- File Size: 3526 KB
- Print Length: 368 pages
- Publisher: Sourcebooks (September 10, 2019)
- Publication Date: September 10, 2019
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07T7YHYXS
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #195,480 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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|Print List Price:||$25.99|
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Yale Needs Women: How the First Group of Girls Rewrote the Rules of an Ivy League Giant Kindle Edition
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"Yale Needs Women is a riveting and uplifting account of the experiences of Yale's early women coeds-first admitted in 1969. It reveals the multiple barriers faced by these pioneers, as it chronicles their brave efforts to overcome them. Thanks to these champions of women's rights, with similar efforts across the country, opportunities for women have improved. The fight is not over. This inspiring book is a 'must read' for everyone." - Janet L. Yellen, Distinguished Fellow, Brookings Institution
"Yes, Yale needed women, but it didn't really want them. From the moment they arrived in 1969, the first coeds faced a male administration and culture that regarded them as sexual objects, isolated them and offered few female mentors. In her compelling account of the tumultuous early years, Anne Gardiner Perkins tells how these young women met the challenge with courage and tenacity and forever changed Yale and its chauvinistic motto of graduating 1,000 male leaders every year." - Lynn Povich, author of The Good Girls Revolt
"Just in time for the 50thanniversary of the first class of women to enter Yale College, the author's own alma mater, Anne Gardiner Perkins has written an enjoyable and lively history of this event. Through extensive archival research and in-depth interviews with forty-two of the women who matriculated in 1969, Perkins focuses on the experiences of five of these women, recounting both their struggles and their triumphs as they encountered this bastion of male privilege. This beautifully written history also provides a comprehensive view of the many social and political changes that faced the young college women of this era as well as pointing out contemporary problems on college campuses. Yale Needs Women is an important addition to feminist history." - Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor, Harvard University, and host of PBS's Finding Your Roots
"Yale Needs Women breaks through the male stronghold that once defined the Ivy League and delivers the powerful history of a group of young women bold enough to reshape undergraduate education. Perkins' richly detailed narrative is a reminder that gender equity has never come easily, but instead is borne from the exertions of those who precede us. You must read this book: not only to understand our past but to glean critical insight into the future of our academic institutions." - Nathalia Holt, New York Times bestselling author of Rise of the Rocket Girls
"Perkins tackles the discrimination these brave young women of Yale faced, the tremendous sexism and racism of the time, with stories that will make this #MeToo generation shudder and rage. But amidst these darker moments are the stories of women who shined, who triumphed, who took this opportunity for all that it was worth and showed Yale-and the rest of the country-that women of all backgrounds possess the intellectual rigor and leadership qualities required to deserve a place at this Ivy League institution." - Donna Freitas, author of Consent on Campus
"This smart, lively first book by Perkins, a higher education scholar and Yale graduate, challenges a "sanitized tale of equity instantly achieved" when the elite university, after 268 years, admitted female undergraduates in 1969... Perkins succeeds admirably in restoring these women's fascinating voices and weaving in the larger historical context. This is a valuable contribution to the history of higher education, women, and the postwar U.S." - Publishers Weekly
"This stunning, engaging work highlights the strength and courage of women who fought for their future against centuries of patriarchy. Perfect for readers interested in seeing how far women have come-and how far they still have yet to go." - Library Journal, STARRED review
"Perkins (Yale class of 1981) does not sugarcoat history, the 360-degree approach she takes makes Yale Needs Women an engaging, entertaining, thoughtful work of popular history." - Booklist
"lively and engaging account of the college's first class of female students,.." - The New York Times --This text refers to the hardcover edition.
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I found this book to be profoundly unbalanced … a highly selective screed of grievances. It reads like a graduate thesis turned into a book, which is what it is, with the author approaching the topic with an ax to grind about how bad those first years were … looking at 1969 through the lens of 2019. College is a time of growth, change and challenges, so it can be tough for some no matter where one goes.
To have a balanced retrospective of the start of coeducation and, especially in a book that purports to write its definitive history, it’s important to include a broad spectrum of opinions, certainly being truthful about the problems, but then also presenting the positive aspects. Instead, the book’s principal thesis is unrelentingly bleak.
The underlying themes (that virtually all women were lonely a lot of the time, had trouble making other women friends and a focus on male students and professors who were predatory) are presented as sacred truth. However, by no means is this remotely the full story of Yale’s early years of coeducation.
Yes, challenging and overcoming more than 250 years of tradition does not happen overnight, nor without struggle. And yet, there were so many positives. Most of us were excited to take part in this grand experiment, welcomed the opportunity, and have taken everything we learned at, and from Yale, into the outside world … trying to make that a better place as well. And beyond the many positive stories that could have been told, very little credit is given for Yale’s basic goodwill on the institutional level and the welcoming spirit from so many that definitely existed at the time.
Yale Needs Women reminds us of how much has changed over the past 50 years as well as how little essential change has occurred. Those of us who came of age in the bad old days of the 1960s and 1970s will identify with the struggles of the female undergrads at Yale. Despite being eminently qualified for admission and for the most part outperforming their male cohorts, they were treated as “lesser than” and simply ignored by most of the 99% all-male faculty. For the majority of their male classmates they were simply sexual targets.
The university president, Kingston Brewster, Jr., reluctantly succumbed to pressure to allow coeducation in 1967 but only with the commitment to keep male admissions at a 7:1 ratio. He added no female faculty or female residence halls. In fact, they spread the new female undergraduates throughout the residences of the 12 colleges - minimizing the fellowship/sense of belonging that all-women residences might have produced. It also made them easier targets for harassment.
I found this book enthralling to much a deeper extent than I had anticipated. I knew it would be interesting but Ms. Perkins' writing style is such that she transformed an extensive amount of data, including statistics, into a very palatable read. Besides delivering the information about the co-education transformation, she followed up on many of those first female coeds at Yale and other females involved in the process. All these decades later, the statistics for females in higher education faculty and administrative still lag greatly behind.
This is a great read in my opinion because it deals with an important topic and highlights the harsh reception that these first Yale female undergrads were given. Fortunately, they were strong enough to carve a way for themselves and the coeds who followed them. It is not just for feminists - this is a great story of the human spirit that encompasses those who pioneer change as well as those who champion "tradition." I was given an advanced reader copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.