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Smith Bubble

ladyjadee18ladyjadee18 Registered User Posts: 7 New Member
edited April 2007 in Smith College
As a straight girl, how hard is it to meet guys? I've heard that it takes a lot of work. Is there a stereotype percieved by the other schools that most Smithies are lesbians? I'm having a very hard time deciding if I will be happy at an all-girls school. Advice anyone? My other choices are Wheaton (MA), George Washington, and Syracuse
Post edited by ladyjadee18 on
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Replies to: Smith Bubble

  • minimini Registered User Posts: 26,431 Senior Member
    No idea how hard it is to meet guys. (I'm not a student.) A survey conducted last year indicated that 11% of Smith students consider themselves lesbian, which is a far lower percentage than gay men at George Washington or Yale. When those who consider themselves bisexual were added to the mix, the percentage of non-straight Smithies was virtually exactly the same as the national average as found in CDC surveys (the difference being fewer bi's and more lesbians in the mix.)

    The stereotype is based on the fact that most men cannot imagine an institution of powerful women, run by powerful women for powerful women, without assuming that most of them are sexually attracted to each other.

    (It says more about men in our society than about Smith.)
  • arianneagarianneag Registered User Posts: 104 Junior Member
    "then those who consider themselves bisexual were added to the mix, the percentage of non-straight Smithies was virtually exactly the same as the national average as found in CDC surveys (the difference being fewer bi's and more lesbians in the mix.)"

    I'm sorry, but I cannot buy that statement at all. Can you give me an example of a specific survey from the cdc?
  • nycnyc Registered User Posts: 1,355 Senior Member
    When D briefly considered Goucher (68%female) and posed a similar question re: dating, a male student there whom D had know for years advised her not to worry b/c most of the women at Goucher were lesbians. D asked him whether that was really true or whether that was just something he told himself b/c despite the gender imbalance he didn't have a GF (ouch!!).

    D also considered Wheaton (one of the strongest D3 track teams) which has a similar imbalance. After Wheaton and Goucher D decided that even if G and W were academ on par w/ Smith (they aren't, and certainly not for D's interest art/arch/engineering), she'd rather be at a women's college than constantly on the hunt for one of the scarce males on the Goucher/Wheaton campus.

    D enrolls at Smith in Sept. (I believe she'll be the track teams only jumper).

    full disclosure: D now has BF who will be attending neighboring sch, which is also not uncommon at Smith
  • minimini Registered User Posts: 26,431 Senior Member
    "I'm sorry, but I cannot buy that statement at all. Can you give me an example of a specific survey from the cdc?"

    I posted the link in a previous forum, but I don't have time to look it up again.
  • pmyenpmyen Registered User Posts: 536 Member
    My daughter did a summer writing program for high school students at Bryn Mawr, and became postively-attracted to the idea of going to a women's college. Having three male siblings at home may have prompted her to consider all options! In all honesty, she liked the seriousness of academic life, close friendships, strong advising and mentoring, all-girls networking, etc. She visited Smith several times before making her decision to attend. She knew that dating and the social scene would take a back seat, and instead looked forward to developing other important areas of her life. If she were looking for a heavy party and drinking scene, she definitely would not find it at Smith-but that was not what she was looking for in her college experience. She also knew some friends from h.s. attending Amherst College (male and female)and visits there about twice a month, has taken a class at Hampshire, and recently has been dating a graduate of UMass working in the Pioneer Valley. I think they may have met at a house party at Smith. Her focus at Smith has been on academics and the rich variety of cultural and social activities there. On the other hand, it seems she makes up for dating and meeting with guy friends during the summer when she is back home. She gets together with good friends from h.s. and has been to a number of parties/get togethers sponsored by friends from Smith when she is home over the holidays or during the summer (we live outside D.C.). The Dad also said that his daughter has enjoyed her junior year abroad and speculated on one of the many reasons they are popular! The lesbianism at Smith has not been a problem for her. The great majority of students at Smith are straight (most of her friends are, too); however, you do have to be willing to accept fellow housemates and classmates that are gay.
  • arianneagarianneag Registered User Posts: 104 Junior Member
    For me, it's actually sorta funny; I think the whole "lesbian" aspect of Smith is actually a turn on for me, so when people get defensive and say "No, the lesbian population isn't any bigger than anywhere else," it's actually somewhat disappointing. I go to a high school with few openly gay/lesbian people, and I'd REALLY like to change that in college.
  • minimini Registered User Posts: 26,431 Senior Member
    The lesbian population IS bigger than elsewhere - at 11% it is almost four times that in the U.S. population. However, there are between 3X-6X gay males in the population as lesbian females. And then you take a school like Yale, with the best known and by far the best funded Gay Studies program in the country, and you find many, many more gay men at Yale than lesbian women at Smith. Same at NYU and virtually all east coast urban/suburban colleges.

    So why doesn't it have that reputation? (although it does, just in smaller circles.) And that one's simple: it's MEN. The idea of strong women at a great school with a faculty that is more than 50% women and an administration that is all women with a billion-dollar plus endowment, and programs specifically aimed at women's lives, is more than a bit unnerving.

    (Within the context of this culture, it should be!)
  • arianneagarianneag Registered User Posts: 104 Junior Member
    I think it's unclear why Smith has more of a lesbian reputation/population than other Seven Sister schools.
  • roadlesstraveledroadlesstraveled Registered User Posts: 1,146 Senior Member
    What gave you that idea?
  • nycnyc Registered User Posts: 1,355 Senior Member
    Maybe b/c it's the largest of the women's colleges and also has the reputation for being the most outspoken.
  • arianneagarianneag Registered User Posts: 104 Junior Member
    I don't know if the actual lesbian population of Smith is in fact larger than at other Seven Sisters, but it certainly has the biggest lesbian reputation.

    Funny story involving two people I used to carpool with:

    Girl one: "I don't want to go to a women's college. My mom says that all the girls cut their classes early on Fridays to go out with boys from nearby coed schools."
    girl two:"except at Smith, where they cut their classes early to do each other!"

    It shows what reputation Smith has compared to other women's colleges. It may not be accurate, of course.
  • BJM8BJM8 Registered User Posts: 1,279 Senior Member
    So why doesn't it have that reputation? (although it does, just in smaller circles.) And that one's simple: it's MEN. The idea of strong women at a great school with a faculty that is more than 50% women and an administration that is all women with a billion-dollar plus endowment, and programs specifically aimed at women's lives, is more than a bit unnerving.
    Exactly Mini, well said!! My D, who is finishing her first year, has met many male friends from Amherst and UMass; and hasn't even tried looking hard. This whole lesbian thing is totally out of whack, and I think Mini's data shows that to be true. My D, who is totally straight, says that there is no more of a lesbian culture at Smith than compared to anywhere else she has experienced. Let's face it, Smith just scares the hell out of men who are insecure about women having power and intelligence; God forbid!!!!
    I don't know if the actual lesbian population of Smith is in fact larger than at other Seven Sisters, but it certainly has the biggest lesbian reputation.
    See Wellesley and Holyoke; nuff said! Hmmm...let's see; 2600 women from around the globe in one location......bound to be a few lesbians, heh? Find me an all-male school, and I will show you a gay culture. C'mon guys, get over it! This conversation sickens me.

    Arianneag: You're joke is distasteful to say the least.
  • arianneagarianneag Registered User Posts: 104 Junior Member
    "Arianneag: You're joke is distasteful to say the least."

    When did I ever say it was a joke? It was an actual conversation I heard. I mentioned it just to demonstrate the [unfair] reputation Smith has among many circles. It was an extremely distasteful comment, yes, but it wasn't mine.
  • BJM8BJM8 Registered User Posts: 1,279 Senior Member
    Find new friends! After they said that, did you defend Smith? You appear to believe what you hear, don't be so naive.
  • TheDadTheDad Registered User, ! Posts: 10,225 Senior Member
    The perception is out there. We were at a holiday party where a mom with a high school junior asked me where my D was going to school. When I replied, "Smith," she went off into this diatribe that began with "Aren't there a lot of lesbians there," she hates lesbians, and she would never let her daughter go there. I coldly replied that in that case, she was cutting her nose off to spite her face, that Smith was an outstanding college and there was nothing negative about either its gay population or the fact that they're "out there." I think the whole LBTQwhatever thing is probably more out there and matter of fact at Smith, more circumspect and underground (in relative terms) at Wellesley. I can't speak to MHC or BMC.

    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. Bless 'em Smithies all, straight, gay, or whatever in between.
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