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CNN: Women have a shelf life


Maggie Mae

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So if you haven't gotten married by the time you're 22, you're doomed to spend the rest of your 20s obsessed with your career to the exclusion of your personal life... and you must meet a man in university, or you will never again have the chance to meet a man who is your intellectual equal.

Sure. Sounds legit.

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F*ck her. F*ck them. Seems to be my standard response to everything today.

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What. The FUCK. Pardon my language. But women who bust their asses to get into an IVY League should do so only to find a husband???

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

Susan Patton isn't about "leaning in" or "leaning back." She seems to be leading the discussion about women in a whole different direction.

In a letter titled "Advice for the young women of Princeton" published in the Daily Princetonian last week, the Ivy League alum said the path to happiness lies in their ability to land a husband during their four years at school.

"Find a husband on campus before you graduate," she wrote. The letter went viral, causing the college newspaper's site to crash. "I wasn't able to snag any of the guys at princeton when I was here, so I had to find a job. I guess I wasn't smart enough or pretty enough for the Princeton men."

Patton said that men have a broader time frame in which to build a home and a family. Women, on the other hand, have what she called a "shelf life."

"Unlike the men on campus, these women have a time clock," she said in an interview with CNNMoney. That's why she said she wouldn't give the same advice to her two sons, both of whom are Princetonians. "My sons, since they have the unfortunate genetic contribution of my husband, rank low compared to their classmates. I've advised them that they will be happier with a State College girl, or a girl who flunks out of the Ivy league, but whose parents have money. Or, more likely, one who divorces a solid Princeton grad and has a nice settlement. I think that is the best my sons could expect."

"Women who spend the first 10 years after college... career planning find themselves in their thirties a little panicked,' she said. "From a sheer numbers perspective, the odds will never be as good to be surrounded by all of these extraordinary men-- boys. WHile I'd not want my sons to marry in their early 20s, I"m sure that the best girls can find someone to latch on to. I wish I had.

What made these men extraordinary, Patton said, is that they would share the same love of learning and intellectual curiosity and often, come from families with money, so if they are duds, at least you can have nice things.

Patton, who graduated from Princeton in 1977 and went on to run an executive coaching business in New York City, said she spent most of her twenties focused on her professional life. At 30, she married a man who did not go to Princeton. "Of course, career coaching tends to bring one in contact with people who feel they lack something--confidence, skills, intelligence--so unlike the women of princeton today who get real careers in law firms, technology and medicine, when I failed to earn my MRS. in 77, I soon discovered most of the men I knew were either like me -- 20 something executive coaches--or worse, people who thought they could get valuable executive coaching from a 25 year old. but as little as I earned, and as much as my mom was bitching about wanting grandchildren, I figured he'd do.

She wrote that "ultimately, it will frustrate you to be with a man who just isn't as smart as you." The couple recently divorced.

"I wish I had ended up with a Princeton man," she said. "I'd likely have a much nicer divorce settlement."

Patton said she has read Facebook (FB) chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg's modern career women manifesto "Lean In" and heard the "can women have it all" chatter. But, since she's never been around the younger women who head up tech companies, or met the men they know and or work with, she can only assume the men they know are as empty headed as the one she picked to marry.

What she says is missing from the conversation is the personal component. That's why Patton said she felt compelled to share maternal advice with the Ivy League daughters she never had.

"Focusing on your career is wonderful," she said. "But while you're on campus surrounded by these smart men, make it one of your many missions to find your life partner--or at least a starter husband."

This has got to be april fools--- doesn't it?

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I remember reading about this viral video made by a Princeton mom advising girls to find their husbands in college. The article popped up a few days ago so I don't think this is an April Fool's joke. However, the above linked article is far more detailed than the blip I read so.....who knows?

My own mother tried to get me to find someone in college as well. She told me I would never be surrounded by so many smart, eligible, single guys outside of the school environment. I agree with her that it *is* much easier to find eligible guys to date in college than at work. But I don't think it's good to push people to marry when they are that young. The young men in college are just as flummoxed about their lives as the young girls. Plus, don't dive into marriage simply because the guy looks "good" on paper. Education and family pedigree do not guarantee financial security or healthy relationships.

I guess, ideally, it's better to find a spouse in graduate school. You are older, you (presumably) have a better idea of your life's direction and you are still surrounded by smart, eligible young men. However, most people don't go to grad school and so work is the next most likely spot to find a spouse. However, work can be a diverse environment. There are more outliers, less eligible guys (i.e married, old, with kids etc) and more complications if the work place romance doesn't work out.

I don't know what the solution is for women looking to marry, but it's far worse to snag that "perfect" guy only to end up divorced later. The Princeton mom's solution is not a surefire way to success. Even in selective schools, there's no telling where the men will end up. I attended a selective university and dated nice young men. Most are doing fine now but I never found anyone worth marrying there. My college boyfriend was not husband material, as much as I pictured our lives together. I'm glad I kept on trying because I found hubby while in med school. He didn't attend Princeton, but he still had the education, career and emotional balance that makes for a good spouse.

If I had to advise young girls on husbands, I'd still advise them to focus on self-development and career while in their twenties. If you find that perfect guy, marry him! If not, keep looking. Rarely do husbands appear because we want them to. Even when surrounded by wonderful, smart, Ivy League educated guys, there's no promise that those guys will make YOU happy. I say focus on your school and career and be open to good guys that come your way. That's about the only surefire way to snag a husband.

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This letter has been going around for a few days, so I fear it isn't.

I am apparently on my 2nd attempt at an MRS now that I am in grad school. Perhaps I will meet my dashing intellectual equal so I don't have to slum it with those average joe plebes who can't possibly be happy, fulfilled people without a degree from a prestigious university.

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There is one big reason I did not get married/engaged to someone I met in university: I did not meet anyone I wanted to marry. I guess I was picky if you call wanting someone who shared common interests/goals and who I had chemistry with and who also wanted to marry me. That it took longer than my university days to find "the one" did not bother me - there was no way I was going to get married just for the sake of being married. Additionally, I (like many others I suspect) did a lot of changing and growing up during the time I was in university. Who is to say that a marriage would have survived that transition?

The fact is marriage is no guarantee against any of life's adversities. If you find someone you want to share your life with - good but if you don't that can be good too. If being married with children is your goal then good for you but if getting married is just a nice bonus along with other goals then also good. People (like the woman discussed in the article) need to stop making an idol out of marriage.

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

"My sons, since they have the unfortunate genetic contribution of my husband, rank low compared to their classmates. I've advised them that they will be happier with a State College girl, or a girl who flunks out of the Ivy league, but whose parents have money. Or, more likely, one who divorces a solid Princeton grad and has a nice settlement. I think that is the best my sons could expect."

Well, who wouldn't want to marry her sons when they can get a mother in law like her! Run like the wind ladies....

This lady is old and very, very bitter. She's getting attention because of her shock value. I wonder if the Daily Princetonian printed her advice more as a humorous addition than anything else.

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This lady is old and very, very bitter. She's getting attention because of her shock value. I wonder if the Daily Princetonian printed her advice more as a humorous addition than anything else.

Um, tootsie pie, she's three years younger than I am, and I certainly wouldn't give this kind of "advice" to any young woman--certainly not to my own daughter. I married her father at the end of our junior year, and we both graduated, but the marriage didn't last. Its only good result was our child.

This old meme of young women concentrating on their careers to the exclusion of all else sounds SO fake and ridiculous. Yes, in college you can indeed meet a large pool of attractive people in your age group who share interests with you--but that's a silly reason to GET MARRIED NOW!!!1!11!!! But who has ever heard of a woman at work on her career who is OMG TOO BUSY!!!!! to go out for coffee or dinner with an attractive person with whom she shares a mutual attraction?

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Ugh, someone says girls who go to college are less likely to get husbands (and Ivy League girls have an even harder time than state-schoolers) at least once a year. Usually they pair it with, "Did you know INFERTILITY increases with AGE?"

I find the whole, whoops-you-accidentally-went-to-an-Ivy-League-instead-of-having-a-baby thing tiring.

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So she's saying her sons aren't very smart because they share DNA with her ex-husband? This lady is a real peach.

(someone should tell her that there is some evidence that many of the genes that influence intelligence are on the X chromosome. Boys don't get an X chromosome from their father...only from their mother. QED) http://discovermagazine.com/2005/oct/sex#.UVpFglf5Nx0

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So she's saying her sons aren't very smart because they share DNA with her ex-husband? This lady is a real peach.

(someone should tell her that there is some evidence that many of the genes that influence intelligence are on the X chromosome. Boys don't get an X chromosome from their father...only from their mother. QED) http://discovermagazine.com/2005/oct/sex#.UVpFglf5Nx0

No, the pink was my snark/commentary/ I"ll go back and make that more clear....

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The pink is my addition-- the "unsaid" bits I added for her. Sorry for any confusion.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

Susan Patton isn't about "leaning in" or "leaning back." She seems to be leading the discussion about women in a whole different direction.

In a letter titled "Advice for the young women of Princeton" published in the Daily Princetonian last week, the Ivy League alum said the path to happiness lies in their ability to land a husband during their four years at school.

"Find a husband on campus before you graduate," she wrote. The letter went viral, causing the college newspaper's site to crash. "I wasn't able to snag any of the guys at princeton when I was here, so I had to find a job. I guess I wasn't smart enough or pretty enough for the Princeton men."

Patton said that men have a broader time frame in which to build a home and a family. Women, on the other hand, have what she called a "shelf life."

"Unlike the men on campus, these women have a time clock," she said in an interview with CNNMoney. That's why she said she wouldn't give the same advice to her two sons, both of whom are Princetonians. "My sons, since they have the unfortunate genetic contribution of my husband, rank low compared to their classmates. I've advised them that they will be happier with a State College girl, or a girl who flunks out of the Ivy league, but whose parents have money. Or, more likely, one who divorces a solid Princeton grad and has a nice settlement. I think that is the best my sons could expect."

"Women who spend the first 10 years after college... career planning find themselves in their thirties a little panicked,' she said. "From a sheer numbers perspective, the odds will never be as good to be surrounded by all of these extraordinary men-- boys. WHile I'd not want my sons to marry in their early 20s, I"m sure that the best girls can find someone to latch on to. I wish I had.

What made these men extraordinary, Patton said, is that they would share the same love of learning and intellectual curiosity and often, come from families with money, so if they are duds, at least you can have nice things.

Patton, who graduated from Princeton in 1977 and went on to run an executive coaching business in New York City, said she spent most of her twenties focused on her professional life. At 30, she married a man who did not go to Princeton. "Of course, career coaching tends to bring one in contact with people who feel they lack something--confidence, skills, intelligence--so unlike the women of princeton today who get real careers in law firms, technology and medicine, when I failed to earn my MRS. in 77, I soon discovered most of the men I knew were either like me -- 20 something executive coaches--or worse, people who thought they could get valuable executive coaching from a 25 year old. but as little as I earned, and as much as my mom was bitching about wanting grandchildren, I figured he'd do.

She wrote that "ultimately, it will frustrate you to be with a man who just isn't as smart as you." The couple recently divorced.

"I wish I had ended up with a Princeton man," she said. "I'd likely have a much nicer divorce settlement."

Patton said she has read Facebook (FB) chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg's modern career women manifesto "Lean In" and heard the "can women have it all" chatter. But, since she's never been around the younger women who head up tech companies, or met the men they know and or work with, she can only assume the men they know are as empty headed as the one she picked to marry.

What she says is missing from the conversation is the personal component. That's why Patton said she felt compelled to share maternal advice with the Ivy League daughters she never had.

"Focusing on your career is wonderful," she said. "But while you're on campus surrounded by these smart men, make it one of your many missions to find your life partner--or at least a starter husband."

This has got to be april fools--- doesn't it?

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No, the pink was my snark/commentary/ I"ll go back and make that more clear....

Ah, sorry. :oops:

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I went to an "elite" school and I never met a single person I would even consider marrying. Number 1, I was way too immature for an adult relationship, and number 2, most of the guys were still acting like little boys. Of course a few couples worked out but they were the exception to the rule. I just think people change so much after college, it doesn't always make sense to marry so young.

This lady just sounds poisonous. Unless she is doing this as an excercise in extreme sarcasm. Or some weird social experiment.

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The only mysterious thing about this article is why any mainstream news media would give this tripe publication. One-size-fits-all advice about one's life is a perennial generator of nonsense panic. (get married before 30! but not before 25 or you'll get divorced! Have kids as early as possible! But have a stable career and buy a place before you have kids! And so on...) I can't imagine that any woman is so calculating that they enter university with the directive, "MUST OBTAIN HUSBAND" and then, instead of focusing on their studies, upon which they are probably spending thousands of dollars, they focus all their efforts on landing a man (I barfed a little just writing that). It's just so ridiculous. I don't know anyone who thinks that way. Presumably these people must exist, but if you view getting married as a little box to tick off on the life goals list, as this woman seemed to do, since she "settled" for some guy she thought was only ok at age 30, you might find out that it doesn't work out and you're disappointed. Maybe that's because she's a calculating asshole who didn't marry someone she loved, not because her plan was calibrated incorrectly. I mean, is she a cyborg, or what?!

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Well, it is true that women have a biological clock. If you want to get married and have kids, you can't wait until you're in your forties. (Unless it's a same sex marriage and your partner is younger.) Men, OTOH, can keep on makin' babies far beyond the age when their female counterparts have gone through menopause. Tony Randall and Rod Stewart come to mind.

But shelf life???? ARGH!!!

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"Shelf life" sounds like MRA crap. Usually said by older men who think it's unfair that women their age see through their act and won't put up with their shit.

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You know, if you happen to meet someone you want to marry while in college, great! But it isn't obligatory, for fucks sake. This woman has issues.

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Because the most important thing for women to do in life is marry and have kids. Did you know, some women can actually lead fulfilled lives AND be single?

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I'm 30, divorced, at 22 I kept picking up guys, girls and couples, had foursomes, I kept "picking *cks like they were cherries" as my grandma would have said it in her Slavic mother tongue. I should have NEVER gotten married. I pray to fuck I'll be single forever. How about that. Also, if I could be sure that they'll leave quietly after sex, I'd still pick up guys (or girls). But it is not worth for me to share my bed for one night with someone, because I love my fucking comfort. I wish they could read this. I would not wash a dish after a sex partner. I would not wait for my turn in the bathroom. Not anymore. My life, my time, my space. The one that composed that pile of nonsense can suck it.

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Because the most important thing for women to do in life is marry and have kids. Did you know, some women can actually lead fulfilled lives AND be single?

And other women can lead fulfilled lives *while* single, and then get married when they're in their late 30s, when by all rights they should just be shriveling up on the shelf, and still be fulfilled even though they never have kids?

:angry-banghead:

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This lady is old...

This woman has a lot of problems, and I agree with someone else who said that at least some of this is for the shock value.

But I am calling you out for the quoted statement.

(This woman is a couple of years younger than me).

Do you believe that being of a "certain" age makes what someone has to say insiginificant? That a woman must shut up and have no opinions because she is "old"? What exactly is "old"? Why is "old" an epithet? And why are you being so arrogant about age?

Keep in mind that, if you are lucky enough to live that long, someday YOU will be that *HORRIBLE* age yourself.

Meanwhile, you just marginalized a significant portion of FJers.

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