A controversial graduation speech at Candy Briar Faculty sparked anger for its anti-MeToo message, based on a report from Inside Higher Ed. Throughout the Might 11 tackle by Nella Grey Barkley — a Candy Briar graduate of 1955 — college students had been rattled by occasional remarks that appeared to excuse the sexual harassment that was unveiled by the #MeToo movement.
“It’s a great time for girls to be taking a few of the highlight within the glow of the #MeToo motion, with which I’m solely in partial sympathy,” Barkley, a profession coach, informed the younger graduates.
Barkley stated she applauded girls who got here ahead to report incidents the place they had been being cornered in a locked room by a male superior, however famous that she had “little patience” with girls who “arrive breathlessly at her boss’s hotel room” for a supposed enterprise convention. The lodge room analogy attracts similarities to the ladies who reported calculated harassment by Harvey Weinstein that finally led to the #MeToo movement.
“What did she think was going to happen? Don’t ever forget, it’s you who makes the ground rules and you who enjoys the consequences of them,” Barkley stated. “It’s only natural for men from Mars to follow the shortest skirt in the room.”
Whereas different elements of Barkley’s speech targeted on profession recommendation for the ladies, the tone turned at a number of factors to seeming disdain for contemporary feminism. Throughout the commencement address, Barkley made a “disclaimer” to the college (to whom she didn’t present her remarks beforehand) that she is “no raging feminist; I actually love men, and I married one whom I met right on this campus.”
Barkley appeared to acknowledge her personal outdated views, remarking to laughter that back-in-the-day, males would come to Candy Briar’s campus to “look over” the freshmen girls, however she understands it “works in reverse now.” She additional highlighted disparity between her technology’s views and the present technology, noting that an engagement ring at Candy Briar was once “more prized than a diploma.”
Latest graduates of the college referred to as the remarks “tasteless and insensitive,” based on conversations obtained by Inside Higher Ed. One particular person reportedly added that “there were sexual assault survivors in the graduation class today who had to relive horrible memories as Ms. Barkley participated in victim blaming and internalized misogyny.”
Meredith Woo, the president of Candy Briar, informed college students in an electronic mail obtained by Inside Higher Ed that it was necessary to study from individuals “with different life experiences, and different memories of what worked and what didn’t.” Woo stated that Barkey tried to “make clear the vexing drawback of energy and coercion. However she additionally raised the query of company and objective: how we act responsibly to keep away from and thwart conditions that occur all too usually in life.”
On the Candy Briar Facebook page, one commenter stated that the scholars “deserved better” and reminded them “there are thousands and thousands of women’s college grads out in the world–strong, determined feminists holding one another up, fighting for a better world and a better tomorrow. We welcome you to our sisterhood and our struggle.”
The senior class president Annabeth Griffin concluded in her personal graduation speech on Saturday that her class would graduate “knowing how to fight for things we believe in and win, even when those in power call us crazy. We’ve learned when to listen, but also when not to listen. We are so proud to become alumnae; we are so proud to join the warrior women who came before us. Wonder Woman has nothing on them, although she would totally fit in here.”
When reached by Teen Vogue, a consultant for the faculty offered this assertion:
“The College hopes that the comments overall inspired the Class of 2018 to think deeply and carefully, and we are proud that our graduates listened with discernment on what was a joyous occasion celebrating their triumphs.”
“We have an opportunity to continue a very important conversation – one that we all should be having and one on which women should take leadership – about power, responsibility and advocacy. Sweet Briar College has always been an institution that encourages discussion on subjects of profound importance for our women and our society. We hold this truth to be unassailable: Every woman has dominion over her physical self and must be free from coercion, pressure or influence.”