Category Archives: Historical Context

“It’s not that people were against women’s studies, it just hadn’t occurred to them.”


Professor Emerita of of Religion
Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, 1984-89

We used to have a—it was a joke, because the Accounting and Budgeting Committee met twice a week for two hours, and often in the middle there would be a break…and half the time they’d go to the men’s room, and I knew they were still discussing issues. Then they’d come back and I’d have to say, “Okay, now, where are we in this discussion?” Only once I remember was there something that I brought up, and I happened to meet another faculty member that was key to what we were discussing, and he said, “Where did you find this out?” I was able to say, “In the ladies room.” But that’s just a small example of when women are really in a minority in senior positions. It’s not that people were against women’s studies, it just hadn’t occurred to them.

“More and more women getting prizes…”


Professor Emerita of English and Comparative Literature

I happened to be sitting,the first year they graduated women from the college—I was sitting in front of the alumni who were there, and they were right in the row behind me. All male, of course. Prizes handed out. More and more women getting the prizes in various fields. Finally, one guy behind me punches the guy next to him and says, “Hey, Joe, what’s the matter with the men in this class?” It was one of the great moments of my life. I cherish that.