If I may, I believe I am very much in a position to address this article, precisely because I am exactly that woman that every mainstream feminist would say is anti-woman. I am that woman who believes in the vocation of marriage, whose highest ambition it is to be a wife and mother, who completely comprehends and believes in wives’ submission to their husbands, completely oppose every form of artificial contraception in every way, and worst of all, I believe in God! And… I’m 22. Go figure.
But while this article is thought-provoking… ish… I can’t say that I agree with it even 50%. It’s the most unrealistic thing ever in the argument against women and college, unless you’re coming from a mormon community where people don’t even know that cohabitation exists. I have the highest respect for the intentions of parents who are able to keep their children so sheltered, mind you, but I also believe that being brought up that way is extremely dangerous, unless the child is intended to never enter the world. That’s a totally different topic.
Please. I believe in educating women, I do not believe in oppressing them [“feminists” going yeah right or just throwing things], I do not believe in trapping women in a subservient role, I do believe that women should be able to use their talents, and a woman should totally be able to support her family if her husband dies.
I will not be the one saying that everyone should go to college. If you’re going to go to college, go because you believe in the person that you will become as a result. Go because you believe it will help you to make yourself the best person that you can possibly be. If you don’t believe in college, please don’t waste your parents’ money or anybody else’s sitting in classes that you have no interest in and that will count towards nothing because you’ll drop out due to boredom in the long run anyway.
So let’s address these six + two reasons one at a time:
1. She will attract the wrong types of men. Yes, she will. And real men will still also attract the wrong types of women. Why? Because goodness is attractive. Because we all have innate longings for infinite truth, infinite goodness, and infinite beauty, and so the “wrong” type of person, no matter how they seek to deny those truths, will be attracted to the person who lives these truths even if they cannot or refuse to articulate the why. What’s important is that she knows what she is looking for in a man, and will not compromise her standards.
2. She will be in a near occasion of sin. Yes, and she will be anywhere that she goes! Even if she were to stay in her own room, she will be tempted to despair in her lonesomeness, perhaps even to suicide. Please. Temptation is everywhere. What’s important is that she avoids the very obvious ones by surrounding herself with good people, choosing to join the right groups, watch the right movies, read the right books, and bring Christ to all of her endeavors. Whether she goes to college or not, she will always be called to fight temptation.
3. She will not learn to be a wife and a mother. Why not? This is a home problem, not a college problem. Have you brought her up with standards, with non-negotiables? Have you gifted her with a firm Faith? Have you taught her kindness and patience towards her siblings, obedience to her father and mother? Have you expected her to take part in household chores, folding laundry, cooking, changing diapers? Have you taught her that love is a choice, an act of the will, and not merely a feeling? Have you taught her that the Sacrament of Marriage is indissoluble? If yes, then good! Why should she lose these virtues, these standards, these skills, in college? Why should college not help her continue to develop them? Why should she not learn to continue to manage her time in the face of new challenges to be a loving and caring and nurturing person towards her new friends, and towards her family at home?
4. The cost of a degree is becoming more difficult to recoup. Then help her to learn to manage her money. Help her to make good choices about what is worth investing in and what is not. Encourage her in her vocation as a student so that she can earn scholarships. Teach what it means to deny herself and to make sacrifices for her family. If that means not getting her own car right away, if that means making time to shuttle her siblings to their activities or carpooling with her father for the first two years of college, then teach her the value of sacrifice and the delight and wonder that comes with faithfully and cheerfully overcoming obstacles.
5. You don’t have to prove anything to the world. Yes, exactly! I don’t have to prove to the world that I am a woman of God by not going to college.
6. It could be a near occasion of sin for the parents. Excuse me, but I seriously couldn’t believe this part: “… parents may avoid having more children with contraception, sterilization, or illicit use of NFP to bear this cost.” How dare you. I don’t know that I can say much else. How dare you. Have you so little faith in the faithfulness of parents?
7. She will regret it. Maybe I cannot address this yet, but I promise you, I won’t.
8. It could interfere with a religious vocation. Yes, and sometimes you can’t enter the convent without a degree. If God is calling her to a religious vocation, and she is a prayerful faithful woman of God, then nothing will keep her from her vocation.
The truth is, much as I enjoy the thought of staying at home and devoting myself to the study of being a homemaker, even if I could be happy doing that in this in-between-high-school-and-marriage time, I do not have the luxury of not doing something worthwhile with my life. There is no shame in seeking to make myself a better person, in educating myself, in honing my God-given talents, in filling my time with pro-life student groups and God’s work. This is a home and family issue, not a woman and college issue. Prepare your daughters for marriage, not merely for the wedding, and recognize that every opportunity given to her is a chance for her to better herself and bring herself closer to heaven.