By Paulina Buelna
OAKLAND, CA – The book, 37 Words, chronicles the 1972 federal civil rights law Title IX to end discrimination against gender in the workplace.
Pamela Price, candidate for Alameda County District Attorney, is featured in the book.
The book title restates the first 37 words of the act: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”
The book reveals the hardships women had to encounter when they were proposing this law in 1972 and how they still encounter challenges, claims author Sherry Boschert who notes her book is “also a human story about women denied opportunities, students struggling for education free from sexual assault and harassment, and activists challenging sexist discrimination.”
The book highlights pivotal moments in the 50 years of Title IX and also adds the story of Price, an Oakland-based civil rights attorney, whose story begins in 1976 when she was an undergraduate at Yale College.
The story revolves around Price’s encounter with a lustful professor who offered to give Price an “A” in exchange for sex and retaliated by giving her a “C” when she refused his request.
The case, later on, served as a legal precedent—cementing sexual harassment as sex discrimination in education. As a result of the Alexander case, any school that receives federal funds can be sued for sexual harassment, from kindergarten to law schools.
Author Boschert explains how the case show the intersectionality of race and sexual harassment, and how it led to an awakening of the Yale community.