Thursday, February 21, 2013

Women’s Colleges Are a Hidden Treasure

Theresa Antonellis, a Mount Holyoke College alumna, posted a comment to the article Neha Thirani wrote for The New York Times, “Why Choose a Women’s College?” I liked this insightful comment so much, that I decided to post it on my blog and it follows:

Women’s colleges are a hidden treasure. Some might ask why would any woman need to be sheltered from men in a democratic and modern world? Women’s colleges are not sheltered. In fact there were male students in some of my classes at Mount Holyoke College, the oldest women’s college. Mount Holyoke is part of the Five College Consortium, which includes Amherst College, Hampshire College and the University of Massachusetts as well as Smith College. All of us were free to take courses at the other colleges, and I did.

However, within the co-ed liberal arts setting, I was shocked to find my voice interrupted and worse, re-interpreted by the top male students in the class. As if I didn’t know my own mind! This is exactly why women’s colleges are relevant today. Without Mount Holyoke, I would have continued to defer to overconfident men. I’m currently in grad school at University of Massachusetts, earning the MFA. I’m happy to be here, and eternally grateful for my undergrad years at Mount Holyoke College.

By the way, to those of you thinking, ‘oh those snooty women’s liberal arts colleges, with high-price tags’, I’m also a Frances Perkins Scholar, as in 'scholarship'! Mount Holyoke College gives very generous scholarships to the non-traditional student, and other under-represented college students. I have no doubt that women have the power to lead in better directions, and I know that women’s colleges will continue to produce world leaders.”

As a point of reference, The New York Times published Neha Thirani’s article "Why Choose a Women’s College?" on March 22, 2012. Mount Holyoke College is a liberal arts college for women in South Hadley, Massachusetts, United States and is the first member of the Seven Sisters colleges. Click here to learn more.

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