Yesterday I found out my alma mater, Barnard College of Columbia University, has the distinct honor of having President Obama deliver commencement speech this May. While I was reading the note from President Spar I was so impressed. Hillary Clinton was supposedly going to speak during the year I graduated but never materialized.
I was reading the announcement again when I realized, President Spar ‘bumped’ Jill Abramson from The New York Times who was the original speaker saying she can speak there another time. Uh, seriously WTF? Barnard is one of the Seven Sister Colleges (which also includes Mount Holyoake, Smith, Vassar and Wellesley). Even if you don’t major in Women’s Studies or lap up Naomi Wolf’s Beauty Myth as gospel, students graduate with a strong self of female empowerment.
It irks me, regardless of who the man is, to learn a woman is being bumped for a man. Having been in workplaces where men saying “that shit is hot” will actually get you promoted in the urinals at record labels, it definitely gave me pause.
That all being now explained, I do recognize Obama supporting women’s issues and this is a great honor. Enjoy it Class of 2012 and I hope you will overlook the gender issues which you are asked to look at on a daily basis on campus for this ceremony and look brightly into defining the future as leaders in the world.