While many think of Title IX solely in terms of support for women’s athletics in education, Dr. Jenna Goldsmith of Illinois State University is helping students explore the wealth of changes Title IX sparked.   

Jenna Goldsmith
Dr. Jenna Goldsmith

“Title IX is a multi-faceted statute that impacts us in many ways,” said Goldsmith, who is teaching a graduate level course on Title IX this summer for Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. “As a class, we are approaching discussions from a social and sexual justice lens.”  

The course looks not only at the opportunity for equity in athletics, but at earning power and retirement equity, reporting mechanisms for discrimination and assault, and avenues for justice. “Some students were surprised to find there is more than one way to approach reporting,” said Goldsmith, who underscores the differences between criminal law, civil law, and tort law in the course. Goldsmith employs Alexandra Brodsky’s book Sexual Justice: Supporting Victims, Ensuring Due Process, and Resisting the Conservative Backlash.  

book cover with the words Alexandra Brodsky, Sexual Justice: Supporting Victims, Ensuring Due Process, and Resisting the Conservative Backlash

Brodsky will be speaking about the 50th anniversary of Title IX via Zoom on June 8. The event is free and open to the public. Find registration information here

Along with the statute, Goldsmith’s students discuss reframing conversations around consent. “We talk about how much responsibility is placed on women to educate about consent, especially women of color and non-binary people,” said Goldsmith. She works with students to approach consent as a complex, recursive process. “We talk about what we are asking people to buy into when it is solely the role of women to understand consent. Who has the lion’s share of responsibility?”  

The course also uses the book Campuses of Consent: Sexual and Social Justice in Higher Education. The book is available to the University community to download through Milner Library.  

Goldsmith noted students have been surprised at how much more there is to Title IX. “We’re approaching it as pieces to a very large pie,” she said.