Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The "Fleming Follow" of the 70s

I'm going to use "Women's History Month" as the guise to share this 1973 Time article about sexism at the University of Michigan. Thanks in part to the pressure put on the university by these students and the federal government, it is, in my experience, a great time to be a woman at Michigan Law. (I cannot extend the same praise to the entire student body: twice--twice--when I've been walking in the evening across the Diag or on South University, misguided nineteen-year-old boys in maize and blue and in varied states of intoxication have shouted "dyke" as I passed.)

My favorite bit in the article is a rhymed exchange between the sexes, printed in the university newspaper at the time. Quipped James Crump, Jr., of the Far Eastern Language Department:
I think that I prefer to see
A chairperson who is womanly
And, if the choice were up to me,
A freshperson who's a comely she.
Meryl Johnson, a research curator at the Kelsey Museum, replied:
Indeed we share
Your appetite for golden hair
And shapely figures slim and trim
And do admire a comely him,
But keep our minds upon our work
And tolerate each shapeless jerk
Outranking us in pay and powers
Who would demand we all be flowers.

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