And, the women from Vassar are contradictingly all
- uptight virgins;
- demure debutantes;
- loud-mouthed, pushy feminists;
- grew up rich with a larger-than life father and an alcoholic mother;
- attended on "full-ride" scholarship who grew up with a larger-than life father and an alcoholic mother;
- stupid bimbos seeking the M.R.S. degree;
- dried-up spinsters with geeky professions like nuclear scientist or astronomy professor or librarian (or Beverly Hillbillies's Miss Jane Hathaway, loyal secretary to Mr Drysdale);
- pretty young things with glamorous jobs like the most influential fashion magazine editor in the world or the personal assistant to the most influential fashion magazine editor in the world or the Devil
- long-suffering mothers nagging unfaithful husbands and unwashed teenaged children;
- depressed wives neglecting long-suffering husbands and precocious offspring,
Even Lisa Simpson had something to say about Vassar.
Even as Vassar is or maybe because it is the only Seven Sister college (seven East Coast colleges which traditionally had all-female students) to go "co-ed" and admit men, these myths endure. It is not at all clear whether Vassar attracts all of these types or all of these types are attracted to Vassar. Wiser persons than we have wrung their hands and wondered why.
And, do you know, Vassar deserves every bit of the press it has received. It is all this and more. Vassar is a place for contemplation, for learning how to think, for questioning authority, for acting up and acting out and simply acting (Meryl Streep, Lisa Kudrow, Jon Tenney, et al notwithstanding -- Vassar has an actual Drama Department), and for being open to possibilities. It is not perfect and it is very contradictory. The only wrong impression that people have about Vassar which needs correcting is: Vassar is not in Boston, or Cambridge or even Massachusetts.