Adrienne BoettingerFriday,10 May 2013

The Snap:

As I slide down the slippery slope of maiden aunt-hood, I’m looking for someone to blame and the focus for today’s rage is Sadie Hawkins. For les enfants who have no idea who Sadie Hawkins is, she is a character from a comic strip in these things we used to have called newspapers. Apparently Sadie fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down, so her proud papa came up with the idea of “Sadie Hawkins” day when unmarried women would chase men around town. Somehow that evolved into awkward dances where girls ask boys out. But what happens when you go to an all-girl school and every damn day is Sadie Hawkins Day?

The Download:

Here’s a question for you publicans (my great-aunt’s term for people who attended non-Catholic schools): do they have a special class for you where they explain how to succeed in dating? I have long felt at a disadvantage when it comes to dating and/or having relationships with men who are not psychotic and a friend and former classmate brought up the idea that we probably missed out on something from going to an all-girls school.

Now this same friend is of course happily married and a new mom with an adorable baby, but she got me thinking. What if my tragic luck with men was the fault of my education? I mean a lot of recent studies have said that single-gender schools are actually bad for kids and we all know that if something is in a recent study, it must be true (fat or nonfat, babies must sleep on tummies/backs, immigration bad/good for economy). Or should we believe studies that say the opposite? I’m totally confused.

In going to an all-girls school, I had to do the asking. I still remember the nervous babbling way that I asked out the boy I’d liked for forever and how relieved I was for the dances when I had a boyfriend and was spared the horror of finding a date. Now I’m sort of outraged that I was either embarrassed or relieved depending on my boyfriend-having status. If I’m being truthful, I’m not totally outraged because even though I’m a fairly rabid feminist, I feel those same twinges allegedly felt by 93% of women who say they’d rather be asked out (and 83% of men who say they’d rather do the asking).

But here’s the thing. Even if my high school has destined me for a perpetually single existence, the fact is I wouldn’t trade it. Maybe single-gender schools aren’t right for everyone, but I found that it empowered me to speak out, be weird, not obsess as much about how I looked on a daily basis, and to learn who I was and who I wanted to be. It made me feel that I would be okay if I was no one’s wife. Because I am me. And that is pretty damn awesome.

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Hat Tips:

Li’l AbnerNew York TimesWashington PostSlateHealthy ChildrenNPRMSNBCPsychology TodayBuzzFeed, Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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