It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single co-ed in possession of a good GPA must be in want of a husband…am I right, ladies? Well, us womenfolk are in luck. After all, College Magazine just ranked Wash. U. as the third-best university in the country to find a husband, right behind Brigham Young University and the U.S. Military Academy. No mention of Wash. U.’s rankings in terms of finding wives, gimps, friends with benefits or sugar daddies. All I can say is, thank God. Given that traditional marriage is under siege from the homosexuals and the divorcees, it’s comforting that someone is willing to come to bat for family values. We do attend Phyllis Schlafly’s alma mater, after all. Unfortunately, the characteristics that landed Wash. U. a spot on the list are the very characteristics that could actually bear some scrutiny.
The article actually starts out pretty tongue-in-cheek (“Sorority sisters? Bridesmaids. Campus Jimmy John’s? Catering.”) but pretty quickly becomes foot-in-mouth. It’s as if the writer was thinking, “I should totally be making fun of the premise of this article, because, like, women’s rights and stuff, but really, you guys, just keep a lookout anyway because you don’t want to die alone. Like me.” “Feminism” is something of a loaded word—it’s often misconstrued as a sort of general disdain for men, religion and women who want to have families. While feminism as a movement does have some problems (it’s often criticized for neglecting the problems of women of color, for example), its general premise of advancing gender equality has helped improve the lives of women (and men). It’s articles like these that make me wonder why even bother if we’re just going to be told to get married right away anyway. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to get married in college, but marriage is not really an institution that really needs defending (no matter what Fox News says). The list makes me groan because it reflects all of the narratives missing from the mainstream narrative about love and sexuality—it feels outdated, at the very least. And even if the tone of the piece is lighthearted, it’s nothing approaching satire. Given that women are still lagging behind men in terms of pay and political office, not to mention ability to walk around at night without being sexually assaulted, telling us the best places to get married feels condescending, to say the least. (Note: obviously, if you don’t identify as a straight, marriageable woman, then you’re basically irrelevant anyway.)
So why is Wash. U. on this list? Basically, Wash. U. students—especially Wash. U. men—are rolling in dough. Seriously. That’s why Wash. U. made the list. “According to CBS News, [Wash. U.] has the wealthiest students in the nation,” you guys! Somehow trumping Harvard (No. 4) and Yale (No. 6)…oh wait. That’s because Wash. U. doesn’t have need-blind admissions, and we give out Pell Grants like the Drug Enforcement Administration gives out crack. Basically, Wash. U. earned a spot on this list because of its class privilege, which, let’s be real, we have out the wazoo. Everyone knows that rich men automatically make the best husbands and that women only like money and stuff. I mean, Wash. U. guys are also “total geniuses,” but I’m pretty sure that’s secondary.
According to what I can gather from the other schools listed (BYU and the U.S. Naval Academy, among others), the best husband is a highly-educated, religious, conservative supporter of the military-industrial complex. So basically Mitt Romney. Oh, Mittens, you can put me in your binder any day. Too bad you’re already taken and marriage is no longer a purely economic transaction. Although if you wave a handful of money at me, I’ll do whatever you want. Because I’m a woman, and apparently that’s how it works.
Anyway, I’m a senior, and time is running out to take advantage of Wash. U.’s marriage market. I’ll have to start hanging around the chemistry labs, winking furiously at the harried, J. Crew-clad pre-meds. Because you know, now that I think about it, my biological clock is ticking, and you all are probably going to be rich doctors some day. What does one do with a liberal arts degree, anyway?