Marry Smart, the retrograde pile of garbage that the 'Princeton Mom' has sandwiched between two pieces of cardboard and called a book, drops today. That means Susan Patton is currently making the media rounds, questioning the notion of date rape and insisting that she is "not a provocative person."
She appeared in the flesh on Today this morning, dressed (as ever) in Princeton colors. Savannah Guthrie — who presumably did not spend her undergrad years laying man traps — began the segment by rattling off some gems from the book, such as the suggestion that, until you lay your eggs in some poor classmate, you should devote 75 percent of your energies to man hunting, and a mere 25 percent on professional development. "Doesn't that seem a bit out of whack?"
Whatevs, says Patton:
"Work will wait. Your fertility won't," she responded, suggesting that if you spend the 10 years after college focused on work, all your dreams of family will whither before your very eyes. I'm obviously not a scientist, but I'm pretty sure it'll keep until you can find a dating pool stocked with actual adults, rather than petrified freshmen.
Guthrie also confronted her with a passage suggesting that, "if you require major bodywork, get it done in high school." And Patton didn't flinch there, either, having the nerve to present the suggestion that high schoolers get major cosmetic surgery as an issue of self-esteem: "If you enter your college years not in your best form, not feeling as good as you can feel about yourself, you'll hamper your own chances for personal happiness as well as professional success."
For the record, Today also spoke to some parents, who pretty uniformly suggested that no, they did not expect their children to devote their undergraduate years to finding a husband. Duh.
Patton also elaborated on the book's stance re: date rape. Rather than back down on her "spare me your 'blaming the victim' outrage" line of argument, she pretty much suggested the onus is on young women to avoid getting themselves raped: "It's all on them to not put themselves in a position where they are vulnerable to being abused or mistreated by a man," she added, suggesting that, "It's dangerous to say to women that you can count on men to act responsibility."
I think that pretty much proves that she has devoted practically zero time, research and consideration to the discussions over date rape and victim blaming. It's like she gets all her news via commencement editions of the Daily Princetonian--which, now that I think about it, would explain a lot.
She was even more jaw-dropping in an interview with Metro, by the way:
"I think date rape is a fallacy," she says. "I really object to the concept of the words 'date rape' … To refer to sex that a woman really didn't feel like having but wound up having anyway because she didn't know how to leave or regrets it – that's not rape of any sort. That's sex you wish you didn't have. That's mistake sex." This idea is an expansion on a chapter in Patton's book called "Behaving Badly." Here's a hint: She's talking about women, not men.
Unsurprisingly, her view of feminism is straight outta The Rush Limbaugh Show:
"I used to think a feminist was somebody who believed women should be afforded equal opportunities and rights to men. It might have started that way, but it's gone to the dark side. It's an extreme position of demanding independence from men and looking at them as unnecessary. This is terrible for women."
Yes, but all copies of Marry Smart will be banned from our separatist compound, and our turkey baster parties are just lovely. So what's the downside, really?
Anyway, despite alllll the evidence, Patton insists she's not just trying to get a rise out of the American public in the interest of selling books: "I'm not a provocative person. I'm an honest person," she insisted, adding, "I absolutely believe with all my heart this is solid and good advice." Sure, lady. Sure.