wellesley-college

Is this the W network?

It’s so hot that Wellesley College told people currently on campus to sleep in the air conditioned Science Center. I told the chair of the board of my internship, who is a Wellesley alum living in the town of Wellesley. I thought that she would be amused. She surprised me by insisting that I stay at her house for the week (and asking if I wanted to bring a friend), setting me up in an incredibly nice guest bedroom with private bathroom, offering me access to any food, and giving me wifi that’s better than Wellesley Secure. She is super nice. This is amazing.

Don’t underestimate how much antagonism there is toward women and how many people wish we could turn the clock back. One of the things people always say to you if you get upset is, don’t take it personally, but listen hard to what’s going on and, please, I beg you, take it personally. Understand: Every attack on Hillary Clinton for not knowing her place is an attack on you. Underneath almost all those attacks are the words: Get back, get back to where you once belonged. When Elizabeth Dole pretends that she isn’t serious about her career, that is an attack on you. The acquittal of O.J. Simpson is an attack on you. Any move to limit abortion rights is an attack on you—whether or not you believe in abortion. The fact that Clarence Thomas is sitting on the Supreme Court today is an attack on you.


Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim. Because you don’t have the alibi my class had—this is one of the great achievements and mixed blessings you inherit: Unlike us, you can’t say nobody told you there were other options. Your education is a dress rehearsal for a life that is yours to lead. Twenty-five years from now, you won’t have as easy a time making excuses as my class did. You won’t be able to blame the deans, or the culture, or anyone else: you will have no one to blame but yourselves. Whoa.

—  From Nora Ephron’s epic commencement speech to Wellesley College’s Class of 1996

I want to join the Wellesley College Class of 1970.

Half the class didn’t graduate because they went on strike for the last two weeks of classes to protest the invasion of Cambodia, and their valedictorian couldn’t speak at commencement because she was in jail after being arrested at a protest.

This might be the most Wellesley story I have ever heard (and its only 10 am).

Why I am embarrassed to be a Wellesley alum

The “Wellesley Network” may be as old as the College itself, but in recent years, it has gone into overdrive thanks to the rise of social media, including Facebook. Now, no matter where in the world an alumna lives, or in what year she graduated, she can instantly connect with thousands of other Wellesley grads at any moment of the day. And although Facebook is often criticized for being shallow and ephemeral, many of the relationships that have formed through the Wellesley alumnae Facebook groups have proved deep and lasting.

Congratulations, racists, you won.

After having my Facebook page blocked for the past 24 hours, I have decided that y'all are not worth my wellbeing or my mental health.

Prior to this year, I was a lurker on Community. I liked every comment calling out racism, but was not in a place in my life where I was comfortable being vulnerable with thousands of people on the internet. But y'all have been way out of control as of late, so I decided to start saying shit. I started calling out people, both for blatantly racist comments and for various microagressions (I’m looking at you white ladies who say “bye felicia” and “on fleek” but then turn around and like racist comments).

Over the past month, I’ve been shit on for being unapologetically fat, poor, and brown. I have been labeled a bully for calling out people who make fatphobic, classist, and racist comments.  

Y'all called me a bully for holding an alum accountable for her racism. Homegirl is gonna post an article about the importance of gendered language RIGHT after posting on the pet forum that “Most Chinese eat dogs and are near sighted”? Without an apology, without ever acknowledging that she’d publicly been called out for hurting other Wellesley Sibs? No. I am not here for your basic, white, bland-as-hell feminism. Nor am I hear for your white tears. Fuck that noise.

And let’s not forget the alum who defended her: you defended her comments, and when you were called out, you turned into a sea of white tears. It was all about your white lady feelings and how I was a bully for asking why “white people always fuck it up.” (In case it bears repeating: BECAUSE YOU DO).

This week, y'all crossed a line. In your desire to cling to your “I’m not a racist” argument, you compared me to Hitler. Yes, I will take screenshots of racist, classist, and fatphobic comments, but they are for my own mental health. It’s a coping mechanism. There are so many fools who trigger the crap out of me that it’s hard to remember everyone who does. But rather than evaluate why a PoC feels unsafe and needs to avoid certain alums, you compared me to Hitler for keeping a list. That is some next level foolishness. I am poor, brown, grew up in the hood, and am a daughter of two Mexican immigrants, one of whom was undocumented until I was born. And you compared me to Hitler.

And you couldn’t just leave it at that. All the tone policing that was occurring–and let’s be real, will continue to occur unless the mods do their fucking job–is ridiculous. I know I was going hard at the alum  who posted about being civil, but so many of you cowards liked and agreed with her. Y'all just as bad as her.

Which brings me to the last 24 hours. In the last 24 hours, I have gone from being one of the loudest Wellesley supporters to being embarrassed and ashamed of being associated with an institution that produced so many of you racists. Y'all don’t know how hard I rep Wellesley. How hard my family reps Wellesley. When my father bought a new truck last year, because his previous one was from 1989, the very same year I was born, and he works all fucking day to provide for us and never treats himself to shit, his first comment was “You need to order me a new Wellesley Dad car decal.” Homie was more concerned about repping Wellesley than getting home and showing my family the car he bought.

And you know why? Because he’s a garbage man and is treated like shit at work by his supervisors. But then they found out his daughter went to Wellesley and were suddenly impressed. Well, let’s be honest, they were surprised at first: had the nerve to ask him if he was wearing a Wellesley hat because he found it in the garbage because how can a Mexican immigrant who barely speaks English and works as a garbage man raise daughter worthy of Wellesley? THAT IS WHO YOU COMPARED TO HITLER.

Dragging my name through the dirt was not enough for your racists. One of you had to be a fucking coward and report me to Facebook for harassment, a silencing tactic if there ever was one. Because you were uncomfortable acknowledging the racism you display as a result of your whiteness and privilege, because you wanted a poor brown woman you’re supposed to support and respect as your sibling, you attempted to get me removed from Facebook entirely.

And this is where you’ve won, because fuck you, I am out.

I do not wish to be a part of a Community that silences and oppresses people. I am done making myself vulnerable and recalling years of traumatic and racist experiences. YOU ARE NOT WORTH IT.

You are not my siblings and you will no longer continue to be a part of my Wellesley family. I have screen captures, I know which ones of you liked and agreed with racist comments. If we are in the same reunion cycle, don’t approach me. Don’t try to talk to me. Don’t pretend you aren’t a racist. If you can’t come correct, don’t come at all.

And special shout out to the alum who made me cry yesterday. And to the condescending moderator who made it worse. While I was bringing up legitimate concerns to you about being blocked, you stated, “Mimi, I am busy, I am running a political campaign.” I ain’t got time for your bs. I am busy. I have a life, too. I get up every day and bust my ass for my kids. Because I want other hood babies like me to have a chance at college. But according to you, your time is more valuable. I wish I had the privilege of walking away from racism, but I don’t, because it  could get me killed. I am sorry that my concerns are ruining a forum that was supposed to be “fun,” but I can’t have fun when I share a space with racists and bigots.

And to the allies who checked in on me and posted publicly, thank you. To the well meaning white allies who reached out via PM but were not willing to call people out publicly, please do better in the future. You have to be willing to stand against oppression publicly, otherwise you’re just as responsible for the hurt and the injustice that have been committed so flagrantly in the Wellesley community this week.

Is that civil enough for you?

Mimi Maciel (@mimimaciel)

Class of 2011

If the purpose of a women’s college is to provide a place free of gender discrimination where women can flourish academically and socially, and to create lifelong networks that will help women overcome sexist roadblocks once they graduate, what argument can be made for excluding women in especially dire need of these advantages, on the basis of what makes them vulnerable in the first place?
— 

“Smith’s Unsisterly Move” - Jaclyn Friedman for The American Prospect

A controversial admissions decision at the all-women’s college shows how far some feminist institutions have yet to go in recognizing the fight for transgender rights as their own.

…Wellesley College alumnae records reported in 1964 that the number of African-American alumnae who had earned graduate and professional degrees was ‘especially striking’ and far exceeded that of the college population as a whole. In contrast to many of their white classmates, who often married and stopped working outside the home, the early Seven Sisters’ black graduates overwhelmingly both married and maintained careers.
—  Linda M. Perkins, from “The African American Female Elite: The Early History of African American Women in the Seven Sister Colleges, 1880-1960.”