Too [fill in the blank] for a woman

Whatever you think of the outcome of the lawsuit by Ellen Pao claiming sex discrimination at the famed Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, a tactic used by the company’s defense team could make one cringe — character assassination. (Video: Bernice Sandler, who was “too strong for a woman.”) Telling a woman that she is too exacting, too condescending, too abrasive, too strong, too weak,  too whatever to be hired, promoted, etc. is an age-old excuse used countless times to deny women opportunities that might be offered to a man who has the same qualities. (Speaking generally now, not specifically about […]

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Video history from women behind Title IX

Eleven of the women most closely involved in the struggle to implement Title IX gathered on January 26, 2015 to give a living history of this most important legislation for U.S. women since the right to vote. Focusing mainly on the early years after its passage in 1972, they also shared their fears that Title IX’s hard-won gains could be lost if people don’t remain vigilant in supporting it. I’m thankful to Margaret Dunkle for organizing the luncheon at the Woman’s National Democratic Club and for including me as I research my book on the people behind Title IX.

Uppity women star in new film

“She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry” opens today in a San Francisco movie theater, and I can’t wait to see it. The headline on San Francisco Chronicle film critic Mick LaSalle’s review calls it “How women got started getting uppity,” which of course reminds me of the uppity women I’ve been interviewing for my book on the people behind Title IX. Some of the Title IX foremothers never would have joined the street protests or other public demonstrations depicted in the film. They weren’t those kind of women. Much too radical for them. Yet, uppity they were, too. And all the […]

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