A letter to the editors-Women in Art

Sofia Del Gatto

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To the Horace Mann Record Editors,

As we move through an age of progress for women everywhere, seen through the recent record-breaking elections and the height of the MeToo movement, it is important to be conscious of all that our community still faces. The Record recently released an article titled “Alumni in the Arts,” but it failed to include anyone but white males. It occurs to me that this article was unintentionally limited to white men because of a possible unconscious bias, which unfortunately is the most difficult bias to dismantle. Although undoing this prejudice is a daunting task, I challenge my entire community to question their surroundings based on the authenticity and completeness of its representation.

This is not a cry for inclusion—inclusion immediately connotes an inferior “other.” I don’t deny that differences exist and I certainly don’t intend to equate the meaning of our diverse female identity with the white male identity. What instead should be seen as equal is our presence in society. We are here and we are not passive. If we keep seeing women, people of color, people of different religious backgrounds, and members of the LGBTQ+ community as “others” or “minorities,” then we keep living in a world of compartmentalization and of forced inclusion (like the diverse group of people grinning on a college brochure.) It is important that we realize that “otherness” does not exist outside of our social constructs. To some extent it is in our nature to categorize, but we must attempt to push the bounds of this nature if we wish to be members of a truly egalitarian society. Obviously, this is not a simple transition, so we have to work step by step. First of all, we can progress by realizing that a complete social representation is one which demonstrates multiple and equal perspectives, not because this is what our world should look like, but because this is the way we are.

I thank you for the hard work you do to keep this publication at the core of our school, and I hope that together we can move towards a more inclusive community.

A partial list of female alumni in the performing arts:

Desiree Akhavan, 2003

Susannah Blinkoff, 1982

Rachel Dickstein, 1988

Eleanor Lewis, 2009

Grace Merriman, 2010

Stacey Robinson, 1992

Andrea Stolowitz, 1990

Halley Feiffer, 2003

Phoebe Brooks, 2009

Sincerely,

Sofia Del Gatto, Co-President of the Feminist Students Association