By now many in the academic world, and quite a few outside of it, know that the president invited himself to Barnard College at Columbia to speak and the school graciously accepted. What is particularly noteworthy about the invite is that, in doing so, the women’s college bumped the female speaker originally scheduled to make the commencement address there.
What does this tell us about the commitment of this women’s college to the gender it purports to serve? “The amazing irony in this Obama decision, which gets glossed over, is that by inviting himself to speak to the graduating young ladies about the exciting life and opportunities he’s helping to shape for them in this country, this man forced Barnard to un-invite its already scheduled commencement speaker,” Andrew Malcolm points out in Investor’s Business Daily. “That scheduled speaker was an accomplished woman, Jill Abramson, the new executive editor of the New York Times and the very first woman to head that institution in its 160 years.”
“After all, who wouldn’t rather hear from a campaigning male politician about what he’s diligently doing to help women instead of from a pioneering woman in journalism who’s been successfully practicing the craft on her own since the man bumping her out as speaker was a mere sixth grader?”
Malcolm A. Kline is the Executive Director of Accuracy in Academia.
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