got me a college girl

in celebration of formal education in the life of the Christian girl

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

blog proves why Christian women ought to go to college (Karen)

Check out this blog by a group of thinking, educated Christian women.

9 Comments:

  • At 8:22 AM, Blogger Carrie said…

    I found this blog because it was linked on Salon, so please forgive me for interrupting with a few questions:

    (1) Why do you call women who are old enough to vote, parent, hold political office, marry, serve in the military and pursue higher education, college girls? It seems rather infantilizing.

    [2] Is there really an active debate in the US as to whether women, Christian or otherwise, should be educated? Didn't that sort of thing go out with suffragettes and long skirts? The whole idea seems laughable and not deserving of rational discussion, as if you'd decided to debate whether or not the South should rise again.

    Carrie

     
  • At 1:02 PM, Blogger joy mccarnan | karagraphy.com said…

    Dear Carrie,

    [1] Re: About our apparent insistent usage of a seemingly infantilizing term ("girl")

    I assure you that none of the "girl" verbiage you see here is designed to make nor to treat anyone as infantile. The demographics covered by this blog are deep and wide, and our acquaintances beyond the blog are even deeper and wider. We like to think of ourselves as occasionally mature, somewhat accomplished women--and we certainly don't aim to be an affront to mature, accomplished women.

    Perhaps I speak too presumptuously on behalf of the blog-namers, but I'm pretty confident that the usage of "girl" is meant, rather as an attempt to make readers comfortable and to treat them informally. We're for formal education, but we're also salt-of-the-earth people who can let our hair down. We don't mean to use offensive language, but we hope that you can give us the benefit of the doubt that we're being our casual, well-rounded, non-exclusive selves when we throw around such non-politically-correct jargon.

    [2] Re: Are we for real that such debate does actually exist?

    Unfortunately, while it may indeed seem laughable, there is a spectrum of ideas about the extent to which girls of college age ought to be exiting the realm of God-ordained family (at least in a physical proximity sense) and embarking on a quest for higher education.

    There are those who claim their viewpoints (and this is important for us Bible-believing, Bible-obeying Christians) are founded in Scriptural principles. There are viewpoints that one might consider more or less extreme, and you can Google for a variety of blogs whose owners promote their viewpoints with more or less intensity and eloquence. We don't link to those blogs from here, partly because we do not desire to contribute to their traffic or to direct to them people who might be swayed by the same lines of thought. But I assure you, they do exist.

    They do also have some rationale for their beliefs, and our main purpose is not to negatively deconstruct their conclusions. (Another reason we don't bother to link to them.) We hope, instead, to focus attention on positive benefits of higher education for (in our case) Christian women. In other words, we celebrate the myriad benefits that God is willing and able to provide through formal education for those who do avail themselves of their God-given opportunities and their God-given capacities.

    Hope these points clarify for you what we're targeting here.
    We're open to criticism and will do our best to field further questions.
    Thanks for visiting!

    Joy McCarnan
    http://www.supersiblings.com
    joydriven@gmail.com

     
  • At 6:59 PM, Blogger prairie girl said…

    Carrie,

    Thanks for dropping by the college girl blog. We named our blog after a running joke in our family....no degradation of women intended, believe me.

    I hope you are reading the hyper-linked "teachings" links that Emily referenced. They will help you understand the views we are challenging.

    I really had to laugh at your last statement "The whole idea seems laughable and not deserving of rational discussion, as if you'd decided to debate whether or not the South should rise again."
    It might interest you to know that there are quite a few people who are holding to the "no college for girls" position who also greatly lament the fall of the Old Dominion. If your ead far and wide enough, you may be surprised!

     
  • At 8:50 AM, Blogger Samantha said…

    Just for the record, I was an Intellectuelle (I resigned) and not college educated. In fact, I barely graduated high-school due to too many cuts.

    The discussion about partriarchy and protecting daughters is an interesting and important one (and something I will comment on more later after I browse your blog more), but something for pro-college people to consider is the fact that one can be intelligent, thoughtful, and even well-educated without a college education, and, as many homeschoolers believe, without ever setting foot in an educational institution.

    It is also important to remember that not all people are wired for lots of academic education, and indeed the world does not need more scholars as opposed to plumbers, tree trimmers, trash collectors, etc. Not that people in these professions cannot be educated and intelligent, but "education" in the academic sense is not needed for them to perform much-needed services. Also not to say that scholars are unnecessary. But I often think that higher education and formal education in general is over-rated in its importance in relation to success in life.

     
  • At 9:30 AM, Blogger Sallie said…

    Hi Samantha!

    I am in agreement with you that not everyone should go to college - male or female. I worked with students through a college ministry and I ran into a number who probably would have been better off doing an apprenticeship or pursuing other vocational goals. Unfortunately most people see a college education today as the equivalent of a high school diploma a few decades ago so there is almost a sense that you MUST go to college if you will ever make it in life, even if it means saddling yourself with tens of thousands of dollars of debt. A lot of them would be better off becoming a plumber with no college debt. I'm not joking. There is developing a huge shortage of plumbers in this country because professions such as these are seen as demeaning.

    The reason I support this blog is the view being promoted out there that NO Christian women should go to college. EVER. Yes, there are people out there saying that and using the Scriptures to back up their views. It isn't a matter of preference to them; it is a matter of sin. In their mind and theology, there is NO allowing that God may call a woman to go to college, let alone move out of the house. I have significant issues with that.

    I said to my husband over lunch that this is not the equivalent of the fad of homeschooling moms wearing denim jumpers that has thankfully (mostly) faded away. This is about real women and their real walk with Christ and their real ability to make the most of their giftings and talents. I think that makes it a serious issue and I'm glad Karen and Mollie started this discussion here.

    Sallie

     
  • At 9:49 AM, Blogger joy mccarnan | karagraphy.com said…

    Hey, Samantha,

    Thanks for coming and contributing. As Sallie clarifies, this blog/its bloggers do take into consideration what you've expressed and agree that college is not for everyone. We also acknowledge that there is a wiiiiide spectrum of varying viewpoints re: patriarchy, headship, women's roles, higher education, and what is/isn't right or best, even from one child to the next.

    This particular entry's title (the part that says "Christian women ought to go to college") is a bit more specific/resolute in its thesis/implied thesis than "got me a college girl" as a whole has been. We encourage and celebrate higher education for those for whom it's right and best.

    We aren't dissing those who don't go. We aren't even out to bash those whose sincere convictions and applications are rooted in thought-out research and Bible study. We recognize that this is an intensely family-choice and personal choice. And we believe in a very big God with unique plans for His people.

    We do see potential benefits in higher ed for as many as are able and inclined to avail themselves of opportunities. We do acknowledge that college isn't right/best for everyone. We just think that circle is much wider than some try to make it out to be.

     
  • At 10:06 AM, Blogger Allison said…

    What they said! :)

    Sallie, you wrote:
    The reason I support this blog is the view being promoted out there that NO Christian women should go to college. EVER.

    Exactly. As Joy elaborated so well, this is the general consensus of the contributors: college may not be for everyone, but it definitely should be an available option to all who desire to pursue an advanced degree.

    I'd like to further comment on something else Sallie wrote with which I agree:

    Unfortunately most people see a college education today as the equivalent of a high school diploma a few decades ago so there is almost a sense that you MUST go to college if you will ever make it in life, even if it means saddling yourself with tens of thousands of dollars of debt. A lot of them would be better off becoming a plumber with no college debt.

    As a teacher at a public high-school, I heartily concur. Too many are pushed to be "college-bound," when what might help them most would be an apprenticeship or vocational skill. I have quite a few talented artisans in my 9th grade classroom (including ESOL kids) who are struggling with basic English, but yet are still required to complete ridiculous state mandated requirements just to finish high school, and are still expected to at least make it to junior college. And for what? Years of debt repayment and sometimes an unhappy vocational situation?

    So, in the secular, public sphere, there are definitely unreasonable expectations for higher education, which have, sadly, filtered over into the Christian schools. There are reform movements in education, both Christian and government run, that support vocational alternatives , and we can pray that students and parents will not succumb to that college-bound pressure if it is not the wisest choice. I'm attempting to do my small part by encouraging the students I encounter who are seeking alternatives.

     
  • At 3:28 PM, Blogger jane said…

    I was just going to comment to thank you for the Intellectuelle kudos (I founded that blog but took an early retirement), but while I'm here and in such good company (I found you through Sallie), I'll just add my two cents to the great input that's already here. I'm totally in favor of education in its various forms, but having gone through the public school system in California up through my masters in journalist at Berkeley, I can tell you it's not for everyone. Most people (including Christians) end up indoctrinated with secular humanism. You have to be intellectually sound in your faith before (and whilst) attending these kinds of institutions. Most 18 year-olds are not. It's definitely a calling--I'd be wary of sending my girls to a secular university unless I knew they had the spiritual and intellectual gifting/strength for that.

    As for Christian colleges, I look on them more favorably now that I used to. I started out at one (Westmont) my first year and was very disillusioned by the lifestyle hyprocrisy--also saw a lot of that at the private Christian high school where I taught for a year. However, no educational setting will be perfect and I think teens are better off in a setting where at least the studies are approached with a Christian worldview.

    Lastly, I hadn't seen the connection before but I think this anti-college/career mindset for women is tied in with the quiverfull homeschool movement. Duh. Darn, now I'm going to have to blog about it...

    I've added you to my blogroll and though I'm going on a bit of blogging hiatus here soon, I'll try to visit more often.

     
  • At 11:16 AM, Blogger Headmistress, zookeeper said…

    Lastly, I hadn't seen the connection before but I think this anti-college/career mindset for women is tied in with the quiverfull homeschool movement....


    Maybe, but pigeon-holing in this way is nearly always prone to error. We're quiver-full, and we do indeed have a college girl. I'd like the next girl to be enrolled in college, too, but she's not interested. Oddly enough, she's probably the most intellectually gifted member of the family, and she doesn't think college would be a sensible use of her time and talents. She certainly does not need it to be educated.

    I see the mistaken absolutes on both sides, including this blog- over in the sidebar there is something equating education with college, as though without college, one isn't educated. Yet, as Samantha points out, it is quite possible to be well educated and informed without college.

    The title of this post says 'Blog proves why Christian Women ought to go to college.'
    Well, no, it didn't prove any such thing. I looked at the blog in question and found such a claim for it puzzling at best.

    I don't agree that girls should never go to college, and I don't agree that a college education is necessary to be educated. College is a good idea in many cases, a waste of time and money in others.

    I see a hint of condescension, too, even in the acknowledgements that college isn't for everybody. Who is it not for? Based on what I've read here it's basically not for the spiritually or intellectually/academically weak- in other words, those inferior souls. But that's not true, either. There are spiritually strong, intellectually gifted people for whom college would be a waste of time and money.

    I wonder if you've read any John Taylor Gatto, Richard Mitchell, or Paul Goodman? College is really about credentials more than education. After all, in many cases one can get the same education or better without being spoonfed it.

    Some people need the spoonfeeding. Some people need the credentials. Some people will be interested in topics not easily learned alone (a foreign language, for instance) and some won't. Some thrive on the competition of a classroom, some people can take it or leave it.

    My longwinded point is that it's wrong to say that girls should never go to college, and it's equally wrong to say that the only to get an education is to go to college. It's wrong to imply that only the intellectually arrogant would promote college (I think I've seen that implication elsewhere) and it's *equally* wrong to imply that the only people who shouldn't go to college are people in the trades, the implication being people who will use their hands more than their heads.

     

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