A Letter to the Editor from Princetonian alumnus and Princetonian mother.
A few weeks ago, I attended the Women and Leadership conference on campus that featured a conversation between President Shirley Tilghman and Wilson School professor Anne-Marie Slaughter, and I participated in the breakout session afterward that allowed current undergraduate women to speak informally with older and presumably wiser alumnae. I attended the event with my best friend since our freshman year in 1973. You girls glazed over at preliminary comments about our professional accomplishments and the importance of networking. Then the conversation shifted in tone and interest level when one of you asked how have Kendall and I sustained a friendship for 40 years. You asked if we were ever jealous of each other. You asked about the value of our friendship, about our husbands and children. Clearly, you don’t want any more career advice. At your core, you know that there are other things that you need that nobody is addressing. A lifelong friend is one of them. Finding the right man to marry is another.
Jesus. The "MRS degree"? What fucking year is this again? 2013, right?
Oh, right. It's because the elite of this world have such special problems in this regard, isn't it?
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.
So Princeton has cornered the market on smart men, eh? What easily falsifiable claptrap. Maybe once these Precious Princetonian Princesses are out in the world they find that the "smart men" aren't enamored of elitist, pretentious twits who have fully embraced their ILAF snobbery? naaahh.... couldn't be.
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?
If I had daughters, this is what I would be telling them.
I don't even know where to start. The assumption that you can only marry a man your age or older if you are a woman? This woman has basically failed to mature past the highschool prom level. My goodness what a twit. Or is this really about the underclassmen failing to put out enough for her darling boys who allegedly have their pick of any woman in the world?
I am the mother of two sons who are both Princetonians. My older son had the good judgment and great fortune to marry a classmate of his, but he could have married anyone. My younger son is a junior and the universe of women he can marry is limitless.
Rest easy, o ye Editors of Glamour Magazines of Science. I have been reminded that there are many who will be up against the wall before you, come the revolution.
Ivy League Asshole Factories, coined by our good blog friend bill