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Smith Bubble

24

Replies to: Smith Bubble

  • arianneagarianneag Registered User Posts: 104 Junior Member
    Lol, they weren't my friends --- they just were people in my carpool. It was actually the first time I heard of Smith, so no, I didn't defend. What could I have said about a college I knew nothing about?

    I don't feel I'm naive; I realize that with most stereotypes of colleges, there's a whit of truth, plus 10x as much exaggeration.
  • minimini Registered User Posts: 26,431 Senior Member
    ""Aren't there a lot of lesbians there," she hates lesbians, and she would never let her daughter go there."

    I wonder if she'd let her son go to Yale.
  • TheDadTheDad Registered User, ! Posts: 10,225 Senior Member
    Mini, to paraphrase something I think you've said--or at least 'twas how I read--gay males at a co-ed school blend in. Gay females at an all women's school stand out. For me, sexual orientation is a non-issue. Smith alums, and Smith students, are so some of the most impressive women I know. Their orientation wouldn't matter to me one way or the other unless I were looking for a mistress.
  • roadlesstraveledroadlesstraveled Registered User Posts: 1,146 Senior Member
    <<It was an extremely distasteful comment, yes, but it wasn't mine.>>

    Arianneag, I want you to succeed at Smith, if that is where you eventually matriculate.
    Maybe it wasn’t your comment but by repeating it on an international forum you made it yours, and some things a best left not repeated. Smith is very PC--overly so in my opinion. But it is what it is and one needs to be cognizant of comments that might be offense to others.
  • arianneagarianneag Registered User Posts: 104 Junior Member
    I'll take the advice. The internet can be a very stressful mode of communication.
  • groylj2groylj2 Registered User Posts: 106 Junior Member
    umm youre all nuts. the american population is 10 percent gay. whoever said that smiths 11 percent homoxexuality is 4x that of the populuation or whatever has a serious case of the crazies.
  • arianneagarianneag Registered User Posts: 104 Junior Member
    There is no way of accurately determining the gay population anywhere, whether its of the US as a whole or Smith.
  • roadlesstraveledroadlesstraveled Registered User Posts: 1,146 Senior Member
    <<I don't think it's useful to either go into denial about Smith's lesbian population on one hand or to get defensive about it on the other>>

    I don’t believe anyone is in denial. And I respectfully disagree about getting defensive. When stereotypes and, or, gross exaggerations are left to permeate the consciousness of society, whether they pertain to colleges reputations, sexual preferences, racial or ethnic stereotypes (I’m married to woman of 100% Polish decent and the jokes get old) anyone who doesn’t get defensive and attempt to correct gross misconceptions is as guilty as those that perpetuate the falsehoods.

    Possibly if someone had enlightened your classless party acquaintance, Smith might have had the opportunity to gain another wonderful Calif young woman as a student.
    How many tens of thousands of times does the attitude and conversation you were so callously subjected to have to transpire and prospective students lost until enough is enough? The facts are the facts. Smith women are a vocal, proud lot, and only ~11% are lesbians according to Smiths own survey. If one can’t cope, attended BYU.
  • momofsmithiemomofsmithie Registered User Posts: 54 Junior Member
    arianneag,
    There is a way to accurately access the gay population at Smith.
    Last year, a Smith government class did a survey (with 95% confidence) that looked at sexual orientation by class year. First year's reported that they were 15% bi, 70% straight, 6% gay, and 5.5% questioning.
    If you're uncomfortable around gay people, don't go to Smith (or any other smallish, northeastern liberal arts school).
    But the perception that Smith is a lesbian majority is wildly overstated and just plain false.
  • TheDadTheDad Registered User, ! Posts: 10,225 Senior Member
    Mini's 11 percent gay number left out the bi numbers. "Bi" at Smith, given the student population, often expresses itself and will be perceived as "gay." Even MoS's numbers of 70 percent straight for first years would strike many as a low number. There is a difference between not tolerating repugnant stereotypes or attitudes and being defensive about the demographic facts. My reactions to people are the same as the responses to parents who queried on the subject when my D decided to go there: yes and it's not a problem.
    Next case.
  • cattvcattv Registered User Posts: 120 Junior Member
    This conversation has addressed part of the OP's question, but she also asked how hard it is to meet guys. As a not very recent alum, but an alum nonetheless, I will say it is possible, but you do have to work at it... as in not spending EVERY Friday or Saturday night in your house (which of course is fun and worthwhile since you will be in the company of such extraordinary people) but getting out to mixers and other events both on campus and at other schools.

    Perhaps a current Smithie will chime in and tell us if the college still sponsors transportation to mixers at other schools. I recall charter buses to Yale, Dartmouth, etc (for which I'm sure we had to pay a token fare).
  • minimini Registered User Posts: 26,431 Senior Member
    "umm youre all nuts. the american population is 10 percent gay. whoever said that smiths 11 percent homoxexuality is 4x that of the populuation or whatever has a serious case of the crazies.

    The CDC finds that the LESBIAN population is roughly 2.5% of women, with gay men being roughly four times that.

    "Mini's 11 percent gay number left out the bi numbers. "Bi" at Smith, given the student population, often expresses itself and will be perceived as "gay."

    In the population as a whole, there are relatively few men, and relatively larger numbers of women who say their preference is "bi". Again, relative the the CDC survey, the percentage at Smith who are lesbian is significantly higher, and bi significantly lower than the national norm. But add them together, and they are STILL lower than the percentage of gay males at Yale.

    The issue is powerful women.
  • arianneagarianneag Registered User Posts: 104 Junior Member
    I don't think there's a single study that has been done about sexual orientation and the American population that has not or cannot be disputed. For instance, one can make the argument that "everyone is a little bisexual" or "true bisexuals don't really exist" by tweaking the definition of "bisexual" and changing your sample. That said, I think the consensus is:

    1) most people at Smith are straight, so don't think you'll be "the only heterosexual."
    2) There's a large and vocal gay population at Smith, so don't go there if you're uncomfortable with that.
  • BeaBea Registered User Posts: 63 Junior Member
    Cattv,

    No, to my knowledge, the school no longer sponsers busses to Yale or any of the other Ivies, etc., unless it is for a specific organisation and their event (and even then, people usually take vans and whatnot. It is not on a large scale).

    OP:
    For the purposes of this, I'm going to assume you mean "meeting" guys in a romantic sense:

    It is not hard to meet guys. You will not be meeting a guy who is not someone's boyfriend/sloppy seconds in places like on your floor, in your bathroom or the dining hall. You may or may not meet a guy in your classroom, your library or in town. You will most likely meet the greatest volume of men in a five campus org, or a class or party off campus.

    This means, however, that YOU, (you being the general "you") being the one who resides on the single-sex campus, must take up the initiative, usually. The days of Smith being strongly tied to Yale as Wellesley was and is tied to Harvard are over. The Smithie is most likely going to have to get up off her butt and go to another campus. If a large portion of your time is spent on campus, you are probably not going to meet very many boys. The boys you do meet will either be ones in your class, who may probably be (a) socially awkward and hoping to have girls throw themselves at them, (b) in high school, (c) someone's boyfriend (d) some combination thereof or they will be the ones at a house party, who are probably (a) drunk (b) high (c) looking for a quick hookup or (d) some combination thereof.

    However, there was that girl who met her now boyfriend of 7 or so months on the PVTA.

    Anyway, during the times when you are not looking for any significant or long term relationship, meeting men at Smith becomes much easier. It requires a little bit more effort when you are looking for a relationship, serious or otherwise. I usually tell prospies that there are a variety of nice, respectable, moderately intelligent, men in the Valley, but, it is harder to find an incredibly attractive, funny, smart, amiable boy who is not obsessed with being a player or screwing anything with a skirt in sight.

    However, my view of this, having talked to friends about their dating experiences in co-ed schools, is that it's like that in most colleges, co-ed or not. The difference here is that you, the general you, is going to have to take the first step. When on campus, men will usually not approach you, this being because they are intimidated by you either because (a) they are worried you are a lesbian, (b)they are worried you are a frigid, b*tchy "feminist" maneater or (c) because you really are intimidating, either because of ambition, intelligence or, of course, ravishing beauty and all that jazz, etc.

    You will still overhear those conversations (or participate in those conversations) that took place in highschool and take place in college: "well, god, I like him. but do I like, like him? is it worth it? does he like me? will he use me? Is he leading me on? Am I leading him on?"

    What happens on the dating scene here that does not happen elsewhere (or at least, not as fast or not as much), I think, is that you learn to be at least a little bit aggressive. You learn how to make friends more easily. You learn to network those friends and create a network that spreads across all five campuses. You learn to get involved and how to navigate the complicated perceptions of each other that students in each of the Five have of each other. You learn to break those stereotypes and you learn (sort of, because you will never REALLY understand fully) how the average college boy thinks. You will learn that many guys are really actually awkward and do not know how to be a savvy dater. You will learn to be a better judge of character, faster. You learn, in short, many of the things that you will need to know to live successfully in the "real world".
  • minimini Registered User Posts: 26,431 Senior Member
    "I don't think there's a single study that has been done about sexual orientation and the American population that has not or cannot be disputed."

    I can dispute anything, so that is definitely a fair comment. However, as I work in the social services arena, and worked at the state level on the delivery of HIV/AIDS-related services, and chemical dependency services for racial, ethnic, and sexual preference minorities, I can tell you that we not only take these surveys seriously, we ACT upon them in the distribution of funds, and in the planning and execution of activities.

    Survey methodology is far from it infancy. We know how to test for validity, reliability, correct for sample distribution, check for question and questioner bias, and replicate. Do we refine these methodologies all the time? You bet. But the plea of ignorance is a copout - we actually know quite a lot.
This discussion has been closed.