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(47,056 posts)
Sat Jun 15, 2024, 05:27 AM Jun 15

Education for Women

I consider my own life. I entered Sweet Briar College in the fall of 1975. One of the last small independent women's colleges. My mother was a graduate of both Barnard and Wellsley.

I'm convinced my mother surreptitiously convinced my father that's where I should attend college. She argued that I could find a decent husband at such a school. I'd have an educational background that would make me marriage material. Plus, it was 1975 and all-male institutions like Princeton and the like were slowly -- and reluctantly -- starting to admit women. The odds would be against me versus an all-women's college.

Of course, Mom didn't believe the marriage market theme she was advocating. Having a BA and an MS from two women's colleges, she understood that I would be the beneficiary of small classes, a variety of disciplines found in liberal arts (e.g., ancient and modern languages, literature, history, economics, music, art, theater, dance, science, philosophy, etc.) Another advantage would be to learn to speak up in class as men would not be there to comment, intimidate, etc. * Leadership skills would be inherent in our classes. And I would learn critical thinking skills.

I took courses indiscriminately, i.e., without a thought of a career. Learning for the sake of learning.

I never married. (Take THAT, Dad!)

I've had a variety of employment due to my ability to learn quickly.

I've had a good life and I give my due to Sweet Briar College. I've decided all major choices without compromise.

My father quickly realized my need to be independent and autonomous and he didn't like it a bit. We had a blow-up the night before I graduated. And you know what I did? I put on a backpack and traveled throughout the UK and Europe by myself that summer.

I re-emphasize: Education, especially for women, allows you a completely different destiny (excuse the alliteration) than if you had married right after high school (if you got that far) and started a family.

Scientia est potentia.
Knowledge is power.

* I graduated from New York Law School. As opposed to support of the class when I spoke up at Sweet Briar, instead, I got catcalls, male "Oooooooo" responses, etc. from prospective attorneys. I was spared that for four years at college.

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(133,176 posts)
1. Congrats.
Sat Jun 15, 2024, 06:07 AM
Jun 15

Dad said I'd ENJOY law school. I ignored his suggestion, and finally actually attended law school AFTER attending a state university (not 'my' state,) spending my jr year in England including several trips on 'the Continent,' graduating from college, finding a job through friend of roommate as 'legal secretary' for tiny legal services program @ Cook County jail with nothing more than high school typing, moving with my supervisor to a different legal services program, and finally decided I could do what supervisor and other lawyers did, so I obtained loan for law school, attended, graduated and was admitted to practice law. (NO cat calls among classmates in Chicago, even tho early years for women to attend law school.)

As first job after law school, spent year as lawyer in Colorado as VISTA Volunteer Attorney. Returned to Chicago, and later moved to DC for Federal Regulatory job for 20+ years; married and had 2 kids.

4 grandkids now, I live independently near 2 (and 200 miles from the other 2.) Fortunately I had no pressure to marry right after college or be anything other but independent; THANKS, Dad!


(10,729 posts)
2. Education is important for both men and women, but it really helps level the playing field for women.
Sat Jun 15, 2024, 06:21 AM
Jun 15

I spent my career in corporate America in various companies, and a consistent theme was that a female manager would voice an idea that would often be quickly dismissed only to gave a male manager voice the same idea minutes later and get praised for his innovative thoughts. Even in corporations that hire a lot of women, it’s still harder for them to get promoted. The fact that we have so few female CEOs and board members is telling. Without the education, many women would not even get through the door.


(32,822 posts)
3. I think it's really important
Sat Jun 15, 2024, 09:26 AM
Jun 15

For women to have some kind of education or skill training after high school and work for a while before getting married or starting a family. It never hurts to get out on your own, figure out who you are as a person, first. Plus you have something to fall back on if your marriage doesn’t work out.


(34,915 posts)
5. You chose a good path. And, as a group, white women with college degrees
Tue Jun 25, 2024, 07:43 PM
Jun 25

vote very differently than do white women without them.

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