Marissa Gugala- News editor
In honor of Women’s History Month, Brennan Library has displayed a series of photographs that feature well-known, female liberal politicians. The display features headshots of four women who appear on the March edition of Rolling Stone Magazine: Ilhan Omar, Jahana Hayes, Nancy Pelosi, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The display, though done in good faith is a catalyst for conservative marginalization.
According to the Cambridge Dictionary, to marginalize someone is “…to treat someone or something as if they are not important.” Lasell has been doing their best to address issues such as racial marginalization on campus. They have even implemented different programs in hopes of making students of color feel welcome on campus.
While racial marginalization on campus is an issue that should be addressed, Lasell is lacking in resolution when it comes to political marginalization. It is well known that Lasell is a predominantly liberal college. Though we are few in number in comparison to the liberal community on campus, right-wing leaning students exist.
Some right-wing students have gone as far as to use the term “shrine” to describe the display in Brennan Library. Though it seems to be in honor of Women’s History Month, the display lacks the presence of women with diverse perspectives. Women should be celebrated but it should not be one-sided. One student presented a list of powerful, right-wing women who he believes deserve to be featured on this display. Some of these women include but are not limited to Condoleezza Rice, Margaret Thatcher, and Barbara Bush. A professor suggested Janet Reno, Elizabeth Dolton, and Shirley Chisholm.
Accompanying the photo of each woman is a quote. Under Cortez’s photo, it states, “This socialist star came to D.C. to ‘swing the fences’ and fix the country.” This statement is laden with bias. Calling her a “socialist star” is an opinion. Saying she has come to “fix the country” is an opinion. These terms suggest there is a need for socialism in the United States and that Cortez can provide it.
The issue with not only this quote but the entire display is its blatant bias towards liberal viewpoints. Libraries, whether they are public or academic in nature are tasked with the free and open exchange of ideas. They are the guardians of democracy. Women’s History Month is about celebrating powerful and inspirational women with all viewpoints. It is about the beauty in diversity. Women’s History Month is not a time to push a political agenda. As the guardians of democracy, Brennan Library has a duty to present and provide students with information about all viewpoints.
Though groups such as Young Americans for Freedom (YAF), a conservative group designed to stimulate political conversation and the Republican club (the two are not affiliated), exist on campus, students have still expressed feelings of marginalization from professors and other students. The display in the library, though done in support of Women’s History Month only validates these feelings further.