How All Girl Schools Fail Their Students & Alumnae

An all girl school failure to celebrate women’s successes equally
invites all men to ignore women’s successes completely.

I attended an all girl Catholic high school in the 1960s. I have stayed in touch with a number of high school classmates. My high school is unhappy about me saying my experiences at that school were mostly terrible. The school administration believed that the requirement for physical uniforms included mental and emotional uniforms as well. We had to follow strict rules for wearing our physical uniforms. There were also strict rules for wearing the mental and emotional uniforms. The school administration considered us successful only if we wore the assigned physical, mental, and emotional uniforms properly.

Four years after I graduated from high school, I ran into a classmate I met the first day of our freshman year. I told her it took me two years to figure out everything our high school told us about the world that was not true. She responded that she’d had exactly the same experience.

I stayed on the alumnae list to stay in touch with classmates. After my older sister graduated from the same high school, she made sure to disappear from the alumnae list. She hated our high school so much she wanted to make sure the administration could never find her. Many of the classmates I wanted to stay in touch with never appeared on the alumnae lists. Staying off the alumnae lists was apparently a common goal.

Exposing The Truth

In 2010, I received a fundraising letter saying that donor organizations wanted to know how many alumnae were donating money to the high school. The letter revealed that only 3% percent of alumnae made donations. The letter writer — an alumna — asked, “What’s up with that?”

The answer to “What’s up with that?” has at least two parts. First, 97% of alumnae did not enjoy their high school years. Second, 97% of alumnae did not enjoy years of figuring out the lies our high school told us about the world. The question itself is insulting. I read the question as: What’s up with alumnae refusing to wear the assigned mental and emotional uniforms?

Living The Lessons My High School Taught

When I post my successes to my class Facebook page, dozens of classmates view my posts, but very few classmates celebrate my successes by liking my posts or writing comments. My high school taught us to betray each other according to the cultural themes of betrayal between women.

I am one of 40 women who wrote chapters for Voices of the 21st Century: Resilient Women Who Rise and Make a Difference. The book’s official Amazon launch was February 23, 2021. By 10:00 in the morning, our book had reached #1 bestseller in Biography Reference and Collections. By midafternoon we were #2 in Business Mentoring & Coaching and #3 in Women & Business. Our book became an international bestseller on launch day. The next day, our book became #1 in Business Mentoring & Coaching.

On launch day, I wrote three posts about the bestselling success of my book to my high school class Facebook page. This is the count for each post on April 30, 2021:

Post #1
34 views
1 reaction

Post #2
40 views
3 reactions

Post #3
51 views
7 reactions
10 comments
8 reactions and comments by the same women

I posted a graphic of the book’s Amazon standings on February 27th.
49 views
8 reactions
1 comment

My high school viewed every post, but remained silent. I took  screenshots to prove my high school viewed my posts without celebrating my success. Note that the majority of my classmates followed the example of my high school in ignoring my success.

Top Priority

For the record, I celebrated a success of the religious order that sponsors my high school. On March 22, 2017 I wrote a post on my class Facebook page about a trailblazing effort by that religious order in 1978. I discovered it in a book about a particular kind of social justice and shared it with my classmates. My high school liked my celebration of their success. My high school never celebrated a single one of my successes. I can only assume they never celebrate any success of any alumna who refuses to wear the assigned mental and emotional uniforms. No matter what each alumna does to make the world a better place, money in the school bank account was and is my high school’s top priority.

I took a screenshot of my post celebrating the success of the sponsoring religious order. I wouldn’t put it past my high school to delete that post after they learn about this blog post.

Have my Catholic high school administrations and classmates heard of
the second greatest Christian commandment?

A Mission Of Inequality

Here is my high school’s mission statement as I write this:

—— ———, a college preparatory Catholic school for women, sponsored by the —— ——— Sisters,
fosters academic excellence, truth, peace and justice while challenging each student to develop leadership
for life and respect for all races, cultures, and faiths.

Did you notice that the word “equality” is missing?

Women’s leadership that excludes equality for women?

Women’s leadership that includes intentional inequality for women?

Why should men celebrate women’s successes when women ignore women’s successes?

I offered to do a free workshop to current students at my high school about breaking glass ceilings. The school ignored my offer.

Some All Girl High Schools Teach Equality

I graduated from high school in 1969. The current administration at my high school cannot even admit that Catholic education for girls in the 1960s limited women’s opportunities severely. One example: My high school did not offer advanced math classes because why on earth would good Catholic girls need to know advanced math? We were just going to get married and make babies!

And yet, my high school expects all alumnae to donate money.

My two younger sisters attended a different all girl Catholic high school. One of them took karate lessons as part of her school curriculum. More freedom to think and feel differently than my older sister and I had. I don’t know about my younger sisters’ alumnae experiences because my family was toxic and I walked away from everyone after my father died. I hope their high school does more celebrations of student and alumnae success. That would mean more invitations for men to celebrate women’s successes.

Ultimate Proof Of Intentional Inequality

In 2019 I created a new Facebook account for my business activities. I did not know that Facebook had changed its policies about multiple accounts. On April 29, 2021 I informed friends of my original Facebook account that I would soon be deleting that account and keeping my second account. I sent friend requests to my list of friends. Not every classmate accepted my request.

But the ultimate inequality came from my high school. I asked to join the private group for my graduating year. I first accidentally clicked on the wrong year and requested membership. I heard back from that class group in less than an hour. No acceptance from my own class group 5 days after requesting membership.

My high school excels at teaching girls to discount and betray other girls and women.

My high school fails at celebrating student and alumnae successes equally.

My high school excels at teaching intentional inequality.

My high school fails at teaching girls to create respectful connections  with other girls and women despite differences.

Applying Pressure For Equality

I wrote this blog post to draw attention to the damage high schools like mine do to girls and women while pretending to be improving the world for girls and women.

It’s likely my high school will add the word ‘equality’ to its mission statement after reading this post. The administration will want to pretend it cares after they know people are reading about their intentional inequality. They can prove they care about equality by equally celebrating the successes of each student and each alumna.

Will they?

I doubt it will happen without pressure from parents.

Take note. To be a model for celebrating student and alumnae successes equally, my high school has to celebrate every single one of my successes equally. Every single one.

To counter the damage all girl schools like my high school do, I plan to make a video. I am taking a video course to create promotional videos for my own businesses. When those are finished, I will make a video about the question parents should ask any all girl school. See the section below. I will post the video on social media monthly. The video will explain where parents can read this blog post.

When I read about the sponsoring order in the book on social justice, I discovered that they had been leaders in creating that particular kind of social equality. My high school’s sponsoring order could have been leaders in creating equality for girls and women. Instead, they continuously created intentional inequality for their students and alumnae. For all of those wasted decades I have wanted to say this to the successive administrations of my high school:

Stop acting like teenage girl cliques and grow up already!

To Parents

What value are you getting from private school tuition to an all girl school that invites men to ignore your daughter(s)’s successes? Ignoring successes translates into fewer career opportunities, fewer promotions, and lower salaries. Here is a quote from startup investor and advisor Fran Hauser:

“We were talking about potential salary increases for a man and a woman who were peers,
and an older woman on the board recommended a higher salary increase for the man,
explaining that he was the primary breadwinner in his family, while the woman was single
and didn’t have the same financial stress.”

That older woman wanted to create intentional inequality for another woman. Her words invited every man on that board to create intentional inequality for all women. She ignored the other woman’s successes in the same way my high school teaches its students to ignore other women’s successes. I could only wonder if that older woman is an alumna of my high school.

If you are a parent looking for an all girl school for your daughter(s), ask each school this question:

“How do you celebrate the successes
of each student and each alumna equally?”

Schools will learn to celebrate successes equally when parents demonstrate their willingness to take their tuition money elsewhere. Perhaps a sincere desire for equality will follow.

Movement For Equality

My resilience includes exposing women who create inequality between women. I launched Women Speaking Equality on Facebook to encourage women to celebrate other women’s successes. I posted a link to this blog post as a comment to the pinned post on that page. My followers already include women on other continents.

Voices of the 21st Century is a series. The 2021 book is the 4th book in the series. I have already been accepted to write a chapter for  2022’s Voices V. My chapter is about equality between women and will refer to my Women Speaking Equality page on Facebook. Since the first four books in the series are all international bestsellers, Voices V will be an international bestseller as well. Women from around the world will go to Women Speaking Equality on Facebook and see the link to this blog post. Women from around the world will learn how my all girl Catholic high school creates intentional inequality between and for girls and women.

How Will My High School Respond?

Will successive administrations of my high school finally stop acting like teenage girl cliques and start celebrating successes equally?

Will they stop expecting adult women to wear mental and emotional uniforms?

Will they respect my equal right to join the Facebook group for my class year?

Will they finally realize that celebrating successes equally gives all alumnae equal reasons to donate money?

I will write updates about anything my high school does or does not do in response to this blog post.

Just between you and me, I think my high school assumed that their intentional inequality
of denying me membership in my class Facebook group would make me disappear.
Oops!
Because my high school invites men to make women disappear, I refuse to disappear.

The Myth of the Nice Girl: Achieving a Career You Love Without Becoming a Person You Hate
Fran Hauser
2018, page 110

Voices of the 21st Century: Resilient Women Who Rise and Make a Difference

Paula M. Kramer
© 2021 and on.
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks or months.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Facebook Page

Women Speaking Equality

Standards For Success Posters

Girl Grit

Girl Goodwill

Resource Websites

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com

Business Directory

betterplanetbusiness.com

Reputation Management Directory

myrecordnow.com

Television Strong Women As Role Models? Career Dangerous In Real Life!

“Let’s Hear It for TV’s Difficult Women”
Megan Angelo
Glamour Magazine
June 2015

Lady Mary
Downtown Abbey

Selina Meyer
Veep

Cookie
Empire

Carrie Mathison
Homeland

Olivia Pope
Scandal

Claire Underwood
House of Cards

Abby and Hana
Broad City

While going through a stack of old magazines in December 2019, I came across the article above. I had to write my reaction within days.

These are quotes from the article:

“Headlining every breakout show are the sort of women who have
historically been classified as ‘difficult,” even bitchy—ambitious,
blunt, and staunchly ‘bout their own business.”

“Sure, Cookie may rub some people the wrong way, but who cares?
She fights for what she wants. And that’s the crux of the ice-cold,
attitude-y TV ladies—they’re risk takers and, ultimately, winners.”

“Then we go home and watch women who remind people pleasers
like me that a well-placed retort, a scorching rant, or even just a
meaningful pause are doable, important, and something we should try,
on whatever level we can handle.”

Megan Angelo forgot that television characters care only if the writers make them care. Real people care. In real life, bitches invite backlash. Lots of people accept those invitations and choose among the following:

Revenge

Backstabbing

Payback

Real life former bitch Bernadette Boas wrote a book about why she stopped being a bitch. The quote below reveals why real life bitches lose:

“Today, large and small businesses engage me to help them find a solution
to breaking the glass ceiling for the women in their organization. On one
particular call, a man who headed up a large medical practice explained to
me how the two women on his Board of Directors, both eligible to replace the
CEO, were going to be overlooked, because, he stated, “They’re bitches.”
The women were qualified and deserving of the position, but no one would
vote them in because of their attitudes. I  knew exactly what he was talking about.”

Bernadette also feels shame. She feels ashamed for not caring that she was a bitch. This is her apology for decades of bitchiness:

Forgive me for the bitch I was.

Forgive me for not knowing I was.

Forgive me for not caring I was.

I am truly sorry.

Do you enjoy living with shame?

I use the phrase “girl growls” for the statements ice-cold, attitude-y women make about other women without caring. Read how one “strong woman” growled for what she wanted and lost. I used a girl growl and lost, too.

Now read how Rafe Esquith made a point of being nice to everyone. The invitations he sent out came back when he was in his greatest need of support. Rafe Esquith won. The bitches qualified to be CEO and Billionaire Mafia owner Lana Fuchs lost. Television writers can make bitches win no matter what they do. People in your life can make you lose because of what you do.

I wonder how much backlash Megan Angelo invited if she used “well-placed retorts” and “scorching rants”. How much of the backlash was behind her back?

I have a blog full of real world examples of success sparking success and failure flaring failure. We can’t control the factors that create serendipitous success or freaky failure, but we can control whether we choose and invite every other type of success or failure.

The CEO candidate bitches and Billionaire Mafia owner Lana Fuchs chose and invited failure. Rafe Esquith chose and invited success.

What do you choose?

Back to one Megan Angelo quote:

“Sure, Cookie may rub some people the wrong way, but who cares?”

Megan doesn’t care when women treat other women as unequal? Does she care when other women treat her as unequal?

I care when women create inequality for other women because I want equality. Equality between men and women will follow equality between women. Read the Girl GritGirl Goodwill, and Success & Failure Choices pages on my website to understand how creating equality sparks success, including unforeseen success.

Back to Bernadette Boas’ apology:

Forgive me for the bitch I was.

Forgive me for not knowing I was.

Forgive me for not caring I was.

I am truly sorry.

Bernadette feels shame for the decades she didn’t care. When Megan Angelo finally starts caring, other women will care enough to spark success for her. Because Bernadette Boas cares about helping other women now, I promote her book, her radio show, and her consulting at every opportunity to quote her. I am doing my best to help Bernadette Boas win because of what she does. When more women win as CEOs (and Presidents and Prime Ministers), women like me will have more opportunities for success in other areas.

And because I support Bernadette, Bernadette has repeatedly offered to support me. In an email exchange regarding this blog post, I told her about my next project. She will do what she can to support me when I am ready.

Bernadette Boas and I are the strong women Megan Angelo should be emulating. We both had the strength to recognize how we harmed other people and how hurting other women also hurt us. We are winners because admitting the harm we did to other women is the first step toward winning with other womenBernadette and I  are ready to welcome Megan Angelo into winning with us.

In case you’re wondering, I started this winning with relationship when I contacted Bernadette to say I wanted to include a quote from her book on my Girl Grit page. I asked for nothing in return because I saw support for Bernadette as a way to increase success for all women, including me. Bernadette chose to offer support specific to me. We will continue winning with each other as long as we are able to.

If Megan Angelo ever contacts another woman with the intent of supporting her, she must do so with sincerity. Insincerity would prove the impossibility of winning with Megan.

Shedding the Corporate Bitch: Shifting Your Bitches to Riches in Life and Business
Bernadette Boas
Pages 4 and 216

Bernadette on Linkedin

Bernadette’s website

Bernadette’s radio show

~~~~~

Paula M. Kramer
© 2015 to the present
All rights reserved.

Posts on this blog alternate with posts at the link below. Posts for both blogs are published on Wednesdays as they are ready to be published. Time between posts could be weeks or months.

blog.smilessparksuccess.com

Facebook Page

Women Speaking Equality

Standards For Success Posters

Girl Grit

Girl Goodwill

Resource Websites

speakingfromtriumph.com

smilessparksuccess.com

Business Directory

betterplanetbusiness.com

Reputation Management Directory

myrecordnow.com