The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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Powerful message at Symposium

 Powerful message at Symposium
Powerful message at Symposium

Powerful message at Symposium

I recently attended the 41st annual Women’s Symposium this past Thursday in the Hughes-Trigg Ballroom. It was my first time attending, the Women’s Symposium and I thoroughly enjoyed the lecture and the discussions I had with my table. The day after the Women’s Symposium, there was an article covering the lecture by Ann Crittenden. I read it thoroughly and felt that a few phrases were taken out of context that implied a different message than the one she was encouraging. The article was well written, and I nod my head towards the author.

However, within the lecture of Ann Crittenden she told many stories about women she had encountered, one of whom had specifically stated, “Oh my god, I forgot to have a baby.” This did not happen to Ann Crittenden herself, but rather to a colleague of hers who was referencing to her life as an older busy business woman. Another quote that caught my eye was that “Having a baby is the worst financial decision you can make.” This is yet again from a story of Crittenden’s when she was attending a small lecture – the group hosting it wrote that on a banner to simplify in a very direct manner her philosophy. Of course, the topic of how to have a career and being a mother, as well, is not as easily defined as that.

During the lecture, Ann Crittenden mentioned what a faux-pas it was to mention that you have a baby in any work-related situation. Later at my table, that statement was met with a flurry of conversation. Many women completely understand how that feels. One woman mentioned that during two separate job interviews, the interviewer went completely off topic and asked if she had any children. At that, she would reply that “yes” she did, and immediately the interviewer would quiz her on if she should even be taking on a job. On hearing this, I was completely speechless. Men are quite often fathers, but I doubt that they often face such interrogation if they happen to have children. Ann Crittenden, being a successful journalist at the New York Times with one son through college, mentioned that that tends to be a problem with getting women higher up in corporations and businesses.

I felt that the article implied that mothers were given a very raw deal and should pity themselves, when in fact the message was one of empowerment and admiration of women who do go through motherhood or a career or both. I was impressed with the large number of women who attended the Women’s Symposium and at how strong they all were in all the different facets of their lives. I met many women. who after going through a rough younger life, had picked themselves back up and were going to school to become pre-law or pre-med majors. I am so encouraged after this experience, and I hope more people every year discover at the Women’s Symposium, as well as in their own lives, how very powerful they really are.

 

Kate Brown is a junior art history major. She may be reached at [email protected].

 

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