Thinking men like tits, brains and for women to stay in their place.

I have written previously about top ten lists that measure beauty and brains and concluded that generally they are gender biased. Women’s lists are always about how they look and men’s lists (or pageants) are about what they do first and then how they look. When I wished upon the world to create a list that was about women taking into consideration their brains, occupations and looks this is about as far from what I could have conceived of. Self proclaimed hiphop writer hater Touré has created what he believes is the thinking man’s list of sex symbols.
He starts,

A man has two minds. The lower mind is a brainless whore excited by any woman with breasts, curves, and a thong. The upper mind, which works with actual grey matter, is more persnickety. The upper mind, when employed, is moved by intelligence, success, power, self-confidence, a smart sense of humor, and, of course, not having a castrating nature.

What counts as having a castrating nature? If you get too ‘ballsy’ do you actually want to be a man so bad that you will (figuratively) castrate him and claim your own masculinity? I am going to assume he means feminists are castrating. I think this above description is more disparaging to men than anything else. Thank you for feeding into every myth about male sexuality and their inability to make a connection between what happens between their legs and between their ears.
But the real gems are in the descriptions of the pictures of the women he chose and why he chose the “smart babes” that he did. None will really surprise you, but note that they are all women that don’t really disrupt normative ideas of beauty or act outside of patriarchy and for Touré, their intelligence exists to feed his own male ego since he has to describe repeatedly why their smarts don’t threaten his own. I think some of these women would resent being on this list.

Every line is like a work of art.

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  1. quebeaum
    Posted December 30, 2008 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    That read kind of like a J. Peterman catalogue.

  2. Gypsy Lee
    Posted December 30, 2008 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    So by “thinking man’s sex symbols” he means “not stupid sex toys who don’t scare me”.*
    *yawn* apparently, he thinks the rest of the world is interested in his psychological problems.
    * note: FTR, I’m not calling these women sex toys, I’m saying he clearly doesn’t think of women as anything else.

  3. lygodium
    Posted December 30, 2008 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Instead of throwing up my faux tuna salad sandwich, I will rant.
    I hate, to the point of physical discomfort, the idea that a woman’s intelligence or beauty or success is in some way a measure of the man’s value. And that his intelligence, beauty and success… are also exclusively a measure of his value.
    OH and the whole, she won’t hold it over your head that she makes more money than you… or it sucks that she’ll know more about politics yadda yadda bullshit… like women have to apologize for being better at shit than men?
    And Ann Coulter isn’t vile because she’s trying to take your masculinity. She’s vile because she’s hateful and evil. Humans shouldn’t be judged for not being masculine or feminine enough for their sex… and a woman being aggressive and competitive (it pisses me off that those are considered masculine traits) in no way impedes your ability to be those things, dude.
    And the idea that smart women are some how a novelty or that some women are smart and some women are pretty and these are the 10 times those things overlapped….. that just….
    I can’t even express this feeling I have because I’m so pissed.
    I’m smart and I’m funny. For a PERSON. Not “FOR A GIRL!!” And if I forever spend my life being the token female in a sketch show or being talked about in magazines as one of those RARE funny women, I am going to go insane.

  4. DeafBrownTrashPunk
    Posted December 30, 2008 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    I cannot stand “top 10 women” lists at all. Notice how it’s almost ALWAYS blonde, white, light skinned women and barely no blacks? Sure they’ll choose a light skinned Asian, Latina, or a non-threatening, friendly light skinned black woman, but never a dark skinned woman of color.
    multiculturalism: what a joke!

  5. Gypsy Lee
    Posted December 30, 2008 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    “but never a dark skinned woman of color. ”
    A few of the comments call the crap author out on this and it was met with “stop whining, there’s a few non-whites on the list”.
    Isn’t the author a black man (for lack of a better word, because man he certainly is not)? He couldn’t think of a few smart, strong dark skinned women he could reduce to the attractiveness of their parts?

  6. brokaaww
    Posted December 30, 2008 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    What in the holy hell was with this pull quote:
    “If she’s the smartest chick in the room and she’s going home with you, what does that say about you?”
    Huh? Wh-what?
    Has anyone else noticed that the Daily Beast is basically chock full of this same brainless social commentary? Is there any worthy content on that entire site?

  7. kiboko
    Posted December 30, 2008 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    I’m trying to be calm about this & not freak out my coworkers with suppressed screams of rage, but it’s really, really hard.
    ….”but I feel like they secretly want to steal my manhood”.
    1) YOUR MANHOOD? are you serious? Why would any woman want to be like you? And what exactly is this “manhood” we are trying to steal? Your ego – because it seems as if the “brains” feed it, your penis and/or testicles? Thanks, but no thanks.
    2) Oh of course, I don’t want to repeat what lygodium posted, but yes – that’s right, some women aren’t “feminine enough” and therefore want your ballsack (ref to #1).
    3) By the way Toure – my WOMANhood and strength is NO MATCH to your pathetic excuse this “manhood” you so sadly cling to.
    “If she’s the smartest chick in the room and she’s going home with you, what does that say about you?”
    1) Don’t call me “chick”
    2) Please don’t ever think I would go home with some piece of work tool like yourself.
    3) And what does it say about you? Hmmmm…oh right – you are SO much better than the other sexists out there objectifying women for looks alone, because you go for looks AND brains to feed that ego/manhood of yours. Oh, yes, another ROUND OF APPLAUSE for such a *forward* thinking male! (*please note the sarcasm)

  8. MikeT
    Posted December 30, 2008 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    An attempt at courteous dissent:
    I’ve often sounded like this while talking to guys, trying to persuade them to drop some of their “guyness” and become adults. “If she’s the smartest chick in the room and she’s going home with you, what does that say about you?” sounds very much like arguments I’ve made to the sort of extrinsically motivated guys who would otherwise be trying to impress the ‘hottest chick in the room’ instead of the smartest.
    Ditto for some of the other things he says.
    I think if you ignore the “beer me, bro!” tone of the article, the message is pretty good. I mean, Jennifer Granholm? Meredith Vieira? Katie Couric? When was the last time you saw this many women over 50 (Granholm’s 49, but still) on a ten sexiest list? While having their accomplishments touted?

  9. Trigonometry
    Posted December 30, 2008 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    I guess no one did their research about

  10. lygodium
    Posted December 30, 2008 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    I think the “beer me, bro” is precisely what grosses us out. I know it’s trying to reach a demographic of douche bags, perhaps (as you suggest) to get them to be less douchey… but come on… Taking on the language of the asshat promotes the culture that breeds asshats. I, personally, desire a world in which asshattery is called out point blank without catering to them.
    And the message isn’t good. It’s saying there are lots of hot chicks out there but some are cool, too, and if you don’t believe me check out this list! Sure she’s not the most successful governor, but she’s got pretty blonde hair!
    It still caters to the notion that women shouldn’t be as smart as men, because you know… smart is masculine and we want our bitches ladylike, you know? But these ones are juuuust dudely enough that they’re cool to hang out with while remaining totally fuckable…

  11. FrumiousB
    Posted December 30, 2008 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    I, personally, desire a world in which asshattery is called out point blank without catering to them.
    Hear, hear

  12. FrumiousB
    Posted December 30, 2008 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    they are all women that don’t really disrupt normative ideas of beauty
    Really? I’m afraid to click the link b/c it looks like the type of article that will trigger the pron filter at work, which is where I am. But, are those 4 women at the top from his list? Do you realize that 30 years ago, 3 out of 4 of them would not have made any hottie list at all? I don’t care how light skinned they all are, olive-complected women just weren’t considered conventionally hot until fairly recently.
    If the women at the top of the page are editor picks rather than Toure’s picks, then clearly I should shut up.
    (Just to be clear, I am not praising Toure for his open-mindedness. I am issueing a comment on the changing nature of conventional standards of beauty. I would like to add that I am not in favor of expanding conventional beauty standards to include dusky women, middle-aged and older women, or fat women. I am in favor of obliterating the very notion of conventional standards of beauty.)

  13. ElegantFem
    Posted December 30, 2008 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    From the article:
    “Can a woman be independent, creative, sharp, witty, strong, and self-empowering without making me feel like she wants to be a man?”
    So he’s saying being independent, creative, sharp, witty, strong, and self-empowering are things that only men do naturally. I suppose that means that we women are just pretty, stupid lumps of clay that occasionally (and this is REALLY rare) end up smart and worth something more than our bodies.
    /gratuitous sarcasm

  14. hexag
    Posted December 30, 2008 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    Gotta try & comment on this, this guy is trying to talk to people you enjoy labeling ‘douche-bag’, but we’ll ignore that fact and focus on this question. Who do you think men, with no history of taking equality in their stride, whether it be gender, race or sexuality, would actually listen to?
    I mean, crikey, I’m basically on you lady’s side, but you’re talking to each other and expecting other people to understand and listen to what you say. It’s unnecessary to say you’re angry, it screams from the majority of words in these comment pages.
    Here is a chap who has been paying a bit of attention, maybe not perfect for your desires, but he’s a darn improvement over the “whack ‘em and f*** ‘em” brigade. He is trying to spread a message which is going to take ages to get through to some people.
    You lot are never going to get through to the hard-core misogynistic types, this guy might, a bit. It’s the best you can ask for.

  15. MikeT
    Posted December 30, 2008 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    Another quote: A TMSS is someone we imagine having great conversations with, laughing with, reveling in her success with, and getting drunk on her power with. Where Maxim girls are purposefully brainless, we look at a TMSS and say, she’s hot because she’s smart and beautiful. A female friend of mine has a t-shirt that says “The Show Is Upstairs.” These ten women proved that this year.
    Just saying.

  16. trylobyte
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 2:15 am | Permalink

    To be as concise as possible here… I am a feminist. I am a man. I am attracted to my parter. She is a feminist. She is female. She is both #1 and every number after #1. That’s a top ten (and a perfect 10!).
    Secondly, I don’t care to project castrative philosophy upon anyone. One thing about third wave understanding is that there’s not a universal umbrella for feminist thought, which leads me to the main complaint here…
    “What counts as having a castrating nature? If you get too ‘ballsy’ do you actually want to be a man so bad that you will (figuratively) castrate him and claim your own masculinity? I am going to assume he means feminists are castrating. I think this above description is more disparaging to men than anything else. Thank you for feeding into every myth about male sexuality and their inability to make a connection between what happens between their legs and between their ears.”
    As Samhita says, balls are all what makes a man! (sarcasm++) A man is much more than the measure of his girth and loins. A man is what a man believes he is, and exemplifies through his actions. This is true for a woman. This is regardless of his or her shape or size, missing or extra parts, what defines a person. What distinguishes a feminist from this author is the fact that he embellishes exploitation that feminism and progressive philosophy is meant to destroy. His piece is antithetical to progress and feminism.
    I myself don’t like the term “ballsy” or “having balls”. It’s not exclusive to a personality trait. Women exhibit boldness, courage, and risk just as men do, and it has nothing to do with the fact that one has a scrotum and the other does not. I do not feel threatened by Anne Coulter, nor do I think she stole my testical when she blabs. I am a man.
    I am a feminist.
    I am a testicular cancer survivor.

  17. Gypsy Lee
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Wait, I’ve heard this bullshit song and dance before!
    Be NICE “you lady’s” or the assholes aren’t ever going to listen to you! (of course, they never listen to the nice ones either, but just ignore that!) Be demur, be sweet, and never, ever, ever do or say anything that might upset the assholes or its your own fault sexism lives!
    Don’t ever expect men to check their privilege and become actual allies. no no! Just cater to them, and all will be well.
    With “friends” like these . . .

  18. CBlank
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    It’s unfortunate that he’s talking about some amazing women in all the wrong ways.

  19. lygodium
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    DUDE, his message is condescending and not at all progressive. It suggests that men should look at success and brains as one more thing to make women a cooler type of thing.
    Telling guys that fucking smart chicks can be rad, too and they make you look better (as long as the smart chicks aren’t too competitive or too smart or too successful because that’s just a threat to manhood) is 1. stupid and 2. offensive.
    He’s trying to change standards and change misogynists, eh? That’s like saying a piece which reads “hey fat chicks have bigger tits and that can be a major turn on! So don’t hate on the fattest girl in the room. Going home with her proves you’re open minded!” is a good thing because it helps deconstruct impossible beauty standards. All it does is change the way the game is played. It breeds a different type of sexism.

  20. MikeT
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    I would never call it “stealing my manhood”, but I have known both women and men whose power and intellect seemed entirely focussed on the diminishment of others. Ann Coulter is a great example of this, actually.

  21. lygodium
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Yeah Ann Coulter sucks. But to say that her sucktitude is based on her hypermasculinity is gross and wrong and sexist. That’s what this guy does. He says that women like Coulter are trying to be men and steal masculinity. That notion is stupid and it’s offensive.

  22. MikeT
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Yeah, but there is a stupid current in our culture that says that a woman’s success somehow undermines the man she is dating or married to. Toure’s saying that it reflects well on you if the woman you’re with is smart and successful.
    I agree that it’d be better if guys who only care about what “the room” thinks about his choice of dates instead only cared about their own hearts, but I don’t know how you teach that.

  23. MikeT
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    The whole masculine/feminine thing is tricky as hell to write about, because our ideas of masculinity are so tied up with culture, some of which is toxic, and some of which is not. And if I associate positive traits with either gender, am I saying the other lacks those traits? I don’t mean to, but it could be read that way.
    That’s why I personally choose not to use that shorthand in my writing when I can avoid it. Toure obviously chose differently.
    But I have been in relationships with relentlessly negative women, and the effect it had on me could be sloppily described at emasculation. I felt less strong, less willing to take risks, less myself. Of course, the same thing happens to women in bad relationships. It’s one reason women tend to benefit psychologically from divorce (on average, not across the board).
    My wife’s support, on the other hand, does make me feel more manly, although unpacking that one little word would take a multiplicity of blog posts.
    I don’t know why, but a lot of smart people seem to fall into the trap of negativity, and it took me a while when I was younger to realize that there were smart optimists as well as pessimists. Smart successful people tend to be the type that willing steps all over people’s feelings. I could see how someone who’s only ever dated that type would be turned off by it.
    Again, I don’t really think that’s a gender thing. There’s a recent cultural phenomenon of women discovering the joys of dating a slacker dude, for example (though this may have been an invention of Seth Rogen in order to get dates).
    I guess I’m just saying that I get where he’s coming from, even if I don’t like the language he’s using.

  24. lygodium
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    If he’d said negative people are a drag, that’s one thing. He he didn’t. Saying women who are too aggressive are trying to be men is sexist and wrong.
    Your point. The the one that you’re making is not the point that he is making. You’re talking about how mean people who step on others to get ahead are bad and have negative effects on people. Then you described women like that. You said how you lost sight of your personality. You didn’t say “I dated a girl who was trying to be a dude by being aggressive and assertive and it made me mad because I’m supposed to be the dude.”
    And don’t worry about feeling manly. Worry about feeling yourself. And obviously you got out of the bad situation where you lost yourself…. Also, don’t blame her. You let it happen, dude.

  25. lygodium
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    you teach that by not encouraging it…

  26. lygodium
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    that was to MikeT, btw. Apparently I didn’t hit “reply.”

  27. Danyell
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    The premise of the list started off so well: women who are sexy BECAUSE they’re also smart.
    Ok, good! So, how did you manage to screw it up so bad? Oh, I know. It was your semi-sexist language that canceled out any of these women’s accomplishments because of the constant need to reassert that liking strong, intelligent women doesn’t make you less of a man and that no matter how strong and smart they may be, you’re still probably more so just because you’re a man.
    You know, any guy that’s afraid of a woman “taking his manhood” clearly didn’t have such a strong hold of it in the first place yknowhaddamean? (I.E.- a strong man can be with a strong woman and not feel intimidated because he has a sturdy sense-of self and self-worth, so he can appreciate being challenged without assuming that anything great she does is intended to undermine him in some way. Tolerating your partner’s intellect and independence so long as it doesn’t get in your way, isn’t the same as respecting her!)

  28. MikeT
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Lygodium, I’m genuinely curious whether you’d say the same (“you let it happen”) to a woman in an abusive relationship. I don’t mean that as an attack, I really am curious, because it’s a pretty harsh sentiment. Admittedly, when I stayed with the woman who threw things, hit me, and berated me on a regular basis, it wasn’t because I was physically afraid of her, but few people who study abusive relationships would say fear is the only reason women stay.
    As it happens, you’re correct that regaining a strong sense of self is what gave me the strength to get out, and that, as Ms. Roosevelt said, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent, but “You let it happen, dude” is an awfully glib way of putting it.
    Is the point I’m making the same as the point Toure is making? I haven’t got a clue. But we’re all doing a fair amount of reading between the lines here. I just putting forward an alternate interpretation.

  29. mta
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    I think by “castrating nature” he means the sense that you are entitled to tell him what he does and does not find attractive.

  30. mta
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    I think by “castrating nature” he means the sense that you are entitled to tell him what he does and does not find attractive.

  31. everybodyever
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Okay, I’m not even going to get into everything that’s wrong with this comment, because obviously the whole damn thing is. It assumes men will not listen to women and thereby encourages segregation; it falsely claims men have no history of “taking equality in their stride,” which in fact many do; it lets the “I like smart – but not too smart – women for what they can do for me” pass for progressive; and, of course, it trots out the old angry feminist trope.
    This, however, really got me, perhaps because of its (incorrect) assumption that women are pleading with men for help and also because of how often the sentiment seems to crop up in comments here, even from self-professed feminists:
    It’s the best you can ask for.
    When did feminists ask for anything, and what was it? When did they proclaim their willingness to compromise with sexists? (I mean, as women, we compromise with sexists just to get through each day, but you know what I mean.)
    I seem to have missed the point at which NOW started taking out ads in Playboy and, hat in hand, begging otherwise sexist men to play along with equality — or at least date hot women who write books, too.
    The problem with this mentality is that it assumes that women still have to ask for anything from men in order to get anything done. Feminism isn’t asking for handouts from schmucks trolling feminist Web sites; it’s making its own progress and putting political pressure on government for feminist policymaking. Yet some men bristle when they think women, who certainly aren’t asking them for anything, are demanding too much.

  32. lygodium
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    right on.

  33. Deborah
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    I’d like to politely disagree with you on one point, Samhita.
    While I do agree that he picked women of conventional beauty and his lad-mag tone was crap and that it’s crap that you have to be pretty and non threatening but powerful according to him, I do disagree about these women not stepping out of the patriarchy.
    A lot of these women (while he may think otherwise), do create actions that step outside the box of the way a woman “should” act and I do think it’s unfair that just because he’s an idiot that their accomplishments (and some are self proclaimed feminists who walk the walk and talk the talk imo) get thrown under the bus as not stepping outside the patriarchy.

  34. rhowan
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    “the effect it had on me could be sloppily described at emasculation. I felt less strong, less willing to take risks, less myself.”
    I think its interesting that people use the word emasculate to describe that experience. What word would we use for a woman who was in your situation? Obviously not emasculate. I don’t even know if there’s an equivalent word for females.
    The closest I can get is de-feminize, and we don’t exactly associate that with feeling less strong, less willing to take risks.

  35. MikeT
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    If I weren’t specifically trying to draw a parallel, I would have used something gender neutral like “minimized” or “undermined”. Maybe “belittled” but two of those three have their own problematic imagery, and, one could argue, gender bias fossilized into them.
    Language is a hassle.

  36. lygodium
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

    Your metaphor doesn’t work.
    Saying my negative girlfriend made me feel less manly is different than saying my abusive boyfriend threw me down the stairs called me a whore and made me feel frightened, sick and weak. So responding to a man who said a negative woman made him feel emasculated is different than a responding to a woman who is being beaten or emotionally abused.
    You hadn’t described your relationship as abusive, you’d described it as dealing with a woman who is “relentlessly negative” and made you feel “emasculated.” That is what I responded to and that is the point I’m going to continue to make because it relates better to the article. Letting someone else’s negatively effect you to the point that you are stripped of your sense of self IS something you allow and blaming them isn’t productive. And it’s not right. It’s even more obnoxious when it comes to the Ann Coulter example. The assertion that a woman’s strength takes away a man’s strength is stupid. Pure and simple. Stupid.
    We’ve all been belittled and berated. I’ve had to be the only female and the only Jew in an office of misogynistic antisemitic assholes who all made derogatory comments the entire time. I started to feel down and wanted to cry… but then I realized that no I would not allow to do that to me, and I stood up for myself. If I had been beaten down and taken it, that wouldn’t be something I deserved it wouldn’t be my FAULT, but it would be something I was allowing to happen.
    Being a victim of domestic abuse, or threatening sexual/racial harassment is different. But as the daughter of a domestic abuse abuse victim who later worked in crisis centers, I was raised to believe that we need to take control of our lives and not allow others to diminish our worth.
    And I was thinking of Eleanor Roosevelt when I made my comment. I didn’t know that “glib” was your Achilles heal.

  37. Jessica
    Posted December 31, 2008 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Top ten lists as we know them are demeaning to women. I feel certain none of these women would say more than two words to that man.
    Also, I think there are two possible interpretations of his castration metaphor. He’s either saying: “I want a smart woman who will let me overpower her,” or “I want a smart woman who will not overpower me.” The first is misogyny at its finest; the second is a redundancy. No one, man or woman, wants or deserves to be overpowered in a relationship.
    Intellectual men can be chauvinists just as easily as anyone else can. It’s not about intellect it’s about respect. Maybe a “thinking” man wants “tits, brains and for women to stay in their place,” but a respectful and caring man wants a confident woman who is not afraid to go out and make her place, all the while respecting his right to do the same.

  38. FrumiousB
    Posted January 1, 2009 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Now that I have read the article, I’m going to take issue with the claim that “they are all women that don’t really … act outside of patriarchy.” What exactly do you mean by this? I’d argue that a large number of those women act outside of patriarchy. I’ll throw the caveat out that no one, really, can act completely outside of patriarchy since patriarchy is basically like the Matrix but with no pill. But there are women in leadership positions, women in politics, women who perform well outside of traditional femininity … I’m thinking Sarah Silverman in particular. Her material really pushes the boundaries of what women are supposed to talk about and how we are supposed to talk about it.
    I don’t know, Samhita, I think you crossed the line from critiquing Toure’s list of women and why he put them on it to critiquing the women in Toure’s list simply because they are in it. While I am not familiar with every woman on the list and can’t defend all of their feminist cred, you paint them with a pretty broad brush when you claim that they all conform to conventional standards of beauty and they all act within the patriarchy.

  39. FrumiousB
    Posted January 1, 2009 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Go M.I.A.! I never heard of her before, but I think she is my new feminist hero! I might throw pitchfork some love, too, for actually printing what she said.

  40. MikeT
    Posted January 1, 2009 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

    I appreciate your thoughtful reply. And you’re right, I didn’t identify it as an abusive relationship. Actually, I was thinking of a couple of different relationships along the spectrum from “negative reinforcement with no positive reinforcement” to “screaming, hitting, and throwing things.
    And your comment didn’t really bug me, as the relationship in question was twenty years ago and a relatively short one (considering that distance of 20 years, anyway).
    People are complicated creatures. On the one hand, we are as susceptible to classical conditioning as any animal. On the other, we can rise above it, to the most extraordinary heights, and what can help us do that is a refusal to bow down to attempts to manipulate us.
    As far as blame, it’s not a game I play in relationships. It’s not generally helpful. But I do look at my own behavior and try to figure out what I could have done differently. That’s served me much better.

  41. ladybeethoven
    Posted January 2, 2009 at 3:47 am | Permalink

    This is a double-edged sword for me, as a fairly brainy (not to brag), “geeky” girl who’s always been passed over by guys who want someone smart but not TOO smart, and with opinions but not “scary” (aka unique) ones. I went to a high school for honors students, and I always noticed how the girls who were the most popular with guys were the ones who got good grades but not the BEST grades, who didn’t usually share opinions in class and if they did, they were the opinion everyone had. The girls with 4.0s, who spoke their mind a lot, were generally avoided by guys no matter how nice they were, or even based on their physical attractiveness. For me, I didn’t have the best grades but I knew lots of trivia and always enjoyed debating issues, and noticed how guys avoided me and didn’t consider me “sexy” no matter how I acted otherwise. This happened to some of my friends as well – and I recall an article in some teen mag where even Natalie Portman complained that she sometimes had trouble finding guys (this was several years ago) because, when looking for celebs to debate, they preferred bimbos to multilingual Harvard grads.
    So for me, it’s especially irritating to see this reinforced in an article: the idea that men like a girl who’s smart simply for the sake of dating a “smart girl,” but aren’t prepared to deal with the fact that she’s going to challenge some of their opinions and assumptions and that she’s going to outshine him and therefore avoid dating the REALLY smart girls. I still have yet to find a guy who likes me for who I am and doesn’t expect me to be less so he can be more; it seems all the guys who are interested in me lose interest once they find out I have strong opinions. On another note, it’s amusing that he sees these women as being “smart but not as smart as me,” which I would find incredibly offensive and I’m sure they do too (especially since they all ARE smarter than him, at least based on what his article demonstrates). But it particularly bugged me what he said about Gov. Granholm – as a Michigander I can say that she IS a good governor despite the fact that people don’t like her, and the attitude he had there of “she fails at governing but hey she’s still hot!” really pissed me off.

  42. ladybeethoven
    Posted January 2, 2009 at 3:53 am | Permalink

    In the last sentence of the first paragraph I meant “celebs to date,” not “celebs to debate,” lol. I guess this issue just riles me up enough for me to ignore typos, since it just reminds me of all my dealings with guys who say they want girls with brains and opinions but don’t really.

  43. Zardoz
    Posted January 5, 2009 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

    “but I feel like they secretly want to steal my manhood”.
    Dumbass reminds me of Dr. Strangelove:
    “Woman sense my power and they seek the life essence. I do not avoid women, Mandrake, but I do deny them my essence.”

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