Mark Schmitt, reflecting on how Title IX affects his daughter, writes:
When it’s her long-awaited turn to play an inning behind the plate, I rush over to my daughter and help her strap on her leg guards, chest protector, and mask and then watch as she does her best imitation of Jorge Posada, crouched unsmiling behind the batter. When there’s a chance of a play at the plate, she whips off the mask and positions her glove exactly where it’s supposed to be.
It still brings a tear to my eye. I didn’t expect to be much of a Little League dad — I never played organized baseball myself and don’t have much of a competitive streak. But I’m very much a Title IX dad. My 8-year-old is the only girl on her team this year, but that’s mostly a trivial fact. She’s hardly conscious of it, and the only time I’ve ever heard any of her teammates mention it was to worry about whether she was going to switch to softball, as other girls have done — something she has no intention of doing. She was thrilled when she learned that there was no actual rule or law against women playing Major League Baseball, just that it hadn’t happened yet. Her aspiration to play for the Yankees is not measurably less realistic than any other 8-year-old’s.
Other eight-year-olds’ ambitions are probably less realistic than Claire’s. I have never met someone of her age as poised, as logical and as determined as she is. She thinks and communicates like someone twice her age. She knows to emulate Jorge, for instance, instead of the more voguish catchers like Yadi Molina.
Also, her mother once told me a story. Claire mused that she would like to be president. “Have you given any thought to your cabinet?” her mother asked. “Yes,” Claire replied. “I’d want Spencer Ackerman to be my secretary of state.” If only I could get through a confirmation hearing.