5 common misconceptions about women’s colleges

women

Many women today, feel rather irked about the idea of attending a single-sex college. The reason for this may be the general assumption in the minds of most students that, college life is incomplete without exciting co-ed experiences like dating. Most women, who do choose a single-sex institution over a co-ed institution, do so either because of family tradition or out of lack of better options.

Unfortunately, women’s colleges are more thrilling and dramatic than most people credit them for. Students who have graduated from such institutions will vouch for this. In India, most of these colleges were built by Christian Missionaries or social workers, in order to promote women’s education. Many of these institutions, like Sophia College for Women or SNDT University are old and are architectural works of art. Besides that, these institutions are also reputed for being examples of academic excellence.

It is, therefore, frustrating to observe the ridiculous and ludicrous notions that most people have about women’s colleges. It is possible that these opinions may have been formed either out of total ignorance or complete stupidity.

Listed below are the top five reactions I receive, when I reveal to people, that I am a student of a women’s institution

It’s a lesbian college, right?

Wrong. It is not. But we do accept women of all sexual orientations to join us. Fun fact #1: Straight women also attend such institutions, simply because some of us are driven by ambition and not by estrogen.

Fun fact#2: Students are admitted to such institutions based on their academic merit and not on their sexual orientation.

Don’t you miss the guys?

Not really. It is possible to survive for six hours a day without being surrounded by men. To be really honest, it is a pleasant change. We would rather surround ourselves with smart, intellectual women and proffessors who keep reminding us about how awesome we are, rather than with ‘guys’ who make us conscious about what we wear and what our hair looks like. Besides an environment surrounded by productive feminine energy is way more relaxing than one surrounded by competitive masculine energy

Everyone who graduates from a women’s college is a bra-burning feminist.

Um… Feminism is just an ideology that acknowledges women as people. Nothing bad to that, is there? Feminists are not women who are extreme misandrists, who use violence to prove feminine superiority. That is a stereotype. Men can be feminists too.

feminist

Women’s colleges are irrelevant today.

Most people today often dismiss the notion of special attention to women’s education as trivial, because they believe that, discrimination against women hardly exists in modern times. However, women’s colleges are necessary, especially in a country like India, which is still very conservative, as far as its women are concerned.  Many of the students in these institutions belong to families that still have qualms about letting their girl children attend co-ed college, in order to protect them from the ‘corrupting influences of the world run by men’.

Special colleges for women? Isn’t that discrimination against men?

Oh Brother! This question, I never bother to answer.

In a nutshell, there is a lot that women’s colleges offer to their students. Most of all, many students find it refreshing to be in an environment where the faculty seems to genuinely care about your intellectual development. Some people would argue that, women’s colleges ‘shield women from public spaces’ therefore, making them incompetent in the real world. However, the lack of men in such institutions rather than shielding women, exposes them. Roles and opportunities that are traditionally assigned to men are usually executed by women. A woman is made to realize that she is no less than any man and that your genitals do not define your potential. And that, my friends, is why women’s colleges are awesome.

On that note, here’s a fun graphic:

education

It’s a fish-eat-fish world after all!

An ecosystem may be defined as a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment. These interactions, in turn are instrumental in sustaining the equilibrium present in nature.  To put it simply, ecosystems are fundamental units that help primarily maintain balance in nature. Forest, mangroves and coral reefs are examples of thriving ecosystems prevalent in nature. Some scientists even believe that the whole world is an ecosystem

All ecosystems have certain characteristics.  The most basic characteristic of any ecosystem is a food chain. The food chain is mainly referred to the predator-prey relationship which exists in an ecosystem. The predator feeds off the prey thus serving a dual purpose. While, the ‘predator’ receives the most basic need of any living organism; food, the species of the ‘prey’ is regulated and thus, biodiversity is maintained. While this may seem, like a pretty cruel and harsh way to maintain control over a species, the food chains in our world are a reminder to us by nature that we are all interdependent on one another for our survival.

If one were to observe human relationships and compare it to ecosystems, the similarities would be startling.  Similar to the predator and prey theory, studies done over human psychology have brought to light the theory of the “the dominant and the submissive” in human relationships (which extends beyond sexual relationships). In the 1990’s, a gentleman named James F. Moore proposed the theory of a business ecosystem.  He believed that in an office environment too, one cannot survive without feeding off the other.

The man was a genius.  Even though his McKinsey Award-winning article was pertaining to creating a market for one’s business, his observation about predator and prey in a human environment hit bull’s eye. A few days in my office as an intern have helped me notice the ecosystem that exists within a media company.  Like every ecosystem, this ecosystem, too, has a food chain.  One must not mistake this food chain as being cannibalistic in nature; this food chain refers to feeding off another’s intellect and energy. To further explain my point, I would like to draw similarities to the food chain prevalent in a company to that of marine ecosystem.

marine-food-chain-from-encyclopedia-britannica

  We shall begin in with observing the consumers in the food chain in descending order. The CEO or the President is the apex predator in a food chain. One may compare them to sharks or orcas in an office environment. Just like their sea counterparts, they mostly roam on their own and are feared by other smaller predators. Their feats are glorified and they become ‘legends’ within the company. They become a symbol of power, strength and wisdom to those outside the food chain as well as the recipients of pure hatred and malice to those within the food chain.

The second in the hierarchy, namely the secondary consumers in a food chain consist of Executives and Managers. The consumers at this level are preyed upon by the apex predator. They exist in groups and mingle around with their own types; their likes may be compared to that of the larger fishes, eels, carps, and so on.  They also roam around fearlessly among the lesser fishes and claim huge expanses of the geography as their territory, namely their cabins.  Just like their sea counterparts they stick around with their kind, rarely mixing with the other species unless they are required to interact /bully them in order to ensure, the smooth functioning of the workings of the company(maintaining the biodiversity).

The third in hierarchy in consists of employees. They are the primary consumers in a food chain that are often preyed upon by the secondary consumers and (if they happen to be in big trouble) then the apex predators. An office ecosystem is generally abundant with primary consumers.  It is mainly because of the members of this level that an office ecosystem functions.  Just like their sea counterparts the small fishes and krill, they are considered common and are dismissed by the members belonging to the upper rung of the heirarchy.  Even within the members of this level, there exists a food chain, the senior employees boss it over the junior employees and tend to disregard them for their lack of experience.  One may refer to this process as intellectual cannibalism, since seniority is, in actuality, just another tag created in order to flatter egos.

At the bottom of the hierarchy are the primary producers a.k.a the most unthanked members in a food chain. While in a marine ecosystem, plankton is considered as a primary producer, in a business ecosystem, interns may be considered as their counterparts. Interns are the plankton of a corporate ecosystem. They are hardly ever given credit, (in cash or in kind). They are present all over the place and though their function is to feed the ravenous predators in the ecosystem, they are often dismissed as having lesser purpose than the bacteria floating in the environment.

Whoever said, it’s a fish eat fish world, knew what she/he was talking about.  She/he was probably an intern at a media corporate too. So to wrap up, my theory, I will leave you with a thought represented through the following graphic:

image001-764967

When the guys on the top look down all they see is shit, and when the guys below look up, all they see are ass holes.

P.S: The opinions expressed in the article belong to the author alone and are entirely subjective