Ten group members celebrated the end of another academic year while discussing Anne Gardiner Perkins’ Yale Needs Women: How the First Group of Girls Rewrote the Rules of an Ivy League Giant. While a couple of readers found the telling of the story rather dry and too close to the doctoral thesis it started out to be, most were enthralled with Perkins’ book. Despite misgivings, everyone agreed that it was a story worth reading. Several readers came of age, just entering, about to enter, or in college in 1969-1970, the year women were first admitted in Yale, and for those women the story was close to home; they juxtaposed their personal stories to Perkins’. Also noted that, though women have come far in fifty years, must more needs to be done for them to achieve full equality on all levels.
Noted, too, is that although these few women were admitted to Yale, they were hardly accepted. Once they were in they were basically on their own save for the President’s co-education liaison. The women’s particular needs, academic, physical, extra-curricular, athletic, and even infrastructure, were either non-existent or bare bones.
We were unanimous we in saluting these pioneers for their courage and tenacity.
(For anyone interested in this writer’s review, here is a link: