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Favorite thing: Oxford has for most of its existence been a men's town. Men founded colleges, men studied, researched and taught there, men became famous. Women haven't played much of a role until the late 19th century when the first colleges for females were opened. This "tip" attempts to give a little bit of background knowledge about women's life in Oxford.
While a few of the older colleges (e.g. Balliol and Wadham) were founded by women, they mostly didn't have access to the colleges. The statutes of each college generally included a paragraph that "no woman can be a member of this college". Hence, they couldn't study there, nor could they become fellow. In most cases, even the scouts who were responsible for cleaning were male. In 1869, Cambridge started to change this predominance of men slowly but steadily. Girton College was founded - a women only college. A few years later, Cambridge's second exclusively female college opened its doors, Newnham. Only in 1878, Oxford followed. Lady Margaret Hall (or LMH as everybody calls it) was founded, a year later Somerville, in 1886 St. Hugh's, in 1893 St. Hilda's and in 1952 St. Anne's. The zeitgeist however was changing, so that very slowly Oxford's male colleges had to accept females. It is, from today's point of view, incredible just how long it took the colleges to make these changes. In 1920, women were granted membership of Oxford University. 54 years later, in 1974, the first all-male colleges (Jesus, Brasenose, St. Catherine's, Hertford and Wadham) accepted women. One must probably think of them as feminist avantgarde, being the first to take this step, even if it was only in 1974. But the female side was reluctant as well - St. Hilda's has accepted men only since 2008!
Today's situation is fortunately completely different. Female students are a perfectly normal sight: Out of roughly 11,500 students 5,500 are female. Female lecturers and fellows are common, too, albeit men still prevail in this field. The same is true for the college's highest post, most often called rector. There are only nine colleges which have a female head of house: Exeter, Keble, Merton, St. Antony's, LMH, Mansfield, St. Hilda's, Somerville and Wolfson. While Oxford seems to have come to a normal way of interaction with women, one number still gives reason for concern: For whatever reason, female students tend to get worse marks in their final exams.
Among the many well-known female students of Oxford were Benazir Bhutto (former prime minister of Pakistan), Helen Fielding (author of the "Bridget Jones" books), Indira Ghandi (former prime minister of India), Dame Iris Murdoch (author), Dorothy L. Sayers (author), Aung San Suu Kyi (winner of the Nobel Peace Prize), and of course Margaret Thatcher (the Iron Lady).
Updated Apr 15, 2010
Favorite thing: At Regent's Park, the cafeteria food was excellent and varied about each day that I stayed (about 17 days). I almost thought that I had never tasted a potato before. Potatoes were bolied in a number of ways, jacket style (or plain ol' baked potato as we Americans say), served as chips (good ol' American fries), fried, mashed..well, all in all, the tasty bulb was served up about 7 different ways by the cook staff. Meat and potato was very common, but it did not get so boring. The flavors were to savor without having the meat to drowned in sauce and fat. And the sweetest thing- there was dessert every lunch and dinner, including: chocolate mousse, custard, fruit cocktail, mini assortment of cakes, and the most popular dish-waffle and ice cream with caramel.
Written Aug 6, 2007
Favorite thing: One of the most interesting architectural features throughout Oxford is the prevalence of gargoyles adorning the gothic structures in the city. Just remember to look up while you're strolling through and you'll be sure to catch these creatures looking down upon you!
Updated Feb 8, 2007
Favorite thing: in cafeteria magica
diximus de melvyn bragg
qui decem libri
de populi britanniae scripsi
in the Magic Cafe
we talked about Melvyn Bragg
which ten books
written by British people
have changed the world?
^ Newton's Principia
^ Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations
^ The Rules of Association Football
^ Darwin's Origin of Species
^ Magna Carta
^ Marie Stopes
^ Mary Wolstonecraft
^ Faraday on Electricity
^ King James Bible
^ Shakespeare's First Folio
Fondest memory: Discussing the 10 books written by British people that have changed the world in the Magic Cafe is a classic Oxonian experience, in my opinion... :-D
Written Aug 20, 2006
Favorite thing: I loved the contrast of the busy town with the open green spaces. Everywhere, within minutes of the main routes, were parks and river walks. We enjoyed watching the many grey squirrels at play, they were so tame. They were even in the car parks!
Not being a city person, it was lovely to just turn off the roads and enjoy the lovely, rural aspects of Oxford.
Fondest memory: The fact that Oxford sits on two rivers, the Isis (Thames) and the Cherwell. Water all around. There is always something to watch on the rivers, whether it's rowers in training or barges moving about or just a lone swan passing.
Updated Nov 2, 2005
Favorite thing: Oxford has been the location for several films, the most high profile of them being the currently produced Harry Potter saga, where the Hall of the Christ Church College ‘starred’ as the Hogwarts Hall/Dining Room. There also was ‘Shadowlands’ – the story of CS Lewis.
Written Dec 2, 2004
Favorite thing: Scones, curtled cream, bangers and mash...i ate my way through this city, didnt help that I was hungover from the night before in London.
Its sunny and the people are very friendly. The Universities are beautiful!!!!
Fondest memory: Sleeping in the city on the benches b/c we felt so bad.
Written Oct 2, 2004
Favorite thing: Alyways look for nice service area with a lot selection of food and comfy toilets. If you have the urge to go, just go to this nice service area. Also offer ranges from fast food at KFC, Burger King and McDonalds through to traditional meals, pizza, pannini and a wide selection of salads, sandwiches & pastries at Food Connection and Red Hen outlets.
More information http://www.welcomebreak.co.uk/location_details.php?id=19&go=More+Info
Written May 7, 2004
Favorite thing: Oxford city council is located on St Aldate’s Street and you could get plenty of information about city from this place.
The website is http://www.visitoxford.org/oxford/isite.nsf/default.html
There are plenty of information are there like transport, leisure and tourism.
Updated Oct 14, 2003
Favorite thing: Open top bus tours operate regularly through the city.
For a guided tour of Oxford and the colleges try the City Sightseeing Oxford Tour, with daily departures of every 15 minutes in the summer, every 30 minutes in the Winter.
Updated Oct 14, 2003
Old Bank Hotel Oxford
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