Man unsmart, women despairing

One of several women in a Daily Mail article about highly educated women who never get dates:

Becca recalls a factory worker she asked out in a bar while home for the holidays turning her down because she was “too clever” for him.

“We were having a great chat until he found out I was at university,” says Becca. “I insisted I wasn’t too clever for him and he agreed to go on a shopping trip together for our first date. But it was awful. I think he felt I should lead the conversation, so he barely spoke and I felt too awkward to say anything.”

Her longest relationship was with a car mechanic from Burnley last year. It lasted a few weeks.

“He thought I viewed myself as a big shot,” says Becca, who admits she found him “monosyllabic.”

“Our conversations were mundane. When I tried to start an informed discussion — about religion or terrorism, for example — he had no idea how to react. He didn’t understand that my degree meant I had a head full of information and when I asked him about his work all he could muster was that it had been “fine.”

I am, by a considerable margin, the least-educated person of this age you’re ever likely to see. (I started school in 1961, and gave it up some time in 1970.) Women with post-graduate degrees aren’t exactly drawn to me — why would they be? — but I don’t do badly at holding up my end of the conversation. At the very least, I’m polysyllabic. (There are, of course, good reasons why we shouldn’t be together, but those come later.)

Vox Day explains this in terms of attitude:

It’s not about about the intelligence, the cleverness, or the credentials, but rather, the attitude that tends to come with it. Men know perfectly well how to deal with educated women: they avoid them. They do so because they want an attractive and pleasant companion, not an argumentative opponent trained by her professors to regard every conversational interaction as a formal debate.

This, I suspect, may be a function of her major: someone with a degree in a STEM subject is, I believe, somewhat less likely to treat an encounter as a Teachable Moment.

But then, what do I know? I meet relatively few women. And it’s probably just as well, since I am subject to the occasional brain freeze, and if she’s beautiful it’s like a shot of liquid nitrogen. And it’s not like I haven’t contemplated this issue before:

I don’t think I’d be any more desirable (or, more precisely, any less undesirable) with a sheaf of postgraduate degrees — but frankly, what would a plumber have to say to an art historian? Or, for that matter, what would an art historian have to say to a plumber?

We’ll never know unless we can get them to talk to each other. And if, by some fluke, I am drawn to, say, a PhD in French literature, it’s at least 50 percent up to me to start the conversation.

(Via Daily Pundit.)


  1. fillyjonk »

    2 October 2017 · 6:08 pm

    I find a lot of people with Advanced Degrees fairly tiresome to talk to. Give me someone with something they’re passionately interested in that they don’t use to score Correctness Points with. And I seem to be fairly good at being friendly with folks from a range of walks of life.

    My dance card, so to speak, is still awfully empty. (I know several very nice single men, but alas, they all “bat for the other team,” as it is said)

  2. Dan T. »

    2 October 2017 · 7:19 pm

    Then a man of low degree stood by her side
    And promised her he’d take her for his bride

    (I guess a low degree is a 2-year associate degree from a community college, in contrast with a masters or PhD?)

  3. jsallison »

    2 October 2017 · 7:23 pm

    Have a niece who essentially graduated as a speechifying debater. I refer to her as the family stand-up philosopher. Conversations with her can be quite tiresome as she tries to educate the great unwashed. Fortunately I have my male privileged selective-hearing to fall back upon. ;) Huh? What? Sorry, high-frequency hearing loss and tinnitus, all I hear is ‘squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee….’ ;)

  4. McG »

    2 October 2017 · 7:34 pm

    “You know how cute you sound, talking to your elders like book learning is the only kind that matters? Guess there’s still a lot of learning ahead of you — you’re gonna live a long time.

  5. CGHill »

    2 October 2017 · 7:53 pm

    Dan: We’ll have to ask her, though by now she’s 41 and possibly resigned to her fate.

  6. Lynn »

    3 October 2017 · 6:59 am

    My first reaction is, men just want women to shut up and be pretty and they need to f***ing get over it, but there are some people who are constantly trying to educate everyone and they’re seriously annoying. But guys, don’t assume that every woman with an education is like that.

  7. ETat »

    3 October 2017 · 7:05 am

    Ah, finally a topic I’ve experience with.
    1st, it is not education in a sense of “years of study+diploma” that matters. It is an interesting life, intelligence sparkle in the eye, ability to change course if circumstance or principle or duty demands.
    2nd, there are certain men (of all levels of education) that hate what they call “attitude” in women. You gotta talk after you’re spoken to, act demure, giggle to every stupid joke, display admiration (no matter what quality – just say it out loud. Like “wow, you’re such a good photographer/ you work out every night/ you can boil water!”). If there is a conversation and you have an objection you have no inclination to surrender merely on show of force – this is it: you’re marked as “:argumentative” and “opinionated”. And if god forbid you find something funny about the guy and tease him, especially if you two are in company – you become Enemy #1. While he thinks it’s his natural right to mock and/or pity you in front of the people: your appearance, your supposed stupidity in things he feels superior (example: I don’t drive. discuss); your lack of or, conversely, too much familiarity with a skill, etc.
    So, few instances of this experience made me stay away as soon as I detect these cowardly bullies.
    3. Men’s aggression towards (worst case) or silent avoidance of (mild case) of intelligent and self-respecting women is a defense mechanism. They go into do-not-engage mode, because they are not up to the challenge. Do not have the intelligence or conversational skill. Most importantly, they can’t be on equal terms with a woman: it’s ether a “boss” or “defender”, not a “partner”.
    4. To think about it…why do we need men? Well, if you have masochistic tendencies – sure, go ahead, girl, get yourself abused. The rest of us..naaa.

  8. Tom Kilpatrick »

    3 October 2017 · 8:56 am

    An unattributed quote I’ll share: “Even rectal thermometers have degrees.”

  9. Holly H »

    3 October 2017 · 12:28 pm

    Yes, this reminds me of my days on One guy simply said “Liberals give me a headache”. I had to give him points for his simple candor.

  10. nightfly »

    4 October 2017 · 10:26 am

    Speaking for nobody but me – I like smarts; I hate preachy cynicism and condescension. It makes no odds in whom, with which anatomical arrangement, favoring either side. Such persons give the impression that they are the only human in the room, and the rest of us are just props for their solo act.

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