Ladies, You Can Have It All — But You Won't Like How You Have To Get It

by Lauren Martin

Ladies, it’s time we stopped lying to ourselves. It’s time we stopped lying to everyone around us. It’s time we nut up and say what we all know and feel to be true; we’re women and we want to get married.

Unlike men, by the time we hit our twenties, we’re confronted with the daunting realization that we need to take this desire as seriously as we do the one to have a career. We need to admit that we want more than a career and as progressive as we are, we'd like a husband.

We need to start seriously thinking about what we want in life, if we want to get married and have kids before we’re 30, or climb the ladders of our dream job.

Because, from what our predecessors have shown us, there’s a small window to getting what you want in life, and rarely do women get everything.

For all those women who don’t want to be 40 and alone (which is fine), finding a man is like gambling. You either practice the game, study the rules and work on your technique, or you roll the dice and hope you’ll hit the jackpot before you leave the casino.

As we stand on the casino floor, night after night, our optimism fades, along with our standards. With every unwanted birthday comes the suffocating realization that having both isn’t as easy as we thought in our naive teenage years.

We will never have that dream guy with the arms of Channing Tatum and tight buttocks of Matthew McConaughey. As the years pass, we try to ignore it, but in our peripherals, we see that window of opportunity shrinking, slowly but steadily.

We start scrambling. We take dates with people we would have never considered and plan weddings with men we meet in bars. It’s irrational, erratic and off-putting behavior that usually leaves us knowing, but always wondering aloud to our friends, "What went wrong?”

What’s wrong, ladies? I’ll tell you what’s wrong. We’re acting crazy because we are going crazy. We’re in the thick of our quarter-life crisis, drowning in all the pressure and damning realizations that if we don’t find a man now, we may never get those three kids and that life we always imaged for ourselves.

We’re slowly and steadily choking beneath that one question we don’t want to say aloud, “Can I really have it all?”

According to PepsiCo CEO, Indra K. Nooyi, women are just lying to themselves if they think they can.

Ranked consistently among the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women, Indian-born Nooyi is the current Chairperson and CEO of PepsiCo, the second largest food and beverage business in the world and only the fifth CEO in PepsiCo’s 44-year history.

Yet, amid her massive success, stable marriage and children, she still does not think women can have it all.

“I don't think women can have it all. I just don't think so. We pretend we have it all. We pretend we can have it all.”

In an interview with “The Atlantic’s,” David Bradley, Nooyi goes on to explain that a woman’s life is filled with daily “either-or” decisions. Every day, women are forced to choose between being a wife, mother or career woman.

They are forced to choose work over family, or relationships over a career.

“The biological clock and the career clock are in total conflict with each other. Total, complete conflict. When you have to have kids you have to build your career. Just as you're rising to middle management your kids need you because they're teenagers, they need you for the teenage years."

Nooyi goes on to explain certain coping mechanisms that work to assuage the load of guilt and stress that comes with trying to raise a family and a career, however it’s the elusive “Princeton Mom,” Susan Patton, who explained to Elite Daily exactly how one attains the family and husband before the career, or, as she puts it, before it’s too late.

According to Patton's iconic, if infamous "Letter To The Editor" in the "Princetonian," a woman’s happiness is directly related to the man she marries, not the career she chooses.

After graduating from Princeton University and working in HR, Susan gained relationships with many high-powered women, obtaining their ear and becoming an ear for their woes.

What she heard was, at the height of their success, these intelligent and high-powered women were unhappy. After achieving everything they ever wanted in their careers, they felt empty and unfulfilled. While many of them ran major corporations, they were not satisfied. They found themselves in their forties and without the one thing they never wanted to admit was important to them: a man.

Alone and at the mercy of 20-somethings who are quickly snagging all the 40-something men they thought would be there at the end, these successful and intelligent women are left feeling inadequate and suddenly, unsuccessful.

After focusing on their careers for 20 years, after breaking that glass ceiling and attaining everything they set out to do in college and grad school, they realized only one of their dreams had come true, they'd only fulfilled one of their goals.

While they had the job, they didn’t have the marriage. They didn’t have the companionship, the house, the kids. They were alone with their success and it just didn’t seem worth it anymore.

Patton set out to explain this phenomenon and give women a solution, eventually finding one she knew we wouldn't be ready to hear.

“Here’s what nobody is telling you: Find a husband on campus before you graduate.”

Find a husband in college. Obtain that MRS Degree. Work for a man the same way you work for your grades.

Inciting national debate, Patton said what every self-respecting woman refused to hear. However, according to Patton, there's nothing wrong with admitting you want to get married.

There's nothing wrong with learning from her mistakes and telling women the best way to achieve their goal of partnership.

She explains that, in college, you have four years of ideal dating conditions. It's statistically the best four years to find a man on your intellectual level and without much competition.

It’s the ideal dating community where you can make a man fall in love with you and keep him close throughout the years chasing your career.

“As freshman women, you have four classes of men to choose from. Every year, you lose the men in the senior class, and you become older than the class of incoming freshman men. So, by the time you are a senior, you basically have only the men in your own class to choose from, and frankly, they now have four classes of women to choose from. Maybe you should have been a little nicer to these guys when you were freshmen?”

It just sounds backwards, dirty and a little bit wrong. Telling women to go to college to find a husband just feels like something that warrants a slap to the face.

Typing, thinking and saying the words aloud elicit the same fear and disgust as saying a bad word that you know your parents would wash your mouth out for.

But after serious introspection, or as Susan puts it, taking the time to truly listen to my innermost desires and yearning, she seems to just be telling us how to get what we all want and are just afraid to admit.

Because as a woman in 2014, admitting you want a husband is retrogressive. It’s a slap in the face to everything women have worked for, not to mention a definite blacklisting to the feminist club.

It’s like pointing out the cruel treatment of animals in the food industry. We know what happens, but we don’t want to talk about it because we just want to keep eating the meat.

We don’t like to admit the truth when it’s not pretty. And admitting you need to find a husband before you leave college, or remain alone forever, is definitely an ugly truth.

However, with truth comes freedom, right? Only upon facing the dark, ugly realization that being a woman isn’t as liberating and progressive as you imagined, can you begin to work towards getting what you really want in life.

Women will only begin getting what they want once they've accepted the unclaimed certainty that having it all means admitting you want it all.

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