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Lori Alexander On Women and College Degrees


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lorialexander.blogspot.com/2013/02/do-all-women-need-college-degrees.html

I agree with Lori college isn't for everyone. But parts of her entry are annoying. Some women aren't going to want to be a SAHMs.

My oldest daughter never went to college. She became a professional ballerina instead. She used her talent to witness to others the joy of knowing Jesus. She is incredibly intelligent and loves studying the Word. She is a great help meet to her husband. If she decides to educate her children someday, she will do a fantastic job. She creates meaningful change in her community by being involved in her church.

My mother never attended college, well maybe one semester. She was the most amazing mother I could have ever asked for. She was always home with us, disciplining and training us, fixing healthy food for us, and giving us a warm, clean home. She helped neighbors when they were sick. She taught health classes at church. She babysat my children a lot when they were growing up. She didn't need an education to accomplish any of this!

If your desire is to be a wife and mother full time someday, choose your path carefully. Don't go into deep debt to get an education. Don't pursue a career that would be hard to leave if you have children. Some will say, "Yes, but they can work a couple of days a week." I wouldn't have wanted to leave my babies with anybody ever. I wanted to raise them full time.

College isn't for everyone. Some women don't like college and shouldn't feel like they have to go because everyone else goes. Get involved in community activities or your church. Find out what your gift and talents are and use them to minister to others. Maybe you love serving people. Be a waitress or nanny. College is getting more and more expensive every day. It shouldn't be a requirement for every woman. You can lead a very productive, full life without it.

ETA: I find it odd that Lori who is against mothers working, encourages women to be waitresses and nannies to serve people.

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The more I learn about Lori the more I can't stand here. She is obviously a privileged women who is married to a man, who is able to support her. Here she is telling women to risk poverty by becoming a waitress or nanny, jobs without health insurance.

Yes, she is against government assistance.

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I agree that not everyone wants to go to college.

However, if someone only has a high school diploma their prospects in the job market are extremely limited. Also, what if the woman marries and the husband divorces her or dies? She'll have to find a way to support herself and without a degree of some kind it would be extremely difficult to do so.

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Lori said she wrote this entry because she directly disagreed with this comment from her blog:

Without an education, I would be so much less effective in educating my kids, creating meaningful change in my community, supporting my husband, and even just being an interesting partner to him.

Yes, college isn't for everyone, but who is Lori to disagree with a woman's personal experience? How does she know that this woman would be just as effective at reaching her goals without a college education?

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I agree that not everyone wants to go to college.

However, if someone only has a high school diploma their prospects in the job market are extremely limited. Also, what if the woman marries and the husband divorces her or dies? She'll have to find a way to support herself and without a degree of some kind it would be extremely difficult to do so.

That is another thing that bothered me about Lori's posting. She doesn't realize that women should have some kind of back up plan in case something happens. She also didn't mention vocational education or training options.

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I am going into deep debt to get an education that will prepare me for a job that would be hard to leave(? You can leave any job by quitting it Lori! lol. go part-time? sacrifice a good living wage, insurance, etc. if I left? Yes) if I have children. Because I don't even know if I WANT children, but this job is the one thing I have wanted my entire life. Sorry Lori - not everyone wants to be a SAHM, let alone a mom (not that there is anything wrong with either). Also, working moms can be just as great as stay-at-home moms.

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My mother never attended college, well maybe one semester.

She babysat my children a lot when they were growing up.

Some will say, "Yes, but they can work a couple of days a week." I wouldn't have wanted to leave my babies with anybody ever. I wanted to raise them full time.

Walking contradiction: Lori, you are one :roll:

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I also thought this was an interesting glimpse into what Lori thinks is important:

My mother never attended college, well maybe one semester. She was the most amazing mother I could have ever asked for. She was always home with us, disciplining and training us, fixing healthy food for us, and giving us a warm, clean home.

When she thinks of a mother the first two things she mentions are discipline and training. When I get older, and my kids talk about me, I hope that they remember mom spending time with them. I hope they remember the love, the hugs, the laughter, the conversations.

I will feel like a total failure if they best thing they can say about me is that I cooked and kept the house clean. I don't "train" my children, so I don't even worry about them saying that.

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So because Lori wanted to SAHM full time, everyone else should?

Here's the problem with Lori's advice: suppose I wanted kids, and suppose I wanted to be a full time SAHM for the first 18 years of their lives. There's at going to be at least a decade between when I graduate high school and when I start having kids. And then let's be generous and say that I have three kids all spaced 2 years apart. By the time the last one leaves home, I'll have another couple of decades left before I reach retirement age. That's a lot of time to spend twiddling my thumbs when I could be doing a job I love.

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That is another thing that bothered me about Lori's posting. She doesn't realize that women should have some kind of back up plan in case something happens. She also didn't mention vocational education or training options.

Right. Even if a woman does not go to college, and I do agree it's not for everyone, at least some kind of post-high school training or education should be obtained so the she has something to fall back on.

I have a 30-year-old SAHM niece whose been raised all her life that the "men take care of things" and didn't think she needed to get any kind of education / training past high school. It's all up to the husband. I hate to think what will happen to her in the event of death, divorce or disability, the last one being a real possibility because her husband is sort of the daredevil type on motorcyles, ATVs, etc. It made me really stabby to see her raised like this. OK, rant over.

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Right. Even if a woman does not go to college, and I do agree it's not for everyone, at least some kind of post-high school training or education should be obtained so the she has something to fall back on.

I have a 30-year-old SAHM niece whose been raised all her life that the "men take care of things" and didn't think she needed to get any kind of education / training past high school. It's all up to the husband. I hate to think what will happen to her in the event of death, divorce or disability, the last one being a real possibility because her husband is sort of the daredevil type on motorcyles, ATVs, etc. It made me really stabby to see her raised like this. OK, rant over.

I also know the types who still believe "men take care of things" and they don't get any type of post secondary education or training. I also worry about women like that. Some of the fundie women we discuss here have zero work experience outside the home. My dad worked in HR for a mining company and he encountered women who were entering the workforce who had been SAHMs and some of them married right out of high school and didn't have work experience.

One of the things I like about some of the Mormon mommy bloggers is that a lot of them do have backup plans and they do work before getting married. There are some Mormon mommy bloggers like NieNie who don't have a college education or vocational training. There is another Mormon blogger that I'm following who is 26 with two kids. She is in college now. But I worry about her because her husband is also in college. He delayed college because of missionary work. I hope nothing happens to her husband in the next couple of years because she would struggle quite a bit to support two kids while going to college.

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One of the things I like about some of the Mormon mommy bloggers is that a lot of them do have backup plans and they do work before getting married. There are some Mormon mommy bloggers like NieNie who don't have a college education or vocational training. There is another Mormon blogger that I'm following who is 26 with two kids. She is in college now. But I worry about her because her husband is also in college. He delayed college because of missionary work. I hope nothing happens to her husband in the next couple of years because she would struggle quite a bit to support two kids while going to college.

That's also something I like about some Mormon mommy bloggers is that they do have backup plans, and have even worked before getting married. In fact, one Mormon mommy blogger I used to read before her blog went private, had to put her backup plan into use when her husband became disabled after an accident and was unable to work.

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Right. Even if a woman does not go to college, and I do agree it's not for everyone, at least some kind of post-high school training or education should be obtained so the she has something to fall back on.

I have a 30-year-old SAHM niece whose been raised all her life that the "men take care of things" and didn't think she needed to get any kind of education / training past high school. It's all up to the husband. I hate to think what will happen to her in the event of death, divorce or disability, the last one being a real possibility because her husband is sort of the daredevil type on motorcyles, ATVs, etc. It made me really stabby to see her raised like this. OK, rant over.

The above are all really good points. No, not everyone needs to go to college or university, but it's good to have a plan in life should you need to support yourself, if you want to do more than entry-level jobs. Even jobs that provide on-the-job training can be sufficient to build one's skills for certain kinds of work, but they require being in the workforce rather than waiting for prince charming to take care of you. It's like there's nothing between being "highly educated" at college or "a SAHM" in this woman's eyes, which is obviously false.

The only thing I grudgingly agree with her about is that it can be difficult to have certain careers and be a mother, or to be very highly educated (for example, to PhD level) and to be a mother. Don't get me wrong - both situations are possible, but you have to be willing to jump through some logistical hoops. The career woman needs child care, whether that's a daycare, nanny, or partner willing to be there when she can't, or some combination of the above, plus some workplace understanding that she has to leave at a certain time to pick up her kids. The PhD candidate could also benefit from childcare support, plus a source of extra income - scholarships and stipends are not really meant for families to live on, though I've heard it's done. One of my friends is a single mom with one child, in an upper-level position in a profession known for its crazy hours. She's managed to find a firm which does not have crazy overtime demands and has hired a full-time nanny to look after her child during the days.

I do think that the potential richness of the upbringing the career woman can give her kids, because she's highly educated, is an important factor, and can offset the lesser time she spends daily with them. Of course, for Lori, this is probably not a concern.

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I also thought this was an interesting glimpse into what Lori thinks is important:

When she thinks of a mother the first two things she mentions are discipline and training. When I get older, and my kids talk about me, I hope that they remember mom spending time with them. I hope they remember the love, the hugs, the laughter, the conversations.

I will feel like a total failure if they best thing they can say about me is that I cooked and kept the house clean. I don't "train" my children, so I don't even worry about them saying that.

Agreed

When I think of my parents and myself as a child, I remember my dad playing kickball with us, drawing with chalk, goofing around, wrestling, playing various child imagination type games with us. I remember my mom cooking and cleaning and all, but also remember her just sitting around on the summer days, helping with homework and playing games.

My dad did spank us occasionally, but that's not my amazing memories. It's the bad ones. Being disciplined isn't what I consider amazing about either one of them. Those were side memories. Why would getting in trouble be so vivid in her mind? Were Lori and her sisters disciplined all the time? I almost wonder if Lori wasn't abused herself. If that's your first thought are discipline and train to your mother being with you, that's just really sad. I hope if I ever children, spanking won't ever be memory for them because it won't happen. Sure, they may recall getting in trouble, but I would hope being disciplined would be at the bottom of their memories once they become adults.

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How about some MEN not wanting/desiring college?

I think that is also a thing! Isn't there some pressure on fundie men to be "good providers" regardless of whether they go to college, so if it's easier to make money by being in the family business, or founding your own company, they will be pressured to do that? Or else if they do go to college, it will be in something eminently practical, like learning a trade, so they can support a family, rather than bothering with degrees in the humanities that don't lead directly to a career? Of course, the pressure to have a practical career as a man is entirely different from the pressure upon a woman to have no career other than motherhood.

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That is another thing that bothered me about Lori's posting. She doesn't realize that women should have some kind of back up plan in case something happens. She also didn't mention vocational education or training options.

You mean in case something happens to her headship?

Donthca know that the kindly church peoplez will step in and "private charity" will take care of it. Back up plan, schmack up plan.

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For me personally, getting my PhD was appealing not only because I love the subject matter, but because when i do have children (in the next 2 years, hopefully) I will be able to work part time and still make more money than many people make working full time.

I grew up with 2 working parents and i never felt neglected...in fact, having a parent around 24/7 probably would've annoyed me (especially as a teenager!)

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You mean in case something happens to her headship?

Donthca know that the kindly church peoplez will step in and "private charity" will take care of it. Back up plan, schmack up plan.

Yup I forgot about churches helping out widows lol. I remember Zsu's fangirl Jessica was once asked on her blog about what women should do if their husbands die and she answered, "They should ask their church for help".

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I recently started a thread about this when I came to the conclusion that career training and education is MORE imperative for mothers-to-be than single gals. Once people have kids, they are now completely responsible for other people's lives. Yes, if they are lucky, they also have a husband who provides. However, all SAHM should realize that their young children are one accident, one death, one lay-off away from possible destitution. It's why I think it's imperative that SAHM have some form of "fall back" option that doesn't include "charity" in its title. That's why I think it's important that any girls interested in being a mother, especially SAHM, should focus on career training prior to kids. That could mean college, vocational training, or just plain work. But do something so your kids won't starve if you are forced back to the workplace.

I know that Lori and her fundie followers believe that divorce never happens to good Christian mothers, and that the church can take care of widows. However, history, and even current reality, is very different. No church will support a widow with her large brood indefinitely, and many "good" men will not find a widow with four kids an attractive option no matter how much you glorify her. What's more, these destitute wives who are suddenly burdened with a family to support will find it that much harder to go to college or to start a new career. This is the reason I now think the worst advice to give "traditional" girls aiming for SAHM is to tell them to neglect their career potential or "find something to do". They should treat their single years as seriously as any career minded person.

Isn't there some pressure on fundie men to be "good providers" regardless of whether they go to college, so if it's easier to make money by being in the family business, or founding your own company, they will be pressured to do that? Or else if they do go to college, it will be in something eminently practical, like learning a trade, so they can support a family, rather than bothering with degrees in the humanities that don't lead directly to a career? Of course, the pressure to have a practical career as a man is entirely different from the pressure upon a woman to have no career other than motherhood.

It's not just fundie men that feel this pressure to provide. I read in an article that said mainstream Mormon men often feel pressure to provide as well. Mormons do skew conservative, but most are not fundie. The church stresses early marriage and large families. This also creates pressure for men to find "practical" careers that will support large families on single income. As most of us know, that's not always easy. Fundie men also feel this pressure, but I think fundies we know tend to be ok with living lower class or even in poverty. This is unlike more mainstream conservative men, who often feel they must provide a certain lifestyle in order to consider themselves "good providers". I guess no one has it "easy" in this gender-restricted environment.

This is one reason I consider myself a feminist. I believe feminism gives people choices in how they arrange their lives. It's ok to let the man stay home. It's ok for the woman provide. It's ok if both parents work. Life is not a one size fits all. The only way to ensure that kids are provided for is to ensure both parents are capable of providing for them. I don't know why fundies can't recognize that. When they discourage women from college or career training, they are advocating a policy which increases child poverty and family breakdown. There is nothing that tears apart a family more quickly than poverty.

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Women can have children AND go to school too, you know.

When my parents adopted me my dad continued to work full time while my mother completed her Master's Degree and earned another degree in Special Ed. By the time she had finished that schoolwork (which she did part time while caring for me) I was in school and she went back to teaching.

I think the 'waiting' season as a SAHD is the perfect time to get a college degree, even if they pursue an online course. They can still learn all that other PhD in homemaking bs (that they probably already know by that age) and be under their father's umbrella of whatever while they learn. That gives them options. They can use the degree one day or be a homemaker. If something happened to their husbands - or they never married at all - they would have a way to support themselves.

What I don't understand is why they insist on their daughters graduating from SOTDRT but college, even from home, is some huge taboo. Why not go the way of the super-religious Irish Travellers and stop the girls' educations when they're 10 or 12 if they don't need that stuff to be wives and mothers? It seems hypocritical. It's not like there aren't bible colleges or online colleges all over the place.

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