Learning to “Play the Game as Men Do”: How the General Federation of Women’s Clubs Brought Political Science to Women

Learning to “Play the Game as Men Do”: How the General Federation of Women’s Clubs Brought Political Science to Women

by Alixandra B. Yanus, High Point University

Much has been written about efforts to expand women’s social, cultural, and political representation, roles, and opportunities. However, as political scientists, we have done little to document the early history of incorporating women into the discipline. This article illustrates how the General Federation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) established the study of politics as an acceptable course of baccalaureate study for women: first, by crafting a model curriculum; second, by advocating for the creation of endowed chairs in political science at women’s colleges; and, third, by publishing in scholarly outlets. The GFWC’s efforts can be viewed as the first steps to the incorporation of women into the discipline—a question that continues to be the subject of much analysis and consternation by professional associations and the academic community.