Yale Needs Women
How the First Group of Girls Rewrote the Rules of an Ivy League Giant
by Anne Gardiner Perkins
Pub Date 10 Sep 2019
"If Yale was going to keep its standing as one of the top two or three colleges in the nation, the availability of women was an amenity it could no longer do without."
In the summer of 1969, from big cities to small towns, young women across the country sent in applications to Yale University for the first time. The Ivy League institution dedicated to graduating "one thousand male leaders" each year had finally decided to open its doors to the nation's top female students. The landmark decision was a huge step forward for women's equality in education.
Or was it?
The experience the first undergraduate women found when they stepped onto Yale's imposing campus was not the same one their male peers enjoyed. Isolated from one another, singled out as oddities and sexual objects, and barred from many of the privileges an elite education was supposed to offer, many of the first girls found themselves immersed in an overwhelmingly male culture they were unprepared to face. Y
ale Needs Women is the story of how these young women fought against the backward-leaning traditions of a centuries-old institution and created the opportunities that would carry them into the future.
Anne Gardiner Perkins's unflinching account of a group of young women striving for change is an inspiring story of strength, resilience, and courage that continues to resonate today.
“Perkins makes the story of these early and unwitting feminist pioneers come alive against the backdrop of the contemporaneous civil rights and anti-war movements of the 1970s, and offers observations that remain eerily relevant on U.S. campuses today. —Edward B. Fiske, bestselling author of Fiske Guide to Colleges
“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