The month of March is National Women’s History Month. I am embarrassed to say I didn’t realize March held this special significance for women. and in my research to educate myself, I found across this quote:
Each time a girl opens a book and reads a womanless history, she learns she is worth less. ~ Myra Pollack Sadker
As the mother of two daughters – this hit home and I wanted to learn more on the author. I googled Myra Pollack Sadker and discovered this fascinating woman and how she became the voice against sexism for future young women in the classroom and careers.
Dr. Myra Pollack Sadler
Dr. Myra Pollack Sadker (1943-1995) uncovered this bias in her career as an adult and she lived it. From a humble background in Augusta, Maine a college scholarship she earned was instead given to a young man. A professor explained this decision to Myra as “this young man will have to support a family one day.” The fact that this young man came from a more affluent background than Myra was not a factor. She continued to face this bias throughout her academic career. Her male co-authors on various paper were always given top listing. In staff meetings, her voice was never given the same respect as her male co-workers. Myra traced this “voicelessness” of professional woman to the early years of their education and decided do something by being the voice for future generations.
Groundbreaking Research and National Exposure
Myra pioneered much of the research documenting gender bias in America’s schools. From grade school through graduate school, from inner city to rural towns, she uncovered not only blatant gender discrimination in textbooks and sports funding, but also subtle patterns of inequities that shaped the lives of girls and boys. Myra took this research and wrote a groundbreaking book in 1973, Sexism in School and Society, the first of its kind for teachers. She continued to spread the awareness on this issue through her lectures and publications. She alerted society to how girls from a very young age were being cheated and the career costs of sexism. She gained a national audience by appearing on various television shows from “Opera” to the “Today Show” helping to educate parents and teachers on how to combat this sexism. Her foundation continues her work today. The Myra Sadker Foundation continues this research by supporting efforts dedicated to liberating the possibilities that exist in the minds and hearts of young girls.
In honor of Women’s History month, I honor and thank Dr. Sadker. Girls today still have many unequal battles to fight but the conversation is easier due to the pioneering research of Dr. Sadker. To learn more on the Myra Sadker Foundation visit her website. If you found this blog post educational, sign up on my website to receive notification.