This article was written by Brittney M. Helmrich (@brittneyplz) for SurvivingCollege.com and is in response to a Wall Street Journal piece entitled, "A Little Valentine's Day Straight Talk" by opinion columnist Susan Patton.
Dear Susan Patton,
I just want to say thank you for all that you're doing for the females of the Millenial generation.
When I was just barely becoming a teenager, my mother sat me down and told me, "You have a choice: Your father and I will either pay for your college education, or for your wedding, but not both." There wasn't even a hint of hesitation in my voice when I made my selection. I told her, "College, of course."
Of course! How else was I going to meet a husband? Besides, I fully intended on landing a man who was rich and could afford our wedding himself -- why else would you go to a private liberal arts college?
Despite the fact that my four-year stint at Drew University (which my parents, as agreed, so graciously footed the vast majority of the bill) left me with nearly $30,000 worth of student loans, selling my soul to Sallie Mae was totally worth it, because I did, in fact, find myself a man. The degree I earned in History and Non-Fiction Writing, thanks to all the hard work I put in and all the hours I spent in the library, was just an added bonus. If we're being honest here, we all know I only worked hard on my capstone project on the rhetoric of the Cold War to impress the guys in my class -- maybe even my professor, if I worked hard enough (don't worry, Ms. Patton, he wasn't married). I spent more time picking out an outfit that simultaneously said, "Let me be your trophy wife," and "I'd love to have your babies," and carefully selecting the perfect shade of "Come hither, but I'm waiting 'til marriage" lipstick for my final presentation than I did actually doing the rhetorical analysis. (What is a rhetorical analysis, anyway?)
It's like you so eloquently said: "Smarten up, ladies. Despite all of the focus on professional advancement, for most of you the cornerstone of your future happiness will be the man you marry."
This couldn't ring any truer. Some women are just behind on the times. I mean, when I was a little girl, all of my friends were planning out their career goals with the encouragement of their parents, while I was planning my dream wedding. What were their parents thinking? My best friend decided when we were 14 that she wanted to go to medical school and become a doctor, and do you know what her parents told her? "That's great, honey! You can be whatever you set your mind to." Really? What kind of BS is that? My parents would've laughed and said, "But honey, you'll be in medical school for years! When are you going to give us grandkids?" Women today have got to get their priorities straight.
Thank God for your article, otherwise there'd be even more stray college girls out there throwing caution to the wind, participating in extracurriculars to boost their resume when they should be boosting the ego of their male counterparts. I mean, they're going to be around boys. (My advice to college ladies out there? Ditch the top-knot and the sweatpants and -- would it kill you to throw on a little mascara? The student body president isn't going to put a ring on it when you go for the disheveled, post all-nighter look! Right, Ms. Patton?)
Now, I'm really glad that you clarified that for some of us ladies, marriage and motherhood just isn't on the menu. By "not all women" I can only assume you meant women of the homosexual variety, since they're not really represented elsewhere in your article. Obviously, this makes sense because lesbians can't get married in most places, and let's not even get in to the fact that they can't have children the natural way. I'm also really glad you quickly turned your attention back to the traditional roles that women play in society because nobody really cares about non-traditional women, right? Right.
Speaking of being non-traditional, I'm really grateful to you for explicitly discussing sex when it comes to college students. As you put it, "casual sex is irresistible to men, but the smart move is not to give it away. If you offer intimacy without commitment, the incentive to commit is eliminated. The grandmotherly message of yesterday is still true today: Men won't buy the cow if the milk is free." As I'm sure you can imagine, I went to school with a lot of girls who engaged in casual, premarital sex, and I just couldn't believe it. Women today have no morals! Men are sexual beings with needs who lack the ability to control their urges, but everyone knows women don't have a sex drive and it's their responsibility to stop men from acting on their desires! Some people would classify what you said as "slut-shaming," but how else are we going to stop girls from engaging in such risky, amoral behavior? Sex is sacred -- not fun.
Thank you, Ms. Patton, for the wake-up call. There are too many females out gallivanting around, having successful careers and making a name for themselves, when they should be home making a sandwich for their respective, bread-winning husbands.
Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to get back to the kitchen.
Brittney M. Helmrich
P.S. To my fellow female college grads, if you're reading this and you're still single, don't worry! As Ms. Patton advised, "there's always graduate school." Just make sure you work hard enough to get your graduate degree, but not so hard that you stand out as exceptionally smart. That degree is really just a piece of paper to prove you're at least intelligent enough to bag a smart man, but you don't want to come off as brilliant. According to Ms. Patton, "Those men who are as well-educated as you are often interested in younger, less challenging women." Basically, you need to work just hard enough to get good grades and get your diploma, but you should probably also dumb yourself down a little, you know, since real men are intimidated by women who seem smarter than them. It makes them feel inferior, and that's just unacceptable.
P.P.S. I don't know why I wrote this article, Ms. Patton. Maybe it's because I've got a big, lesbian crush on you.
(gif via tumblr)
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