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Sun Mar 20, 2022, 07:39 AM

My mother tricked my father into sending me to an independent all women's college.

Sweet Briar.

Actually, both parents wouldn't let me apply to any other genre. I applied to Randolph Macon Women's College, Beaver College, Gaucher College. And I got into all of them.

1975. I was a senior at a public high school in suburban New Jersey. B-plus average. Impressive SAT scores.

My father had issues with control as far as allowing me to make my own decisions. It was oppressive and onerous. I hated it.

I got into Beaver first and I had the delusion that I could at least choose where I'd attend college out the small selection I was given.

Nope. Dad wanted to wait to see if Sweet Briar and/or Randolph Macon accepted me. They did. OK. I still chose Beaver simply because it was in metropolitan Philadelphia instead in the middle of Virginia, where the other colleges were located. Dad nixed Beaver, told me it was my "back-up" school.

I chose Sweet Briar as it was a pretty campus, it was 15 miles closer to home (honestly), and someone I really didn't like from high school was going to attend Randolph Macon.

The very first course I attended at Sweet Briar was Logic. It totally opened my mind with its mathematical analysis of arguments, proof, process of validity of facts. Each subsequent course I took, my intelligence increased, my critical thinking improved, my collection of principles and facts grew. I became independent through knowledge. This was the purpose of liberal arts.

You're asking, "How did your mother 'trick' your father?"

My mother attended Barnard and had a similar experience. She understood the family situation where my father was desperately trying to direct my life. Mom wanted me to escape her fate of a marriage with little or no independence. She was as oppressed as I was in our family. And she couldn't help me by advocating for me -- except to make the case that I should go to an "exclusive, all-girl college" -- to find a suitable husband. That's right. Not that she believed her premise, but Dad would believe that.

My father was a shameless social climber and was concerned about me both marrying the "wrong sort" and not enhancing his social climbing. By following Mom's premise that I could marry well at an exclusive all-girl's college, I'd be rubbing shoulders with girls from exclusive private schools, debutantes, etc. and meeting visiting male students from the equivalent background. And maybe, just maybe, the college could turn me into a "Lady".

I know, I know. It was 1975. Feminism had not yet hit its stride, especially in our household and Sweet Briar.

Mom knew my only escape was independence, being able to think for myself, support myself, etc. until I could find a like-minded partner. Obviously THAT premise wasn't the one to use on Dad. So she fell back on the 1950's marriage argument. And it worked.

I graduated. I went to get a Master's and a Juris Doctor. I never married and never missed getting married.

Honestly, I initially resented being sent to a school where I believed I would have to wear starched-white shirts and white gloves to pour tea on Sundays. Instead, I met some very interesting young women with intellect and spirit. Yes, there were the debutantes, who were marking time at Sweet Briar, waiting to get married. I even learned to make friends with them.

But my character and opportunities developed as a result of my mother doing me the biggest favor in my life.

P.S. Dad never caught on that he put me on a trajectory to autonomy and independence.

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Reply My mother tricked my father into sending me to an independent all women's college. (Original post)
no_hypocrisy Mar 2022 OP
CTyankee Mar 2022 #1
TheBlackAdder Mar 2022 #19
PittBlue Mar 2022 #2
TNNurse Mar 2022 #3
mgardener Mar 2022 #4
MLAA Mar 2022 #17
yardwork Mar 2022 #5
Chicagogrl1 Mar 2022 #6
oldsoftie Mar 2022 #7
The Jungle 1 Mar 2022 #8
Farmer-Rick Mar 2022 #9
TheRickles Mar 2022 #10
no_hypocrisy Mar 2022 #11
TheRickles Mar 2022 #23
AverageOldGuy Mar 2022 #12
no_hypocrisy Mar 2022 #14
Bernardo de La Paz Mar 2022 #13
Pacifist Patriot Mar 2022 #15
mnhtnbb Mar 2022 #16
NNadir Mar 2022 #18
AllyCat Mar 2022 #20
MLAA Mar 2022 #21
WinstonSmith4740 Mar 2022 #22
JudyM Mar 2022 #24
Skittles Mar 2022 #25
no_hypocrisy Mar 2022 #26

Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Sun Mar 20, 2022, 08:26 AM

1. My daughter went to Mt. Holyoke, the oldest of the 7 sisters, and was "cured" of her shyness and

reticence. She became self assured in an all women environment. At the time some of my coworkers asked why she went to an all girls school since she was so pretty!

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Response to CTyankee (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 20, 2022, 10:10 AM

19. Eldest went there too. I wanted kids to go far enough away so they couldn't drive home easily.

.

Nothing builds independence like knowing you're on your own. It was a five hour drive.

.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Sun Mar 20, 2022, 08:26 AM

2. Great story!

Your Mother was obviously brilliant.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Sun Mar 20, 2022, 08:46 AM

3. You had a wonderful mother.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Sun Mar 20, 2022, 08:49 AM

4. My mother

Tore up my application for a college.
That was not my local community college.
I was working after school and had to go get a money order to send with the application.
The only reason my mother signed the application was because my friend went to the same college and her mother persuaded my mother it was OK.

I was the first person on either side of my family to graduate from college.

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Response to mgardener (Reply #4)

Sun Mar 20, 2022, 10:00 AM

17. Thank goodness for your friend's mom! ❤️

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Sun Mar 20, 2022, 08:50 AM

5. An amazing story. Your mom was a remarkable woman!

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Sun Mar 20, 2022, 09:02 AM

6. Good for you & your brilliant Momma

🙌🏻 🙌🏻 🙌🏻

Its really hard to believe that there is/was a time when women did not have autonomy. My Mom taught me to always be able to stand on my own two feet. Kudos to you for following your path!!

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Sun Mar 20, 2022, 09:07 AM

7. "It was 1975". HA. Many parents are the same way today.

They want their son or daughter to go to THEIR school & get into THEIR field and marry the rich guy/girl.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Sun Mar 20, 2022, 09:09 AM

8. You probably already know this but let me advertise for the local college.

Beaver college changed its name to Arcadia in 2001.
The college took substantial abuse for years over the Beaver name. I still think it was a shame the name had to change.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Sun Mar 20, 2022, 09:10 AM

9. It a brave story you tell

It was such a shame brilliant women like yourself had to trick their families into letting them be successful.

I first took logic classes in highschool. I continued them in college. I agree with you , logic classes opened up my thinking and helped structure my thoughts.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Sun Mar 20, 2022, 09:15 AM

10. Great story. And did your Dad ever came to terms with your autonomy and independence?

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Response to TheRickles (Reply #10)

Sun Mar 20, 2022, 09:18 AM

11. No, he didn't.

While he didn't actively continue to try to control my life, there was an undercurrent where my achievements were not fully appreciated.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Reply #11)

Sun Mar 20, 2022, 01:09 PM

23. So maybe at least a little bit of a shift on his part. I guess you found your appreciation elsewhere

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Sun Mar 20, 2022, 09:21 AM

12. So . . .

. . . did Sweet Briar turn you into a lady?

My daughter was accepted at Sweet Briar but opted for a small Alabama state university where her professors took time with students. She came out a dedicated liberal social justice warrior.

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Response to AverageOldGuy (Reply #12)

Sun Mar 20, 2022, 09:27 AM

14. Yes and no.

At least not initially. I was resistant only b/c I didn't want to become an elitist.

As I matured, I found that the pursuit of high standards didn't make one an elitist. I adopted a professional demeanor, tact, restraint, and patience. I'm certain I picked that up from Sweet Briar.

If anything, I've annoyed (male) employers who found me to be more intelligent and a better critical thinker than they were.

Lady? Probably, but not according to the generic standards.

Sweet Briar was a small school. I had classes with as few as 3 other students and some with 50. The professors and students got to know each other quite well. Matter of fact, I returned to attend the memorial for my freshman English prof, who gave me a C-minus, due to my continual respect for him.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Sun Mar 20, 2022, 09:25 AM

13. Thank you for sharing a story of triumph and success. . . . nt

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Sun Mar 20, 2022, 09:36 AM

15. Cool!

Eleven years later I broke the gender barrier at Washington & Lee. Ironically, got both my BA and my MRS there. Landed an awesome feminist husband against all odds. LOL!

One of my favorite people is a Sweet Briar alum who married one of my husband's fraternity brothers. Possibly the sassiest, badassiest, smartest woman I've ever met.

I love your story and so appreciate you sharing it!!

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Sun Mar 20, 2022, 09:40 AM

16. Great story.

After getting both my BS (1973)and Master's (1975 in a male dominated field) from UCLA despite getting married in 1972, my mother had the nerve to tell me I would always be able to get a job as a secretary. When I asked her if that meant my brother, who had just gotten his MD, would always be able to get a job as an orderly, that shut her up.

I divorced the first husband after seven years. Left the second after 32 years before he blew his brains out.

I have often wondered if I'd followed my heart and never married how different my life might have been.

You were very lucky to have such a wise and supportive mother.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Sun Mar 20, 2022, 10:04 AM

18. Nice story. Thanks. I'm happy to hear it turned out well. n/t.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Sun Mar 20, 2022, 10:13 AM

20. My niece goes to Sweetbriar.

She loves it.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Sun Mar 20, 2022, 10:14 AM

21. What a smart mother! Whew, she made all the difference for you.

My parents never thought to encourage me to go to college. I would be the first in my family to graduate college on either side. It just didnít occur to them, I was a girl in the south. Dad encouraged me to be an artist or go into a number of traditional womenís fields. He was not controlling. They did tell my 2 year older brother that he either had to go into the military or college, his choice. I always had the strong feeling that I never wanted to rely on a husband or anyone else to support me so I went to an engineering school. My brother and I both graduated on the same day me in the morning and him in the evening. Both engineering degrees. Dad and mom were very proud and said so many times. Dad later told me he just never imagined the things I chose to do were possible for me but was very proud that I did.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Sun Mar 20, 2022, 10:55 AM

22. My story was similar, but different.

Dad was adament about his 4 daughters going to college, but was kind of your dad's mirror image. He wanted us independent, and NOT needing a man to take care of us. He and mom were the "greatest generation" who both had the talent to go to college, but not the money, and there was that pesky war to deal with. He started talking to me about how important college was when I was 5...no exaggeration. And mom was right there with him. BUT...there was no way we could go "away" to school. We had to commute and live at home. It was the 60's, the sexual revolution was in full swing, and he was not about to have our education interrupted by a pregnancy. (I guess you could only have sex at night, in bed. ) Fortunately for me, there was a local liberal arts/teacher's college that had exactly what I needed, was highly recommended by my coaches and counselors (I was a jock, phys. ed. major) and as a state school, dirt cheap so I could pay for it with summer jobs.

My experience was a lot like yours...college those days was an eye-opening experience, when our professors demanded critical thought. There was no way you could go into a classroom discussion with fuzzy or emotional thinking. It was an experience that formed so many of us.

But actually, the reason I got started on this life story was that we may have grown up in the same area! I grew in Cherry Hill, NJ, and went to what was then Glassboro State College, now Rowan University...when you endow a college with $500 million, they'll change the name!

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Sun Mar 20, 2022, 06:40 PM

24. I love this story.

So much character, both you and your mother.

Free community college for everyone would turn more folks into Dems.

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Sun Mar 20, 2022, 07:39 PM

25. nice to have that kind of support!

me, I enlisted that same year

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Response to no_hypocrisy (Original post)

Mon Mar 21, 2022, 07:50 AM

26. Postscript

My father disinherited me and my two siblings when died.

While he didnít leave anything to Sweet Briar, one-quarter of the estate went to Momís college, Barnard. I can live with that.

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