In my secondary-school days, I took one year of French, two years of Spanish, and three years of mostly ecclesiastical Latin. And I swear, I don’t understand women in any of them.
Archive for Table for One
What’s worse, we’re running out of deodorant:
Once we get into serious gene splicing, we’ll have entire dating services catering to the customer seeking extra limbs or other parts.
(With thanks to Erin Palette.)
In 2001, the NCAA introduced the play-in game to the Men’s Division I basketball tournament, in which two also-rans would compete for the 64th and last seed, 16th in whatever regional. Though there were now 65 teams involved, there was never an officially designated 65th seed, which is kind of a shame, since “65th seed” packs even more of a rhetorical wallop than “fifth wheel,” my accustomed location in the dating game.
And it’s not like it would hurt the NCAA tournament, which now involves 68 teams.
“I like big brains,” she said, “and I cannot lie.”
Sure you can’t, honey. Sure you can’t.
Every woman has a story, and this is (some of) Lynn’s:
I have never experienced anything like sexual harassment. It would be too easy, and not at all fair, for me to talk about my life and what kind of person I am in connection with this subject. Girls of my generation were taught that if you dress modestly and act like a lady men will treat you with respect and it seems that it worked for me but to make this assumption ignores the fact that other women have experienced sexual harassment in spite of following the rules. Personally, I think it’s comparable to the old saying about locks — that they only keep out honest people. Just as a thief will still break into your house or car in spite of locks, not even a burka will slow down a true scum bag.
Not all these bags, though, contain scum:
What doesn’t get talked about much is respect, or the lack of it. Sexual harassment is just much farther along the same spectrum of disrespect as condescension and mansplaining. (No, I’m not saying they’re equivalent. Pay attention.) Sexual harassment and sexual violence are more widespread than most people realized but the underlying disrespect is even more widespread. It would be nice to think that the light that is currently being shone on the problem of harassment will lead to bringing an end to it but unless something is done about disrespect for women little will change.
If you are a woman you have been condescended to and mansplained to, and if you challenge the man who does this he will invariably react with hurt and outrage. I firmly believe that the vast majority of men do not even realize that they are doing it. If you point it out to them they will righteously swear that they were “just talking” and go away convinced that “you just can’t talk to women” or some such dismissive thoughts.
Some guys just can’t talk to women, perhaps because they believe in their glands, if not necessarily their hearts, that any woman can be conquered with the right words. Were that the case, I’d have a waiting list attached to my dance card; what little attention I’ve attracted over the years is largely due to my curious ability to sound more interesting than I actually am, an ability which wanes with time.
That said, if you catch me being condescending it’s not because you’re a woman; it’s because I’m a jerk.
“I am strong; I am invincible; I am Woman.” — Helen Reddy, 1972.
That was then. This is embarrassing:
In this bright, shiny, barely driven-off-the-car-lot new century, women are seen by the professional feminist class as easily offended, fragile, put-upon delicate snowflakes, too fine, pure and noble to endure the rough and tumble of academia and the working world, and certainly too fragile to administer a withering rebuke when offended. Taking instant offense and cherishing grudges as if they were delicate orchids have been raised to a high art. This, if the women perpetuating this kind of thing stopped to consider the implications and possible outcome — will lead to nowhere good. (It likely already has led to nowhere good as far as the dating scene goes, for the girls who treat guys like dirt … and then complain there are no good men out there.) What intelligent person, male or female, will want to have anything beyond the bare minimum required to do with a hysterical, vengeful, grudge-nurturing woman in an academic or a business setting? Hire one of these women, or promote to a position of authority? Not if you are a sane business owner.
Perhaps I am an outlier here, but just about every female I know is eminently capable of delivering a withering rebuke on short notice. Trust me. I’ve been on the receiving end of several.
Bob is past eighty and runs a YouTube channel devoted to classic country and Western swing. I caught this anecdote from him on a message board:
When I was in Junior High School, 8th grade, I took a class in typing. I was not able to learn music (they gave me a cello!), so I wanted a manual skill. So I signed up.
When the other guys found out, they started teasing me for taking a girl’s class.
I told them, “You’re right. It’s just me and twenty girls all to myself.”
Their jaw dropped. They had not thought about that aspect.
Did he become a good typist after all that? Yes, he did.
In which we attempt to write an article about blowjobs without actually using the term “blowjob.” In fact, we managed to do it without even using the word “penis.”
[A]mid questions surrounding what the network knew about [Matt] Lauer’s conduct and when, NBC has reportedly instituted strict new rules governing workplace behavior.
Page Six reported on Monday that “NBC employees have been ordered to report any inappropriate relationships in the workplace — and if they fail to do so, they could be fired for covering up for colleagues,” according to a source.
The source also informed Page Six that “staffers have been told that if they find out about any affairs, romances, inappropriate relationships or behavior in the office, they have to report it to human resources, their superior or the company anti-harassment phone line.”
Why, it’s the Junior Anti-Sex League! Although Orwell probably didn’t imagine this:
To take it to the next level, the source further claimed NBC’s new rules stipulate employees wishing to hug one another “have to do a quick hug, then an immediate release, and step away to avoid body contact” and are forbidden from sharing taxis home or, oddly, “taking vegans to steakhouses.”
Who knew there’d been an upsurge in unsuspecting vegans being hauled off to their version of
Room 101 culinary hell?
A woman is entitled to want what she wants. Getting it, however, is an entirely different matter:
The ladies aint playing any more pic.twitter.com/r9w3bLRTu1
— Wee-Yum (@MrGee54) December 21, 2017
Predicted result: gross, sad, and unattractive, until the day she dies.
On second thought, is that really the answer?
If Alexander Fleming were found out to be [a] horrific man, we wouldn’t stop using penicillin. And if Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were nightmares, we’d still buy computers. That goes without saying. It’s only in the arts that people valiantly claim to refuse to ever partake in any creation. When it comes to film and television production, that boycott or sudden shut down can punish far more people than just the accused. It harms the entire cast and crew. But more to the point, boycotting art suggests it’s a convenience we can take or leave. People will make more and different art. It’s a dime a dozen.
Except it’s not.
Art provokes and enlightens and sparks further ideas. I have Picassos on my wall, Heidegger in my bookshelf, and Hitchcock online. These were not good men, but these were men capable of creating things that affect me, images and ideas that nobody else could possibly create quite the same way. Artists are one in a million, and destroying their work or denying their ability to create, just denies society access to one more chance to be woken up from our zoned out existence. Art is individual. We’re each affected by particular and specific ideas, which are often rare, revealing themselves far too infrequently to toss aside in hopes that they will be taken up later by someone with better behaviour.
Inasmuch as everything else you’re going to read about the late Ike Turner focuses on his seriously-dysfunctional relationship with Tina, I’m going to spend some time on the musical stuff, which starts in his late teens in the Mississippi delta with the founding of the Kings of Rhythm, who cut one of the contenders for First Rock and Roll Record in late 1950: “Rocket 88,” credited to Kings vocalist/sax player Jackie Brenston and his, um, “Delta Cats,” written by Turner, who played that amazingly-distorted guitar. Chess picked it up for national distribution and watched it become a jukebox staple.
And back in the day, we believed in a statute of limitations, or at least Tina Turner did:
After they split, her career eclipsed his, at least partly because he had some serious brushes with the law; the pair were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, but Ike, in jail on drug charges, did not attend the ceremony. (Tina, graciously, accepted for him.)
On the other hand, I’m not inclined to cut Roman Polanski any slack, but maybe that’s just me.
“It’s pretty funny when feminists stamp their feet and demand their safe spaces from guys whistling and catcalling them, because they’re not telling you what they really want. What they really want is not to be whistled at and catcalled by unattractive guys. In other words, they want a world where they can flirt and sexually banter with alpha male sports stars and multi-millionaires, but the lowly office geek who dares ask any of them out on a date will feel the full force of the law landing on them.”
Along those lines, Robert Stacy McCain recounts the saga of Matt Lauer:
His public image was as one of the “good guys,” a liberal in good standing, beloved by millions of adoring female viewers — and yet he was a serial harasser, a guy who had a “ape button” installed in his desk so he could lock his office door by remote control whenever he wanted to get jiggy with a female colleague. How many years did this go on, and why did no one at NBC complain? Because he was high status, that’s why. Whatever women might say about Lauer now that he’s been exposed, at the time all these shenanigans were going on, women at NBC were quite flattered to have Lauer make a move on them. A handsome multimillionaire TV star? You know the interns who fetched his coffee were bragging to their friends if Lauer ever flirted with them.
Amy Winehouse, rest her soul, knew this was coming:
Fearless to the last, she chose to bestow this advice on the half of the species that needed it more: her own.
Just what in the pluperfect hell have you guys been doing? And why, exactly, should I care?
Your mom will probably say something like I did:
If you ask me, you don’t do anything: you keep it to yourself and whichever hand is, um, handiest. No good can come of acting on it.
She do believe in spooks, she do, she do, she do, she do [warning: autostart video]:
A woman in Bristol, England, has sworn off sex with men after she alleged to have been more satisfied by ghosts. The decision comes after she apparently engaged in sexual relations with at least 20 different spiritual beings that have allowed her to continuously reach completion. The spirits’ presence was the most powerful in her house’s spare bedroom.
Amethyst Realm, who is a 27-year-old spiritual guidance counselor, appeared on ITV This Morning Thursday to detail her active sex life with ghosts. Realm claims that her first sexual encounter occurred 12 years ago after she moved into a new home with her then-fiancé. She soon felt the “energy” of a supernatural presence.
You have to figure that someone named “Amethyst Realm” is probably not going to be a man from the motor trade.
“It started as an energy, then became physical,” Realm told the show’s hosts. “There was pressure on my thighs and breath on my neck. I just always felt safe. I had sex with the ghost. You can feel it. It’s difficult to explain.”
“There was a weight and a weightlessness, a physical breath and stroking, and the energy as well,” Realm added.
Well, okay, if you say so.
Lucy Lui, Anna Nicole Smith and Dan Aykroyd are among a small list of other celebrities that have all claimed to have sexually engaged with ghosts.
Ray Stantz, Ghostbuster, is also a ghostboinker?
Cornerstone Brands Ltd evidently takes shaving seriously:
Inevitably, products like these are marketed largely toward men, which I have always found inexplicable: if anything, women might need them more, simply because they have a far greater area to cover and are (maybe) less likely to have a styptic pencil handy. Then again, lucky Lorna now has a Cornerstone of her own:
I always have issues with shavers as I get a lot of ingrown hairs. I use my Philips electric shaver for my legs, but it doesn’t work at giving me a clean shave elsewhere. I received this Cornerstone shaving kit and I love it! I know it’s for guys, but I find that the best razors are made for men anyway, so it’s fine.
Cornerstone is set up as a subscription service: you set the schedule, they ship you blades and chemicals. Not exactly unique, but I’m thinking it’s probably more rewarding than yelling at Alexa.
Eventually, sexual harassment will complete its inevitable transit from Cardinal Sin to Maybe Bad Form to the least significant, um, peccadillo. The reason for this? Political expediency, of course, with a D in parentheses:
[T]he only way to stay viable as a political party, according to the rules they themselves created and have so vigorously enforced lo these many years, is to somehow make this stuff “ok.” Always believe the woman, right? No means no, right? “Affirmative consent,” for pete’s sake? One way or another, that stuff is going right out the window with the audition tapes from the Weinstein Company.
My (trite, obvious) guess is that the Left will craft themselves a victim narrative. Here in the next few months, we’ll hear calls for a “national conversation” on the pitfalls of power.
“National conversation,” you may have noticed, translates to “lecture with mandatory attendance.”
Nobody’s saying Al Franken should’ve done that — of course he shouldn’t! — but the poor dear, stressed out from his heroic defense of the Constitution, fell victim to the most insidious disease of all, the disease of being a member of the ruling body of the most powerful nation on Earth. Who wouldn’t grab a sleeping woman’s hooters under those conditions? He needs therapy. Fortunately, our friends in academia have come up with a kind of therapy he can do in his off hours, or even on his own, in his Senate office. Stepping down would, in fact, be counterproductive, as he needs to learn to channel those urges — normal, red-blooded heterosexual urges, there’s nothing wrong with those! — into more “appropriate” behaviors, and the only way he’s going to learn how to do that effectively in the corridors of power is to remain in the corridors of power.
In 2032, I fully expect General Motors to resurrect Oldsmobile (d. 2004) just long enough to produce a Ted Kennedy Centenary Edition.
[insert “airbag” joke here]
I remember my days as a chem student, and I’m pretty sure nothing like this ever happened back then:
A Yukon, Oklahoma teacher has been arrested and accused of raping a student.
Hunter Day, 22, was arrested Nov. 15 in Canadian County on a complaint of second degree rape, possession of child pornography and soliciting sex from a minor using technology.
A very minor minor indeed. State law defines two flavors of second-degree rape, and the one that applies here is “consensual sex between a minor who is 14 or 15, and a defendant who is 18 or older.”
Apparently the previous version of the soliciting-sex statute didn’t include anything about smartphones.
The Canadian County Sheriff’s Office reports that they were contacted by the parents of a student who gave them the boy’s phone. On the phone, authorities found text messages and nude photographs. The boy’s parents were concerned that Day had already had sex with their son and that she was his chemistry teacher. The boy’s parents had learned that Day and him had planned to meet Wednesday for sex at her apartment.
Day was hired by Yukon Public Schools on an emergency certification at the beginning of the school year; she is currently under suspension. And she is probably still married.
There have been times when I felt like defending my half of the species against the ongoing calumny by the other half. And then, invariably, something like this comes along:
I went to get my screen fixed yesterday and the guy who fixed my screen saved his number in my phone, added me on Snapchat and IG, now my phone is going way slower than before
— T. Marie (@10a_marie) November 14, 2017
She did get some useful advice from the field:
Document the changes, take it to the shop manager if you're going to go that direction.
After you have the evidence saved, factory reset the phone and change passwords for apple/gmail (depending on phone) and set up 2 factor authentication if you can.
— thorny on main🌹 (@afterwits) November 14, 2017
I would definitely take that to the shop manager. It’s highly unlikely that the creep has only done this once.
Addendum: Progress has been made:
With @10a_marie’s permission I’d like to thank @B1N2H3X of @MagnetForensics for her advice, and @Lookout for quickly responding to my request for physical forensic assistance. Her iPhone is now wiped, on the latest iOS 11.1.1, passwords changed. She’s safe moving forward.
— SwiftOnSecurity is not a parody (@SwiftOnSecurity) November 15, 2017
There are reasons to read Twitter besides giving your gorge a rise.
With all the attention being focused on sexual harassment committed by show-biz types, we’re not hearing so much about Congressmen In Trouble these days. There is, of course, a good reason for that.
Quinn Cummings, then eleven, was nominated for an Academy Award for her supporting role in The Goodbye Girl. Now fifty, she remembers the studio cads of yesterday, and she’ll tell you that things have hardly changed:
For decades, these men tore through women with perverse immunity, proffering carnal quid pro quo, threatening women’s livelihoods or, in the case of Bill Cosby, allegedly straight-up rendering them unconscious before taking advantage of them.
But the whispers don’t stop with these obvious, public examples. The same women who spoke among themselves about Harvey [Weinstein], about Terry [Richardson], also speak about well-known actors who are not quite the loving family men their publicists would have you believe. Instead of a bathrobe, it’s a private meeting. Instead of a clumsy grope, it’s a “helpful” lingering brush of your breast. Instead of a disgusting proposition, it’s a greasy little implication that a few minutes together could lead to something better down the road.
This is no longer black and white. It’s gray. And people dont like gray, especially when it comes to sexual assault, which they really don’t want to be thinking about at all. They like their sexual assault clear, recognizable, and not committed by men who are America’s marital hall pass. Should these stories come out, the public’s response to the victims might not be nearly as supportive. But the fact remains, you can like someone very much and they can still be capable of terrible things. Unless Hollywood reconciles itself to the fact that not all sex criminals look like ogres, the question we should ask ourselves is what solidarity hashtag we’ll be using a year from now when nothing has changed.
And you should also follow her on Twitter, where she has one of the tartest tongues around.
And honestly, I’d be surprised if it lasts that long:
Man Enough is described as a weekly dinner party that brings together familiar faces from Hollywood to have deep (and sometimes uncomfortable) conversations about what it means to be a man today. The show aims to be a provocative and heartfelt look into the minds [of] men, as they explore their insecurities, fears and dreams. The initial run will consist of eight 25-minute episodes. [Justin] Baldoni created the series and will exec produce with Ahmed Musiol, Sam Baldoni and Farhoud Meybodi.
The idea for the series stemmed from Baldoni’s own identity issues and difficulties with male stereotypes in his teens and 20s. (The Jane the Virgin star is also expecting his second child, a boy, with wife Emily Baldoni.)
“We have all the shows in the world that empower women to talk about these things — which they should exist by the way because, let’s be honest, women deserve a safe space to have these conversations — but men don’t talk,” he says. “Even the idea of this show made men scoff, like, ‘Oh, who’s going to watch men talking to each other?’ That’s how rare this is. This is not The View for men. This is a conversation show. This is a show where men create a comfortable space for each other to go deep and have a conversation and we hope that this stuff happens in real life, too.”
Okay, I’ll bite: who’s going to watch men talking to each other? A real-life televised conversation among men wouldn’t last long enough to air two 30-second commercials. (Generally, one would be for a trial lawyer, the second for an arthritis drug.) This is a Henrietta Higgins premise: “Why can’t a man be more like a woman?” While we’re at it, how come wombats can’t fly? And as long as we’re asking dumb questions, why can’t all trans women look like Janet Mock? Nobody is going to watch this, especially not Kim du Toit:
[M]en don’t talk about their feelings, body image or dating relationships. We already have a comfortable space; it’s called a pub or bar, and it’s there where we discuss our problems: the broken transmission on the truck, the dickhead boss, why [insert sports team of choice] sucks so badly this season, why we did badly in [insert relevant competition] last week, and why we have to call off the annual fishing trip (because the doctor says that the wife’s going to have the baby prematurely, or some such bullshit).
Discussion of dating relationships is of the “So, did you score last night?” variety, followed by a sympathetic shake of the head if negative, or a high-five if positive. If we talk about “body image” it’s of the “The Doc says I need to do something about this gut or I’m gonna die soon” type. That’s it.
Okay, maybe five weeks.
I do what I can to avoid them these days, but while I may not be interested in emoji, emoji are apparently interested in me:
There’s an implicit gender bias lurking in your emoji keyboard which you might not have even noticed.
There are currently three women’s shoe emoji, but all three of them have high heels. One Silicon Valley-based woman wants to change this. Independent arts publicist Floriane Hutchinson launched the #IWearFlats campaign to add a women’s flat shoe emoji to our keyboards. Her proposal [pdf] is currently up for discussion at the Unicode Consortium Emoji Subcommittee.
There are, in fact, five shoe emoji:
Should this proposal be approved by the powers that be, we should see something resembling a ballet flat by this time next year.
A retired professional ballroom dancer in Tennessee set a world record by running an entire marathon in high heels.
Irene Sewell shared photos of herself following the Guinness World Record-breaking performance as she managed to complete the 26.2-mile race in the high-heeled shoes.
“Well world, I DID IT. I’m still in shock, but it really happened,” she wrote this week. “I ran a marathon today in high heels and set a Guinness World Record with two minutes to spare!”
Want to guess which shoe emoji she used?
Just this week our ground floor office was invaded by a mouse. Being immersed in porting one change at a time over the last two months from one application to another application, a process that is many times more tedious than the dreaded documentation, I was gradually made aware of the rodent incursion by way of the loudness of the human reactions, over the better part of an hour. From the dudes, I noticed … the manly, manly, green-camo-wearing, boot-camp-surviving, returned-from-deployment, maybe-killed-somebody dudes … they were, as we say in military and military-contractor parlance, fucking loud.
I couldn’t help but notice the chicks in our office were as “manly” as you would care to expect. They just kept eyes down, photocopying their invoices or whatever like it was any other day. The chatter came from the Y-chromosome set. Now it’s true that the greatest portion of this was volume-setting-eleven observations that some other dude, let it be known, is afraid of mice. That, and banging on the locked office cubicle into which the illegal alien ensconced itself to scare it back out again. Perhaps this is in contrast to the noise the females would be making, if they made the noise, but see … there is the sticky wicket. I wouldn’t know. The chicks, contrary to the cartoon stereotype, were quiet about it. People call me sexist sometimes. With justification, they & some others would say. But, I do notice these things, and give credit where it’s due. If the image of the screeching woman perched atop a chair yelling her fool head off was ever based on reality in generations past — something has changed.
Stipulating that mice are mostly unchanged from time immemorial, we are left with two possible conclusions here: either the women have toughened up a great deal from the days of the standing-on-a-chair stereotype, or the men have been irretrievably wussified. I tend to think that the problem more likely lies with the guys who worry that behaving guyishly will render their dance cards resistant to marking. Little do they know that their desired women, by and large, don’t care, and Colonel Pickering, for his part, is remaining discreetly silent.
This is as true of selling romance novels as it is of trying to vend latex paint or breakfast cereal. All I can say is that this piece, unsurprisingly, got my attention:
“May I see a proper blurb, please?” Of course you may:
When a bizarre child custody stipulation pits popular sports blogger Gracie Gable against football superstar Jake Malone, losing the battle for her twin nieces isn’t the only thing Gracie has to worry about. Forced to live for three months under the same roof as the sexy tight end, will she fall prey to his flirtatious pursuit? Or worse, will the skeletons in her closet destroy her chance for the love and family she so desperately wants?
Neglected by his parents as a boy, Jake doesn’t believe in happily ever after. Yet living with Gracie and the twins might be enough to change his mind — and his womanizing ways. But when the press unearths a scandal from Gracie’s past, will he lose the one woman he was ready to open his heart to?
Two more books in the series; two more seemingly doomed couples, together at last. This is how it’s done, I suppose.
It looked to me like the first couple of women coming out against Cosby were likely genuine, but a lot of the later ones were obvious trash looking to score a quick buck by making claims that Cosby at that point could not credibly deny.
I don’t think we’ve reached the point where we’re starting to see trash making false claims about Weinstein. I have little doubt that will occur.
I think the allegations against Weinstein are both more serious and more credible than those made against Cosby. I’d still assign a very low but nonzero probability to the hypothesis that Cosby was entirely framed. I don’t believe that for a second about Weinstein.
Part of the reason for that evaluation is my read on both men. Cosby seemed to want pretty normal things, sexually speaking. Weinstein, on the other hand, seems to be a a sick, paraphilic creep who got off as much or more on humiliating and disgusting women as he did on having them service him.
I look at Cosby and I see a man who had enough decency in him that if and when he went over the line with women he was probably ashamed about it. Weinstein, on the other hand, ugh. He’s ugly all the way down. Not only is his remorse obviously fake, he doesn’t really seem to care that the fakery is obvious. He’s going through a cynical parody of contrition because he can’t imagine that anyone could actually mean it.
How about those other horndogs in the news?
This morning I was reading some tell-all about Hugh Hefner’s sex life in the comments on Ann Althouse’s blog. I gotta say that compared to Weinstein he seems to have been almost innocent and charming. He wanted to fuck lots of beautiful women, he recruited them without pretense, and he kept his compensation promises. No rape or roofies for him.
Bill Clinton, on the other hand … well, I won’t say he was as bad as Weinstein, but he’s always manifested a kind of sociopathic indifference to the women he used — and of course, there were the credible rape accusations. Like Weinstein without the paraphilia. Or at least without more than a relatively small trace of it.
“Men and women, women and men. It will never work.” — Erica Jong
I’m not sure Jack Handey is on the right track with this Deep Thought:
Just because swans mate for life, I don’t think it’s that big a deal. First of all, if you’re a swan, you’re probably not going to find a swan that looks much better than the one you’ve got, so why not mate for life?
I can’t speak for Jack, but I find the concept deeply satisfying:
And I suspect they do too.
Permit me to note, in regard to Weinstein’s defense that he “came of age in the 60’s and 70’s,” that he seems to have made a made a mistake common among high-profile sexual harassers, i.e., he stayed in the game too long. Back when Weinstein was a young man promoting rock concerts in the 1970s, yeah, “all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different.” There were basically no rules at all in the world of rock music back then, nor were there any such rules in Hollywood when Weinstein started making movies. But the main problem is that Harvey Weinstein kept chasing skirts when he was in his 40s and 50s, and even as recently as 2015, he was reportedly still at it.
Guys, don’t do this. At age 45 or 50, you may want to believe you’ve still got it, but you don’t. No matter how much success you had with the ladies when you were 20 or 25, you’re going to look ridiculous if you’re still trying to play the same game when you reach your 40s.
I’m pretty sure I didn’t have it then; I obviously don’t have it now.
What I really want to hear, though, is the tale of someone ravaged by both Weinstein and Roger Ailes, assuming such a person exists. Just to compare notes, of course.
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.)
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.)
I’ve heard some muttering along these lines myself:
I know, the more men’s-rights inclined types have complained that “why do all girls in shows have to be smart and tough, now?” Well, my bros, it’s because in LIFE you have to be smart and tough to survive, both for boys and girls, but ESPECIALLY if you’re a girl a lot of the time, and arguably, that is partly something you bros have wrought in the world. So there. You don’t like that we’re suspicious of your motives? Stop doing stuff that makes us suspicious of your motives, and teach your brothers to be the same way.
It’s an ongoing process. In 1961, Marvel Comics introduced the Fantastic Four, a quartet of unwilling superheroes who’d had superpowers thrust upon them. The three guys all were capable of kicking butt should some supervillain or Yancy Streeter give them any problems. Then there was Sue Storm:
Sue had essentially two functions: stand there and look cute, or stand there and look like empty space. This worked for a while, but the lack of character development dragged down the series. Gradually Marvel built up her powers and her backstory, but it was 1981 — specifically, issue #232 — when John Byrne took over the title and realigned everything. What most people noticed was that the Thing had gotten his own magazine; but Byrne’s version of Sue was arguably the most powerful member of the troupe, and she has remained so ever since.