Why a Women’s College?

womenscollegeI’ve heard it all before. I must hate men, I’m a “feminazi” (a term I despise), and that of course I must be a lesbian.

None of these are true.

  • I generally love all people, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, and there are quite a few men in my life that I absolutely adore.
  • I am a feminist. Guilty as charged. But I more so believe in breaking oppression and gaining equality, rather than oppressing men.
  • And, finally, I’m not a lesbian. I hate that this is seen as a negative stereotype of women’s colleges. It’s no one’s business who’s showing affection to who (as long as it’s not the person I’m dating, then we might have a problem!). Agnes Scott has a very open and accepting student body, see this policy.

And, I didn’t actually choose Agnes because it was a women’s college. I chose it because when I visited, it fit me. The campus, the students, the programs, they fit me. These people spoke and talked about the same sorts of issues I was interested in. They watched the same TV shows, and read the same books (we have a ginormous Harry Potter fanbase at Agnes, seriously, it’s huge), we are just as weird as they come. I loved every second of it.

For four years I was surrounded by people who wanted nothing but to see me succeed. I was surrounded by positive female role models who showed me that I truly can do whatever I want to, and I can’t let someone stop me just because of my gender, because I’m supposed to be seen as delicate, quiet, and fragile. I’m not any of those things either.

I was surrounded by love, kindness, and determination.

The things the campus body talks about at Agnes compared to a co-educational school still astound me. We openly embrace a wide variety of topics: race, religion, rape, politics, gender, sex (both sex as the idea of having it, and sex as the scientific definition), ability, and so much more. We don’t flit around these issues because we’re all “sweet little girls” either. We attack and have serious conversations about these things, because we are serious human beings that want to learn, things happen in the real world that deserve to be talked about.

  • Ew, a girl’s school? I’m sorry, it’s a women’s college. There is a difference in calling a woman a girl. It’s demeaning. I’m not twelve. I’m an adult, and deserve to be treated like one.
  • Since everyone is so kind and loving, does that mean classes were easy? HECK NO. I worked my butt off in classes. I read tons, I wrote more, I spoke up and participated in classes. Studies have shown that women are better learners in a single sex environment, see here.
  • Does that mean that I never saw or spoke to a man? HECK NO, for multiple reasons. Reason 1: Agnes Scott is right outside Atlanta, and Atlanta has a pretty large population, of all sorts of people. Including, college-aged single men. And pretty much every event that happens at Agnes, other schools are invited, including Spelman, GA Tech, Morehouse, GA State, and so many more. It’s pretty much seen as a good place for just about anyone to get anybody’s number. Reason 2: What I’m about to say may blow some minds, but there are men who attend women’s colleges. There are several people I know that over the course of their time at Agnes Scott have come out as transgender. Generally, women’s colleges are more friendly and understanding of different identities, but since I am cisgendered, I don’t want to speak for trans people, so I’m gonna leave that up to them to explain. (Here’s an Agnes Scott committee that would probably be more than happy to answer any questions you may have about LGBT* issues). Reason 3: This exists.
  • What’s your favorite thing about Agnes Scott? The honor code. As first-years we sign a pledge that we won’t lie, cheat, steal (basically we won’t act like a jerk). But in practice, this means that people leave their stuff (even laptops!) all over campus, and know that it will be there when they get back. In practice, it means that we have a trusting community where people are responsible for their lives and education (like adults!).
  • What’s your least favorite thing about Agnes Scott? Dorm bathrooms. Seriously, they are absolutely disgusting.

Here’s a great post from Buzzfeed about women’s colleges. I think it’s pretty hilarious, and I identify with about 90% of it.

There are so many reasons to consider a women’s college, there are some pretty auspicious women’s college alums. It’s definitely not the right fit for everyone, and I get it, I’m not offended by that. So tell me, what made you pick your school?

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