On Thursday night’s episode of The Daily Show, host Jon Stewart and correspondent Kristen Schaal laid into the so-called ‘Princeton Mom’ Susan Patton. Patton is the author of the book Marry Smart, where she advises young women to invest all of their time in finding a husband. She also suggests that women do everything possible to secure a compatible and successful partner before graduating from college. Patton has been making the rounds lately on various news programs promoting the book and discussing numerous subjects related to women’s rights.
Prior to ripping into Patton and her ideas, Stewart started the show by letting the audience know that March is Women’s History Month. To commemorate the month, President Obama appeared on C-SPAN and stated that women still make far less than men on average in the workplace, and that he was still committed to righting that wrong. After playing the Obama clip, Stewart did a pretty funny impression of the President admitting that Congress won’t do anything about it and that he really, really hates them.
The host moved on to Patton, focusing on her recent media blitz where she’s discussed the advise she is imparting on young women in today’s society. Through a variety of clips, Patton was seen making a number of statements that would seem more at place in the 19th century. Basically, career advancement and bettering oneself should take a backseat to finding a perfect mate and procreating. If a woman has graduated college and has yet to find a successful man to settle down with, then all hope is lost.
To reiterate how awful Patton’s views are and the fact that she has been given a platform to spew them, Stewart brought Kristen Schaal on. Schaal played along with Patton’s idea that if a woman gets past her early 20s without finding her perfect mate, then chances are slight that a woman will find real happiness. She admitted that she waited until her early 30s to get married, and had to ‘settle’ for a comedy writer. Obviously, she would have done much better if she would have used those college years to find a real winner.
Schaal got in an awesome dig at Patton, and anyone else dispensing advice without any real research or credentials, when she said that ‘these are facts based on opinion.’ The bit really took an inspired turn when, after realizing that it was worthless trying to save thirty-somethings with Patton’s life-altering advice, Schaal decided that pre-schoolers were the best audience. Convince them while they’re young, just like Patton suggests!
Considering the recent attempts by conservatives to try to roll back women’s rights and shame feminists, it was refreshing to see Stewart devote his first segment on Thursday to debunking and ridiculing this woman who has received far too much positive attention from the media. Her so-called advice to women is to devote themselves to a breadwinning husband early on. The only thing a woman should strive for is to be a wife and mother, nothing more. A young woman should only be focused on making herself as physically attractive as possible in order to land the highest caliber partner.
Marry Smart is nothing more than a guide on how to ensure that women see themselves as permanently subservient to men. In Patton’s mind, it is a man’s world and women are just here to serve. The best thing that a woman can hope for is to get a man with an Ivy League education and a well-connected family. Finding true happiness and fulfillment on one’s own should rank far behind being arm candy at cocktail parties and telling the other wives what firm your husband works for.
A huge thanks to The Daily Show for placing a huge spotlight on this woman’s absurdity.