Source: The New York Times
To the Editor:
Hatred for women — hatred for anyone — has no place in the White House.
We are female graduates and current students of Harvard Business School. We represent a wide range of religions, ethnicities and professions. We are daughters, sisters and mothers; native-born Americans and immigrants; Republicans and Democrats.
While we do not always agree on politics, we can agree on this: We unequivocally disavow the appointment of our fellow Harvard Business School alumnus, Steve Bannon, as chief strategist and senior counselor to President-elect Donald Trump.
Mr. Bannon has been described as one of the chief architects of the alt-right movement, a movement that preaches white nationalism, racism, misogyny and hatred. He has repeatedly put forth hateful rhetoric against women, including a radio interview in which he referred to progressive, educated women as “a bunch of dykes.” Until recently, Mr. Bannon was the executive chairman of Breitbart, a media company founded in 2007 to challenge the “liberal media” bias.
But Breitbart, under Mr. Bannon, also embraced a more sinister element — a white nationalist and anti-feminist agenda. Breitbart frequently publishes articles that disparage women, such as “Would You Rather Your Child Had Feminism or Cancer?” It also directly targets and tries to discredit prominent women leaders, such as our fellow alumna Sheryl Sandberg, with reporting like “REVEALED: Sheryl Sandberg’s Wacky 1991 Feminist Thesis.” The inclusion of Steve Bannon in the White House legitimizes and emboldens these voices.
We believe that women in the highest positions of power have an obligation to ensure that the mistreatment of women is not blindly accepted and condoned — to use our voice, and our power, to combat the legitimization of hate.
We are hopeful that President-elect Trump will use his power to advance the rights of women around the world. We are supportive of his potential policies, such as paid maternity leave, that promote those goals. In that spirit, we call for the appointment of unifying figures after a contentious election rather than people with divisive records and agendas.
Our institution has had the honor of being associated with great American politicians and leaders. Steve Bannon does not deserve a place alongside them on the mantle of Harvard Business School’s legacy.