C. Henry Smith Contest

Schrag wins peace oratory contest

BLUFFTON, Ohio—Bluffton University junior Mary Schrag, from Moundridge, Kan., won the university’s annual C. Henry Smith Peace Oratorical Contest on April 9.

In addition to earning a $175 cash prize, Schrag qualified for a binational contest with top finishers from other North American Mennonite colleges.

In her speech, “Shooting Chivalry,” Schrag argued that, contrary to conventional wisdom, chivalry is still alive and well and that it continues to be a form of benevolent sexism that masks discrimination and violence against women. She said chivalry encourages men to treat women protectively when women conform to traditional gender stereotypes, but can also lead those same men to respond negatively when women exceed such stereotypes.

"Chivalry is often what causes men to be dominant in relationships and act like jerks when those relationships are over," Schrag said, adding that it "negatively affects the ways in which we deal with violence, it harms women and it is more dangerous than hostile sexism."

Taking second place and $125 was Emily Huxman, a first-year student from Waterloo, Ontario, who discussed “Turning Swords into Ploughshares One Story at a Time.” Third place, and $100, went to Rebecca Juliana, a sophomore from Mechanicsburg, Pa., whose topic was “Out of the Closet, Out of a Job?”

Students in the contest give a speech of no more than 10 minutes that applies the Christian peace position to an issue of contemporary concern. The contest is named in honor of C. Henry Smith, an early 20th-century Mennonite historian and a professor at Bluffton as well as at Goshen College