Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Lost Women's Colleges of North Carolina

Elizabeth College (1897-1921)
Rather than list all these colleges myself, I'm going to refer you to a very comprehensive summary,  North Carolina Women's Colleges, by Jennifer Davison and Jaime Huaman.

This is one fact that stood out for me, which is the high attrition rate for women's colleges in North Carolina (and for womyn's spaces in general):

Since 1772, twenty-eight women’s schools have been established in North Carolina. Many no longer exist, or have become coeducational. Currently there are four women’s colleges in North Carolina: Bennett College for Women, Meredith College, Peace College, and Salem College.

So what we have here is an overall women's college survival rate of 14 percent.

Let that sink in.

Fourteen bloody percent.

Here's another way to put that number in context, which is how many colleges and universities there currently are in North Carolina. Here's the answer: 16 institutions in the North Carolina public university system, 35 private colleges and universities, and a huge number of community colleges.  

Out of all these, just four are for women only. Just four.

Oops, make that three. Peace College started admitting men this fall.

Sadly, that's actually a somewhat impressive figure, since a lot of states (like Kansas) no longer have any women's colleges at all.

Kind of gives some context for all the ongoing efforts to force women's colleges to admit men or retain "male-identified" females. It's sort of like being on a nearly empty bus, but the creepy dude who just boarded insists on sitting next to you anyway.

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