Susan Patton ’77 spoke to the Women’s Network of the Princeton Club of Philadelphia Wednesday evening to discuss her letter published in The Daily Princetonian on March 29. The letter, which received national attention, encouraged female students to find a husband before they graduate from the University.
“I spoke about the letter that I wrote initially to The Daily Princetonian, about why I wrote it, about what’s happened subsequently. And then we had a very broad conversation about some of the issues facing young women today in terms of their willingness to own their own desire to have children in a traditional marriage,” Patton said in an interview with The Daily Princetonian. “We talked about how women see themselves on college campuses today and how that vision has changed over the decades.”
Patton added that she will appear on Fox News next week to comment on the hookup culture that is present on college campuses today. She also said she is “very close” to signing with a major New York book publisher.
The two-and-a-half-hour long event, entitled “Princeton Classmates or Eligible Bachelors?” was held at the home of Arati Johnston ’84. The event was attended by 22 women, including graduates and spouses of graduates from six decades of classes, Johnston said. Attendees paid between $35 and $45 to attend the event.
“I think the best part of the event last night was we engaged women from somewhere in their 70s to recent graduates,” Johnston said. “I think we all sort of learned something from each other’s perspective. I think Susan brought some interesting ideas to the table, and she certainly had some interesting ways of phrasing them, but I think the general concept of marriage, children, career, are issues that women grapple with throughout their lives and what that correct balance is.”
Patton said the women at the event were “extraordinarily positive” in discussing the perspective she brought to the table.
“They were entirely supportive of this more conservative view on how women should think about planning for their life’s happiness,” Patton said.
Johnston added that, since the meeting occurred some time after the letter’s initial publication, they were able to discuss it from a “more intellectual perspective.”
“There was a lot of query separating what she said from the firestorm of what it became,” Johnston said. “It was a very thoughtful discussion in a very inquisitive group — we were trying to understand what exactly she meant by what she said.”
Since the letter was published, Patton has appeared on numerous television shows to discuss its contents. She also spoke to students on campus at an event hosted by the American Whig-Cliosophic Society on April 18.