"Because a woman's goal in life is to be preferable to men?!"
As a woman, the post's title offended me. But as I read, the body of the post offended me as a Christ-follower.
As a lover of lists and logic, I feel I won't be able to rest until I respond, tackling each of this woman's "points," which are really a collection of statements sitting atop a veritable mountain of ridiculous and unspoken assumptions.
Alexander's first paragraph is a prime example of such assumptions: "Do you know how much more attractive debt-free virgins (without tattoos) are to young men? Unfortunately, there are so few of these types of young women anymore because of the high costs of college (debt) and sexual promiscuity even within those in the church. As believers in Jesus Christ, we need to live in a way that is pleasing to Him because His ways are the best."
Main Assumption 1: All men find the same type of woman attractive. To some men I'm sure debt-free virgins without tattoos are most attractive. However, I bet there are more men out there who prefer debt-free virgins WITH tattoos, or debt-free women of any experience with no tattoos, or don't mind debt but want to be a woman's first, or don't care about debt or virginity or tattoos.
Main Assumption 2 (which she leans on more heavily later): College necessarily equal debt. Yes, the cost of college has risen (thanks, big government), but that does not mean all college graduates have debt. Because of my parents' incredible generosity and sacrifice, my sister and I are both getting a college education and will have NO debt because of it. Many people--even some women *gasp*--work to put themselves through college with no debt.
Alexander then completely changes the scope of the article from "living in a way that is pleasing to Christ" or even "why men prefer debt-free virgins without tattoos" to "reasons that women shouldn't go to college." (She never even touches on the tattoo thing.) Talk about a bait and switch! And talk about building a case on an assumption that isn't even true.
The first reason that women shouldn't go to college is because men prefer debt-free women. So, pretty much a restatement of Assumptions 1 and 2.
The second reason women shouldn't go to college is because college-educated women are unlikely to stay home and raise their children because they want to pay off debt and use their degree. I would like to point to the hundreds of women I work with who not only went to college and stay home with their children but actually home educate their children. Oh, and lots of them have careers too. College does not make women less likely to stay home with their children. The desire either to stay home or not is present in a woman's mind before she gets her four-year degree. If she wants to stay home, she will, regardless of her education level.
The next reason why women shouldn't go to college made both me and my husband (Wait, what? I found a good, godly husband despite my college education, past experiences, and tattoo?!) gasp out loud: "The husband will need to take years teaching his wife the correct way to act, think, and live since college taught them every possible way that is wrong."
This makes my blood boil. First of all, husband, if you have to "teach your wife" how to be a person, then she's probably not ready for marriage. It is not a husband's job to raise his wife; that is the job of parents, the potential wife herself, and--oh yeah--GOD. Sure, as kids (male and female) grow up, they need people guiding them in HOW to act, think, and live until they've mastered the skills and logic to conduct themselves well. However, even after Alexander's implication that wives begin as clueless, uncouth children, she is really implying that the husband should teach his wife WHAT to think.
How are women supposed to love the Lord their God with all their hearts, souls, minds, and strengths if they are not allowed to use their own minds and strengths? (I'm sure there's an argument to be made here that the "strength" of women is only in child-rearing and cooking. I don't believe that, but even if it were true, what about the "with all their minds" part?)
Next reason women shouldn't go to college: "They will start having babies later in life. That is if they can still conceive naturally." Sorry, I forgot that a woman's eggs dry up and fall off her uterus at age twenty-two. *insert eyeroll emoji*
The fifth reason why women shouldn't go to college is because they lose valuable years of learning to cook large meals. To be honest, I cooked more in college than I did at home (not that that's saying much). And a lot of the time, cooking large meals is a matter of being able to double or triple a recipe. Of course, that requires math. Wait, are women allowed to do math?
Alexander goes on to say that "young women learn nothing about biblical womanhood or what it takes to run a home when they go to college." First of all, this can depend on what college a woman attends. There are such things as "Christian colleges," although maybe Alexander sees that as an oxymoron. Second, Alexander isn't insisting that college doesn't teach biblical womanhood, but that for some reason women are INCAPABLE of learning biblical principles when they go to college. Is it because our minds aren't strong enough to withstand cultural influences? Or because we aren't clever enough to seek out edifying Bible studies? Third, I feel like I learned a lot about how to run a home while in college. For the first time, I had no one reminding me to clean my room or the bathroom, or to eat enough veggies, or spend my money wisely, or remember to buy more toilet paper. Are you kidding me, Alexander? College is literally the time in your life when you DO learn how to "run a (mini version of a) home."
Alexander then talks about how women should live with their parents and work from home and stay under the protection of her father until she's transferred to her husband's keeping. Whatever. I don't care if a girl chooses to live at home or not, and fathers do offer some protection. None of that is sufficient reason not to go to college.
And lastly, the other gasp-inducer: "Most girls have not read the Bible with their father (Ephesians 6:4) or husband to explain to them (1 Corinthians 14:35)." I'm wondering if the original author threw these verses in hoping that no one would actually investigate them, because they are
"Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." (Ephesians 6:4)
"If [women] want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church." (1 Corinthians 14:35)
At first glance, that second one could be pretty damning, I guess, but the first one? "Dads, don't be annoying. Lead the family in a godly way." How do you get "women can't read the Bible for themselves" from that?
In 1 Corinthians 14:35, scholars believe that Paul was referring to some specific kind of inquiry or speech of women. Earlier in chapter 11, he both references women prophesying in church and says that women should have a symbol of authority on their own heads, so clearly he isn't against women having a voice in church.
(In all honesty, chapter 11 has some puzzling passages, but one of them ends with this great equalizer: "For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God." Boom.)
Back to the original point that women need their husbands to explain the Bible to them: No. God gave me a brain and a will of my own. I will use the brain to understand the Word myself, and the will to study and apply it. Is it important to discuss scripture with your spouse? Of course! But not so that the woman can have the Word interpreted for her like she's a peasant in the Dark Ages and her husband is a controlling Catholic priest. You study the Word together so that both man and woman can learn from each other, digging deeper and sharpening each other as iron.
I am deeply saddened and offended that there are people out there who believe God created women to be silent, subservient shells of humans. How rude is that to our Creator? To say that he made half the population brainless and spineless and do-less? What about all the strong biblical heroines? What about the command to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength?
What's more, Alexander implies that women are only worthy and godly when they are either married or trying to be married. Is appealing to men really the highest calling a woman has? What about living in a way pleasing to God? What about the TONS of verses that SPECIFICALLY warn against living to please men/other people? (Galatians 1:10, John 5:41-44, 1 Thessalonians 2:4, Luke 16:15, et cetera.)
Lastly, while marriage is good and created by God, it is not actually necessary for a good and godly life. Paul only even "concedes" to the notion of marriage. He says that in his opinion, it's better to be solo and focus on God. So, biblically, Mrs. Alexander, your argument fails again.
And now I'm going to go back to my life as a married, college-educated, debt-free, Bible-studying woman with a tattoo who can't wait to have kids, stay home to raise and educate them, and continue the career for which God has given her passion.