On Valentine’s Day I listened to a radio poll stating that most men find intelligent women attractive. Perhaps this is true in some markets, but the places where I go it seems to just the opposite. What has been YOUR experience?
As a confident female with good communication skills, I find that I need to “dumb down” most conversations when meeting men for the first time. When I neglect to do so, men walk away as soon as they find out I “know too much” (in their opinion). Whether the conversation is about travel, work, or beverages, women who “know too much” often find themselves alone with their thoughts.
I often see attractive, confident, smart women doing this same thing – pretending not to know about common topics of conversation simply to keep a man’s attention for any length of time. (Note, that inebriated men don’t seem to care if a woman is intelligent and don’t seem to be intimidated.)
Intelligent women may be attractive to others, but only if they keep their real IQ a secret. Simply talking about foreign travel or world events (non-politically charged!) seems enough to intimidate most men.
Does it make sense to do this; to dumb down conversations and mask the real you? Is it worthwhile to forego intelligent conversation to adopt people-pleasing behaviors just for the sake of meeting new people? Having said this, men still pay more attention to “dumb blondes” than smart ones.
What does it say about equality when we have to pretend not to be smart if we want to be noticed?
I spent my high school years lying to classmates about my test scores (lopping off a full grade to fit in). At home I met with an opposite reaction when my father chided me for missing an “extra credit” question and getting too low a test score. It seemed (and seems) like being educated just doesn’t pay off for women when it comes to men.
Referring back to my opening statistic, I agree that men probably like to know that women are intelligent, but only to a certain extent: there’s too smart (a turn-off) and too dumb (also a turn off) and everything in between. Regardless, I contend that cosmetic beauty still wins over smarts in terms of attractiveness.
Knowing a bit about a subject can be a good conversation starter, but to keep the flow of words going, women need to step back and allow men tell us how much they know (even if it is made up crap!) Sweet smiles work far more magic than trying to add to the conversation, especially if it is something you know. Here’s a case in point: if you talk about a traditionally male subject, such as microbrew beer (confession: I know a fair amount about craft brews), men will feign interest for 30 seconds and then turn to talk to someone else. The choices are: 1. Dumb it down or change the subject; 2. sit facing the guy’s back; or 3. Talk to someone else.
Perhaps women do know too much… but it does not seem to take much to intimidate a guy these days. What is YOUR experience? How do you react when you meet a woman who is intelligent and confident? ? Half of the world would like to know.
Have a good week!