Follow Us On

How a thirteen-year-old girl smashed the gender divide in American high schools

Laurie Gwen Shapiro writes in The New Yorker, "Fifty years ago this month, at a time when America was divided on questions of war, race, and gender, Alice de Rivera decided that she was fed up with her lousy high school in New York. She was thirteen, with arching eyebrows that made her look as if she was questioning everything about the world. Her father, Joseph, was a psychology professor, and her mother, Margaret, was an educational therapist; the family had moved around between college towns before settling in Brooklyn, where de Rivera enrolled in John Jay High School, the local public school. “I was good at studying and skipped third grade, which is why I was so young when I was at John Jay,” she told me, recently. She was always a bit of a tomboy, and, though shy, she was unafraid to stand up for herself. She sometimes ran her brother’s morning paper route, a job that few girls she knew undertook. As a freshman, she was named the editor of John Jay’s underground newspaper, the Streetfighter. Later, to a reporter, she described herself as “cerebral,” and argued that being smart shouldn’t hurt a girl socially. “It’s good if a boy asks you to help him with his homework,” she said." READ MORE>>

Recent Stories
When women bring home a bigger slice of the bacon

Saudi Arabia allows women to travel without male guardian's approval

Repeat auction sales of art by women on the rise