got me a college girl

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

Friday, March 31, 2006

even Florence had to hear this! (Karen)

“It seems a commonly received idea among men and even among women themselves that it requires nothing but a disappointment in love, the want of an object, a general disgust, or incapacity for other things, to turn a woman into a good nurse.”

Comment from is an 1898 edition of Florence Nightingale's Notes on Nursing: What It Is, and What It Is Not.

Delivering The Oppressed (Rachelle)

For those who are contemplating whether women belong in the professional world, consider this:

I have been reading Terrify No More by Gary Haugen and Gregg Hunter. The book focuses on the work of International Justice Mission(IJM), an organization that takes seriously the words of Isaiah 1:17: Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the orphan. Fight for the rights of widows (NLT). IJM has dived into the underworld of sex trafficking, forced child prostitution and bonded slavery to bring justice to the oppressed.

As I was reading the account of a particularly large rescue operation, Gary Haugen talks about the aftercare of these girls sold into sexual slavery. After all that has been done for them, it becomes necessary for women (trained, educated women) to take over most of the aftercare. These young girls have been victimized by nearly every male they have ever encountered and it is up to women to attempt the initial processes of rehabilitation. The woman in charge of these operations is a Harvard Law grad named Sharon Cohn. Sharon is a wonderful Christian woman who puts herself in harm's way to obey the call of God in a way that only a woman really can. I can think of no higher calling for a daughter of mine than to stand in harm's way and live the Gospel for a group of girls whose own parents have often sold them into sexual slavery.

Along those lines, here is a thought-provoking post by Jeannine Kellogg on the growing problem of sexual trafficking and the work of IJM.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

plan A vs plan B (Karen)

One of my biggest concerns regarding those who do not believe a woman ought to go to college is that there is the assumption that all women will marry, or should marry, or should marry young, or that their greatest goal should be to prepare for all of the above.

I do not disparage marriage. In fact, I have enjoyed the fruits of said institution for over 31 years. I am a huge fan of marriage. However, I do not believe that all women are called to marriage or to raising children. If it were an absolute truth that all are to marry and raise children, then there would be an entire people group made up of past and present saints who have lived out God’s second best for them. They have embraced plan B and are either waiting for plan A to kick in or they have settled for plan B.

If we believe in a God who is sovereign, this cannot be. God only operates with a plan A that he fully intends to see to its completion. Here is a wonderful quote I read just this week from When Life and Beliefs Collide by Carolyn Custis James:

“The questions about God that seem to surface most often in conversations I have with women center on God’s sovereignty and character. Is God really in control, or does sovereignty change hands from moment to moment, shifting between God, the devil, and pure chance? Does God care only about the major events and choices of my life, or does he also rule over the details? What kind of God would allow such painful things to happen to us? Do I really matter to God, or am I less important than others who seem more entitled to his attentions? These questions about God (which weighed heavily on my own heart) send us back to read the Scriptures again this time with theological eyes, searching for God….When God is big, everything begins to look different…..

Those who believe that God has a plan for them sometimes encounter another problem…the conviction that they have lost God’s best plan for them. They believe that they have missed God’s best plan for them….

But if God is sovereign, then plan B is a myth. No matter how dark things look to us, or how big the mess we’re in, we’re in plan A. God’s plan for us is intact, proceeding exactly as he intended, neither behind nor ahead but right on schedule. Nothing, not our sins, failures, disappointments, bad decision, nor the sins of others against us, can deter a sovereign God from accomplishing his purposes.”

biographies of Christian women (Karen)

Knowing how much I love to read biographies, a friend of mine suggested a book called Alabaster Doves, by Linda Holland. An easy read (I read it in a few hours), the book tells the story of 8 women "whose lives were characterized by strength and gentleness" as the book cover says.

It was a fun read because I had never heard of some of these ladies and yet they had a profound impact on the culture in which they lived. What really jumped off the page to me, however, was the fact that God had planned lives for them that they never imagined as they were growing up and that each of them had been so perfectly, providentially prepared for His calling, though they were not aware of it beforehand. And it is apparent that education was a part of those callings.

My favorite story was of a woman who had been trained as a nurse, specializing in herbal remedies, prior to the Civil War. That training allowed her to be qualified as a botanical physician so she was able to support her family when her husband died. It also allowed her to have a special ministry within the small community where she lived in the Midwest.

Years later she was asked to volunteer as a nurse to over 500 Union troops from her own hometown who were dying in southern Illinois. Eventually her training took her to the front lines of battle, ministering as a nurse and comforting as a mother to the young men. When the war was over, she was given a soldier's pension for her volunteer work, something nearly unheard of at that time!

We do not know what the Lord has in store for us. We do know that His ways are perfect and are not our ways. We do know that God intends to prepare us for His callings on our lives and that He uses education to do just that in many instances!

Have any of you read other biographies of Christian women where education has played a major role in their callings? All book suggestions welcome!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

comment moderation (mollie)

I apologize for the inconvenience of comment moderation. We've had some issues with profane and vulgar language being posted in archived posts. As a Christian blog, we will not tolerate name-calling or gratuitous sexual language in either posts or comments. We welcome challenging comments from readers who disagree with our viewpoint, but will not allow explicit language or verbal abuse to be posted to the public blog itself.

Thanks to all of our readers who oppose college for women but have the ability to express themselves without resorting to vituperation!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Some quotes on women, their intellect, and their education (Karen)

”Men should not sit and listen to a woman. Even if she says admirable things, or even saintly things, that is of little consequence, since they came from the mouth of a woman.”

Origen, early church father.

“Woman is defective and misbegotten, for the active power in the male seed tends to the production of a perfect likeness in the masculine sex, while production of woman comes from defect in the active force.”

Thomas Aquinas

”It is an ascertained physiological fact that the actual capacity of the average male brain is considerably greater than that of the female.”

M. Burrows, in an 1869 article that argued against allowing women to attend college in England

“What is the difference whether it is in a wife or a mother; it is still Eve the temptress that we must be aware of in any woman…I fail to see what use women can be to man, if one excludes the function of bearing children.”

St. Augustine of Hippo

“The female is more imperfect than the male. The first reasons is that she is colder. If, among animals, the warmer ones are more active, it follows that the colder ones are imperfect.”

Galen, a “medical expert” in the 3rd century (He, obviously, had never experienced post-menopausal women, btw.)

“God maintained the order of each sex by dividing the business of life into twoparts, and assigned the more necessary and beneficial aspects to the man and the less important, inferior matters to the woman.”

Early church father, John Chrysostom

“A womans intellect is normally more feeble and her curiosity greater than those of a man…women should not govern the state or make war or enter the sacred ministry. Thus they can dispencse with some of the more difficult brances of knowledge which deal with politics, the military arts, jurisprudence, philosophy and theology…Their bodies as well as th3eir minds are less storng and robust than those of men.”

Francois de Salignac de la Mothe-Fenelon, in The Education of Females, published in late 17th century.

I would also like to point out that some of those who are leading the movement for young ladies to not attend college are also advocating a return to the day when we didn't have the right to vote. As far fetched as this may sound, check out this link to read about a film these two guys are making for the 2006 Vision Forum film festival. (Here is a link to the film on Doug Phillip's blog, where they list "universal sufferage" along with abortion as those things supported by "monstrous" women.")

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

coming to a homeschooling convention near you (Karen)

This is a excerpt from an article by John Thompson. He is often a speaker in home-integrated church conferences and homeschooling events and this article is linked to and referenced often by homeschooling leaders who bring this same teaching to conferences all around the country.

Any thoughts?

It was in the other two disciplines—the life skills and spiritual development—that we found substantial, gender-related differences which would affect the content of our daughters' education. Since the role of ninety-nine percent of young women is to be a devoted wife and mother (i.e., not remain single, Gen. 1:28), her training in life skills must prepare her to be a capable helper to her husband, trainer of her children and caretaker of her home (Gen. 2:18; Prov. 1:8; Tit. 2:5). Such skills would certainly include all that is involved in the spheres of cooking, sewing, home care, child care, health care, animal care, gardening, and domestic finances.

Further, if a young woman's spiritual role is to be a servant-contributor, the content of her training must equip her to be a submissive helper in the home as well as in the assembly, freeing up the men to exercise their God-appointed leadership (1 Tim. 2:8-15). Training of this sort might include a major ministry to mothers in the church (on Sundays and weekdays too) as well as helping with the church nursery, fellowship meals, home Bible study hostess, music ministry, hospitality, family evangelism, missions helper, visitation of shut-ins, etc.—all under parental supervision, of course.

In summary, a young woman's training should be modeled after the examples of Sarah, Mary and the virtuous wife of Proverbs 31, whose lives centered around their husband, children and homeworking (cf. 1 Tim. 2:15). A Christian woman's God-ordained "career" is not just in her home—it is her home (i.e., her husband and her children)!

Where is this training to occur? At some distant school, camp or other educational setting? Decidedly not! The fundamental tenet that distinguishes Christian home education from Christian school education is our belief that the parents are a child's God-appointed teachers (Ps. 78:1-8; Prov. 6:20) and that the family home (and its environs) is the God-ordained classroom—"when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way" (Deut. 6:7; 1 Cor. 15:33).

Then when do older children finally leave the family home? For young women, it seems, the Scriptural time for departure is at marriage, and not before (1 Cor. 7:36-38). Because God created the woman to be the "weaker vessel" (more vulnerable, 1 Pet. 3:7; 1 Tim. 2:14), He intends for her never to be out from under the protective covering of either a father or a husband (1 Sam. 30:18). She is to abide in the protective shadow of her father (Ps. 36:7) until she moves into the shadow of her husband (S.of S. 2:3). This is the clear implication of Numbers 30 which sets forth only three Scriptural marital states for women: a single woman in her father's house (normally in her youth), a married woman in her husband's house, and a divorced or widowed woman who is under the direct protection of God (Ps. 68:5) and the care of church elders (1 Tim. 5:3ff). There is no biblical marital status (and no normative Scriptural example) of a single woman who leaves her father's home for reasons other than marriage. Obviously, such a conclusion from Scripture had a significant impact on where we would train our daughters and where they would reside before marriage.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Just Who Are These Women? (Rachelle)

This is post no. 12 in a series.

I'm Rachelle, a 30-something wife and mother. I was born and raised in Oregon in a Christian family and homeschooled for most of my education. My extended family was very pro-education and I started requesting college brochures at 15 and after graduation attended Biola University in southern California for a year before my money ran out. I took three years off to work, save, and pray and then finished my education at Concordia University in Portland, earning a degree in Humanities and a minor in International Business. The highlight of my college career was attending Oak Hill College in London for a semester.

I have worked in higher education (admissions) for 6 years at three different colleges. While working in Virginia, I met and married my husband, Mike, and we have a 2-yr. old son Ben. I left the full-time work force when Ben was 4 1/2 months to be home with him and we subsequently moved to western Washington state. We are active in Christ the Victor Church, where I help with the church calendar.

I'm excited about the voice that got me a college girl brings to the table for many reasons. One is the lack of support I received from my family when I knew that a college education was the right thing for me to pursue. Secondly, my most recent job in higher education brought me into contact with a lot of people that believed that a college education should not a viable option for women and others who thought the value of college for a girl was an expensive debutante ball where their daughters would be introduced to "a higher calibre" of male prospects for a husband. Third, I encountered opposition from some who presumed that because I was an educated woman in the workplace, I would not be willing to submit to my husband and stay home and raise children. I find this view so biased, as if the modern workforce is such a wonderful place for a woman that once she has experienced it, she'll never want to leave. I've never heard this vocalized by women who have been there, but only those who haven't worked outside the home, and men. Lastly, I was single until I was 32 and knew that to some I had less value as a single woman than I would have had I been married and having children. The students I worked with often felt this acutely too, and I spent some time with young women in my office who were confused about their place as Christian women in the 21st century. This blog speaks to their inate value as daughters of God in a culture that pulls them between being defined by their economic/educational value or by their relational value (whom they are married to/mother to).

I relish the opportunity to be home full-time with my son and to help my husband manage his life more effectively. I fully recognize that this is a gift that not everyone has the opportunity for, and am thankful that God has let me be home for this season of my life.

critical thinking skills (Karen)

Another reason that college is a good thing…..

I have been trying to put my finger on the phrase that best describes something I often see missing in those who have not had a college experience of some sort. It finally came to me a while back….it is the lack of critical thinking skills.

In a college situation, your work is constantly being scrutinized and held up to public scrutiny. You are forced to not only evaluate the work of others but to thoughtfully consider what they have produced as well, whether it be a project, a written paper, an artistic work, a performance, etc. You develop these skills not only by what you hear others say in their evaluations, but by formulating your own thoughts, presenting them, and then sometimes failing, and sometimes succeeding.

If one goes straight from a high school or homeschooling environment into their own home, this is not developed. Independent study and self-teaching will not give one those skills. Your world seems much too small and it certainly does prohibit the types of ministry you are able to have with others as well as an ability to process and evaluate the world around you. A formal college education, studying with others who have developed these skills and are able to train you to do likewise, can address this.

I am convinced that these are skills that are much needed just to be able to present one’s self to others, whether we are having a discussion with a friend or spouse or if we are debating an issue, hoping to gain credibility for our position. If these skills aren’t developed and polished, I believe you will reach a physical maturity level but will lack an emotional maturity that allows you to listen and hear others and then respond accordingly.

I will give a practical example of this. I have been involved in a Toastmaster’s club for about 5 years. Half of what we do is to present speeches and the other half is to evaluate other’s speeches. My pet peeve is when an evaluator bases his evaluation of someone’s speech solely on his own experience as he listened to the speech. This happens too frequently, sometimes with seasoned club members. I have come to realize that many of the people who do this have had little formal education and have not been forced to think outside of their own boxes. Thus, they only bring their own experiences and own feelings to the table.

Does anyone else see this?

what is their generation thinking? (Karen)

I came across this “rant” on a young high school or college girl’s blog recently and thought it brought up an interesting perspective worthy of College Girl discussion.

“I believe the influences of Christian mothers and romantically-themed movies (cite Ever After, every single Disney movie ever shoved at us, My Fair Lady) lead young Christian women to believe that they aren't 'complete' or that they haven't fully become a woman until they've fallen in love and gotten married. Or at least, Hollywood usually stops at marriage. The Christian mothers press for lawful procreation. Though I'm not sure how widespread this view has become, my mother told me she expected me to marry and have as many children as I could and she expected all other Christian women to take the same course. She explained her view as 'populating the world with Christians.' I realize I know nothing of the subject. I beg forgiveness for ignorant remarks. Yet I firmly believe that both these influences- Hollywood's happily-ever-after with a white knight and the Christian mother's view of a women's dominant role as a mother, making the most of her youth- are harmful and lead to premature marriage and an unstable home environment when mothers become disenchanted with the myth.

My solution, like my argument is imperfect. I believe women and Christian women especially should consider their choices before they marry, choose a career or children and stick with your choice. If you intend to marry and start a family right out of college, why even go to college in the first place? Our fight to break free of our culture's 'ridiculous obsession with love!' will be difficult and perhaps impossible but better to go down fighting rather than search for an idealized love that will leave us empty in the end.”

So this made me wonder if there are quite a few moms who are pressuring their daughters into not choosing college. I also want to add the Jane Austin books/moves to the list of romantic media that paints the same view for women, i.e., that you must have a man to be complete.

I thought this writer was asking valid questions.

Any thoughts?

Friday, March 10, 2006

four things meme, cont. (joy)

wish I had something more substantial to contribute. maybe soon. ~ joy

Four Jobs I've Worked
translator's assistant in a french manufacturing firm
wrote/produced videos for a high school french curriculum
language tutor (greek, tesl)
executive editor (right now)

Four Places I've Lived
greenville, south carolina (birth, college)
warsaw/indianapolis/lapel/pendleton, indiana
kremmling, colorado (camp counselor)
rockford, illinois (to date)

Four Vacations I've Taken
winter garden/orlando, florida (epcot and mgm, '90)
mission, texas/reynosa, mexico (another friend's wedding, '96)
sarasota/bradenton, florida (best college friend's wedding '98)
fort collins/kremmling/denver, colorado (friends' wedding, camp visit '04)

Four Vehicles I've Owned Driven
phineas. my '89 beige honda accord (first love)
my brother's safari yellow volvo wagon (in a blizzard)
my pastor's minivan (nerve-wracking! for an airport run)
luther. my '93 black chevy cavalier wagon (currently totalled)

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

On Pygmalion (Shanna)

For a class, I recently read an article* discussing the literacy narrative, a genre of autobiography that relates one’s process of acquiring language/education. In this particular study, the authors looked at George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion (or more familiarly, My Fair Lady).

Their topic:Pygmalion raises … questions about the nature of literacy education, about whether literacy can be acquired without institutional training, about the relationship between literacy and socialization, employment, and mobility, about the continuities and tensions between speech and writing, about the influence of popular and literary genres on literacy formation, and about the role of gender in the acquisition of schooled language.”

Their thesis: This is the great literacy myth: “Training in reading and writing [are] the skills necessary for the survival of modern culture as we know it.”

In other words, Literacy (or the education to gain literacy)=Success is a false idea.

In Shaw’s play, Eliza is reformed by Henry Higgins; he trains her to speak and behave like an educated woman. Those who purport education would say this training is helpful, necessary even, for Eliza’s developing of her talents and mind. But the authors of this article (and Shaw, possibly) disagree: “[Eliza’s] journey involves, as we have noted, a failure of memory, an erasure of origin … Henry leaves Eliza with no place in which to use literacy she has been compelled to acquire at Wimpole Street.”

So, the questions they raise for me are thus: Do the benefits of education (particularly for women) outweigh the negatives? Or even, are there negatives? Do uneducated people, as this article suggests, lose something in gaining literacy?

*Article: Eldred, Janet Carey and Peter Mortensen. “Reading Literacy Narratives.” College English, Volume 14, Number 5, September 1992. Pp. 512-39.