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Swoboda, Marian J.; Roberts, Audrey J. / Wisconsin women, graduate school, and the professions


If there is one recurrent theme in the pieces which constitute this
anthology, it is that women in the University of Wisconsin System (in this
case, Madison) were caught up in definitions and attitudes which sought to
keep even the most capable of them in a position of service and nurture.
In Part One, women who received their doctorates before and during the
1920s are discussed and it is clear that these women were extraordinarily
"work-minded," who neither married nor became active in the feminist
ment of their time, were trained to teach. Their male counterparts were ex-
pected to publish and to become scholars, but for the women doctoral candi-
dates and doctoral holders it was assumed that they "might not become
ars, but it was essential that as teachers, they should have the scholarly
spirit." The women were to teach art, to teach science and to teach
tion while their male counterparts were to be artists, to be researchers,
and to
be writers.
That women were viewed as teachers almost to exclusion of any other
academic role is clear, as well, in Volume I (They Came to Learn, They Came
to Teach, They Came to Stay) which recounts the course of study of under-
graduate women during the advent of the co-education movement and of
those very women who were their teachers.
That women were viewed as nurturing and serving - as vocationally
equipped, although perhaps not intellectually or emotionally equipped, to
really enter a man's world - is equally clear in Part Two, an anthology of
essays which deal with women in the professional schools on the Madison
From the stories of the development of nursing schools which began as
hospital based courses of cheap female labor, to the stories of women at-
tempting to enter law in a world in which it was assumed that "nature
tempered women as little for judicial conflicts of the courtroom as for the
physical conflicts of the battlefield" and that "woman is modeled
for gentler
and better things," to the development of fine arts graduate programs
began to prepare "teachers and supervisors of manual training,"
it is clear
that women in academia were to be considered supportive, nurturing, helpful,
practical and trainable. They were the educationists while men were the scho-
lars, the artists, the innovators, and the administrators.
That women are still locked into professions which are congruent with
social sex-role stereotyping is all too clear in the profiles which constitute
Part Three. Although "women came to stay - first as students, and later
faculty," they did so without concommitant rank, promotion, salary,
status or
job opportunities.

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