I actually couldn’t believe this article was real at first. Then I remembered that there are millions of people in the world that think this way and, being a girl at college myself, am not exposed to them very often.
**DISCLAIMER: This article and the response I’ve written are very heteronormative because there was already so much wrong with this article that I honestly don’t have the time or energy to address the issue of marriage equality and a family without both a mother and father. The article is so religiously biased that this would simply be a moot point to argue, so I’m ignoring it (temporarily) in the response. I’m picking my battles at this point.**
This is a very real view on life and society that exists. Now. In the 21st century. So you can’t tell me we don’t need feminism because women are already seen as equals (for those of you gullible enough to believe that patriarchal propaganda in the first place).
The really golden nugget of ‘wisdom’ that initially reeled me in is the opening to the first paragraph:
"Probably the most controversial and rejected position we have at Fix the Family is that parents should not send their daughters to college. It is even more vehemently opposed than the submission of wives to their husbands. Both of these positions we have are a threat to the trophies of the feminist agenda, so the rejection we receive is always emotionally charged and ends up insulting, since once explained logically, the opposition runs out of substance and is only left to hurl insults and presume and misconstrue this practical wisdom into some chauvinistic evil.”
First off, parents do not send their daughters to college anymore. Daughters are humans, with free will and their own ability to make decisions. Daughters are women who choose to go to college and are not “sent there” by their parents. I know this is a common phrase used for both sons and daughters, but it’s one I wish would be eradicated from our vocabulary. The connotation is that as teenagers we aren’t capable of choosing college for ourselves and instead it is thrust upon us by others (which does happen for many people, but is no longer the majority).
Also, feminists don’t exist to misinterpret what you say and turn it into something evil. Feminists exist because what you are saying undermines the value of women and insists they are not worthy of the same opportunities granted to men. Our agenda is equality, not misandry. (side note: the google chrome spell-check does not recognize misandry as a valid word. I’ll let you interpret that as you see fit).
This article, admittedly, makes a few good points about the flaws of the education system today. For example, they argue that many people don’t go to college to learn and instead go to get a job:
"College has become more of a training ground for a job. Let’s be clear: college graduates receive a diploma, not necessarily an education."
This is, in some cases, true, especially for those of us that have been forced to attend college even though we don’t want to or those of us who see it simply as a time to party (which is not inherently wrong, just not the best approach to college life). So yes, valid point, Fix the Family. But then they follow it up with statements like the one below.
"Today, anyone can learn anything they want with the vast library system across the country and with the easy access of the internet. So the real reason girls go to college is for a degree, not an education."
There are so many things wrong with that but I’m going to focus on just one thing. Internet access is not as easy to obtain as you would think. For most of us, we live in a home or situation in which wifi is available 24/7 so it feels like easy access to us. We live in a world where many restaurants and stores have free wifi access for customers. The internet is an increasingly available resource, but it isn’t available to everyone. The wifi you use is paid for by someone, maybe even yourself. But imagine if you were without a job, living in poverty. The internet then becomes a difficult to obtain commodity. If you have no college education, it becomes even more difficult because finding a well-paying job is a lot more difficult, especially without access to internet. This is a real issue for many people. Don’t assume access to the internet and it’s “teaching abilities” is easy.
I’m going to skip through a lot of the highly offensive Catholic propaganda that insists Catholic school is the only way to go and go straight to this.
"College may be necessary for the provider of a family depending on the vocation God is calling them to or for those who are called to the Priesthood, both of which are intended for men."
Just stop there. Self-explanatory why this is the most frustrating thing I’ve read this far.
The author attempts to redeem himself in the eyes of women by saying “My personal impression is that the day-to-day grind of a job is below the dignity of women.” Okay, thanks for saying we’re dignified. Go on. “In a way, it is like being a hired hand…”
Nope. You lost me. No longer feel respected. Women do not join the workforce to be hired hands. Many of us join the workforce because we are passionate about what we want to do and we want to help change the world. Saying us working is like being a hired hand is saying you don’t believe we can do these things. You don’t believe we can influence the world, or have a position of power, or accomplish anything on our own. You’re wrong.
"The feminist world has twisted this so that a job (career) appears elevated, and homemaking is denigrated. This is the evil work of Satan and devastating to families."
Once again, a valid point followed immediately by nonsense. A job isn’t any better than homemaking. But insisting that women have to be the homemakers is the issue. Women can be stay-at-home moms and there’s nothing wrong with that, if they so choose it. Men can be stay-at-home dads. That’s actually really great in many cases because it fosters a different kind of development for children than what we’re used to. Both parents can work too. The point is that we shouldn’t have a “model” for how things are done. There is nothing wrong with variety and no way of raising a family is inherently bad (except for, maybe, not working at all and starving your children, or abusing them, or any sort of mistreatment—but that’s a wholly different topic).
So I’ve already written a long argument against this article and I’m only on the second bullet point. So I’m going to skip ahead to the actual reasons they say women shouldn’t go to college (both to spare myself even more frustration and to address the main issue here. There are plenty of horrible things written I’d like to rant about, but they don’t pertain to the actual point of the article. Read it for yourself and you’ll be able to feel the fury inside of you.)
So reason number one is that “She will attract the wrong types of men.”
"…if he ‘doesn’t want to have to answer to anyone’ he can start his own business, and it doesn’t matter if it fails or succeeds or makes enough income because again she’s there to help. The bottom line, HE is only supplementing HER income, but he’s supposed to be the provider."
So you’re saying that men who are dedicated, hard-working, and responsible cannot be attracted to a woman with the same qualities? That’s a laughable idea. Especially since many people meet their future spouse in college and, presumably (as the author suggests), both of those people are there because they want a career of their own and are working hard for it.
Also, I repeat, there is NOTHING WRONG with a stay-at-home dad and a working mom. And the assumption that every man (or person) who chooses to start his own business is doing so to avoid working for someone else is incorrect. Many people start their own business because what they want to do cannot be done in a pre-existing position.
The second reason is “She will be in near occasion of sin”
"Is a degree worth the loss of your daughter’s purity, dignity, and soul?"
Wait, so I have no soul because I’ve had sex? Not even going to address the extreme slut-shaming in this part of the article.
The next reason is “She will not learn to be a wife and mother" which is an invalid statement because you learn to be these things naturally. Plus, taking care of yourself at college really drives those ideals home so when you do have a family, you know what is necessary when balancing a lot of different things in your life at once.
Reason number four is “the cost of a degree is becoming more difficult to recoup”
"Like anything that is subsidized by the government, the cost of a college degree is inflated. That being the case, it can often be difficult or impossible to get an adequate payoff for the investment."
Yeah, you’ve just pointed out what’s wrong with the way our education system works, so thanks. What does this have to do with girls going to college, though? Men also have to pay student loan debt. This is only relevant to women going to college because maybe if you paid women the same as men for the same work, it would be easier for us to pay off our loan debt. But hey, radical idea, right?
"It makes much more sense for a young couple to have a husband with a skill that brings value to the marketplace that has reasonable compensation to go along with it and a wife who is willing to be frugal especially during the early years of starting their family."
Actually, wouldn’t it make much more sense for BOTH PARENTS TO HAVE A JOB. No? Okay.
Moving on. Reason 5 is “You don’t have to prove anything to the world" which is completely true. You don’t have to prove anything to the world or to the people writing this article. Prove something to yourself.
"So parents and their daughters often beam with pride in announcing what university she will attend."
There is nothing wrong with being proud of your accomplishments. What’s the point of going to school for twelve years if you can’t be happy with what you’ve done? And if that means acceptance into a good college, that’s great! If it doesn’t, that’s great too. As long as you’re proud of it.
Next is “It could be a near occasion of sin for the parents" which is an argument so religiously involved that I’m not going to pay any attention to it, because it’s entirely based on a belief system.
Finally, “She will regret it”
Not, “she might regret it.” She WILL regret it.
"We are not surprised that more and more women are coming forward to tell their stories of regret for having by-passed the more meaningful things in life to opt for the approval of feminists who cared nothing more about them than being statistics to reinforce their agenda.”
Being a wife and mother is not more inherently meaningful than having a career you are passionate about. Both have different merits and both fulfill different human needs. Don’t show disdain for women who choose their career over a family.
Also, I’d like to wrap this up by saying, as a feminist, that I don’t use other women as evidence in my “agenda.” I care about other women and about myself. That is why I am a feminist. I need feminism because people are seen as statistics and I want all people to be seen as people, women included.