All-women’s colleges attract thousands of students and offer a quality education for young women who want to learn in an environment with other women. Unfortunately, there are also some very damaging misconceptions that people have about all-women’s colleges, which can harm the reputations of the schools and the students who go there. Fortunately, Fresh U is here to debunk some of those myths in order to give you a more accurate perception of all-women’s colleges.
1. Everyone is a woman.
While some colleges are technically classified as “all-women’s colleges," not everyone who attends one is a woman. There are plenty of students who identify as nonbinary, genderqueer, genderfluid and other gender nonconforming identities that are not female. There are also students who are trans men, who may have identified as women or not been out as trans when they first applied to college but who have come out as trans over the course of their college journey and now identify as male.
2. We’re desperate for men.
Most of us don’t really mind that we don’t have (an overwhelming amount of) men around, and even if we are interested in men, we’re not desperate to find them. For the most part, not having a lot of male students on campus is an incredibly freeing experience, because it allows female students to avoid some of the sexism in the classroom and on campus that they would experience with a higher concentration of male students.
3. Everyone is conservative and uptight.
There’s a very negative belief that most of the students at women’s colleges go there because they’re deeply conservative and want to isolate themselves from boys and social life. This is completely untrue. Not only do many women’s colleges have thriving social scenes, the idea that women are incapable of having fun without men is simply ridiculous. In terms of political views, women’s colleges are often liberal hubs full of open-minded, politically active individuals.
4. Girls are inherently catty, so there’s always tons of drama.
This is not only deeply misogynistic, but it’s also wrong. Most of the students are genuinely good people who enjoy helping others and are willing to get along with those around them. Obviously there are exceptions to this rule, but for the most part, drama only really occurs when something really bad happens.
5. Our parents made us go here.
This one is likely the fault of movies and TV shows telling us that parents send their “unruly” daughters away to all-women’s schools in an attempt to “control” them, but in reality, most students are here because they genuinely want to be here and have an interest in the school. If our parents are glad that we picked the college we did, that’s just an added bonus.
6. We go to an “all girls’” college.
I often hear people tell me that my college is an “all girls’” school. While I understand what they mean, in reality the term ignores the fact that the students at all-women’s colleges are adult women, not girls. Referring to grown women as girls can be very demeaning, even if it’s not intentional, because we’re adults who deserve the respect awarded to adults.
7. We’re ignoring the real world.
Many critics of all-women’s colleges like to tell students that they’re delusional and ignoring the real world, where they’ll have to interact with men on a regular basis. Every student knows that; most of us spent our time before college, and our time outside of college, interacting with men often. We know we’ll have to interact with men eventually, but for now, it’s nice to have a few years of spending time with (mostly) just women.
8. We’re not getting a good education.
There’s a belief that co-ed colleges attract better professors than all-women’s colleges and that the students at co-ed colleges therefore receive a better education. This isn’t true at all. All-women’s colleges have fantastic professors, and graduates leave very prepared for the workforce.
9. Our sports teams must be terrible.
This misconception plays into the — completely false — belief that women can’t be good at sports. While men’s sports may receive more funding and attention than women’s, women are just as athletic as men, and women’s sports teams can be just as good as men’s.
If you find that you have inaccurate ideas about women's colleges, know that you aren't alone: most people have very inaccurate perceptions of these schools. With a little bit of extra research, however, it's easy to debunk some myths you may have had and become better informed.
Lead Image Credit: Pexels