Friday, February 21, 2014

Retrograde Lessons

I wanted to share this piece full of gender stereotypes and political incorrectness with J but hesitate because I don't know how the message will be received. There is a lot here that cannot be taken seriously and bits that I don't agree with at all. But there are a couple of ideas that are reasonable. If the thesis was framed in a gender neutral way it would be much easier to discuss with my daughter. 

What Patton is advocating smart young ladies do is equally applicable to smart young men. They would both be well advised to seek out partners for themselves while still in college for all of the reasons she has cited. Not every man is happy to be in an intellectually non-stimulating relationship or is motivated solely by the youth and appearance of his prospective partner. It is also a very bad idea to suggest that women use sex as a form of currency to advance their agenda - marriage in this case.

There is value in young people finding a good match early and beginning their lives together sooner than later. You have a ton more energy to raise babies in your twenties than you do in your thirties and forties. It is a easier to shape, form and grow together as a couple before the single habits die hard. What seems a huge compromise later in life is an easy adjustment when you are younger. There are many valid reasons to marry early.

By making this all about women needing men to fulfill their life's purpose Patton reduces what may have otherwise been a coherent thesis to a chapter out of the The Rules book. I once knew a very bright young lady who swore by this book and got married to what would be called a great catch. So the rules worked out just as advertised. Unfortunately the marriage was not quite the fairy tale one might assume it might be when a woman's husband is Mr. Right. 

I fear Patton's myopic view of the world and half baked thesis (despite having some merit) will similarly fail to close the deal for the smart young ladies she aims to help.

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