1972: Yes All [HC] Women

By Carly Priest, Opinions Editor

“Do your parents read your column? What do they say about it?” I’ve been asked several times throughout the semester whether or not my parents read my column, undoubtedly for the “liberal” content of my articles (I really do not think recognizing the humanity of another person so that they may use the restroom or changing room of their choice is a “liberal” thing to do—it’s the human thing to do). While my immediate and extended family members are supportive of my writing, they are not without their concerns—they often express their fears that Holy Cross will throw me out for my writing in the newspaper, and that peers who disagree with my perspective will make me a target of attack. A few weeks ago, I was at dinner with my dad when he brought up the 1972 column and some of the articles I wrote over the course of this past year.  My dad asked if (with all my hell-raising), I had ever paused for a moment to think about upon all the social justice-driven actions by all people in our community and world. Though I was initially taken aback, after pausing for reflection, I can think of no better way to spend the last 1972 column of the year than an acknowledgement of the strong women who do more than just unapologetically ignite and courageously rise: they look to lift women around them.

I first want to commend Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA) who shuts down Donald Trump like it’s her damn job. Recently championed by Elle as “Woodward and Bernstein all by her damn self,”[1] the 78-year-old Waters rose as an internet sensation in the last year for her for her comments about President Trump. Waters became a household name (“Auntie Maxine”) when she announced “Trump supporters are not patriotic.”[2] She has a point: if we may gauge patriotism on a scale of zero to an unyielding love of God and country, the unwavering supporters of the man who forgot to place his hand over his heart during the annual White House Easter Egg Roll (among countless other unpatriotic actions) are not as patriotic as their red, white, and blue shirts proclaim. On Fox News, Bill O’Reilly (may he rest in peace) tried to squash Waters’ awesome power by comparing her hair to a “James Brown wig.” Waters inspired a generation of feminists with her response to O’Reilly on MSNBC: “Let me just say this: I’m a strong black woman, and I cannot be intimidated. I cannot be undermined. I cannot be thought to be afraid of Bill O’Reilly or anybody.”[3] Maxine Waters, you stand taller and with more strength than most in the United States ever will. Representative Waters, we salute you.

        I next defer to the strength of Angela Dimayuga, the executive chef of Mission Chinese Food. Dimayuga publically refused one of the writers of Ivanka Trump’s lifestyle website (ivankatrump.com) who offered to profile her for one of the website spotlights on female entrepreneurs. Dimayuga’s response (lauded by feminists worldwide) slammed the offer: “As a queer person of color and daughter of immigrant parents I am not interested in being profiled as an aspirational figure for those that support a brand and a President that slyly disparages female empowerment.”[4] Angela Dimayuga, you beacon of intersectional feminism: hell yes. Hell yes to a sisterhood of women who stand on behalf of those they will never meet. Chef Dimayuga, we salute you.

Let us now honor Geena Rocero: trans rights activist, immigrant, speaker, model, and founder of Gender Proud. In 2016, Rocero became one of two openly trans models to appear on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar (alongside Tracey Norman). The global work of Rocero’s organization, Gender Proud, “focuses on empowering marginalized transgender communities around the world, to advocate for their own legal rights.”[5] As part of their activism, Gender Proud works to ensure people around the world are able to obtain legal documents reflective of their authentic gender identities.[6] Geena Rocero, you bravely speak for trans individuals, who are among the most marginalized voices in global society. Activist Rocero, we salute you.

While these women act as voices for all women on a global scale to create meaningful change, let us not forget the strength and power of some of Holy Cross’ finest:

Professor Cynthia Hooper: A professor in the History Department who wrote an article titled: “Donald Trump’s Definition of Democracy Is Dangerous.” The Fortune-published article critiqued “the emergence of a relativized world where every opinion can be of equal value.”[7]

The Women’s Hockey Team: The team announced this past Tuesday plans to join the Hockey East Conference (competing in the same conference as Boston College, University of Maine, Providence College, University of Connecticut, University of New Hampshire, and Northeastern University) in their 2018-2019 season.[8]

Professor Renée Lynn Beard: A professor in the Sociology Department, who recently won the Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship for her Alzheimer’s research and patient-centric approach.[9]

Mary Kate Vanecko ‘17: Mary Kate will speak at the upcoming (sold-out) Worcester Women’s Leadership conference about her success as a female entrepreneur, and the recent launch of her jewelry line, Ella.[10]

XCHROM Holy Cross: This service organization, founded in the fall of 2016, is composed of volunteers who are “passionate about empowering young women in science.”[11] In the Spring of 2017, the group partnered with Holy Cross to launch the first annual “Women in Science Day” at the College.[12]

Elizabeth Amaro Gonzalez ‘17: Elizabeth was one of twelve students recently selected to present their research at the Harvard Medical School-hosted New England Science Symposium (NESS). According to a recent article written by Caroline Shannon (another powerful female member of the class of 2017), Gonzalez’s research, “focused on developing a material on which cells could grow.”[13]

Professor Hooper, HC Varsity Women’s Hockey, Professor Beard, Mary Kate Vanecko, Elizabeth Gonzalez, Caroline Shannon: we salute you.  

        1972 launched this year (with the support of The Crusader’s fall 2016 editors, Megan Izzo and Emily Iannaconi, both members of the class of 2017, both powerful women) in an attempt to push the Holy Cross community towards a more well-rounded discussion of social justice issues.  The pieces included in the column sought to reframe contemporary social justice issues to create a more comprehensive portrait of what it means to serve as “men and women, for and with others.” I leave this the final 1972 column of the 2016-2017 academic year honoring those women (and in an homage to all those not mentioned here) who gave new meaning to the phrase “sisterhood is powerful.” I also leave you with one final thought: as a community, Holy Cross must further their efforts to honor all women who compose this community, especially those women whose voices are historically, traditionally, and currently pushed to the margins of society. From one hell-raiser to the rest: I’ll see you next fall.  

[1] R. Eric Thomas, “Maxine Waters is Back and She’s Not Here to Play,” Elle Magazine (February 22nd, 2017), accessed 2 May 2017, http://www.elle.com/culture/career-politics/news/a43244/maxine-waters-is-back-and-shes-not-here-to-play/.

[2] Sarah D. Wire, “How Maxine Waters Became ‘Auntie Maxine’ in the Age of Trump,” The Los Angeles Times (April 30th, 2017), accessed 2 May 2017, http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-maxine-waters-20170430-htmlstory.html.

[3] Wire, “How Maxine Waters Became,” accessed 2 May 2017, http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-maxine-waters-20170430-htmlstory.html.

[4] Raffy Ermac, “After Being Asked to Be on IvankaTrump.com, This Queer Woman of Color Gloriously Clapped Back,” Pride (April 17th, 2017), accessed 2 May 2017, http://www.pride.com/politics/2017/4/17/after-being-asked-be-ivankatrumpcom-queer-woman-color-gloriously-clapped-back.

[5] “Mission,” located on the Gender Proud homepage, accessed 2 May 2017, http://genderproud.com/advocacy/.

[6] Susan Dominus, “Transgender Model Geena Rocero Tells Glamour Why She Had to Share Her True Story,” Glamour (August 14th, 2014), accessed 2 May 2017, http://www.glamour.com/story/glamour-exclusive-model-geena-rocero-on-being-transgender.

[7] Cynthia Hooper, “Donald Trump’s Definition of Democracy Is Dangerous,” Fortune (March 7th, 2017), accessed 2 May 2017, http://fortune.com/2017/03/07/donald-trump-direct-democracy-enemy-people-media-press-fake-news/.

[8] “Holy Cross To Join Women’s Hockey East In 2018-19 Season” College of the Holy Cross Athletic Department (May 2nd, 2017), accessed 2 May 2017, http://www.goholycross.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=33100&ATCLID=211580735.

[9] Maura Sullivan Hill, “Sociology Professor Earns Prestigious Fellowship to Support Alzheimer’s Research,” Holy Cross Magazine (April 28th, 2017), accessed 2 May 2017, https://news.holycross.edu/blog/2017/04/28/sociology-professor-earns-prestigious-fellowship-to-support-alzheimers-research/.

[10] Michelle Jin, “Student to Address 700+ Attendees at Worcester Women’s Leadership Conference,” College of the Holy Cross (April 7th, 2017), accessed 2 May 2017, https://news.holycross.edu/blog/2017/04/07/student-to-address-700-attendees-at-worcester-womens-leadership-conference/.

[11] XCHROM Holy Cross homepage, accessed 2 May 2017, https://xchromhc.wixsite.com/girlsrule.

[12] Ibid., accessed 2 May 2017, https://xchromhc.wixsite.com/girlsrule.

[13] Caroline Shannon, “Elizabeth Amaro Gonzalez ’17 Presents at Harvard Medical School’s New England Science Symposium,” (April 28th, 2017), accessed 2 May 2017,  https://news.holycross.edu/blog/2017/04/28/elizabeth-amaro-gonzalez-17-presents-at-harvard-medical-schools-new-england-science-symposium/.

Photo: Angela Dimayuga, courtesy of abscbnnews

Categories: Opinions

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2 replies »

  1. This is an incredibly well-written, thoughtful, and inspiring column. I can’t express how impressed I am with your intelligence and bravery, Carly. I see you are well on your way to changing the world.


  2. Chef Angela Dimayuga is a Filipino woman culturally appropriating Szechuan cuisine. She should be condemned not celebrated! Her direct quote: “I didn’t know what I was signing up for when I met Danny [Bowien], I never went to Mission [Chinese Food] in San Francisco. I never had Szechuan food which was the base of his menu. It was a challenge not knowing what I was getting involved in; …”

    Not being Chinese, Chef Dimayuga can never understand the culture that produced Szechuan cuisine so her food will suck and she should be shunned and drummed out of business. Cultural appropriation is serious yo!


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