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Ponnada: Send your daughter to college

BY SRI PONNADA | SEPTEMBER 23, 2013 5:00 AM

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Last week, I stumbled upon a very compelling article on a Catholic blog, “Fix the Family,” titled, “6 Reasons (+2) to Not Send Your Daughter to College.” After reading it and learning all the risks of college life, I couldn’t help but wonder: What the hell were my parents thinking when they let me come to the University of Iowa?

It’s not that author Raylan Alleman doesn’t believe in educating women, or that he wants to oppress women by taking opportunities away from them and trapping them in subservient roles — it’s just that college is a “near occasion of sin” for girls. Thank God for Alleman, who opened up my ignorant eyes enough to realize that college is, in fact, nothing more than the devil’s paradise.

I’m kidding, of course. Despite Alleman’s concerns, I’m not too concerned that while I’m in college I will:

1. “Attract the wrong types of men”

Yes, college is full of sleazy guys. But so is the rest of the world. In general, going to college will probably increase a woman’s chance of ending up with a man who is going somewhere in life because he is likely better educated than the average non-college guy. A successful, upstanding gentleman may also want a woman who is intelligent and won’t rely on him to buy her everything. Attaining higher education will ensure women of such intelligence and financial independence.

2. “Be in a near occasion of sin”

College may promote promiscuity, but it really isn’t the sexual utopia that people like Alleman imagine (or desperately want) it to be. According to a study published online last year by the Journal of Adolescent Health, romantic relationships are still the most common context for sexual behavior, at least for women in their first year of college.

Now, you may not agree with women having premarital sex under any circumstances, but if you think about it, college isn’t the only place people have sex. Nearly 50 percent of U.S. high-school students surveyed by CDC in 2011 said they had had sexual intercourse. Sex is everywhere. So, if you’re trying to hide your daughter from it, you may as well just keep her locked in a dark closet.

3. “Not learn to be a wife and mother”

This one may be true. I looked to see if UI offered “Sandwich-making 101,” but I couldn’t find anything.

No, college may not make you into June Cleaver, but it does prepare you for life’s roller-coaster ride. You’re exposed to new cultures and ideas, you learn to communicate with others, and you learn real skills that will get you a job and enable you to provide for your family (if you want to have one).

4. “Regret it”

College isn’t easy. There are times when I ask myself why I ever came here. I’ve had a lot of unpleasant experiences — from really bad grades to fake friends to scary nights and tons of other weird situations that I managed to land myself in. But in the end, I don’t regret any of it. I’m grateful for those experiences all because I know they made me the woman I am today.

At the end of the day, the claims that Alleman makes are so ridiculous that I shouldn’t even be upset about them. It’s just incredibly surprising to see that there are still people in this world who hold such absurd and archaic views.

Parents, if you can, send your daughter to college.


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