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Stupid Men and Smart Women Don't Mix

(July 16, 2007)

by Mary Nolan



How many of you are harassed, trashed or otherwise dumped upon because you are "intellectual" or academic or obviously well-educated and/or well-read and smart? I'm going to guess that, whoever my readers may be, men do not get attacked for "sounding smart" in even half the numbers that women do.


I recently posted a personals ad that laid it out pretty clearly who I am and what I am looking for. Yes, I made a point of sounding what might be defined as "brainy." After all, one of the things I am looking for in a man -- as clearly stated in the ad -- is a "smart fellow traveler."


One man went to town on me for sounding "smart" and "well-educated," because I am surely losing 90% of the men who might otherwise be interested in me. I am so pretty, he explained. Why jump through so many hoops to sound intelligent when it turns so many men off? In other words, if I just posted my picture with the text, "Hi. boys... come get me," I'd be flooded with fabulous men worth my time.


Another man accused me of affecting scholarliness ("affecting" it as if a professional academic, who is hired to be scholarly, is faking it). My language, according to him, "has the effect of distancing yourself from your audience by representing yourself as part of an exclusive group of people who wish to be recognized as being more thoughtful and better educated than the rest of us. In other words you are trying too hard to be perceived as intelligent."


In other words, I'm trying to find men who are my intellectual equal. And...? So...?


Do men get criticized for this, or is it only women who get raked over the coals for trying to be so particular? I realize that there is a world of anti-intellectuals and anti-academics out there who are against those things whether they be manifested by the feminine or the masculine, but I'm suspecting that a man who posts a smart sounding personal on Craig's List is not going to be quite so put upon as a woman who posts such a thing.


I make no apologies for who I am, for my wits, for my education and for the fact that I use language in casual conversation that the vast majority of the English-speaking world has to look up. Why are women expected to "dumb down,'" while men are lauded for being brilliant if they employ vocabulary longer that two syllables?


My god, I'm pissed off. Really pissed off. Anti-intellectualism blended in with misogyny is about the worst combination there is.

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