Report on the conclusions of the Task Force on Barnard and the Educated Woman, 1971, page 1
-1- Two hundred years ago Samuel Johnson described an unconventional feminine pursuit: "A woman's preaching is like a dog's walking on his hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all." Hilariously archaic though this condescension may seem to us, it still strongly colors attitudes today -- only now we call it male chauvinism. Certainly the aim of the new feminists to reexamine and redefine sex roles in our society seems a prime prerequisite to establishing new and more ample human roles for all of us, male and female. Barnard's involvement with programs for women is really the renewal of an old commitment, since feminism has been from the beginning a part of our history. Our name itself honors a president of Columbia University for his belief in full educational opportunities for women and his efforts to achieve them. One of our early deans, sixty years ago, examined the sociological position of women through the ages in a study which was reissued just last year. And Virginia Gildersleeve, who guided Barnard for 36 years, established a strong tradition for its women, to work toward broad social goals. As the only American woman involved in the formation of the United Nations, she amply demonstrated on how great a stage a woman could play her part.