Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Overheard, and my comments to myself

Sitting in the student commons at school last night, I overheard two women discussing how long it took them to get ready for school, and how easy all the men in class had it. A third woman entered the conversation, to ask what they meant.
The original two women went off on how they "had" to look good, they "had" to be pretty, put on makeup, do their hair, wear flatterring clothes, nice shoes, etc... whereas all the male students had to do was hop in the car/on the bus and show up.
The third woman looked at the first two and said "I don't know about you, but I am paying my tuition to learn, in an environment condusive to learning, in whatever damn clothes I put on that day!"

Internally, I was right on board with the third woman.
Internally, I was also marvelling at the ages of the women having this conversation. My college has a rather large 'adult learner' population. The majority of students are not fresh out of highschool. The majority of students are not even in their twenties. The two women who started this conversation were in their mid thirties!! The third woman, one of our few fresh from highschool students. The fact that a younger woman had the guts to stand up for what she felt was right to two older women was awesome. The fact that the younger woman got it, that school is a place to learn first, social network second, and that it's not a club or meat market is awesome!

I worry about out society when the message is so deeply ingrained that we must live up to an unobtainable beauty standard that women are spending hours getting ready for a four hour class.

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