Advice For Princeton Women: Find a Husband Before You Graduate
Susan Patton, president of Princeton's Class of 1977, offers some retro advice to her successors: Find a husband while you're still in school.
Susan Patton, president of Princeton’s Class of 1977, offers some retro advice to her successors: Find a husband while you’re still in school.
For most of you, the cornerstone of your future and happiness will be inextricably linked to the man you marry, and you will never again have this concentration of men who are worthy of you.
Here’s what nobody is telling you: Find a husband on campus before you graduate. Yes, I went there.
Naturally, she’s getting some blowback for an anti-feminist stance. But, frankly, I’d offer the same advice to male students; you’ll never find as deep a pool of bright, unattached women once you leave school.
What I find more noteworthy is the sheer snobbery of her comments:
I am the mother of two sons who are both Princetonians. My older son had the good judgment and great fortune to marry a classmate of his, but he could have married anyone. My younger son is a junior and the universe of women he can marry is limitless. Men regularly marry women who are younger, less intelligent, less educated. It’s amazing how forgiving men can be about a woman’s lack of erudition, if she is exceptionally pretty. Smart women can’t (shouldn’t) marry men who aren’t at least their intellectual equal. As Princeton women, we have almost priced ourselves out of the market. Simply put, there is a very limited population of men who are as smart or smarter than we are. And I say again — you will never again be surrounded by this concentration of men who are worthy of you.
Of course, once you graduate, you will meet men who are your intellectual equal — just not that many of them. And, you could choose to marry a man who has other things to recommend him besides a soaring intellect. But ultimately, it will frustrate you to be with a man who just isn’t as smart as you.
Now, I have nothing against Princeton women per se. I’ve known quite a few and they’re bright enough. But, please, it’s not like Princeton graduates are several standard deviations of brilliance above, say, Bucknell or Northwestern graduates. Or, hell, Clemson graduates.
Still, one has to admire Patton’s command of utility maximization:
Here is another truth that you know, but nobody is talking about. As freshman women, you have four classes of men to choose from. Every year, you lose the men in the senior class, and you become older than the class of incoming freshman men. So, by the time you are a senior, you basically have only the men in your own class to choose from, and frankly, they now have four classes of women to choose from. Maybe you should have been a little nicer to these guys when you were freshmen?
If I had daughters, this is what I would be telling them.
I don’t think I’ll be telling mine that.
via Dan Drezner