The old boys club

Two weeks ago, BSR blog contributor Liz Boatman wrote a heartfelt and eye-opening post (you can read it here) about the regrettable treatment faced by many female grad students in STEM fields. If you haven’t read it yet, you’re missing out.

One of the more shocking facts I stumbled upon in her post was that the Faculty Club at UC Berkeley once posted a sign that said “For Men Only”. I was well aware that women were not hired as faculty for a good part of the university’s history, but specifically banning women from even entering the Great Hall just adds insult to injury. I searched for a picture of the sign –  mainly to prove to myself that it really happened – and thanks to Susan Snyder and the helpful staff at the Bancroft Library, which houses the University Archives, I was granted access to a photo collection of the Faculty Club over the years. There was no picture of the offending sign (please let me know if you come across one), but I did find this gem. Click to see it full size:

Members of the UC Berkeley Faculty Club gathered in the Great Hall in 1932. Photo courtesy of The Bancroft Library.

I’ll present this photo without much comment, because I think it speaks for itself. You’ll note that this was in 1932, thirteen years after the founding of the Women’s Faculty Club. I also checked out the WFC’s historical photograph collection, but it was mostly photos of the furnishings inside (not a joke).

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