Let's start by saying religion can be beautiful, profound, and spiritually healing. The internet is a democratic platform that has allowed many brilliant people to share their messages with billions of others.
But with the freedom it allows to share ideas, of course, we find folks like Raylan Alleman, whom we can call "religiously devout." His Catholic website "Fix the Family" has a frightening following of around 2,000 people, and his most recent blog post offers "6 Reasons (+2) to NOT Send Your Daughter to College." Now, as calmly as I can, I hope that I can show the world, through love, understanding, and logic that this man has done irreparable harm to anyone who has suffered through his lectures.
Jesus help me through this.
1. 1) She Will Attract the Wrong Types Of Men
Now the main argument here is 'why do women marry lazy men'? In his world, the leechy walking sperm banks that are men go off to college specifically looking to fool around with the "responsible, organized, smart woman who has it all together along with a steady paying job with benefits." He falls back on her income when he is meant to be the main provider.
I ask this with a humble and genuine curiosity: Exactly WHAT kind of strawberry flavored crack have you been smoking?
Let's ignore the writhing swath of feminists who each just suffered a brain aneurysm reading dear Ray's first point. Instead, let us take a moment to consider that he said, "Well hey! Your daughter is going to be financially abused by all men in her life, so let's just beat'em to the punch and give her no education at all! That way NO ONE has money. Win!... ish."
2. 2) She Will Be in a Near Occasion Of Sin
The gist of this argument is that since young women are placed in an environment where they are unsupervised and in a "very sexually-charged" time of their lives, they are subject to sinful stuff- like alcohol or sex or whatever else those poor deprived women can't have fun with.
By this logic, I may as well put myself in a nunnery because I'm too likely to jump the nearest man at my local grocery store.
Just image the shrill screams of those poor men. "OH GOD! HELP! TOO MANY… WOMEN… TOO MANY… SEXUAL ADVANCES… OH GOD! OH NOOOO…. Oh well hey there sexy- wink…"
3. 3) She Will Not Learn to Be a Wife and Mother
"Nothing in college is geared towards domestic homemaking."
No duh. College, although Ray argues otherwise, is actually used for both education and professional training. The "inner conflict" of career-driven mothers is one of achieving self-fulfillment and appreciating her family as much as possible. There may be a chance that these women are trying to set an example for their children by showing them that hard work and family are all values to be welcomed.
Plus, I doubt many people would argue against the idea that college is a place to enjoy your youthful nature. And by youthful nature I mean do all the things you probably shouldn't. Drink that drink. Smoke that joint. Kiss that guy. Get that tattoo. (All safely of course.) It's these very lessons we have to experience that make us more understanding and well-rounded parents who can relate to their kids.
4. 4) The Cost Of a Degree is Becoming More Difficult to Recoup
I'm not even going to argue this one. I've seen people who don't pay off debt until they're 45. But the issue here is one of price, not of value. The reason so many people do go to university and take on so much overwhelming debt is because IT'S WORTH IT. The answer to this problem is perhaps socialized education, or better loan systems. Not, "well screw it."
It also seems a bit hypocritical to say "a young couple [should] have a husband with a skill that brings value to the marketplace that has reasonable compensation to go along with it and a wife who is willing to be frugal." I guess men are just naturally skilled and can "bring value to the marketplace." Oh, excuse me a second. I think I hear my man demanding a sandwich.
5. 5) You Don’t Have to Prove Anything to the World
Well this title seemed nice … Until it wasn't. The argument here is that social pressure shouldn't push you to go to college. This is inherently true and something many people should recognize. College instead should be a personal goal that one strives for because he or she seeks the opportunity to grow intellectually, professionally, and socially.
It scares me that Ray, our author, seems to tackle any frightening college dilemma by turning into Eric Cartman and saying, "Screw you guys! I'm going home."
6. 6) It Could Be a Near Occasion Of Sin For the Parents
From what I can gather, this reason states 'college is expensive… therefore people will avoid having babies through contraception and then OhMyGodYou'reASinner.' Make sense?
Of course not.
And for all of us feminists out with our devious AGENDAS (you know who you are), I'll let you guys tear him a new one with this: "To assume that all of our children will need a college degree is quite a stretch, particularly for girls who will likely be mothers."
7. 7) She Will Regret It
The "lie of the dual-career family" is actually not a lie. At all. No one said it was going to be easy. In fact, the women who do it well deserve some serious commendations for their work. Or at least a cookie and a spa day.
I would venture to guess that those women who work so tremendously hard to balance those two jobs wouldn't have the kind of characteristics to "neglect their children." In fact, ask most kids what they think of their working moms and they'll probably say "superwoman." And I'd bet you dollars to doughnuts superwoman has a PhD in "Kicking Ass"
Now maybe I'm just about as hyper-active as a squirrel on meth, but I still don't see why quality working and quality mothering are exclusive.
8. 8) It Could Interfere With a Religious Vocation
You know what. I'll let you win this one. Chances are, if you're looking to be a priest, go be a priest. If you want to travel and be a missionary, be a missionary. If there is one thing college shouldn't do, it's be the church.
9. 9) Final Note From the Byline ...
I would just like to end on one last note. It makes sense that my values and Alleman's differ, and that is okay. Some of these issues can't be argued because they are issues of morals rather than logic. I commend Alleman for genuinely trying to contribute to ideas of a healthy family. However it pains me to see someone so influential call something as necessary as tertiary education "not education." Schools like Harvard, Yale, and Princeton were all designed by the very teachers and educators who felt that the lessons we needed in life should be presented in a clear, streamlined, and open environment for debate. Denying young women the opportunity to educate themselves on the basis of Catholic values does nothing more than keep the church in the dark with ideas similar to those of the 12th century Spanish Inquisition. And guess what. I learned that in college.
Now someone get me a drink already before I chuck a brick at my computer.