Finding Mr. Right, on campus
April 1, 2013 10:14 AM   Subscribe

"Princeton mother Susan Patton dropped an antiquated bomb on the Internet Friday." Her basic message in a letter to The Daily Princetonian: Women don’t need a career or independence to feel fulfilled; what they need is a husband.*

"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."
posted by ericb (8 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: This was an outrage-bomb last time it was posted too. We don't actually need a thread just to talk about how the angry-making shit someone wrote in a letter makes people angry. -- cortex

"Of course, this all sounds ludicrous, but Patton isn’t taking her words back, acknowledging she found the 'extreme reaction' to her letter astonishing instead. To her, 'too much focus has been placed on encouraging young women only to achieve professionally.'"*
posted by ericb at 10:15 AM on April 1, 2013

I think a similar post was already deleted on this, but if this one stays, I think the funniest part of it is that the writer herself is not married, and blames her divorce on the fact that her husband (and father of her two Princeton attending sons) graduated from an “inferior” institution.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:16 AM on April 1, 2013

I wasn't aware that there was a previous deleted FPP. I hope this one stays.
posted by ericb at 10:17 AM on April 1, 2013

Ivy Leaguers, man.
posted by jonmc at 10:18 AM on April 1, 2013 [2 favorites]

Slate's XX Factor had a brief piece on this letter.
posted by crush-onastick at 10:18 AM on April 1, 2013

I actually agree that too much focus on everyone achieving success professionally and that a lot of people would be happier if they focused on succeeding personally, but targeting the message at women and saying that "success" = husband" is pretty problematic.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:19 AM on April 1, 2013

"Everyone" needs to stop telling "women" what to do. "Women" don't need anyone telling them what they need to be fulfilled. "Women" need to figure that out for themselves. Just like "men" do.
posted by bleep at 10:20 AM on April 1, 2013 [1 favorite]

To her, 'too much focus has been placed on encouraging young women only to achieve professionally.

And so her reaction has been to focus on reminding them that they will have a very hard if not impossible time meeting a man "worthy" of their Princetonian-ness after they leave Princeton, so they better catch one while they're there.

Her letter is full of projections, assumptions, really offensively weird class and gender stuff, and I can't help but wonder if her Princeton sons are kind of embarrassed.
posted by rtha at 10:21 AM on April 1, 2013

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