When I heard they'd opened an all-girl preschool in my old hometown of Santa Cruz, California, I knew exactly what it would look like. If you're not familiar with Santa Cruz, it's so lefty-liberal it makes nearby San Francisco look like Afghanistan under the Taliban. So I felt sure the school's lesbianicity would be matched only by its hyperorganic arch-veganity. I assumed that gluten would be as rare on the school grounds as tiny penises.
But it's not like that at all, apparently. The place is called, of all things, the Pink Academy. The name itself sounds oddly inappropriate. Like bad softcore porn.
"It's pink, it's girly, and it's all about them!" the school website says. (At least I'm told it does. The site seems to be protected. Probably protecting against would-be predators, and would-be mockers.)
"Finally!" weary parents must be saying. A place where I can find pink and girly things for my daughter! Up until now I had to resort to every other corner of our culture.
KJ Dell'Antonia at Slate describes the rosy vibe:
Your daughter won't just make fairy wings, crowns, capes, and butterfly wands, or snuggle on a flowery couch underneath a canopy of lace -- she'll also learn about sports and science and math in a multi-sensory way. Really. Judging from the Web site, that would apparently be a very pink multi-sensory way.
The school site also plays up the supposed benefits of same-sex education, though Dell'Antonia says -- correctly I think -- that high performance can mostly be chalked up to the self-selection of the smart set that's built into private, single-sex schools.
On one level, I'm all in favor. As a future Father-of-the-Bride-style fainting dad, I look for every opportunity to keep my lovely little girl away from those weird dirty vermin with their Bakugan, and their Beyblades, and that strange junk between their legs.
And I would have been delighted to greet my daughter at the end of preschool every day without getting tackled and punched by a bunch of rowdy boys. (Though I used to get the worst abuse by a mean little girl.)
But while my heart says yes, my head says no damn way. I can't get on board. There's enough sex segregation going on as it is, without pre-K kids thinking that boys and girls are entirely different kinds of people who require entirely different buildings and teachers. Yeah, my kid was in a gender-neutral preschool with no frills or princess dresses in sight and still ended up as frilly-girly as they come. She still won't wear jeans at age 7. But I'm glad at least she saw there was another way for a toddler to roll.
Although if this becomes a big trend, I'm all over it -- if I happen to have a little boy. Here's why: I can totally see a scenario where the best and cheapest preschool in town is the all-girls academy. What choice would I have than to put my little boy in a dress and a wig and send him there? I'm sure all kinds of wacky hijinks would ensue, then we'd all learn a lot about ourselves, the fraudulent-but-forgiven dad and the hot teacher would end up together, and we'd all dance to a catchy oldie over the closing credits.
What do you think of an all-girls preschool?
Image via terreninVirginia/Flickr