The purpose of our blog is to discuss topical issues, stories, and situations, as well as to share what we are up to and new ways for you to get involved. We are always searching for possible answers to the question: Why is a girl's worth culturally and historically relative?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Women's History Month "Y": Kristi Yamaguchi and Yale University


Kristi Yamaguchi

Born in 1971, Kristi Yamaguchi is an American figure skater who has won two World Figure Skating Championships (1991 and 1992), a US Figure Skating Championship (1992), and a Gold Medal in Ladies' singles in the 1992 Olympics.  Born in Hayward, California, Kristi's paternal grandparents and maternal great-grandparents emigrated from Japan to the United States, and her grandparents were placed in an internment camp during WWII, where her mother was born.  Kristi initially took up ice skating as a form of physical therapy for her club feet.

In 1986, Kristi won the junior title at the US Championships, and in 1988 she won the World Junior Pair Championships with her skating partner Rudy Galindo.  In 1989 and 1990, Kristi and Rudy wont he senior US Championships pairs title.  Shortly thereafter, Kristi decided to focus on her singles skating, and in 1991 she moved to Edmonton, Alberta so she could train with Christy Ness.  While there, Kristi also took some psychology courses, though she did not graduate from university.  After winning back to back World Figure Skating Championships and the gold medal in the 1992 Winter Olympics, Kristi decided to turn pro at the end of the 1992 season.  

In 1996, Kristi founded the Always Dream Foundation.  Created for children, Kristi established the Always Dream Foundation to “inspire and embrace the hopes and dreams of children.”  One of the Foundation's projects is the Play Park in Fremont, California, where Kristi grew up.  The park is a space for both physical and mental development where children with or without disabilities can play together.  Kristi has also written two books, Always Dream, Pure Gold, and Figure Skating for Dummies, as well as a picture book for children, Dream Big, Little Pig! 

To learn more about Kristi Yamaguchi, visit her website.


Always dream.
~Kristi Yamaguchi, American Figure Skater

A trade unionist--of course I am. First, last, and all the time. How else to strike at the roots of the evils undermining the moral and physical health of women? How else grapple with the complex problems of employment, overemployment, and underemployment alike, resulting in discouraged, undernourished bodies, too tired to resist the onslaughts of disease and crime?
~Maud Younger, American Suffragist, Union Activist, and Writer

In America, money takes the place of God.
~Anzia Yezierska, Polish American Author

The most important thing is that you have really good friends and family, and when you go back to them, it's like 'what?'. You carry on as who you are.
~Michelle Yeoh, Actress


Although Yale was established in 1701 in New Haven, Connecticut, women didn't begin to study at Yale until 1869, when the School of Art first allowed women in.  Eventually a few other programs at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences granted women entry, but it wasn't until 1969 that Yale introduced coeducation.  In 1966, Yale discussed merging with it's sister school, Vassar College (an all-women's college at the time), but Vassar declined, though it also chose to become coeducational in 1969.  Amy Solomon was the first woman to enroll in classes at Yale.

In 1980, 11 years after Yale began accepting women, five female Yale students brought suit against the university in Alexander v. Yale.  The women accused several staff member of the university (including a flute teacher and a hockey coach) of sexual harassment, including a professor who offered an “A” in a course in exchange for sexual favors.  They also complained that Yale had no grievance procedures in place to file complaints against harassers; additionally, one plaintiff had to spend her own time and money assisting others who had been sexually harassed, and that doing so caused her to be threatened.  Though the ultimate outcome of Alexander v. Yale was not in the plaintiffs' favors, they did achieve two goals: first, a Grievance Procedure was instituted at Yale, and secondly, the courts did rule that sexual harassment is sex discrimination.

As of Fall 2010 Enrollment, Yale boasts slightly more female students than male, with 5,866 women enrolled compared to 5,835 men.

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