Do men really want smart women?

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They say they do. Seems to me, an awful lot of 'em are spending an inordinate amount of time with some brainless twits though.

The former girlfriend of the Relentless Tease is a very sweet girl. Quite younger than I, and prettier. But reader, if brains were dynamite, this lovely girl would have a hard time blowing her nose. The parade of men who follow her around eating up her vapid smiles and gentle coos like strawberry-covered ice cream is testament to the fact that, while men may say they want a smart woman, they don't mind an idiot if she's got pretty blue eyes and a nice ass.

A mutual friend commented on the Tease and his choice of women: "He went from a blonde bimbo to an intellectual redhead. Lord help him, he may not survive the transition."

I make no predictions about the survival of the Relentless Tease, since I must admit it doesn't appear to be a safe bet either way, but I can tell you as a smart woman, men don't usually know what to do with us. We intimidate men, especially when our intelligence is accompanied by a love for debate. Men simply do not want to be out-argued by a woman.

They also do not like to ask a woman how to do something, nor do they appreciate it when she tries to tell them, unsolicited.

So what is it they expect they'd like to do with this brainy woman, if not argue or learn from her? Have stimulating conversations about history, literature and current events? {insert boisterous snorting splutter-laugh here}

I am never more annoyed than when I find that I am dumbing myself down for a man. I do it almost every day.

"Wait, wait...Don't confuse me. Did you say...turn left at the light? But I thought you said, go west? Oh! Left is west! I get it!"

"Hey, can you tell me what this little light on the dash of my car means? Is it, like, telling me to put some oil in or something?"

"You want me to get the pliers? Is that the pinchy thing or the twisty thing?"

* blink * blink *

And of course, being self-analytical, I have some idea why I do this.

1) Men's reactions to dumb comments and questions from women are predictable. They may be patronizing but never startling. Going into "dumb" mode is kind of like auto-pilot, when I don't want to have to think about my interaction or put effort into predicting his. It's helpful when my mind is on something else.

2) I do enjoy the attention of a man occasionally (shut up!). It's much easier to get that by asking a dumb question than by making a cogent observation designed to spark stimulating conversation. Ask an intelligent question and risk making him feel inadequate if he doesn't know the answer. Dumb questions get results: a man's friendly attention directed right where I want it, on me.

3) Sometimes being smart is scary. Having a brain implies knowing all the answers, but often what it really means is knowing how very little I actually know. I think sometimes I act dumb because I almost wish I was dumb. Stupid people suffer less anxiety in general than smart people do.

So what do y'all think? Should I stop being annoyed and just embrace my inner bimbo as a not-loved-exactly-but-tolerated-at-least part of my personality repertoire? Or should I work toward eradicating her from myself...perhaps by administering stinging finger flicks to my own ears and nose whenever I catch myself acting dumb?

 

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Tess's Room

A lovely tempest, not easily understood, but worth the effort. Sort of like dark bitter chocolate surrounding the sweetest cherry...


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