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Isn't it pretty?

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Intelligent Women are Doomed

JDatersAnonymous mentioned an article in the London Times which stated that the smarter a woman you are, the less likely you are to get married. My first reaction to the article was one of being angry at the writers for publicizing the fact that intelligent women have trouble getting married. This stems from my past. I spent many years hiding my intelligence in fear that guys would be intimidated, or think I was a smart geek. In fact, I distinctly remember cringing at the moniker "Honors Nerd" being spouted in my direction by the object of my (obviously) unrequited affection. My second reaction was that I should read the article. I found the article (sorry about not having a link - the London Times does not make it easy to include one) and read it with interest. The article makes several interesting observations. It says: "The results are borne out by evidence from psychologists that successful career women are struggling to find “interesting men” who are interested in them. Relationship experts say professional men prefer to marry women “like their mum” who will provide the domestic support while they go out to work. Women achievers, however, find it difficult to find men willing to sacrifice their careers to become house husbands." I don't understand why men would have to be "house husbands" in order to be married to an intelligent woman. Maybe this quote is exclusive to women who have their sights set specifically on the head of the board room table, but I know many, many women who work and take care of families - and their husbands, while not being a "house husband" help out around the home, and with the children, as I believe it should be. (How many women do you know who will free their husband from all responsibility of changing diapers?) "Marriage experts say the results reflect changes in society. Christine Northam, a senior counsellor at Relate, the relationship guidance organisation, said: “IQ measurements are frightfully judgmental, but it is true that men do not want women more intelligent than themselves. It bolsters their position if their partner is not too challenging.” " Is this true? Men don't want a woman to challenge them on anything? Why is it okay for a man to be smarter than a woman but not the other way around? And wouldn't it get a bit boring for a guy to always have to explain or know that his wife couldn't follow his thought processes? I just have issues with the insinuation that men's egos are so fragile as to not be able to withstand dealing with a woman of equal intellect. "Dr Paul Brown, visiting professor of psychology at Nottingham Law School and an expert on relationships, said: “What we are finding is that women in their late 30s who have gone for careers after the first flush of university and who are among the brightest of their generation are finding that men are just not interesting enough. “It is a really difficult issue. Women want independence but we are all hard-wired into wanting to be into relationships. The paradox of the post-feminist position is how we create a social system in which both independence and inter-dependency can flourish.” " Again, I don't see why career and relationships must be mutually exclusive. Just because I am an intelligent female who at some point would like to have a career that means something to me does not mean that I am not also capable of being half of a meaningful relationship. Just because I have the ability to support myself does not mean that I want to always be forced to do so. The key is in knowing your strengths but not letting them get in the way of your relationships with others.


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