MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Reading guide for Yale Needs Women by Anne Gardiner Perkins

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Yale Needs Women

How the First Group of Girls Rewrote the Rules of an Ivy League Giant

by Anne Gardiner Perkins

Yale Needs Women by Anne Gardiner Perkins X
Yale Needs Women by Anne Gardiner Perkins
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Published:
    Sep 2019, 400 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers
Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide will contain spoilers!

  1. Up until the late 1960s and early 1970s, many top colleges banned women students. Cultural and family values also affected women's college choice. How were your own college decisions impacted by your gender? Do you view that situation differently now than you did at the time?
  2. After screening for academic strength, Sam Chauncey and Elga Wasserman looked for toughness when selecting Yale's first women undergraduates. "There was no point in taking a timid woman and putting her in this environment," said Chauncey, "because it could crush you." [p. 48] Do you think they were right to consider a student's toughness? As a high school senior, would you have met this standard?
  3. Yale Needs Women focuses in particular on the experiences of five women students—Shirley Daniels, Kit McClure, Lawrie Mifflin, Connie Royster, and Betty Spahn. With which of these five did you identify most closely? Why? Was there another character with which you connected more strongly?
  4. Yale may have gone coed in 1969, yet women—whether student, administrator, or professor—were still barred from many of the traditional paths to influence and power, both at Yale and beyond. Can you provide some examples? How did women create power in other ways?
  5. What parallels do you see between the experiences and activism of black and white women students at Yale? What are the differences?
  6. Yale Needs Women includes a center section of photographs. Choose one and discuss how you first responded to it. What drew you to this photo in particular? What questions, if any, do you still have about it?
  7. "I was out of my mind frightened. It wasn't so much Yale as coming to a white college," says one of the black women freshmen. [p. 68] Describe a situation in which you were in an extreme minority because of your race. How did it affect how you behaved? How others behaved towards you? Compare this to a situation in which your race was in the majority.
  8. Yale's first women undergraduates sometimes found themselves the only woman in a classroom full of men. Were you ever the only person of your gender in the room? How did it affect how you behaved? How others behaved towards you? Compare this to a situation in which your gender was in the majority.
  9. Yale Needs Women chronicles some of the sexual assault and harassment suffered by Yale's women students. How has this situation improved for women college students since 1969? How has it remained the same?
  10. Change at Yale and other campuses in this era occurred because of the efforts of multiple individuals and groups. Which do you think were most important to improving the lot of women at Yale in this era? What or whom do you think was the greatest impediment to change?
  11. "Changes in social structures require a social movement," says feminist Naomi Weisstein at the Free Women Conference at Yale in 1970. [p. 129] Do you agree with her? What examples of social movements do you see today? Do you consider yourself part of any of them?


Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Sourcebooks. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for a year or $12 for 3 months
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Children of the Land
    Children of the Land
    by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo
    In this exquisitely crafted memoir, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo describes coming of age as a young ...
  • Book Jacket: A Good Neighborhood
    A Good Neighborhood
    by Therese Anne Fowler
    After fictionalized biographies of Zelda Fitzgerald (Z, 2013) and Alva Vanderbilt (A Well-Behaved ...
  • Book Jacket: Little Gods
    Little Gods
    by Meng Jin
    Little Gods, Meng Jin's intricate, emotionally intelligent debut, opens with a scene in which ...
  • Book Jacket: The Truants
    The Truants
    by Kate Weinberg
    The Truants opens with Jess Walker, a first-year university student in Norfolk, England, ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Father of Lions
    by Louise Callaghan

    A true-to-life narrative of one man's remarkable quest to save the Mosul Zoo.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Cartier's Hope
    by M. J. Rose

    A Gilded Age gem of ambition & betrayal from the author of New York Times bestseller, Tiffany Blues.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
American Dirt
by Jeanine Cummins

"American Dirt is a Grapes of Wrath for our times."
—Don Winslow

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win The Lost Family

The Lost Family
by Libby Copeland

A deeply reported look at the rise of home genetic testing and the seismic shock it has had on individual lives.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

A F I Need I A F I

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.