Thursday, January 25, 2007

No college-- I just want to get married!

"Men of sense, whatever you may chuse to say, do not want silly wives."
-Mr. Knightley, Jane Austen's Emma

One source of frequent frustration for 19th century women was that they often had to marry for survival, rather than for love. One source of frequent frustration for the men was that the little porcelain doll they married spent so much energy catching a husband, she became a very hollow woman.

In the 20th century, all of that was supposed to change. Women gradually were able to make their own way in the world in a variety of professions. This gave us the freedom to be picky about whom we choose to marry, and the freedom not to marry if we do not meet a man who fits our criteria. It also allowed us not to fall into utter destitution if something (heaven forbid) happened to our husbands. Many women also find they benefit from having a bit of independent living under their belts before marriage. Many others wish they had some.

This ideally saves women the frustration of being married to a bad husband, and men (to some degree anyway) the unhappiness of being married to a chronically frustrated wife.

Besides that, men who are serious about marriage generally prefer to marry women they can respect and admire--and with whom they can have intelligent discussions.

And if that isn't enough, the critical and creative thinking skills that advanced education offers can come in very handy when raising children--a task that takes all the brainpower a person can muster, if you ask my parents. :)

Now, it is true one doesn't have to have a bachelor's degree to be a thinking woman. But it certainly does help to do a little something beyond high school. Nursing school is a noble option. An associates degree. A vocational training program. Something.

And then I hear the occasional young girl say she just wants to get married, and since she's just going to stay at home with her kids, she'd rather just get down to business and find a husband instead of wasting any unecessary time in school. I have had women suggest that my own education (especially my Master's degree) are a waste of time because, when I have children, I'd like to be an at home mother.

I could argue against this, but I have already presented the advantages of being a thinking woman in addition to being a married woman.

But, ladies, if you insist on taking yourself back an entire century, go ahead. Just remember you have no right to complain if your prince charming and castle in the air don't live forever, and you find yourself living in reality instead.

If your attitude is that college is a waste of time and an "expensive way to meet a husband", please, don't take up space at the university. You don't deserve to be there.

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