What do you guys think about same gender vs. mixed schools? That’s our topic for today.
Having experienced mixed gender schools myself I can only comment on the stories I have heard from others about single sex schools, something I don’t like to do as you never get an accurate picture. If you believed every story you heard you’d probably think that all boys schools are filled with rough housing and (excuse this) buggery, whereas all-girls school stereotypes vary from lesbian pillow fights (calm down boys) to something akin to Mean Girls.
There have been times when I have experienced an all-female environment outside of school; my student house at university was shared with 6 girls. Living with people can be tricky, so the occasional blow out was to be expected, but for the most part I loved living with them. I suppose it helped that none of us were too girly, but having 5 extra wardrobes, make up sets and dvd’s to share was excellent! It has to be said for me though it was far more fun when a group of 6 guys moved in upstairs. We started wars (holding possessions ransom etc) and had amazing joint flat parties. It was really fun.
Then a few years ago I worked as a counsellor for a Girl Scouts camp. This was part of the Camp America programme, a whole camp of girls ranging from age 5 to around 40. This is one experience I have not relived, however if I ever were to go back to Camp I’d request one which had boys. I really think you need them! Women are bitchy; it’s a fact of life. I appreciate that everyone needs to moan but when it’s all girls it can go past that and get personal. Whether it’s expectations of how they should behave or something else, sometimes ‘the sisterhood’ just isn’t enough. From what I’ve seen of boys living together I believe this works both ways. Having girls around can result in boys taing a little more pride in their environment (sometimes a very little), a mixed group tends to bring out the best in both. Having a good variety of people is the best way to achieve harmony in a group, because one way or another there will be people you get on with.
To me boys are just funnier than girls, they are often more straight talking and simpler (I mean that as a compliment). When my grandfather was sick a few years ago I’d gone up to my office thinking no one was around to have a good cry. It turned out someone was working up there, one of my male colleagues. Had a girl found me in tears I’d probably have been given a very much needed hug and a cup of tea, this guy however, soon had me in stitches having decided to shoulder the wall in an attempt to ‘make the offices open plan’. I’ll always love him for cheering me up that day, only a boy would be that silly when faced with a girl in tears.
More and more these days I find myself turning to my guy friends when I have a problem, because I know they will listen to me moan, give sound advice and it’s never going to turn into a bitching sesh. I can always trust my male friends to see what I’ve said for what it is, a moan which doesn’t need to be taken any further. I believe I am a more rounded person because I grew up with brothers, lived with boys in uni and have a very good group of male friends who are great at advice. My girls will always be my girls, but having a mix is important.
I digress. My point is sometimes you need to surround yourself with those of your own gender (the arguments for same sex schools being a ‘safer’ environment with fewer distractions are valid up to a point, but I think people will always create distractions one way or another!) and sometimes you need the opposite. There’s a marvellous quote which reads “Growing up is the time to find your bridesmaids, not your groom” something I intend to tell my nieces and possibly daughters one day. Find your girlfriends yes, but you also ‘need to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your Prince’…school is for learning, and that’s a big lesson to get right!
The title of this blog is a phrase very popular in Thailand, it sort of means similar. It seems to me that school is school no matter how it’s made up, but at the end of the day the parts outside the classroom are just as important as those inside it, you are becoming who you will eventually be. Therefore schools are all ‘same same, but different’ 🙂
This post is part of the Twitter Blogathon.