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Substitution can keep tradition

Letter to the editor | Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I read with interest the letter from Caity Schneeman and her mother, Erin Burns Schneeman, “Reconsidering the Victory March” (Oct. 30). I am in total agreement with these two ladies. Women have been attending the University for decades now, and it’s about time to do away with the gender specific “sons” and use a different pronoun. I suggest using the term “ones.” Since we refer to those we love as “loved ones,” it seems a perfect term to use in this situation.

If the gentlemen at Notre Dame want to continue their proud tradition of shouting out, “sons,” when they sing the “Victory March,” then, fine, allow them to do so. But, also, allow the ladies to be included by shouting out, too. If the lyric change is made to “ones,” then even if some or most of the male students continue to sing, “sons,” the two words will mesh together so well that they will seem almost indistinguishable to those listening. I think it would be preferable for everyone to sing, “ones,” but it would work either way.

It is unfair, as well as an act of discrimination, to continue to exclude women by not changing the term, “sons,” to something which includes both genders. Please allow women to feel a greater part of this wonderful university. Exlusion is never a pleasant thing for anyone. Both male and female students should feel “equal” at this university in every way. After all, this is a Christian university, which reveres a woman: the Virgin Mary. I would think it only right to change the wording to give female students a better feeling and sense of belonging.

By the way, I am a mother, too, and I have a son (class of 2003). I have no daughters, so I am not writing this with any personal agenda in mind. I’m writing it on behalf of women, as well as everyone, who have ever felt discriminated against, unwanted, or rejected, through no action of their own – just because of “who” they are.

Holly Miller

Mead, Wash.

Oct. 31