Finding a husband?

"Find a husband on campus before you graduate."  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.

"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. Men regularly marry women who are younger, less intelligent, less educated. It's amazing how forgiving men can be about a woman's lack of erudition, if she is exceptionally pretty. Smart women can't (shouldn't) marry men who aren't at least their intellectual equal. 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."

And, as she said in her original story, "If I had daughters, this is what I would be telling them."

Sussan Patton has caused an outcry over her comments.  What do you think?

And to her point that women shouldn't marry men that aren't "intellectual equal", yes or no?

This latter one is an interesting point. My dad was a young farmer when my mum met him, she was a qualified school teacher. At first glance you would think they weren't intellectually equal because my dad left school at age 12 (not uncommon in country areas in the 1940s), but how wrong they would be, my dad is one clever man even if he never went to university or completed school.

How about finding a husband that offers financial security e.g. finding one who has a high income so you will never need to suffer poverty? as in the Jane Austen books?

Or marry for love and not interested in either his social, educational or financial status?


  1. There are no certainties in life, as you know, Jo, no guarantees. I just think it shows how wrong the woman's priorities are. Intellect would not be the first thing I would be considering but is he godly? Is he kind? Does he like animals & small children? Has he the patience to grow a garden?

    I am way more educated than my husband but he is super smart ~ & very practical to boot. Very self motivated. So many of the uni boys I remember were selfish louts with no moral centre & none of the traits that make for a really good partner.

    1. Couldn't agree more, that was my point with my dad. No university degree but one very clever man and quite a whiz in the garden and when he was a farmer.

  2. This made the news here. I find it interesting to say the least. A modern woman seeking a husband -- to marry, none the less (or vice versa). I find it strangely encouraging; oddly old fashioned. Now, I don't necessarily endorse her literal statement. I'm not sure a university is the best place to find ones partner in life; however, that being said, I'm reminded of Mr. Bennett's words to Elizabeth: "Lizzy. I know that you could be neither happy nor respectable, unless you truly esteemed your husband; ... My child, let me not have the grief of seeing you unable to respect your partner in life." Being intellectual equals is not the key, but finding a partner that you can truly respect is important. Recently, someone gave me a copy of "The Sacred Search". That author emphasizes: infatuation (being in love) won't carry you through, there are important qualities to look for -- not a soul mate, but a sole (as in shoe) mate, someone you can walk through life with. So while there is plenty to criticize in what the woman says, there is also an important principle that she comes close to hitting upon -- this is worth considering. Nick.

    1. I just love the bit about the sole and walking through life together. It's rather beautiful.

  3. I think what she said is both stupid and strangely interesting. I mean, I really don't agree with her on too many points to count... But... how old-fashioned to be suggesting looking for someone to marry who isn't just a pretty face and good sex partner!!

    I think what is written in the quote is somewhat arrogant and selfish though - it certainly could have been written in a nicer way!! And I don't think we need to look for someone who is smarter than ourselves, necessarily, when we look for a spouse - we need to look at a far bigger picture than that... But hey, at least this is a bit different from the usual shallow attraction and good feeling that people seek after in relationships!

    I don't think university is a good place to find a spouse, either - some such relationships might last and be built on the right idea, but many (dare I say, most) wouldn't.

    My father dropped out of school after grade 10, and he didn't go to university or anything, but while he has never been academic, he is a VERY clever man. So university on your C.V. doesn't mean a thing - and people who don't go to university can sometimes outshine those who do because of their ability to be practical and to have had a lot more experience in the real world rather than just theory and book learning. And even beside that, I noticed in the medical realm that some of the most compassionate people were those who hadn't gone to university - there is a much bigger picture to consider and many more aspects to explore than just that of intellect.

    Nick - in what way did the article make the news over there? Was it criticised or quoted as being great, or what??

    1. I thought you might it interesting . I thought she sounds a bit snobbish. And should a young lady go searching for a husband as if she is looking to buy a car? Once upon a time parents went looking for their children's future partners and income and wealth (a title would also be handy!). were considered very important. It didn't really matter that they didn't really like each other!

  4. I married for love and in some ways he is smarter but in some ways I think I am. We fit like hand in glove.

    I read a quote like that and I don't pay too much attention. It seems too closed-minded.

    I read your comment on my post. Thank you. :)

  5. I think it's rather pathetic that Mrs. Patton seems to think that education and intellectualism are one and the same or equal. This is so untrue. There are people out here in the real world who perhaps did not have the desire or opportunity to get her kind of higher education who are still quite capable of thinking *intellectually*. And, there are people who were well educated who don't know how to use the tools they've collected. Somehow it seems to me like *maybe* she is searching for a justification for her own recent divorce from her less educated husband. Who knows?

    I agree with Clara and Ganeidaz. There are things that are so much more important to look at than educational equality. looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. 1 Sam. 16:7 It is also true that mutual respect is so very important - regardless of education or intellectual levels.

    In reading the article you quoted from I also find it humorous that Mrs. Patton says older women cannot date younger women. My husband is 6 years younger than I am! :-) And, no, I didn't "rob the cradle". He chose to pursue me. My own Gramma was anxious for me to go to college so that I could get a "good education" and meet some "nice young" men (get married). How ironic that the man God had for me was one I never would've met at college - even had we chosen the same one! LOL :-)

    1. I found the woman to be rather snobbish in her attitude and a bit shallow. There is far more to marriage than a persons intelligence's. But I suppose she got people talking about marriage and that is always a good thing.


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