Susan Patton is a Princeton University alumna who decided to write a letter to the Princeton paper, The Daily Princetonian. In it, she speaks to the young women at the school, encouraging them to take this opportunity to search out a husband, from the male population at the University. She offers this advice under the guise of “what you really need to know that nobody is telling you.” It’s almost as if she is warning them of what their life may be like if they don’t make this choice now. As if being married should be as important to them right now, as getting an education. She claims that even though it may not seem like it at this time, their future happiness is linked to the man they marry. She feels this is the perfect time because at no other point in their life, will they have such a pool of men to choose from.
She is very adamant about the female students making this a priority now, because it will be more difficult to find an intelligent man after they are out of school and living in the real world. She feels it’s important for the Princeton females to have an equally intelligent husband. Men as smart as “us” are hard to come by. “We” are worthy of an intelligent man. She places herself in the same category as these students in her writing. I wonder if she had this mindset while attending Princeton back in her youth. In the video clip I watched from the CBS News this morning it stated that she has two sons, one who graduated from Princeton and the other who is currently attending. She is also divorced. I’m curious to know if her ex husband is a Princeton graduate. I wonder if she practiced what she preaches.
There is a sense of urgency to her appeal. She maintains that this should be a priority in freshman year, because as each year passes, the pool of men becomes smaller. Her philosophy is to not date anyone younger. By the time you are a senior, you only have other seniors to choose from, according to her theory.
This all started after she attended a women’s conference at the college, when afterwards, asked the students how many of them would like to get married and have a family someday. She claims all of them raised their hands. This spurred her to write the letter.
As you can imagine, many people are outraged, calling her view elitist, sexist, and snobbery. She doesn’t appear to be affected by these comments and said if the students don’t want to take her advice, then they don’t have to. According to her this is what the “feminist” movement has afforded them – the opportunity to make these choices.
It seems a bit calculating to me. However, she is entitled to her opinion, and as intelligent as these students are, I’m sure they will take it for what it’s worth.