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Debate about Victory March’s lyrics continues

Letter to the Editor | Monday, November 12, 2007

My brother and fellow Notre Dame alum recently e-mailed me the link to the letter written by Erin and Caity Schneeman regarding the gender-exclusive Victory March (“Reconsidering the Victory March,” Oct. 30). “A fun read,” he headlined the subject. Indeed, I chuckled as I started down the letter. I could picture the scene in my mind vividly: Two women incensed at the omission of “daughters” in the Victory March, then marching off (to The Observer!) to pen their “new idea” that the Victory March is not gender-inclusive! New idea? Hardly. I recalled the very same debate when I was a student in the early ’90s. Like the Schneemans, I too belted out “sons and daughters” at a football game. I am awestruck that two highly educated Notre Dame women didn’t realize, as I did the first time I tried it, that changing the words to a song (although amusing) didn’t change a thing. At the end of the day, I knew who I was as a Notre Dame woman whether or not a song declared me as such. And, after all these years of hearing and singing “sons,” I still know who I am. There are much bigger battles to fight in this world.It bothers me that this kind of energy isn’t spent on worthier subjects. In fact, if that was all there was to the letter, I would have finished my chuckle and gone on with my day. Unfortunately, the Schneemans made one last comment that is worth my energy and should have caught the attention of all sons and daughters who read it: “What a shame it is that … female students have to raise their hands on ‘her,’ which refers to Our Lady, and not to the women of Notre Dame.” The real shame is on these two women who feel forced to raise their hands to Our Lady. In their so-called quest for equality, they carelessly elevated themselves above the greatest woman of all, the Holy Mother of God! As a woman, Catholic and proud alumna of Notre Dame, I am embarrassed that fellow Notre Dame women would write such an insult. If we’re all this insecure about our gender, and quite sadly, this insensitive to the Divine, let’s change the name of our great University to Notre Dame-Patris.”

Nicole (Verich) Brownealumclass of 1992Nov. 10