EDITH GREEN / by Molly Schiot

One of Green’s most enduring legislative triumphs was Title IX, a part of the 1972 Higher Education Act that prohibited federally funded colleges and universities from discriminating against women. As chair of the Subcommittee on Higher Education of the Education and Labor Committee, Green presided over seven days of hearings in which a wide range of witnesses explained the various ways women faced discrimination in postsecondary education. She set the tone for the proceedings when she exclaimed, “Let us not deceive ourselves. Our educational institutions have proven to be no bastions of democracy.” Green overcame opposition from many university administrators, as well as from conservative Congressmen who feared the proposed bill would force school officials to construct unisex locker rooms and admit an equal number of male and female students. When reflecting upon the passage of Title IX, she stated: “I don’t know when I have ever been so pleased, because I had worked so long and it had been such a tough battle.”15 Although Green did much to advance the rights of women, she did not always place this issue ahead of all others. For instance, because of her ardent commitment to civil rights legislation, she voted against the inclusion of the word “sex” in the Civil Rights Act (the only Congresswoman to do so), because she feared it might “help destroy” the bill.

One of Green’s most enduring legislative triumphs was Title IX, a part of the 1972 Higher Education Act that prohibited federally funded colleges and universities from discriminating against women. As chair of the Subcommittee on Higher Education of the Education and Labor Committee, Green presided over seven days of hearings in which a wide range of witnesses explained the various ways women faced discrimination in postsecondary education. She set the tone for the proceedings when she exclaimed, “Let us not deceive ourselves. Our educational institutions have proven to be no bastions of democracy.” Green overcame opposition from many university administrators, as well as from conservative Congressmen who feared the proposed bill would force school officials to construct unisex locker rooms and admit an equal number of male and female students. When reflecting upon the passage of Title IX, she stated: “I don’t know when I have ever been so pleased, because I had worked so long and it had been such a tough battle.”15 Although Green did much to advance the rights of women, she did not always place this issue ahead of all others. For instance, because of her ardent commitment to civil rights legislation, she voted against the inclusion of the word “sex” in the Civil Rights Act (the only Congresswoman to do so), because she feared it might “help destroy” the bill.