged. People have tried to change the law or abolish it completely. Title IX has gone back to Congress many more times than most other laws—24 times by 2007. Although Title IX is safe for now, “[w]e all need to be reminded that since Title IX was put in place by a legislative body, it can be taken away by a legislative body," Mink said.