Readers of this blog that have been with me since the very beginning (like, the three of you), will know of my unrelenting frustration with the ‘Princeton mom’, aka, Susan Patton, and her advice for young women, as published in a letter to The Daily Princetonian in March 2013. To say that her advice is both regressive and harmful for young women – whether or not you call yourself a feminist – is an understatement. She makes my blood boil.
That being said, I’m glad she’s roundly mocked wherever she crops up on the Internet nowadays, and I like how the Huffington Post recently singled out the 10 Worst Pieces of Advice from her recently published book, Marry Smart: Advice for Finding the One. My favorite bits:
“If you’ve struggled with obesity through most of your teen years, then maybe surgical intervention is a good idea for you […] If you’re going to go the route of cosmetic surgery, do it early enough to feel comfortable in your new body before going away to school.”
Advising overweight, but not necessarily unhealthy, teenagers to get weight-loss surgery to slim down for the college dating market? That’s terrible advice both psychologically and medically.
“If you are too drunk to speak, then you may be incapable of saying no or warding off unwanted advances. And then it’s all on you.”
…Telling women that they are responsible for the crimes committed against them is not just terrible advice; it contributes to a culture in which rape victims are discouraged from reporting their assaults and even victimized further by judgmental friends, police, and college administrators.
“[U]ntil you find a spouse, I would advise you invest your effort and energy at least 75 percent in searching for a partner and 25 percent in professional development.”
Um, is this even possible? Assuming these women are still working 40 hours a week to support themselves, she’s recommending 120 hours a week be devoted to the husband hunt. … That means, per Patton, you should be frequenting your local house of worship for like-minded worshippers, harassing friends to set you up with single acquaintances, and emailing old college classmates to see if they’re successful and marriage-worthy yet. Don’t worry, this leaves you 8 hours of free time for the week. I recommend you spend them sleeping.
“Girl, lose the weight! I know it’s hard… just do it.”
Oh, okay. Guess it’s as simple as “just doing it.” Super helpful, thanks!