Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Be Ignorant, Be Silent, Be Thick: Melissa Harris-Perry's Wellesley College Commencement Speech

Many of you have probably heard your fair share of graduation speeches over the last few weeks, but I couldn't resist posting this video of Melissa Harris-Perry's speech at Wellesley's graduation this year.

Some of my favorite parts:

"Don't nod and smile unless you're happy and agree."

"Don’t let your voice do that high-pitched thing at the end that sounds like you’re asking a question when really you’re making a statement."

"You’re going to miss a new syllabus. You’re going to miss someone handing you a piece of paper full of things you didn’t know about; the exquisite moment of utter ignorance just before the learning begins."

"Ignorance is not your enemy. Only complacency with ignorance is to be resisted."

"Never become so enamored of your own smarts that you stop signing up for life’s hard classes."

"Women’s education is very much about finding your voice, about sharing your ideas freely, about battling the boys. But there is an enormous difference between being silenced and choosing to be silent. When you choose to be silent, to quiet it down, to listen, you’ve actually exercised the other part of voice – the part that makes your voice sound like something."

"In a world that teaches women to be thin, be thick. Thin women stand on the sidelines, they’re critical, they’re removed, they’re barely committed. But thick people pitch tents in a park, with the belief that social action can change an entire global system of economic injustice. Thin citizens vote. Thick citizens run for office. Thick leaders listen, learn, and correct. Thin women look great in bikinis. Thick women look terrific in history books."

No comments:

Post a Comment