Let me just take it in. First of all, it is beyond a pleasure and an honor to be here to celebrate the City College of New York Class of !
Nella Gray Barkley The commencement address at Sweet Briar College Saturday stunned many attendees, who found it sexist and demeaning to the Me Too movement and feminism. Some of the new graduates and other alumnae who have learned of the remarks are expressing anger on social media -- not only about the speech but about an email sent out by the college's president Sunday that noted the controversy but did not challenge the remarks that were made.
Many said that the speech and the college's lack of strong reaction to it send the wrong message, particularly at a women's college. The speaker was Nella Gray Barkley, who graduated from Sweet Briar in and who founded a career counseling company.
Much of her address focused on career advice for students -- and much of the advice wasn't controversial. But in remarks at the beginning and end of her talk, she touched on feminism and sexual harassment.
Barkley said that she was in "partial sympathy" with the Me Too movement and cited as an example of a victim of harassment whom she would back someone who was physically blocked from leaving a room where her boss harassed her.
But Barkley went on to say that she did not have sympathy for women who report being summoned to a boss's hotel room. Further, she said, it was "only natural for men from Mars to follow the shortest skirt in the room.
She talked about how she met her husband while she was in college.
In referencing her husband, Barkley said, "I'm no raging feminist. I actually love men, and I married one. Much of the discussion took place on closed Facebook groups, but some members shared screen shots from the discussion on condition that names not be used.
Some who were present wrote about how shocked they were. Others said the speech was "tasteless and insensitive. Several comments noted the impact on graduates or others in the audience who have experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment.
One recent graduate called the speech "shameful and disgusting," adding 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. And some of the new graduates were also bothered by an email sent on Sunday by Meredith Woo, president of Sweet Briar, to those who received their degrees Saturday. The email noted that Sweet Briar is "a diverse and inter-generational community of women.
We cherish this diversity and seek to perpetuate it because the problems we face are complex and require wise and educated solutions. Even as I know the deep emotional reaction some of you may have had to her message, I would urge you to remember that she is a trail blazer, who has coached people at various points of their career as they navigate the complex terrain that we call life.
Regardless, one principle is unassailable: The speaker celebrated and applauded women who came forward through the MeToo movement, to shed light on the vexing problem of power and coercion.
But she also raised the question of agency and purpose: And a recording of the speech shows that the students who were graduating got quiet but never interrupted or disrupted in any way.
But critics are asking why Woo didn't dispute some of the statements in the speech.Jul 02, · Politico points out the many of the commencement speeches by big political players such as Elizabeth Warren and Terry McAuliffe have been banal..
I would go further, all the way back to my own college graduation. The too-long rhetorical performance contained the worst of platitudes. New England College’s Commencement Ceremony begins promptly at a.m.
and lasts approximately two hours. All graduates in attendance walk on stage and are acknowledged by name. The College looks forward to making your commencement a truly memorable event! May 31, · The best advice from commencement speeches in DECATUR, GA - MAY Oprah Winfrey give the Commencement Address at Agnes Scott College .
Hillary D. Rodham's Student Commencement Speech Ruth M. Adams, ninth president of Wellesley College, introduced Hillary D. Rodham '69, at the 91st commencement exercises.
Listen to audio excerpts of Hillary D. Rodham's speech. Oberlin College Commencement Speech [Photo: Getty Images] Lastly, the amazing author and incredible whit, David Sedaris, had this piece of advice for Oberlin’s graduating class: "Be yourself. From Sheryl Sandberg and Steve Jobs to Stephen Colbert and Sean Combs, here are some of the best graduation speeches of recent times.
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