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.
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.