Go to college, broaden your horizons, and … find a husband?
It sounds like antiquated advice, but here it is, 2013, and this is what a Princeton University alumna is urging young women of today to do.
As CNNMoney reports, Susan Patton wrote a letter published in the Daily Princetonian last week, recommending that female students “find a husband on campus before you graduate.”
The letter, titled “Advice for the young women of Princeton,” has generated so much attention that it has caused the campus newspaper to crash. In it, Patton says women have a “shelf life” and suggests they will never have the same chance of nabbing an “extraordinary” man after they graduate.
Patton, who graduated from Princeton in 1977, told CNNMoney that she spent most of her 20s focused on building her career. (She runs an executive coaching business in New York.) The broadcaster reports she got married at the age of 30 to a man who did not go to Princeton, and the two recently divorced.
“I wish I had ended up with a Princeton man,” she said.
Her letter adds that men “regularly marry women who are younger and less intelligent,” but she warns that women will be frustrated to be with a partner who isn’t as smart.
This point about the importance of finding someone who is your intellectual equal may be true. But are college parties and campus events really the ideal settings for reeling in your future spouse?
These days, many students are just trying to figure out their own lives, staking their independence and – unlike previous generations – facing the prospects of living with their parents until the age of 30. Amidst all of that, can you really blame them for putting off the idea of marriage?
But Patton explained to ABC News that her letter “was just intended to suggest to these young women who are on campus today: Keep an open mind. Look around you. These are the best, best guys,” she said.
“If the women’s movement has done what it has supposed to do, it should enable all women to make whatever choices are appropriate for them, even if their choices are seemingly retrogressive.”
As ABC News points out, Patton has a son currently attending Princeton. Wonder how he feels about all of this.