Tuesday, February 18, 2014

My Reaction To Princeton Mom's Letter To Us Single Ladies

Hi Friends!!

Sorry I've been MIA, I have been super busy being a goober and enjoying the snow by doing nothing.  I'll catch up with everything else soon...

Yesterday I read this article that really ruffled my hot pink feathers.  Have you read Princeton Mom's Open Letter To Women?  If you haven't, here's the link


I read this and after I picked my jaw up off the floor because this letter was written in 2014 not 1014, I began fuming.  

I know, shocking Erin was annoyed about someone writing something negative, sexist, agist, classist, and anti-feminist.  

But hear me out.  

First, this is not an attack on marriage or people's right to marry.  I support marriage for all consenting individuals.  I want to get married myself one day.  I have friends that are getting married soon and I know they will be happy and I completely support that.  As I've said before, life is hard for all people and if you can find someone in this life to ease that hardship then go for it!  I salute you!

Ok, so here we go.

The main point of the article that Ms. Patton is trying to make is that women need to abandon their studies and focus all of their attention on finding a husband.  I'm sorry I didn't know that I was living in Mona Lisa Smile.  This is damaging to women.  It again reaffirms that your value in society is dependent solely on whether or not you are married.  Whether or not someone, besides you, determines your worth.  This is wrong!  Ladies, women, girls, you are invaluable.  Your dreams are important.  Your life is important.  People do not make you any more or less valuable. 

In my Masters degree, single woman, feminist opinion, marriage only works if both people are whole people independent of each other.  Whole people are well rounded, they have their own ambitions, ideas, goals, self-respect, personalities, and interests.  These make marriages more interesting.  If you have your own life, think of how much more you will bring to your marriage.  You will have endless conversations and contributions that will make your union grow stronger and better.  Nothing screams Erin's getting a divorce more than me losing myself and hoping that I find myself in my marriage.  That won't work for me.  I don't think it's healthy to try to find yourself and your self-worth in someone else.  Kinda defeats the purpose...

I don't know about you but I would not/could not/should not marry anyone who did not intellectual stimulate me, enjoy travel, was well read, had their own life, their own career, and their own sense of self.  

Anyway, go on Ms. Patton...

Ms. Patton's next point is that the "cornerstone of your happiness will be the man you marry".  

I think what she means is, "the cornerstone of your marital happiness will be the man you marry."  

Yes, yes if you marry Freddy Krueger, your life WILL SUCK!  Why?  Oh I don't know, all the ugly sweaters, the killing, the police reports, the fact that no one will trick or treat at your house, the list writes itself people.  But no, your happiness does not depend on whether or not you have a band of gold on your left hand.  Marriage does NOT instantaneously grant you eternal happiness.  I think some women feel that marriage=happiness, it does not.  In Erinland marriage does = happiness but that's because my marriage will be a piece of my happiness based on the life that I want and the type of relationship that I will create.

Teaching women that happiness only comes from a marriage certificate is belittling to all of our other accomplishments.  Yes, when I get married I will be happy.  But I will be happy because of the person I marry, not simply because I am married.  Remember, sometimes the grass is greener on the other side of the fence because it rains more on that side of the fence.  

Now she talks about "investing my energy" into finding a husband and abandon my career ambitions.  Okay, I'm going to go with a big....yeah about that.

I'll use my girl Olivia Munn's quote:

“People tell me, ‘Your work won’t keep you warm at night.’ But it does pay for my heat and my down comforter, so it technically does.”

Here's where Ms. Patton takes a jump even further down the crazy hole.  She claims that if I spend my 20's building my career I won't have time to find a husband until I'm in my...gasp...30's!  Ok, we're not 8 anymore, 30 is NOT old!  What ever happened to 13 Going on 30's mantra of 30, flirty, and fabulous?  I will take Jennifer Garner's word over Ms. Patton's any day.  It's damaging to women (and clearly agist) to say that at age 30 no man will desire you because of your cacophonous biological clock.  I'm sorry but maybe Ms. Patton is unaware of these fine looking ladies who are all...gasp...over 30 aka shoulda fallen off the face of the Earth by now because they are O-L-D OLD!  




Sorry Ms. Patton, I think I'll take my chances and say that at 30, I'll still be fine.  Also, this article says that a woman's worth is dependent on her looks and age.  DAMAGING!  Also, guess what?  If you get married in your 20's...you will eventually hit that 30th birthday and then what?  Ms. Patton inadvertently suggests that you will not be attractive to your husband because he will want a 20 something girl.  

Ms. Patton clearly has a different definition of marriage than I do.  

Ms. Patton then says that if I chose to forego her wisdom and keep working on my intellectual endeavors, that I should probably marry down.  Fellas, this is where it becomes offensive to all humans!  She says men who would be an educational and intellectual match for us are not interested in brainy ladies.  


I will say that sometimes this is true, but it is not a universal truth!  If this is the truth, I'd rather die alone than married to a man who detests what I bring to the table intellectually.  I wouldn't be able to do it.  I could not, would not, should not, spend my life married to a man who hates my brain.  We shouldn't sell men short here!  Men don't suck!  We need to stop selling them short and teaching this crap to our daughters!  Don't teach them to settle for men who, according to Ms. Patton, find their intelligence emasculating!  Teach them to be proud and unapologetic about their accomplishments!  Teach them that marriage is not the be all end all of life.  Marriage is great if you marry someone who respects you, your accomplishments, and supports your life and dreams.  

Women should not ever date a man who is so intimidated by their intelligence that he can't bear the thought of dating them.  He is not your lobster.  Any man who feels this way is emasculating himself.  If a man can't handle your intelligence or earning potential, trust me, he can't handle you.  Let this breed of man become extinct.  You should only date, and if you so choose to, marry, men who appreciate you and all that you can bring to the table.  

Another gem delivered by Ms. Patton?  The line that once you leave college you will never again find such a great display of male specimen.  Ummmm, Ms. Patton?  Where do you think these men go?  Space?  Oblivion?  Or worse...grad school?  Oh, I forgot, higher education is only applicable to males.  They go back to the real world.  There are men.  Lots of them.  Just look out your window, they're outside walking around and interacting with other humans.  Seriously, where is this woman coming from?

Ms. Patton concludes her letter with the idea that if you don't find a husband by the time you leave college you are doomed to a life of (to use an antiquated term like Ms. Patton probably would) spinsterhood.  OhsweetbabyJesus.  I guess I'm doomed to a life of ordering Chinese food for one, world travel, EdD's, invigorating academic pursuits, friendships, love, children, happiness, family, career, excitement, and my own bank account.  Oh, wait, that's not so scary after all.  

But she does leave us with the hope that maybe in grad school we will find someone...that is if they will find it in their heart of hearts to overlook our warts and detractors such as our education, our careers, our personal interests, and our cacophonous biological clocks.  

So Ms. Patton, author of "Marry Smart: Advice for Finding 'The One,' ", forgive me if I don't take your advice.  I'd rather live a modern fairy tale in which I am my own heroine.  A fairy tale in which every day I come home to the house that I paid half for, the family that my equal and I built, the husband that enjoys my brain and intellectual pursuits, and a car that my advanced degree wielding self bought.  
So ladies, don't listen to Ms. Patton.  Yes, who you marry is the cornerstone of your marital happiness; however, it is not the cornerstone to your personal happiness.  



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