The National Women’s History Museum (NWHM), with the help of Google’s Cultural Institute, cultivated an online exhibit, titled “Game Changers,” that explores the many barriers women overcame to play sports in America, and the challenges they continue to face today. From Wilma’ Rudolph’s track legacy to Billie Jean King’s “Battle of the Sexes” tennis tournament, the NWHM documents important moments in women’s athletics since 1870.
NWHM and Google’s Cultural Institute created an enlightening slideshow where you can learn more about women athletes. Check it out and watch this Hangout they hosted on the topic:
Yet, as we celebrate how far women athletes have come, it’s important to remember that the fight is far from over. Whether it’s inferior equipment, facilities, coaching, scheduling or publicity, women and girls face continue to face discrimination on and off the field. In 2014, 41 years after the passage of Title IX, high school girls have 1.3 million fewer chances to play sports than boys. We can watch daily, sports commentators telling women athletes that they should be prettier, quieter, or nicer.
So it’s important that we hear the stories of remarkable women like Helen Wills Moody – winner of eight Wimbledon women’s singles championships – who was criticized for being “unladylike,” and learn why Mildred “Babe” Didrickson changed her clothes to appear more feminine so sports fans would accept her. Because by telling the stories of these women, we animate our history as a powerful reminder that our future must be different.