Speaking of Women's Rights: I considered buying rain boots.‎

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I considered buying rain boots.‎

by Jamila Johnson

Last night—watching the final moments of the NCAA National Championship—I knew ‎I had won my annual March Madness office pool. And I have an unhealthy love of rain boots.  I ‎like the stories that come from the weird sources of funds that feed my addiction.‎

I considered buying rain boots, but I didn’t.‎

Instead, I just donated my winnings from March Madness to Legal Voice, an ‎organization that 35 years ago won equal access to sports facilities and programs for the women ‎of Washington State and set a national precedent. ‎

In Blair v. WSU, Legal ‎Voice represented female athletes and coaches of female athletes at Washington State ‎University. At the time, women’s athletic programs were receiving inferior funding, fundraising ‎efforts, publicity and promotions, scholarships, facilities, equipment, coaching, uniforms, practice ‎clothing, awards, and administrative staff and support.

The case went a long way to improve the ‎equity of opportunities at Washington State University for women in athletics.

And today, 35 ‎years later, Women’s basketball flourishes at ‎WSU. ‎

According to the Seattle Times, “WSU and Washington have ‎more women’s sports than men’s, and the women share state-of-the-art facilities and enjoy other ‎benefits brought by Title IX, including equal money awarded in athletic scholarships.” And while ‎rain boots would have been nice, I am instead saying thank you to Legal Voice for Blair v. WSU ‎and saying thanks for the 35 years of securing and protecting women’s rights that have followed. 

Jamila Johnson is a litigator at Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt and a board member of Legal Voice. She cannot play basketball, and actually bought a book on how to run before using a treadmill for the first time.