Princeton graduates, in my experience, have been the most insufferable bunch of Ivy League braggadocios to ever walk this Earth. People I know who went to Yale, Harvard or Columbia don’t need to advertise it. But if someone went to Princeton, just like if someone is a vegan, THEY WILL TELL YOU.
Susan A. Patton, Princeton grad of ’77, does nothing to diminish this stereotype. In her laughably snobbish, elitist letter to the editor in the Daily Princetonian, “Advice For The Young Women Of Princeton: The Daughters I Never Had,” she advises female undergraduates to get their M.R.S. degree now now amongst the Princeton class, lest they be stuck marrying some nosepicking boogereater who went to NYU, or, god forbid, a state school.
Patton recently attended a Women and Leadership conference with female Princeton undergrads, which included a breakout sessions to ostensibly dole out career advice. But Patton also wanted to dole out relationship advice:
For most of you, the cornerstone of your future and happiness will be inextricably linked to the man you marry, and you will never again have this concentration of men who are worthy of you.
Here’s what nobody is telling you: Find a husband on campus before you graduate. Yes, I went there.
Patton then goes to kvell about her two sons, obviously both Princeton grads. The elder son “could have married anyone” but had the “good judgment” to marry a Princeton classmate. “My younger son is a junior and the universe of women he can marry is limitless,” she wrote. (Um, guess who is never going to want you for a mother-in-law, Susan Patton? All the women on the Princeton campus.) She then — quite rightly — points out that many men marry women who “aren’t at least their intellectual equal,” especially if she’s beautiful.
That’s when her elitist bragging goes nuclear:
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.
Of course, once you graduate, you will meet men who are your intellectual equal — just not that many of them. And, you could choose to marry a man who has other things to recommend him besides a soaring intellect. But ultimately, it will frustrate you to be with a man who just isn’t as smart as you.
Here is another truth that you know, but nobody is talking about. As freshman women, you have four classes of men to choose from. Every year, you lose the men in the senior class, and you become older than the class of incoming freshman men. So, by the time you are a senior, you basically have only the men in your own class to choose from, and frankly, they now have four classes of women to choose from. Maybe you should have been a little nicer to these guys when you were freshmen?
Not every woman wants A) a husband or B) a marriage at all. And not every person needs a “soaring intellect” of the alleged Princeton caliber as their primary quality in a partner — what about someone who is kind, generous, funny, hardworking or possesses elusive sexual zha-zha-zhuu? I don’t want to date anyone who isn’t as intelligent as me, either. But intelligence is a lot more than the degree(s) you hold, if you hold any degrees at all; innate intelligence is important, yes, but it needs curiosity and drive to go with it. (By way of example, one of my ex-boyfriends dropped out of high school and went to launch his own crazy-successful startup. He now works at Facebook.) Given the barriers to entry at this country’s elite institutions and the shameful way the deck is stacked against low-income folks and people of color, attendance at an Ivy League college simply isn’t an option for the best and the brightest. It’s an option for the privileged. And let’s not pretend that nepotism and a family legacy at schools like Princeton doesn’t exist — perhaps even for Patton’s sterling sons? The country — nay, the world — is filled with individuals who are bright, curious, and driven but don’t hold a Princeton degree.
Furthermore, I’m disgusted at Patton’s use of the phrase “market,” meaning “marriage market.” I’m not a fucking commodity and neither is the man that I eventually will marry. I don’t suppose the men of Princeton only want to be dated-and-married just because of the “education” line on their resume, just like no one wants to be dated for the amount of money in their bank account or the proportions of their physique. Date people, marry people, because they are the love of your life — not because they’re a good buy.
In conclusion? Get over yourself, Susan A. Patton. You sound awful. And you spent four years in New Jersey. That’s nothing to be proud of.*
*It’s a joke, everyone. I lived in NJ for almost two years.
Email me at Jessica@TheFrisky.com. Follow me on Twitter.