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“Smashing the Masher:” The early women’s movement against street harassment in America

According to Estelle Freedman, the Edgar E. Robinson Professor in U.S. History at Stanford University, aggressive male street flirts, or “mashers,” were a widespread and vexatious problem for American urban women in the pre-suffrage era. One of the most interesting things about the masher problem, she said, was the evolving public response to it. At first newspapers urged respectable men to play a stronger role in protecting women from ogling and catcalls. Gradually though, women began taking matters into their own hands.

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Jing Lyman: A pioneering campus leader takes another bow

Jing LymanIn 1976 the New York Times ran an article about women’s liberation and its invigorating effect on college presidents’ wives. Case in point: Jing Lyman, the dynamic “first lady” of Stanford University from 1970 to 1980. Apart from her reputation as a skilled and gracious campus hostess, “Mrs. Lyman is admired for the way she has carved out a position for herself,” the Times noted. “She travels with her husband, is active in fund raising, gives speeches to alumni groups, and speaks out on issues such as fair housing, volunteerism and equality of opportunity for women.”

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Researching botanical medicines for safety and efficacy

Fredi Kronenberg croppedWhen it comes to hot flashes, many American women swear by herbal remedies such as black cohosh. But the U.S. botanical medicine industry still has a long way to go in terms of research and product quality control, says Fredi Kronenberg, Ph.D., a women’s health expert and 2008-09 faculty research fellow at the Michelle R. Clayman Institute for Gender Research.

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A “soft” approach to innovating science education wins President’s award

Professor Richard ZareStanford Professor Richard Zare is renowned for his work in laser chemistry, with more than 700 publications, four books and 50 patents to his name. Yet while Zare’s laboratory is cutting-edge, it also boasts something on the softer side: a comfortable private room where student and staff mothers can retreat to nurse or pump breast milk for their babies.

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Myra Strober: thirty five years of gender scholarship, and counting

myra_stroberWhen Myra Strober spearheaded Stanford University’s first Center for Research on Women (CROW) in 1974, the need for serious scholarship and advocacy on gender issues was painfully obvious. At the time, American women were earning only 59 cents on the dollar compared to men. There was little recourse against sexual bias and harassment in schools and workplaces, and few role models for university students who wanted to combine family life with careers outside the home.

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