Smart at work, a fool in love.

This is amusing. Women are now being blamed for the failure of their own love lives. What is to blame? Well, that you are too smart. If you are intelligent and advanced at work or your career (or your interests that are also smart outside of just reading Cosmo and He’s just not that into you) than you have a low emotional intelligence. Because this is a common misnomer around women, you see. That women are emotionally UN-intelligent. Really now.
Anne, a very sad, disappointed and single 40 year old tells us clearly what we need to hear:

I never envisaged that at my 40th, not only would I not have a partner, but I wouldn’t even have a date. When I waltzed out of Oxford University nearly 20 years ago, throbbing with a sense of my potential, this wasn’t what I had in mind at all.
But now, taking stock, I can see that while my career as a writer has flourished, I have floundered massively in the relationship stakes. My romantic CV makes shockingly depressing reading – I was married at 32, divorced by 34, became pregnant by a new partner at 36 and was left by him as a single mother at 38.

Let’s start with the obvious. It is not your fault that you focus your energy on your work instead of your relationship and that a man cannot appreciate that in your life. If a man leaves you with a child, that is not your fault. Yeah there are two sides to every story, but it is hardly just your own fault.

So what does all this mean? Well, I believe that at the root of all this is the fact that many women with a high IQ have a perilously low EQ (that’s their emotional intelligence quotient). Put more prosaically, this would explain why bright girls are often fools in love.
Last year, American writer Michael Noer created outrage when he wrote a piece in Forbes Magazine warning men off marrying career girls. He claimed that recent studies had found that clever, professional women were more likely to get divorced, more likely to cheat and less likely to have children.

I know it is hard to take an article seriously that attempts to use last year’s atrocious Forbes article as legitimate information. But, all things considered, I can truly relate to this as someone with a thousand things to do-all-the-time, it definitely puts a strain on all my relationships. But why are women to blame for that? Is it our fault that men are taught that they should have a woman’s undivided attention and care? That perhaps when you are successful or more invested in your career than a relationship, that perhaps this is threatening?
As it is, women have to be needy and provide love, while men get to be invested in their careers (and not all men and women are like this at all, this is just what stories like this make me realize that dominant relationship myths tell us). If you don’t fit that framework, than I suppose you end up alone! And what, OMG, what could be worse than that?
OK, let me stop before I start talking about my own life. The reality is men are changing with women and there are men out there that are supportive of women that are in their careers and that could be anything, like for me my social justice work or writing, or whatever it is you love to do and feels you and motivates you.
What we don’t need is doom and gloom fear talk about how we are emotionally unintelligent and how we will end up alone if we are successful in our careers or our personal interests. Furthermore, WHO has the money to not work? And if I have to work, than I better be invested and interested since I have to spend a lot of time doing this work.
Perhaps there is a relationship between women having robust and flourishing careers and lack of male companionship, but is that such a bad thing? If the person you are with doesn’t take interest or support you in the things that you want to do, then they are not loving you for who you are, and that is not the situation you want to be in. That is not your fault. The blame game needs to stop. You didn’t do anything wrong. Divorce is not always such a bad thing, it shows that people know how to do what is right for themselves.
Showing interest in things other than a relationship shows a high level of emotional intelligence. You know what you want and aren’t afraid to get it. Does this change that some people just don’t want to be alone, outside of just the media motivated fear of it? Probably not, but it makes it easier to think about.

and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

56 Comments

  1. Shadow32
    Posted August 9, 2007 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    I can’t help thinking the fact the writer (by her own admission) pretty much gave up on dating for fear of making more mistakes might have something to do with why she’s still single.
    Otherwise, what everyone up above said about the stupidity of this piece.

  2. Posted August 9, 2007 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    “Clever girl” is what you say when your four-year-old correctly spells “enough” on the first try. I do hate this women-should-change-themselves-to-please-guys-who-are-really-tossers genre.

  3. Posted August 9, 2007 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    And what about the converse implication of this “clever women have low emotional intelligence” statement? Doesn’t that essentially mean that women who have good “emotional intelligence” are, by necessary implication, utter morons?
    What about those of us who are good at recognising interpersonal cues (what “emotional intelligence” is all about) and yet don’t have to sound out words when reading?

  4. ShifterCat
    Posted August 10, 2007 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    Hey, I just noticed:
    Why does this article have the tags “Queer Issues” and “Sexual Assault”?

  5. Peepers
    Posted August 10, 2007 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Elise, you said it. The article reiterates tired, old stereotypes about intellectually gifted people — that they are interpersonally inept. The flip-side is no less tired and stereotypic — that people who are gifted at reading others and expressing warmth must be not intellectually talented.

  6. Posted August 11, 2007 at 4:43 am | Permalink

    re drinking: The drinking age is set by the post commander.
    When I was studying interrogation at Ft. Huachuca (1993) the post commander decided that all his underaged troops (which included some from every branch of the service, because of just how many disciplines are taught at Huachuca) were going to Nogales and getting tanked (legally, it’s Mexico) that beer/wine would be allowed to 18-20 year olds.
    Spirits were limited to those above 21.
    As for sex without marriage, it’s not a violation.
    Adultery isn’t, ipso facto a violation either, it comes under Art 134, and has to be, prejudicial to the good order and discipline of the service.
    I know someone they tried to nail for adultery, but since her fling didn’t actually touch on anything which could be (even in the broadest of terms) construed that way, the case had to be dropped.

Feministing In Your Inbox

Sign up for our Newsletter to stay in touch with Feministing
and receive regular updates and exclusive content.

166 queries. 0.598 seconds