It never ceases to amaze me that 40 years after coeducation, this magazine still gets letters complaining that since Princeton let in women, it’s been all downhill. It is ironic that PAW has received another such letter when President Obama’s current Supreme Court nominee is alumna Sonia Sotomayor ’76.
When I was attending Princeton 20 years after the first female graduate, I often described it as an all-male college that let in women. I first experienced sexism when my male classmates were surprised to discover my grades and SAT scores were as good, if not better, than theirs. But in retrospect, I am truly grateful to them because they prepared me for life and a career in the law. Had I not gone to Princeton, I don’t think I would have been nearly as feisty as I am now. I am guessing the same is true for my sister alums.
In addition to future Justice Sotomayor, who are the women who are products of a “feminized” Princeton? Elena Kagan ’81: the first woman to hold the posts of solicitor general of the United States and dean of Harvard Law School. Anne-Marie Slaughter ’80: former dean of the Woodrow Wilson School, now the first woman to serve as director of policy planning at the State Department. Katrina vanden Heuvel ’81: editor of The Nation magazine. Lisa Belkin ’82: columnist for The New York Times. Michelle Robinson Obama ’85: first lady. I doubt if any of these women — to name just a few of us — achieved their success by spending a lot of time in “dainty tearooms.”
A “feminized” Princeton gave us amazing women like these, and there are more to come in the future. I think it’s time we buried Mr. Schmid’s narrow-minded, sexist, misogynistic Princeton once and for all.