Museum

Ability Not Gender

When prospective members of the Class of 1980 arrived at the United States Naval Academy on July 1, 1976, it marked an important milestone in Naval Academy history. Among the 1300 plebes were 81 women, the first women admitted to the Naval Academy. Ability, Not Gender explores the history of female midshipmen at the Naval Academy. Starting with the legal proceedings to admit women to the service academies, Ability, Not Gender focuses on the social, academic, athletic, and military aspects of life at the Naval Academy for female midshipmen over the past forty years.  Ability, Not Gender shows both women’s trials and successes at the Naval Academy. The exhibition balances the past challenges of being a female midshipman with the achievements and successes for which female midshipmen have worked tirelessly.

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