Hear Her Harvard: A Sisterhood Of Support From Delta Gamma

Hear Her Harvard: A Sisterhood Of Support From Delta Gamma

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It is no surprise that there has been an extreme amount of attention raised in regards to female rights after this past weekend’s Women’s March. It is not a shock to us that the controversies surrounding this issue are constantly circulating in hopes that it will be brought to the attention of men and women throughout the country.

The millions of women that have attended this event over the course of the years strive to have their voices heard, speaking out against issues such as the ever-present wage gap in our society, as well as continuing the legalization of abortion and raising awareness against traumatic encounters of sexual assault and rape. After all, the future is female, right?

Do not get me wrong – I am an advocate for improving the treatment of women in this world.

I am aware of the challenges that we face on a daily basis, but in no way do I refer to myself as a feminist. Truthfully speaking, my tendencies are just not as liberal as others. I have not been directly affected by these particular issues, and have come to accept the fact that, although my viewpoint may differ from other women that I am surrounded by, I am not lacking in the category of self-respect.

In contrast, I have nothing but respect for the women that continue to fight and speak up for the good of all females. Yet, it was not until I became more informed about Harvard University’s recent sanction on participants in single-gender social organizations that I felt a direct connection to this issue.

Within the past year, Harvard University imposed a ban on members of their single-gender organizations that will not allow for them to obtain leadership positions in “official” clubs.

This is inclusive of unrecognized clubs, as well as sororities, leaving female students throughout the university outraged. Following this news, The Crimson Women’s Coalition organized a rally and spoke out against what they felt was an apparent injustice, coining the phrase “Hear Her Harvard” in hopes of raising awareness.

After the Women’s March this weekend, it was brought to my attention that one of the Harvard sororities actively speaking out against this issue was Delta Gamma. As I have a deep love for the Eta Pi Chapter that I have been blessed to be a part of, I felt nothing but pride in the actions of the Delta G’s of Harvard University.

In my personal experience, Delta Gamma has offered me more than I could describe. Not only am I constantly surrounded by a group kind and empowering women – I am surrounded by a group of fierce women with a passion for philanthropy and leadership. The more time that I spend with them, the more I can see their examples rubbing off on me. That is why, when asked on January 23rd by EO to wear our letters around campus in support of the women at Harvard, I could not help but participate.

I have come to realize that, by EO reaching out to us to engage in such a simple act, we have extended our support not only to the ladies in unofficial clubs and sororities at Harvard, but to women everywhere. Whether one considers themselves to be a feminist or not, it is understood that, at the end of the day, all women are working to achieve the same goal. We wish to be recognized, respected, and valued. Without my own sisterhood, I may not have been brought to this realization, and I remain grateful for that.

Cover Image Credit: Andrew Merz of The Rothstein Group

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Abortion Bans Are Only A Small Part Of The Republican War On Women

These bans expose the Republican Party for what it truly is.

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This week, several states passed laws that ban abortion after six to eight weeks of pregnancy, before most women even know that they're pregnant. The most egregious of these is Alabama — the state has banned abortion except for in cases of danger to the mother. Exceptions in the cases of rape and incest were actively voted against by the state legislature. Under the new law, any doctor who is caught giving an abortion would be sentenced to 99 years in prison, and the woman would be charged with murder.

Apart from the fact that this explicitly violates the decision of Roe v. Wade (which is the point), this is only a small part of the slow but steady degradation of women's rights by Republicans in the United States. To anyone who believes that this is simply about people being "pro-life" or "saving the children," then tell them to look at what happens after the fetus is carried to term.

Republicans oppose forcing fathers to be involved in the lives of their children that were forcibly carried to term, desires to cut food stamps and make it more difficult to feed said child, cut funding for affordable housing to make it more difficult for them to find homes, cut spending to public education so these children can't move up the social ladder, and refuse to offer the woman or her child health insurance to keep them both healthy. What about efforts to prevent pregnancy? Republicans also oppose funding birth control and contraception, as well as opposing comprehensive sexual education. To them, the only feasible solution is to simply keep your legs shut. They oppose all of these things because it is, in their eyes, a violation of individual rights to force people to do something. The bill also makes women who get abortions felons, and felons can't vote. I'll let you finish putting those two together.

If you view it from this framework, it would seem like Republicans are being extremely hypocritical by violating the personal freedoms of pregnant women, but if you look at it from the view of restricting social mobility for women, then it makes perfect sense. The Republican dogma of "individual rights" and "personal responsibility" is a socially acceptable facade that they use to cover up their true intentions of protecting the status quo and protect those in power. About any Republican policy, ask yourself: does this disperse power or consolidate it? Whether it be education, healthcare, the environment, or the economy, Republicans love to keep power away from the average citizen and give it to the small number of people that they deem "deserving" of it because of their race, gender, wealth, or power. This is the case with abortion as well; Power is being taken from women, and being given back to men in a reversal of the Feminist Movement of the 1970s.

Republicans don't believe in systemic issues. They believe that everyone has the same opportunity to succeed regardless of what point they started. This is why they love capitalism so much. It acts as some sort of great filter in which only those who deserve power can make it to the top. It's also why they hate social policies; they think that helping people who can't help themselves changes the hierarchy in a negative way by giving people who don't "deserve" power, power. Of course, we know that just because you have money and power doesn't mean you earned it fair and square, and even if Republicans believe it, it wouldn't change anything because it wouldn't change how they want to distribute power.

In short, Republican policies, including abortion, leave the average American with less money, less protection, less education, worse health, less opportunity, fewer rights, and less freedom. This is NOT a side effect. This is the point. Regardless of what Republicans will tell you about "inalienable rights" and how everyone is equal, in reality, they believe that some people and groups are more deserving of rights than others, and the group that deserves rights the most are the ones "that will do the best with them." To Republicans, this group consists of the wealthy, the powerful, and the white — the mega-rich, the CEOs of large companies, gun owners and Christians.

So, who do Republicans think deserve power and give it to? People who look and think like them. This, however, begs the question: Who do they want to take it from?

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