I have limited internet so I haven’t been streaming NPR as I normally would. This morning I managed, between buffering, to hear a story on NPR about advice given to undergrad women attending Princeton.
The advice, delivered in a letter from Susan Patton a 1977 alumna of Princeton, told the girls to “Find a husband on campus before you graduate.”
She went on to tell them that, “Men regularly marry women who are younger, less intelligent, less educated,” writes Patton. But, she argues, Princeton women should marry a man who is their intellectual equal.
“Simply put, there is a very limited population of men who are as smart or smarter than we are,” she writes.
She goes on to argue that the supply of such men dwindles as Princeton women get older. Patton advises young women to look for a husband now because “you will never again have this concentration of men who are worthy of you.”
The girls at Princeton were outraged saying they “don’t want to be defined by the person that they might end up marrying.”
I want to tell those girls that Susan is giving them excellent advice and they would do well to pay attention. I married someone who was older and smarter than me – therefore I was the younger, less intelligent woman. However, I was the more motivated, the more focused and the more successful in the long run. I probably would still be married if I’d found someone who was more worthy of me. I didn’t have the best judgement when I got involved with the person who eventually became my husband.
I wasn’t fortunate enough to attend Princeton – I attended a local college. It wasn’t on my radar to consider a private school. Had I been at Princeton, imagine the people I could have met. Who I married didn’t make a difference in who I was or would become. Still it would have been nice to have someone who could have kept pace with my personal development and be a partner in all senses of that word.