In Honor of the

    Women Princeton

        History Forgot

Princeton has a rich history of producing great women leaders and scholars — Sonia Sotomayor ’76, Elena Kagan ’81, Lisa Jackson ’86 — the list is endless. However, too often, the narrative of women at Princeton neglects the true legends, the forgotten women who broke down inequities on campus and paved the way for Princeton students like myself. I would like to take this space to say “thank you.”

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Thank you to the women who organized and participated in the sit-in at the Yankee Doodle Tap Room at the Nassau Inn in Feb. 1970 to protest that the restaurant only served males at lunch.
(The Daily Princetonian, Volume 94, Number 16, 23 February 1970)

Thank you to the women who, through the Women*s Center, moved to ban on-campus open public showings and sales of pornography in the 1980s. They endured rape jokes openly published in The Daily Princetonian by fellow students and pushback from organizations like Whig-Clio.
(The Daily Princetonian, Volume 107, Number 35, 24 March 1983)

Thank you to the women who suffered the horrors of harassment and still had the bravery to mobilize protests on Prospect Street — even after a car intentionally drove through one of their protests in the prior year.
(The Daily Princetonian, Volume 111, Number 58, 28 April 1987)

Thank you to the women who attempted to try out for the hockey team but were barred due to “the possibility of damage to their reproductive organs.”
(The Daily Princetonian, Volume 97, Number 3, 7 February 1973)

Thank you to the women who sought to join sports teams after the ECAC permitted women to join, despite discouragement by the University
(The Daily Princetonian, Volume 96, Number 96, 4 October 1972)

Thank you to the women who rallied against the all-male Tiger Inn and Ivy eating clubs to demand the inclusion of women bickerees.
(The Daily Princetonian, Volume 109, Number 119, 21 November 1985)

Thank you to the women who founded the lightweight crew team and were later banned by the University from finding a volunteer full-time coach.
(The Daily Princetonian, Volume 99, Number 100, 15 October 1975)

Thank you to those who endured as Princeton attempted to disband the women’s lightweight crew team in its entirety despite the fact that Title IX had already been enacted to make gender-based discrimination illegal in college athletics.
(The Daily Princetonian, Volume 99, Number 101, 16 October 1975)

Thank you to the women who pushed back against being sexually objectified by Playboy Magazine when the publication attempted to recruit women on campus for their sexy “Ivy League Women” issue. Thank you to those who also protested outside the offices of The Daily Princetonian after it willingly ran an advertisement for Playboy.
(The Daily Princetonian, Volume 103, Number 6, 12 February 1979)

Princeton University — which didn’t change the lyrics to our Alma Mater song “Old Nassau” until 1987 to include women — and the surrounding area is rich with forgotten, overlooked, and hidden history when it comes to coeducation and women. May we all take a moment during this Women’s History Month and on the fiftieth anniversary of Title IX to recognize, ruminate, and reflect on the contributions of the ones that have slowly faded into the past.

To the women and femmes of all orientations, races, and ethnicities who fought to remain visible at Princeton University while holding it to its own standards of justice, ethics, moral thought, and values and to quote the traditional prayer for Princeton: to all who work(ed) here, for all who bear the University’s name…

Thank you.

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