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Bynum Sees 'Era of Tokenism' at Harvard; Calls for Roles of Women to Be Reevaluated


Caroline Bynum '63, assistant professor of History, said Wednesday night that Harvard has embarked upon an "era of tokenism" in which there has been no substantial increase in the number of women on the Faculty.

In a speech entitled "Sexual Politics At Harvard," sponsored by the Unitarian Church's Cambridge Forum. Bynum outlined her reasons for being pessimistic about recent changes in women's roles at the University.

Bynum, a co-author of the Harvard Report on the Status of Women, said that although people are dealing "more rationally" with women's issues, there has been a net gain of only three women to Harvard's higher-level teaching staff. She added that Harvard has "not publically issued any affirmative action programs, has set no goals or timetables, and has nowhere reached the guidelines set in the Harvard Report."

"The University's procedural standards have improved in such areas as job placement and the establishment of day care centers," Bynum maintained. But this "rationalization of procedures"--although it has resulted in more self confidence in women--has also allowed discrimination to," go underground," she said.

Bynum also sees problems confronting male undergraduates, which she attributes to uncertainty about their self-image. "Women have formed discussion groups and have been examining their roles in society, but men have not organized themselves to the same extent," she said.

"We're not going to move toward equality until more fundamental problems have been solved, until career opportunities are reevaluated, and until people begin to know what it's like to be an adult."

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