By Khadijah DuncanSPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE
When most people think of streetwalkers, we think of prostitutes. Mary Anne Trasciatti, professor of rhetoric and keynote speaker for the Women’s HERstory reception, told her audience that, “streetwalkers are women who are advocating for their rights and using the streets.” The streets are “radical democratic spaces.”
It often seems that men are the primary focus when history is studied in the mainstream. However, this past Wednesday, women were center stage at the Women’s “HERstory” Reception. Trasciatti spoke specifically about finding your voice: “Be an activist for what you believe in.”
The Multicultural and International Programs Office hosted an event during common hour in celebration of Women’s History Month. The event started off with opening remarks made by junior Shannon Alomar, who spoke about the theme for this month: women’s journeys.
“We are here to celebrate women from all walks of life who overcame struggles,” Alomar said.
The next speaker was Christine Brazeau, president of She’s The First, a not-for-profit organization that sponsors girls’ education in the developing world. Brazeau spoke about how She’s The First has helped her gain leadership skills, confidence, and empowerment.
“Every girl is self-conscious, but this organization has helped me turn my self-consciousness into self-confidence,” said Brazeau, a junior public relations and global studies major.
Senior and sophomore dance majors Julia Macchio and Julia Neto performed a dance, choreographed by Macchio titled “Underneath.” Neto danced the persona, the parts that you want people to see, and Macchio was the shadow, the parts that we all want to hide.
“It reflects a person’s struggle to accept all parts of themselves, even the parts they are ashamed of,” Neto said. “Young women face discrimination and inequality daily. They are forced to feel shame. I want all women to take that power and love themselves.”
Junior broadcast journalism major Elisa Tang said, “I found this event very interesting. A long time ago in history, women weren’t considered streetwalkers, whereas today women feel very cautious about what they wear when they are walking on the street.”
Mistress of Ceremonies Shannon Alomar explained what “HERstory” means to her.
“It attacks gender roles. It celebrates our obstacles and struggles and this month breaks away from the male-dominated world. It is great that we have a month specifically for women,” Alomar said.