Sunday, December 8, 2013

Girls Only: My Unisex Educational Adventure



Sometimes I’m sitting in the hallway of my high school eating a jar of frosting with my fingers and think to myself, DAMN I’m so happy there are no boys around.  Attending an all-girls catholic school has affected many aspects of my life.         

Most importantly I think it has had a major hand in making me the feminist I am today.
At my school every student leadership position is held by a woman, because every student is a woman.  This might be an obvious observation but it holds so much importance. 

I see every day the immense power of women and their capacity to be successful leaders.  I encounter strong women everywhere.  Statistically, there is a gender gap not just in political ambition on the nationally level but also in high schools.  Student government leadership is more likely to be held by males versus females.  But my experience is different.  Girls are not just the secretary.  They are also the president.  They lead every aspect of the school and are successful in every area.

This is normal every day for me but when I get out into the real world (eeek! that’s so scary ) this is going to give me a drastically different view point than my co-educational counter parts.  I am not only use to female leadership but I expect it and if it is not already there I will become it myself. 

Nothing is perfect though (expect JFK… he is my kryptonite… also I completely realize and am choosing to ignore his womanizing tendencies) and having no males does have its faults.  My lack of male acquaintances (when I tell guys I’m a feminist they either laugh, think that I’m a man hating lesbian or both and sometimes they are feminist too) is sometimes depressing. 

 And my overall track record with romantic escapades is kind of… (the ellipses are used to keep it ambiguous… gotta keep you readers on your toes).  But I think the negatives out play the positives.  Just because I don’t have a lot of guy friends doesn’t mean I can’t have a conversation with the opposite sex… and even flirt… uhh… never mind about the flirting… I always feel like I’m either giving off a creepy vibe or my attempt at aloofness gets to the point of rudeness.  Coyness was never meant for me and when I wink I look demented.

Another plus of unisex education is the ability to dismiss the silence of females that comes with a male presence.  Have you ever noticed how some girls transform when guys enter the room.  My experiences in middle school have shown me firsthand the affect boys can have on girls in the classroom.  Not only distractions of the romantic side (dear 8th grade crush who never knew I existed… I still love you).  In my opinion some girls feel as if they have to walk the fine line of asking questions but not too many questions. 

Being smart but not smart enough.  Answer questions, but not too many.  

With no boys around it is amazing the things girls will do.  It is crazy the chances they will take, the questions they will answer and ask.

The power they gain.

The freedom they feel.

Though after four years I am ready for my long waited exit from high school (and every other horrid thing that comes with living in the suburbs of a mid-sized city in the Midwest) I am extremely grateful for my high school experience.  If I went to <fill in super large public school in southwest Ohio> I don’t know if I would have grown into the young women I am today.

My experiences make me who I am and the moments of absolute bliss dancing in the café to No Scrubs by TLC are as vital to my feminist experience as reading Ms. Magazine for the first time.
And my experiences wouldn’t happen at any other high school.

1 comment:

  1. Mimi! I really like this, but I went to a co-ed school and just from personal experience I think that whole girls acting different around guys thing is a little bit outdated. I totally agree that in middle school it was probably different because girls tried to fit in more and cared more what guys thought, but in high school it was much different. GIrls don't want the guys to beat us at school and I think it made us all much more competitive than we would've been otherwise. I also think it prepared me a lot more for college and the real world because I know how to interact with guys. Also on a side note I was totally class president and my vice president was also a girl, and we went to conventions all the time for leadership stuff and there was always more girls than boys. I think kids in high school understand that they just want the job done, I don't think they care anymore whether or not a girl does it. I agree, though, that the government hasn't picked up on the principle as much but they also have a much longer turn around in representation and I think it takes some time. I really liked this though, good job!

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