The uproar is that Princeton graduate and mother of two sons, Susan Patton, offered some advice to the student body in a letter to the student magazine.
"I just thought this was some good advice from a Jewish mother. It's not that I'm anti-feminist. I completely understand that not all women want to be married, not all women want a family, not all women are heterosexual. I get all of that! [But] women go to college for a lot of reasons ... I'm just saying, if as a young [Princeton] woman, you are thinking that you would like to have not just professional success but personal success as part of your life happiness, keep an open mind to the men that you're surrounded with now. Because these are the best guys. You'll meet wonderful men outside of Princeton, but you'll never have the numbers in your favour the way you do now."
There you have it, a statistical analysis that young women in Princeton in their under-graduate years have a plethora of men surrounding them, and such a statistical opportunity in their favour in finding a husband will simply not present itself in the future.
I'm not a professional mathematician, but even I can count, and Susan Patton it seems can count too, and that seems to be the problem, that for some, counting is out, and for a myriad of strange and rather ubiquitous scenarios.
Be astonished as I was, and read the article.
Susan Patton was herself astounded by the extreme reaction to such painfully obvious statistical analysis. There is a reasonable given within the DNA of women the world over – they want to be loved by the wonderful man in their life, journey together, and enjoy the raising of children. It's not that different from men wanting the wonderful woman.
It may not come as a surprise to many that this too is a New Testament model for men and women and the raising of children. Indeed my wide Delma and I have done. Married in 1977, raised four children, now grand-parents.
Saying it out-loud
Apparently saying it out loud is the secular-sin of the decade. Listen to what Susan Patton says: "For most of you, the cornerstone of your future and happiness will be inextricably linked to the man you marry, and you will never again have this concentration of men who are worthy of you."
Ding! Hello! Is not this common sense or what? It's the same as at any university campus. Young people hither and thither, classes, social events, campus chapels, sports and the rest of it. On what planet do some of these antagonists live?
It also illustrates how the media twists things we say. Susan Patton, a Princeton graduate herself as are her sons, related her comments to what she knew, that was Princeton, and it was painfully obvious that the principle applied across the board.
Not so the media who attacked her making such quite stupid ascertains about the Ivy League set. Today, university is available to anyone, moreover, just look at how many oldies are enjoying studies in their latter years.
The statistical analysis Susan Patton made touched a nerve as this mild mannered woman has bought some unusual "common sense" into the market place. Oh my, Oh me, horror and shock (as this latte set raise their little finger when holding their wine glasses) that common sense should enter the halls of glossy magazine opinion.
No one denies that university graduate women find husbands outside their under-graduate university years, but the statistical analysis that Susan Patton announces is indisputable. The same indisputable statistical analysis can be drawn from Christian Church and Mission associated youth groups, seminaries, bible colleges and such like, where young Christian men and women find their partners for life. Ding! Hello! Out there is whoppie/loopy world.
Moreover, I am not alone. Miranda Divine in the Sydney Telegraph concurred and says Susan Patton, to her credit, has stood her ground, pointing out that work-life balance is not just about work. And Divine says a whole lot more besides in this common sense vein. (www.dailytelegraph.com.au)
For further intelligent and thoughtful consideration on some of these issues, try Mark Driscoll from Mars Hill Church – Women and Femininity (audio). (marshill.com)
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html