Can We All Stop Pretending To Be Stupid?
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Politics and Activism

Can We All Stop Pretending To Be Stupid?

There is no such thing as "too smart."

Can We All Stop Pretending To Be Stupid?
Nikki Nguyen via Daily Emerald

I don’t know how many times I have had female friends of mine tell me that they don’t want to seem “too smart” when first beginning to date someone. The fear is that intelligence comes off as intimidating or that a woman who thinks for herself is somehow undesirable to the modern man. There is a population of men who have decided that they don’t want a woman with a higher degree than them, a wittier mind or a sharper tongue. Female success threatens their own. What? What is that. Stop it.

The only people you are too smart to date are people who think there is a threshold of intelligence that women need to stop at. I am infuriated by the idea that women need to constantly change and degrade themselves for the comfort of a man. I’m not talking about compromises; things like asking his opinion of a dress or watching his favorite TV show with him every week are just parts of being in a relationship. I mean the serious life changes that women feel pressured to make.

Women lose weight, gain weight, change clothing styles, change hair, change their likes or dislikes, any number of things just on the whims and demands of men. Do these things for yourself. I once dated someone who asked me to lose weight. I asked him to lose my number. This isn’t an isolated incident nor is it isolated to romantic relationships. There is a constant bombardment of commentary on women’s appearance and personalities. However, there is something about criticizing women’s intelligence that gets to me especially.

The idea that women are less qualified than men on an intellectual level is preposterous. I have had male friends of mine say that they’d hate to date me because I am not afraid to voice my thoughts. I’d hate to date someone who thinks my thoughts are unimportant. Men will say out loud and with no shame how they want to be with someone that they can easily place beneath them.

I recently asked a friend of mine about this problem. He’s male and about my age. The best that he could come up with was, “I think men like to date women who they think are stupid so that they can take advantage of them.” Take advantage of them? We’ll come back to that. Another man I asked, again college age, said that it was connected to insecurity. Men want to date women they perceive as beneath them because it is a confidence and ego boost.

My thought is that if an ego is so fragile that it can be threatened by a relationship, then perhaps the man isn’t ready for a relationship. Where is the mutual benefit if one person thinks that they must keep their partner down to be personally fulfilled? And as for the take advantage bit — if there isn’t an equal partnership, what’s the point? Don’t take advantage of people you purport to care about.

How is this expectation of stupidity a universally known phenomenon and yet no one is pointing fingers at this type of man? Men are aware that their fellows are seeking out women they assume to be less intelligent and there are women who are playing into that image. Though everyone I asked said that this was something they didn’t do personally, I pointed out that it was happening regardless. Why aren’t men encouraging one another to find equal partners? Why aren’t women encouraging one another to insist upon a relationship of equals?

Now this all isn’t to say that such positive things are non-existent. I know men who date women smarter than them and I know women who don’t compromise their own worth. Yet with all of this and the strides that third-wave feminism is making for all genders, why does acting stupid still seem like a necessity for a girl to get a date?

I have no answers, only sad speculation and the unending drive to tell women that they are smart and don’t need someone who wants them to be otherwise.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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