TAX-EXEMPT SEXISM

THE MAIL

To the Editors of The Crimson:

The Crimson is to be congratulated on its excellent straightforward editorial "The Time is Right for Merger." As one who for years has fought "the sexual discrimination that pervades this university" I have testified before the Ways and Means Committee in Washington (May 1973) to show that women pay a disporportionately high share of the taxes and that tax exempt institutions like Harvard do not pay: women are the largest lowest paid group in the U.S. today and as such proportionately pay the highest taxes. Women therefore are compelled to finance their own exclusion from education at tax exempt institutions like Harvard. And Harvard, the largest and best-endowed university in the country also leads in discrimination. Therefore I argued that Harvard (and other educational institutions) should have their tax exemptions removed until such time as the university is willing to treat women equally or indeed accord equal treatment to all human beings...

The Harvard administration has blatantly put financial considerations ahead of education and has thus amassed the most astounding horde of gold--called "endowment," used to exert power and as a means to evade equal admission and equal employment legislation.

In 1971 I filed the first HEW complaint against my graduate school (the G.S.D.) "for discrimination against women and minorities." Largely through my efforts the university was compelled to release the first Affirmative Action plan (which was promptly found to be "unacceptable" by HEW). Due to my complaint and continuing efforts the GSD was investigated in detail and found wanting: considering that the GSD in 30 years had never hired one single of its own women graduates it was not hard to see the facts. Based on the GSD case the investigation of the rest of the university followed...

I hail your editorial and plans for merger as the first straight talk about this sordid matter. Indeed I urge you to politicize this important issue and organize students, faculty and staff and all university members who believe in equality to see this matter through at long last and finally lay to rest this sorry Watergate episode of the university. Fran P. Hosken,   Women's International Network