Monday, July 22, 2013

Blog Post: Reflecting on the place of single-sex education today, Emily Adams ’14 says ‘I wouldn’t have it any other way’…

Emily Adams, an English major with minors in Russian and Spanish at Bryn Mawr College, class of 2014, recently blogged about single-sex colleges.

Blog Post Highlights:

“. . . Studying at a women’s college means being able to lift weights in the gym without competing with male bodybuilders. It means walking into any class, whether it’s computer science or French literature, and knowing you won’t be the only woman. It means being certain that your peers will not take your gender into account when evaluating the merit of your opinions. It means watching the Vagina Monologues and later discussing at the dinner table which monologue rang true for you. Would these conversations take place at co-ed schools? Possibly. Would they invoke the same levels of pride, honesty, and sincerity? Probably not.

A single-sex education means being surrounded by bright, passionate, involved women— not just in classrooms, but at work, at mealtimes, and in the dorms. It means entering into an enormous sisterhood which extends across all fifty states and most nations of the world, which encompasses several generations of intellectual women and will hopefully grow to include several more in the coming years. It means realizing in the middle of a lecture that, one hundred years ago, a young woman just like you was sitting in that same chair — learning just as you are, rediscovering herself in new and fantastic ways like you — and taking a moment to bask in the glory of our collective history.

For that woman, as well as the millions who have come before and after her in the history of women’s education, every day of her college career was a celebration of her femininity. The simple fact of being at a school filled entirely with women was an affirmation of the power of her gender. She greeted every day with the realization that she was surrounded by people who understood and appreciated what it means to be a woman, what it costs to be female in a male world, and what it takes to change that world for the better. And whether all of those women went on to be rocket scientists or mothers or both, they carried that knowledge with them for the rest of their lives. They knew that, just as their gender should never define them, it should also never be forgotten. They never forgot, and neither will we. . . .”

From Wikipedia: "Bryn Mawr College is a women's liberal arts college in Bryn Mawr, a community in Lower Merion Township, in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, ten miles west of Philadelphia. The phrase bryn mawr means "big hill" in Welsh."

To learn more about Bryn Mawr College, visit their Web site.

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