Susan “Princeton Mom” Patton created a firestorm by writing this editorial for the Wall Street Journal.
The feminist establishment has their panties in the mother of all twists. If you don’t believe me, read the comments for that article.
Reinforcing Patton’s advice, Vox Day has followed up with this, where a PhD scientist, who married in her 40s and has quit her job to be a SAHM, chimes in.
“The idea that women are too focused on being intellectual, or shouldn’t have career aspirations that would allow them to earn more than their (potential) husbands is absurd and patently offensive.”
She’s wrong. It’s not absurd or offensive, it’s straight-up truth. And it’s not even so much about the money (although, for the health of a marriage I do believe the husband should be the breadwinner), but about sacrificing career aspirations to do the single most important thing a woman can do, which is to get married and raise a family.
I am a highly intellectual woman with a successful professional career, and I realize now what a mistake I’ve made by not settling down and having children early. I married 12 years ago, but put off having children in order to finish graduate school and establish my scientific career. Last December, at the age of 42, I had a baby daughter. I realize now that this would’ve been MUCH easier 10 or 20 years ago. It’s not only a struggle to care for a newborn at my age, but making the sudden shift from a woman who has, for decades, been very busy with intellectual pursuits and relatively unencumbered by responsibility to a stay-at-home mom has been unexpectedly difficult.
My own dear departed mother got married at 19 and had me and my brother at 21 and 22 years of age. I look at old photos of her with us as babies, and she looks deliriously happy. She LOVED being a mother. She had that crazy young-person energy you need to raise babies and no established adult life that she felt like she was losing in order to become a mother. Later, when my brother and I were older, she went back to university to finish her degree and enjoyed many happy years as a teacher.
I regret putting off children for so long. I wish I had put off my graduate education and career in order to have had more healthy children. (My first daughter had a fatal chromosomal abnormality and was stillborn. The risk for such problems increases sharply with maternal age — another reason to start having children young.) The one thing I did right was to learn to cook and keep house, the love and skill of which I learned from my mother at a young age. But motherhood has not come easy at 40+. For that reason, I will tell every girl I know (including my daughter) to not make the same mistake I did. Put off the career. Learn to cook and keep house, find a good man and get married young, and start having babies as soon as possible.
I really like Vox’s statement: “So, who are you going to listen to, young women? Who do you think knows what she’s talking about, the woman with both the PhD and the child or the crazy cat ladies with neither physics degrees nor children?”
Some will read what Vox and myself are saying, and think we are misogynists who seek to keep women from achieving and being their best.
Quite the contrary; while I cannot answer for Vox, I simply have observed that, as a general rule, women want to get married and have kids. In their heart of hearts, they want this more than they want a nice career. This is normal and to be celebrated.
I’ve met ZERO old fogeys who married early and had kids and ditched their career aspirations only to regret it. I’ve met plenty who forsook marriage and family life for careers and wish they had done the opposite. I’ve met plenty who forsook marriage and family life, and now cannot find a man to marry. I’ve met others who married later but now must rely on technology to conceive a baby.
I have a good friend at work who is in her early 40s, debt-free, in great condition, doesn’t (to the best of my knowledge) ride the carousel, and wishes she could get married. In her most fertile years, it didn’t work out for her. Some of that is on her, some of that is on circumstances. Sure, she’s liberal. But she’d otherwise make a good catch for someone. Trouble is, her best marriageable years are behind her. She has baggage, and has acquired cynicism as a result. Not only are other men skeptical of her, she is skeptical of them in ways she would not have been 20 years ago.
Here’s the thing, though: we put a lot of emphasis training boys and girls to prepare for adulthood. We insist that they go to college, get degrees, and pursue the professional career paths. What we DON’T do–as a society–is train them to prepare for marriage and family life. We do not teach them about the economic tradeoffs and challenges because that would appear sexist or misogynist.
And for those who don’t like what I am saying, I have some honest questions for you:
(1) If this were no big deal, then why does Kate Bolick even get any press? Why is it even a news story that women who don’t marry early will have a harder time marrying?
(2) If this were no big deal, then why the outrage over what Susan Patton is saying?
Now some might also ask why we should consider Patton–or Stickwick (the gal who wrote to Vox)–over the feminists?
I would suggest this: the feminists have more to gain with other women being as miserable as they are. It’s a strength in numbers thing.
I have met very few single women who are older than 30 who are happy. And I mean very few. Almost all of them wish they could get married. The conservative, non-feminists HATE being single and WANT a husband and kids.
But here is the thing: even the feminists want that. They just don’t want to admit. The very few happy feminists I know, have a strong husband and at least two kids.
As for the single feminists I know? They are the most miserable of people. And the thing that they despise the most: the happily-married conservative woman. Particularly if she has more than two kids. It’s unbridled envy.
So, feminists, what is the problem with Patton’s column? Is it that she expresses a truth that you don’t want to accept? Is it that she is speaking to your situation and you know she is right?
Or is she just wrong?
If she is wrong, you are more than welcome to make your case here.