This column is a satirical response to Susan A. Patton’s Letter to the Editor, “Advice for the young women of Princeton: the daughters I never had” published March 29, 2013.
As Susan Patton astutely pointed out in her Letter to the Editor, Princeton women are savvy, empowered and smarter than the male riff-raff we see outside of the Orange Bubble. Yes, we should snap up a husband, and soon, lest we be left with someone uglier, dumber or — gasp! — younger than ourselves. The mind, and a brainy one at that, boggles.
I need a man with whom I can debate Islamic concepts of political freedom and the comparative merits of modern stagings of Euripides’s Hippolytus. A man who knows the difference between synecdoche and schadenfreude. A man I can curl up next to as we solve the Sunday crossword and prove Fermat’s Last Theorem. A man who won’t be intimidated when he Googles my name. A man who won’t embarrass me at Reunions with his blue-collar job and his crude jokes. If he doesn’t understand, as the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy explains, “Karl Jaspers’s adoption of Schelling’s non-identitarian model of cognitive life, which views true (or truthful) knowledge as obtained through acts of positive interpretation and revelation at the limits of rational consciousness,” he’s not the man for me.
Ladies of Princeton, it is unquestionably true that once we walk out of FitzRandolph Gate, we will have walked out on our best opportunity to find a perfect intellectual match.
Where do you think you will meet him? At work? Please. I don’t encourage men who try to sleep their way to the top. When you work for me, dear American men (as you inevitably will), you will know that I am your superior.
But why stop at Patton’s distinction between Princetonians and everyone else? After all, if I am to be so discerning to dismiss non-Princetonians in order to find a man who is “at least [my] intellectual equal,” I should be just as discerning on campus. Why draw the line at the Bubble? Not every man here on campus is “worthy” of dating Mensa’s best Flamenco dancer. Given that “the cornerstone of [my] future and happiness will be inextricably linked to the man [I] marry,” I can’t resign myself for just any Joe USG senator. Why should I settle for the bumbling, oafish recruited athletes or rich, airhead legacies? No sir, 2350 SATers can keep to themselves. Vice presidents of their high school student government need not apply. Really, you volunteered in high school? Don’t make me laugh.
In fact, I applaud President Shirley Tilghman for her institution of grade deflation, which helps us Tigerettes separate the 35 percent wheat from the lifelong-bachelor chaff. If there’s anyone who can appreciate the need for an intellectual equal it is President Tilghman, who became the first female president of Princeton and who is stepping down having found no men on campus who could best her in a game of “Go” even when she wasn’t looking at the board.
But despite Tilghman’s best-laid efforts to distinguish the brightest minds among us from the admission mistakes, the University isn’t doing enough to promote the optimal pairing of undergraduates. For example, why fill out a roommate survey that asks irrelevant questions about drinking habits, music preferences or sleep schedules? Fill the halls based on GPAs so that zee group co-mingling at the beginning of frosh week will maximize connections between the best-suited pairs. Send the pity admits to Forbes, set up a wine and cheese mingler and be done with it. I shouldn’t have to ruin my chances at lifelong happiness because the guys across the hall smoke pot.
The goal of 49 percent of the undergraduate population is to graduate happily married or to be engaged to our suitably older, sufficiently intelligent Princeton match. Yet, the University keeps harping on us about a liberal arts education, work-life balance and an interest in science and engineering. But why? I’m looking for a wedding ring, not a class ring, and I’m aiming for a P-rade down the aisle. At Commencement, when you toss up your cap, be sure to catch my bouquet.
Mr. Rebecca Hollingsworth Kreutter ’15, I will look for you, I will find you and I will marry you. Mark my well-articulated, tastefully chosen words.
Rebecca Kreutter is a sophomore from Singapore, Singapore. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Holt Dwyer is a sophomore from Montclair, N.J. He can be reacheed at email@example.com.