Alana Paterson: Title IX

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Project Statement:

To talk about women’s athletics one has the obligation to start on the senate floor in 1972. A young democratic Senator named Birch Bayh and a young congress woman named Patsy Mink who had been working on several constitutional issues for women’s rights brought a bill to the floor that would ultimately change history. They were to be the co-authors of Title IX, a bill that stated that “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” It may seem obvious to us now how erroneous it was that 1% of athletic budgets were given to females including scholarships, travel and other funding, but back then it was believed that women simply did not belong on the field (and other sporting venues). After title IX female enrolment immediately went up 600%.

In Canada, where we don’t have title IX specifically, but more or less follow a similar statute under our human rights legislation and have fairly strict athletic gender equity policies in our education system, things more or less followed a similar path to the United States.

Mink died in 2002 and later that year Title IX was renamed The Patsy Mink Equal Opportunity in education act. She was the first woman of colour elected to congress.  

Artist Bio:

I studied at Emily Carr University in Vancouver B.C., and Lesley University of Boston. I hold a BFA in photography. I am predominantly an editorial and documentary photographer.

I started photograph as many do; taking photos of my friends. At 18yr I had a photo published and received $60, and thought...I've made it. I received a commissioned from a small local company- and again thought- I've made it. A brand sent me to Thailand at 23 -I'VE REALLY MADE IT THIS TIME. That was ten years ago and I now know that you never really make it in photography, you're always in a sate of making it or not. You can stop making it at any point, especially if you begin to lack enthusiasm in your work.

It recently became apparent I was going to lose interest if I did not lend my voice to a cause I cared about, but in the early stages of this decision I found it intimidating and morally complex to speak to issues that were not my own, especially outside of a commission. I started thinking about what I could speak to from my own experience and the clear answer was Women's civil liberties.

www.alanapaterson.com

@alanapaterson

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