Daphna Renan


The Mory's Club is emblematic of all that is old Yale. The walls are lined with framed black and white photos of clean-cut athletes and the tables have been etched by singing groups that made the club legendary in verse. The memories enshrined at Mory's, however, reveal the social barriers to gender integration. When a group of Yale graduates incorporated the Mory's Association in September 1912 with the purpose of "promot[ing] ... social intercourse and the culture of its members," gender discrimination was not a legal claim but rather a part of daily life. Half a century later, Yale College opened its doors to female students, and members of the Yale community urged Mory's to do the same. In the local movement that ultimately forced Mory's to admit women, civic participation reshaped women's equality in elite institutions and pushed the boundaries of law, or at minimum, expanded its shadow.

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