I’d imagine that any of our mothers — and fathers — who were around in 1973 fighting the “battle of the sexes” would be happy to see the progress we’ve made since then, but disheartened to know that issues of inequality are still being fought on so many fronts. As a daughter of an avowed early feminist, I admit I’m pretty excited to see Tory Burch’s commemorative Billie Jean King tee that was just announced in Vanity Fair and available starting today.
If the backstory is a little hazy, check out the story of how King bested tennis world champ Bobby Riggs after he challenged her to a game and taunted her mercilessly (“I’ll tell you why I’ll win. She’s a woman and they don’t have the emotional stability.”) until she agreed.
She humiliated him — I think that’s fair to say — in front of 90 million worldwide viewers, coming from behind in the first set to win 3 consecutive sets and take home a $100,000 prize. But more than that, it was a psychological victory for women overall.
Let’s just say Riggs took off his “Sugar Daddy” jacket after only the third game in the first set. Boom.
Photo: dbking via Flickr cc license
Want to commemorate this amazing moment for women in sports? You can buy the Tory Burch “She Won” t-shirt on Tory’s site for $40.
Half the money goes to the Tory Burch Foundation to support women entrepreneurs, while the other half supports the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, which helps support and empower more diverse leadership in the world.
I only wish it came in kids’s sizes, because I know my girls would love one. (Hint hint, Tory!)
Even so, it’s a great reminder that even today, women still have work harder, accomplish more, and win — by a lot — just to be seen as equal. And so, we fight on.
Find the Tory Burch “She Won” t-shirt on her site for a limited time, just in time for the kick-off of the U.S. Open on 8/28, and Women’s Equality Day on 8/26.