The damned 1969 online dating
Green: Perhaps this is naive, but I was stunned by the sexism you described on campuses during this era. Malkiel: Certainly, the sexism is enormously striking.
The unfettered ways in which older men and even male college students expressed their disdain for women, and their sense that women belong in a different or lesser category or status—it is really stunning. This is at a time when women are still unable to do basic things like get credit in their own names, or take certain legal actions on their own authority.
The history of university coeducation is particularly interesting at this moment in America, when the country is poised to elect its first woman president.
Hillary Rodham, who would later become Hillary Rodham Clinton, was a student at the all-female Wellesley College around the time when elite, all-male institutions were considering whether to enroll women.
What were some of the challenges you noticed for the women who were in the first coeducational classes at these schools, who were also “firsts”? It may have been that their male teachers thought they were paying appropriate attention to the women who were new students, but that isn’t the way it worked.
I spoke with Malkiel about the history and legacy of coeducation on college campuses; our conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.
They began to assume leadership in campus activities.
They began to achieve impressive results in intercollegiate athletic competition.
Nancy Weiss Malkiel, an emerita professor of history at Princeton University, has written a history of this era: ‘Keep the Damned Women Out,’ a title provided courtesy of a Dartmouth alumnus, class of 1929, who summed up his thoughts on coeducation thusly.
She writes that the largely male leaders of elite schools worried that they wouldn’t be able to compete for top high-school talent, who no longer wanted to attend an all-male college or university.