The wsj’s Susan Patton this Friday wrote an article that left me somewhat breathless. I imagine she left many breathless but then again I’m not sure for the right reasons. Then again this wouldn’t be the first time she’s all left us bedazzled.
The merit of Susan Patton’s letter: How women ought to be spending more time focusing on their future prospectives. No not their careers, their love lives, or to be specific, landing Mr Right.
Begins Ms Patton’s essay:
‘Despite all of the focus on professional advancement, for most of you the cornerstone of your future happiness will be the man you marry. But chances are that you haven’t been investing nearly as much energy in planning for your personal happiness as you are planning for your next promotion at work. What are you waiting for? You’re not getting any younger, but the competition for the men you’d be interested in marrying most definitely is.’
Which is to say women better hurry up and widen up lest they lose sight of their value and role in society. To be the prized possession/companion of society’s most desirable men who are eagerly eyeballing all of you women before making his final selection down the altar walk of eternal happiness, which is what is waiting for you all if you play your games right.
Reflects the very pragmatic Susan Patton: ‘Think about it: If you spend the first 10 years out of college focused entirely on building your career, when you finally get around to looking for a husband you’ll be in your 30s, competing with women in their 20s. That’s not a competition in which you’re likely to fare well. If you want to have children, your biological clock will be ticking loud enough to ward off any potential suitors. Don’t let it get to that point.’
Ladies are you all squirming, running around gouging your eyes out? Run, seek, calculate, put aside personal development, career advancement (things that any healthy man will value in a woman), go straight to plotting for the trophy male now, before you are out of the running.
From there we are told finding a life partner who shares your intellectual curiosity and potential for success is difficult: ‘Those men who are as well-educated as you are often interested in younger, less challenging women.’
As a male, I must tell you outright, intellectually curious women are far more sexier than a woman who knows how to look the part and be an accoutrement. Yet what is also unsettling is the assertion that all men want are young buxom babes to have healthy babes with.
Is the implicit suggestion women in their 30’s can’t give this to us men? What have ever happened to the allure of women who developed their emotional well being, intellectual, sexual prowess and even their career, all things that really don’t begin to gel until she’s in her 30’s. Should we as men overlook a woman for being refined and polished and not necessarily not looking like a primed bikini model? Is that to suggest all men care about is women with looks and youth?
From there we’re led to the notion that men don’t really care for intelligent women anyway and that our ‘egos are likely to be frayed’ should she earn more than us, because naturally we’ll all ‘be emasculated.’
From there the young well to do college woman is advised to put away bad boys, crazy guys and married men and instead to focus on the next crop of winners in society waltzing down your fraternity hall. They are abundant, they are for the taking and they are exceptional.
Then there’s the sex talk that had me queasy: ‘If you offer intimacy without commitment, the incentive to commit is eliminated. The grandmotherly message of yesterday is still true today: Men won’t buy the cow if the milk is free.’
Which is a subtle way ladies to remember not to be a slut and play hard to get, at least in the beginning, lest we men think you are too easy and liable to move on to the next woman who hopefully understands how not to behave too slutty. Yes trick us into committing to you is the winning strategy. Play hard to get.
And here’s where Susan Patton probably had herself speared to death by most independent thinking women:
‘Not all women want marriage or motherhood, but if you do, you have to start listening to your gut and avoid falling for the P.C. feminist line that has misled so many young women for years. There is nothing incongruous about educated, ambitious women wanting to be wives and mothers. Don’t let anyone tell you that these traditional roles are retrograde; they are perfectly natural and even wonderful.’
Curious to see what commentators thought on the web, I went to feminist/ (sometimes)/ tabloid blog jezebel and took a sampling of the over 700 comments (you ought to read them for yourself) to see what others thought and whether men such as myself ought to be resigned to the idea that Susan Patton has trained the finer women of America to steer clear of non desirables and social outcasts unless they are of course well heeled and likely to make a mint. Assuming of course she plays her cards rights and firmly adopts patriarchal stereotypes of how she ought to behave: like a rarefied object who gives her soul and femininity to the alpha male on the block whose quest it is to conquer the world and have her play her traditional matriarchal role….
Look lady, just because your (college LOL) husband traded you in for a newer model doesn’t mean all men think that way. Get a bottle of white wine, a good therapist, and kindly STFU.
Because at 35 your fertility is lower than at 25. That doesn’t mean she sees men as shallow and only into sex — it’s not particularly shallow to want to have biological offspring
To be fair it’s pretty true. Many, many men consider women over 30 to be expired (even men WELL over 30!). Most of the rest are taken before they reach that age. It’s vile and unfortunate but I deeply regret spending my 20s with the wrong person when I could have made myself available to meet the right man.
Actually, I am MUCH better equip to compete for a man now that I’m in my 30’s than when I was in my 20’s. …Not that I really think one should have to “compete” for a relationship anyway. That whole concept is fucked
Not to mention, the guys that did get married in their 20’s are now divorced and ready for you in your 30’s. See? Same competitive field, just wiser, now!
most men seem to want a brainless clinging vine; they are intimidated by intelligent women. Having an intelligent wife with a career of her own does not necessarily mean she is competing with you, guys.
But I have met many smart women, among them my sister, who dearly regret having waited too long to build a family. There was always on more project to finish, one more boss to please, one more promotion to seek and eventually it became too late.
Gynecologists also don’t help. Always there telling young women that there is plenty of time.
The author is right on and in fact it is the same advice I have given my two daughters, who unfortunately have not listened and are now over 30 and beginning to feel the pressure. My son when he was in his mid twenties, once told me that if he meets a girl at a bar and all she wants to talk about is what a great job she has and her education and career he can’t get away from her fast enough. Feminists always get it wrong, but mothers always right. My mother used to tell my sisters that if you want a man don’t compete with him. It is as true today as it was 50 years ago as is the adage about giving away the milk free. If your curious, my son has a masters degree and is engaged to a woman with her BA but has all the feminine qualities of a non feminist, which means that she honors her fiancée’s work ethic and allows him to be head of their HH. Women can have a career but when they want to lord it over a man they are engaging a struggle for dominance that will only end up badly for the woman.