“Don’t leave college without a husband”: Mom’s advice causes a stir

What the heck is going on? The women's movement is in turmoil.

The newest controversial figure to get women's panties in a tightwad is Susan Patton who wrote an open letter published in the school newspaper to the Ivy League school's female students.In the letter, Patton tells female students that they should take the opportunity to find a husband while on campus before they graduate, because they will never again have a deep pool of qualified potential mates once they leave.

"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,” she wrote.

“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."

Patton, a 1977 graduate, is the mother two boys — a Princeton alum and a current undergraduate  – and says if she had daughters, that's the advice she would be giving them.

What craziness!

I did exactly what Patton is telling the female students to do. I met my husband my senior year of college and got engaged shortly after graduation. I'm married 26 years. You won't find me writing a letter like Patton's. As blogger Vivia Chen writes: "Fact is, it's not always easy to make the transition from a college relationship into adulthood. People grow up and grow apart." So true, Vivia, so true….

While my husband and I have grown up together, it hasn't always been easy to work through the what it takes to accommodate two career interests at the same time.

Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, has said, "The most important career choice you'll make is who you marry. I have an awesome husband, and we're 50/50." 

She spoke passionately about how there's a "stalled revolution for women" right now, and how having a supportive spouse — a real partner — will play a huge part in your success.

Don't get me wrong, I can see where Patton is coming from. As a student you're in contact with people your own age, or close to your age most of the time, which makes meeting potential partners much easier. But does that really need to be a graduation goal for young women? Those Princeton guys might be smart, but we've all learned that it is what you do with that knowledge that counts.

My advice to my daughter is make your education and career a priority while you are young and you will find the right guy at the right time who supports your choices.That right time might be in college or it might be a decade later.

What do you think about Patton's advice to young women? What would your advice be?


Susan patton
(Princeton grad Susan Patton unintentionally launched a media storm with her open letter to young women.)



The Work/Life Balancing Act

(Visited 56 times, 1 visits today)

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *