- The purpose of this study was to present the new women's
studies program for the community college. The study advocated
consciousness raising for females at all levels of public instruction,
but this paper was limited to the community college. The program
outlined would seek to help women to assume a more equal position
in American society.
The initial phase of the study sought to prove that women are
second class citizens in America. For example: women hold none of
the presidencies in the top 100 United States business firms. There
are no, women governors, nor attorney generals in all the 50 states,
In addition, state legislatures across the country comprise approximately
7,000 positions. Only 300 of these positions are held by
women. On the federal level, the Senate is an all-male club. In the
House of Representatives only Edith Greene of Oregon holds any
really important committee power. In the working world, women in blue collar positions face grave problems of overt discrimination,
They are often paid less, denied advancement, refused maternity
leaves, and are usually the last hired and the first fired. In the professional
world, women have made scant headway in the last 30 years.
In medicine, fewer women are accepted now than in the 1920's. In the
legal profession, upward mobility is almost nil. Barely one percent
of all the nation's judges are women. In education, women are
abundant on the teaching staffs in, elementary and secondary schools.
However, they are rarely promoted to the principal level. Women
are also well represented on community college teaching staffs, but
almost never rise to upper echelon administrative positions, In
higher education, the problem is even more severe. Women encounter
blatant discrimination in graduate school, the first pre-requisite to
higher education teaching and administration, The number of women
holding associate and full professorships in American universities are
Some of the sociological effects of "keeping women in their
place" can be seen in the rising rates of females involved in: child
abuse, drug usage, desertion, divorce, and suicide. Another major
problem is that the number of families headed by women continues to
grow. Many of these families exist in poverty.
The second phase of the study explored the traditional areas of
societal leadership, to ascertain what they were doing to alter these conditions. The groups under investigation were all the major
Christian denominations and Judaism. Next studied were labor unions
with 30 percent or more female members. Professional and fraternal
organizations were also queried. It was concluded that none of these
organizations had any structured plan to alter the existing situation
for women. The writer then accepted the proposition that the greatest
existing societal change agent was the public school system, specifically
for this study, the community college.
The final phase of the study concerned a detailed plan for the
aforementioned new program. Several existing community college
women's programs were profiled. Their relative strengths and
weaknesses were explored. The major flaw noted in many of these
programs was their insistance upon separatism, a "women only"
The program envisioned in this paper decries the concept of
separatism. Its guiding principle is the creation of greater understanding
between people. All classes would comprise both male and
female students. Women can hope to alter their position in society
very little if they exclude men from this kind of program. The latter
group needs to gain more sensitivity to the problem, not increased
hostility, which would be the result of exclusion.
This new program would be under a Special Programs Director
who would also be responsible for courses aimed at others with societal problems such as: ethnic minorities, the handicapped, and
the aged. Interaction of all these groups with each other and the rest
of the student body would be stressed. The program would offer
women awareness courses, vocational training, job placement, group
therapy, community activity, and competent, low cost, child care.
Finally, the study endeavored to prove that the program could
be initiated on almost any campus using the existing facilities and,
in many cases, existing personnel.