Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Smart women

I used to work with a software engineer who was on the ball. When she got an assignment, she saw it to completion and did a wonderful job at it. She was also a fascinating person. She could talk pop culture with the best of them and had an interesting opinion on just about every subject out there.

Her problem, she was a smart young and single woman.

"Ramona" used to work at another tech firm and when guys asked Ramona what she did there, she lied and told them she was the receptionist.

I asked Ramona why she did this and she said that smart women intimidate guys. I said "huh? You got to be kidding, right?"

She said no, they did. It was a big turn-off to guys to be as smart or smarter than they were. I told her I found intelligence in a woman sexy and she replied that I was an exception and most guys were turned off by smart women.

All right, I'll take her word for it. Having not been in her shoes, I couldn't really judge her situation. However, I do see it as bizarre. I pondered it and thought that it was a bad move to downplay her intelligence, for she'd only intimidate guys with low self-worth, right? Well, I brought that back to her and she said, no, it intimidates most guys, and why narrow her selection?

Besides, if she meets a guy that she really likes and they're starting to dig each other, she could tell him the truth and he'd accept it, having gotten past that initial hurdle. That was as far as we got on that conversation, and trying to see things her way, I could accept that.

Looking back before Mrs. ZS, I knew four uber-smart girls that there could have been a bond with. One was a cutie, but as clingie as they come, i.e., she wanted the big C (commitment) after the first date. The second was also a cutie, but a social retard. The third I struck out with (just don't tell anyone I've ever struck out). And the fourth was so religious she'd only date within her denomination. I can respect that, but I'll never change my denomination for anyone.

So, women out there, I know your writing abilities. I know that there are some seriously intelligent women who read this blog. Did you ever have to downplay your intelligence to get dates? I'm thinking it's a way to weed out insecure guys but Ramona strongly argues it's a flaw in the male psyche.

And men, are you intimidated by smart women? Yeah, I know, this will get you in trouble, but I've left anonymous posting on.

I'd love to hear it, because frankly, I'm curious.

38 Comments:

Blogger dave said...

well zombie, i like smart girls. but it has to be the right kind of smart. the kind of smart that drives me crazy (in a bad way) is the whole philisophical "i question everything because i feel like it" smart. most of those types of girls have a brain, but they use it for the wrong thing.

so am i intimidated by smart women? nope. i'm more intimidated by a dumb woman with a gun and a hankering to squabble.

hey, when you gonna hook a brotha up with some adobo leftovers? sheesh.

8/31/2005 2:37 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Dave - hey, when you gonna hook a brotha up with some adobo leftovers? sheesh.

When this brotha staples a note to his forehead to remember to bring the leftovers. :p

8/31/2005 2:43 PM  
Blogger tshsmom said...

She's right ZS.
In high school I was pretty well dateless. Girls that excelled in classes like Physics, Chemistry and Trig were to ridicule, not date. The other girls in my classes had the same problem, and no, we weren't dogs.
I dumbed myself down ONCE, for a guy. I was miserable. The rest of my single life I spent my time looking for a man that was as smart or smarter than I was. I would have driven a lesser man INSANE.
There are men out there who value an intelligent woman, but they're few and far between. Maybe it's different now, but 30 years ago it was hard to find a man like my husband(and, of course, you).

8/31/2005 2:57 PM  
Blogger Thomcat said...

i personally think that a smart woman is sexy. but smart is a mixture of book smart and street smart ... she can be smart, but humble enough to ask for help when needed. if she sets her partner up for success, then she rocks ... basically, a know-it-all is , of course, a turn off. i'll stop babbling now ... ty

8/31/2005 3:17 PM  
Blogger Dawner said...

Hey Hey do the zombie stomp. (That is Ozzy lyrics for the musically challenged) :) Sorry I haven't been around. Did ya miss me? I missed everybody. Loved your post. It is so true, I have done the exact same thing. I have meet so many men that are truly intimidated by a smart, successful woman. I was in a relationship with a man that I thought was very smart, he had a good job and made a reasonable living for himself yet we split up because he said I deserved more and I made more money at my job and he couldn't deal with that. He believed that the man should provide more of the income that stabilizes the family. I didn't know what to think, yet I think there are a lot of men in the world that think this way. He never used my intelligents against me but in a way he was because that is how I got that job. Sorry for not being around zombie, I'm trying to work on that. That was an excellent post.

8/31/2005 3:41 PM  
Anonymous jesse said...

Dawner - Did you mean your 'intelligence'?

8/31/2005 3:48 PM  
Blogger sygyzy said...

Dawner - I am glad your man never used your intelligents against you.

8/31/2005 3:57 PM  
Blogger Notta Wallflower said...

Even though I agree with Ramona, I've never pretended not to be smart. As a result, I typically attract guys who are... hmm... shall we say intellectual (to put it nicely). That was a problem when I was younger because, in my 20's, I was attracted to the "bad boys". Now that I'm in my 30's, it works out just fine because I'm no longer attracted to the assholes of the world and also, because honest-to-goodness real men who are my age seem to respect that not only am I smart, but self sufficient.

Also, like TSHS, I was dateless in high school. The only guys who wanted anything to do with me were the ones who wanted to cheat off my homework or tests.

8/31/2005 4:01 PM  
Blogger sygyzy said...

I like smart girls too. But like Dve said, it has to be the right kind of smart. You know which are the annoying ones? The ones that feel a need to show off their vast vocabulary skills. They can't just say they are going out, they have to say they are going on an excursion. It's not a car, it's a motor vehicle with an internal-combustion engine.

But you know what's funny? When they think their vocab rocks but it actually sucks, along with their spelling. It's like a poser at a Country Club, everyone spots them the moment they get in the door. If you had just come in dressed in jeans and a t-shirt, nobody would care. But your act makes you look like a fool.

8/31/2005 4:03 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Tshsmom - Well, maybe I'm weird but I always found the shy, smart, bookwork types sexy. Maybe because they're so different from me. By the way, it's years later and "Ramona" did end marrying a guy who's smarter than she is. Nice guy too. She was the complete package - cool, smart, driven, athletic, and sexy. She did have a high salary which also intimidates a lot of guys.

Thom - I hate know-it-alls, especially when they try to rub it in. Everyone's ignorant about something and there's no need for that, so I agree, it's a huge turn-off. And both genders benefit by admitting they need to know more about something they know little about.

Dawner - Was worried about you. You've been gone for weeks, almost as long as Vest.

Major bummer about the guy thinking you need "a better guy." Actually, I admit that I think it's the male's job to be responsible for the bills, but the thing is, I'd see it as a bonus if she made more money than I did so I could help her invest that money. That's where my strength has always been, investing money, even though I've never had a decent salary to work with.

Jesse - yeah, I bet she was typing fast.

Oh, don't worry about offending me with your off color jokes (from last night). I love humor, no matter how wrong it is. As you may know, I've declared war on political correctness because it's suppressing everything human about us.

8/31/2005 4:08 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

She is right... smart women intimidate many men. I find that those men already buy into typical gender-roles already. So that could be it - women are supposed to be cute, and pretty and nothing else. It challenges their manhood I guess. I've been lucky enough to have most of my friends not be intimidated by smart women, but yes, in general most of the meatheads in the world want a pretty ditz with big tits...

8/31/2005 4:24 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I meant to add: Men who are secure with themselves don't usually have a problem...

8/31/2005 4:24 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Sygyzy - Yeah, people who try to impress usually stand out in the wrong way. And the big vocab thing, they did a great job at making fun of those pseudo-sophisticates in Sin City, remember?

The whole key to language is communication. Having a large vocabulary gives you a chance to express yourself better. Pretending to have a large vocabulary gives you more opportunities to put your foot in your mouth.

Notta - The whole helpless female thing never worked for me. I've always seen those girls as too much work. Self-sufficient is sexy, as long as they're not self-sufficient and cold. Even meathead zombieslayers need hugs every once in awhile.

Laura - Well if I were single, I'll definitely take a pretty ditz with big tits. ;)

However, for a long-term relationship, they'd drive me nuts.

I'm actually a very traditional guy, and I follow the stereotypical role for a male. The thing is, society has changed and we have to adapt with it. I have to take on more than just that role at times and my wife had to take on more than just the typical female role at times too.

I think the reason why I find intelligence sexy in women is subconsciously, I was looking for an ideal woman to breed with. I have athleticism in my genes but what good is that with a low I.Q.? With society as complex as it is, you need both healthiness and brains to make it. And from the zombie movies, we all see what happens to people who do stupid things.

8/31/2005 4:33 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

I dated a,... let's just call her, "not-a-genius."

Conversation was like talking to a brick. Not even a brick wall. Just a brick.

OK, she was physically beautiful, but after two dates, her beauty turned into ... blah.

Back in school, smart girls weren't really into me, because,... well, they're smart.

8/31/2005 5:26 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Oh, and my girlfriend now,... she's really smart, and good looking.

She just happens to be into dudes of marginal intelligence and mediocre looks.

Lucky me!

8/31/2005 5:28 PM  
Blogger Mybrid said...

I've been told I'm smart, so I'm writing my answer only on the assumption that they weren't lying.

I've never had to dumb down, simply because I found out that most men I met admired my smarts and loved me for my brains (well, it wasn't looks, that's for sure).

But there's a lot to be said about attitude. I don't mean to be offensive, but it sounds like your friend is a bit of a stuck-up if she thinks she's too smart for most men. Sounds more like she's just not interested in finding a mate or maybe not even interested in men.

There are plenty smart men out there. But if you keep thinking you're smarter than all of them, then maybe you're not so smart after all?

8/31/2005 6:13 PM  
Blogger Truman said...

I think smart girls rule, hell, my girlfriend is as smart as a whip, but I am intimidated by them. Chiefly because it reminds me of how "home schooled" I am. My girl knows all kinds of crap about books and music and comedians and pretty much everything under the sun. It makes me feel lame and like I have nothing to offer sometimes. I wouldn't date a stupid chick to make myself feel better though. I'd rather be uneasy sometimes and have a sweet date to show off than look smart and be laughed at because my girlfriend's a retard.

8/31/2005 6:19 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Truman - Thanks for your honesty. It's much appreciated. Looking back, I have been intimidated by some smart girls that I was attracted to, but not because they were smart, but because they were competitive about it. I don't see life as an "I'm smarter than you exercise" like they did so maybe it wasn't intimidation on my part, but more annoyance.

Mybrid - She was very "East Coast" where they said what was on their mind, damn the consequences. So now that I'm on the West Coast, she was kind of seen as stuck-up here but she swears she's not stuck up, but just saying things as they are.

Joe - Conversation was like talking to a brick. Not even a brick wall. Just a brick.

OK, she was physically beautiful, but after two dates, her beauty turned into ... blah.


You get sexy pics? Those type are good for something. ;)

8/31/2005 7:34 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

Well, I'm not sure if you think I'm one of the "smart women", but I've always played the "dumb blonde" and you wouldn't believe the shit I can get away with doing that. Plus, i can "scope" people out when they really think I don't have a clue. And yes, most men are clueless....They see big boobs and blonde hair and they lose all focus... shit happens.

8/31/2005 8:04 PM  
Blogger The Zombie Lama said...

I like women with BIG FAT BRAINS.... Mmmm....

Um, I mean....

Personally, I think smart women are pretty sexy. As for the ones that "play it down", I totally disagree with that attitude. For one thing, it's totally dishonest.

" if she meets a guy that she really likes and they're starting to dig each other, she could tell him the truth and he'd accept it"


WRONG! Sorry, I just formed every opinion I have of you on a LIE. Relationship over.

Besides, nobody should ever have to pretend they are something they aren't for another persons approval. If that person makes you feel like you should have to do that, then that person is not even worth your time.

8/31/2005 8:44 PM  
Blogger Shawn said...

What an awesome question... I've never known any smart girls that downplayed their intelligence. Maybe because I've always liked intelligence and found it terribly attractive I've usually found myself around intelligent people - men and women.

I do agree that a lot of men are intimidated by intelligent, strong women. Those same guys tend to be intimidated by intelligent men also, but it manifests itself differently.

I've also noticed that it's not just men. Many women don't like intelligent women, especially if they're attractive too. In fact, the women are usually more bitchy to each other than most men ever would be.

Why are people so insecure?

8/31/2005 9:50 PM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

Mel - They see big boobs and blonde hair and they lose all focus

Well as you know from Rat's blog, I'm one of those men. :p

ZL - Wow, you really stuck it to her.

Shawn - Not one? I've actually known a few. I just used "Ramona" as an example.

8/31/2005 9:57 PM  
Blogger Aiva said...

Whoa, I appear to be coming in on the end of this, but...

In my earlier dating years (never dated in high school, because I was a book nerd who took Calculus and Physics, like other women in here), I always played dumb because it attracted guys. After a while, I found out, if they didnt like me because I was smart, then I was wasting time for both of us. I mean, if he cant accept that, then what else can he not accept?

Of course, I'm currently single, but I dont think I should hide any aspect of my personality from my partner. After all, if I'm doing that, am I not lying to both of us?

8/31/2005 10:33 PM  
Blogger tenxinchoden said...

i'll agree with Dave...

i would like to say am smart and all that.... but am just another Dumb girl!

8/31/2005 11:28 PM  
Blogger tenxinchoden said...

i'll agree with Dave...

i would like to say am smart and all that.... but am just another Dumb girl!

8/31/2005 11:28 PM  
Blogger tenxinchoden said...

Gosh! i've said the same thing twice....

see what i mean...lol

8/31/2005 11:33 PM  
Blogger tenxinchoden said...

Gosh! i've said the same thing twice....

see what i mean...lol

8/31/2005 11:33 PM  
Blogger Miranda said...

Ramona was indeed smart ;).
There are smart women, and women
who have to let you know how smart they are. Men are the same way, although I find it easier to excuse them. Probably because I don't see my own flaws in men as much.

9/01/2005 12:33 AM  
Blogger Slade said...

I have NEVER, nor will I ever, downplayed my intelligence...

But I will confess that I have a huge lack of self-esteem when it comes to my intelligence. I don't know if this is true for a lot of women or if I'm just an oddball...I've ALWAYS wanted to "feel" smart. I mean, I have tons of stuff to show for my intelligence, but I still don't think I'm as smart as others say I am...not trying to be funny, but it is kina like Anerexia--no matter how often people tell you that you are skinny (intelligent) you still believe that you are fat (stupid).

Any guy that is intimidated by a smart woman needs to get over himself! Guys should be begging for smart women!

9/01/2005 3:39 AM  
Blogger Sadie Lou said...

I had two problems:
I'm 6 feet tall, so only tall guys would date me. There were a few exceptions; (my husband didn't mind that I was taller than him, he still doesn't. He encourages me to wear my heels too.)
I was also smart and all my teachers loved me and I loved my teachers so I was somewhat intimadating in the way that I always had one of the top 5 grades in the class and that's when teachers were big on grading on the curve.
I had one guy offer me 20 dollars if I would get less than a B on the next test.
I respectfully declined and ended up with a perfect score on that one.
heh heh

9/01/2005 6:49 AM  
Blogger jenbeauty said...

I don't know if I have ever done this. I sometimes would be a chameleon with my personality. Let some traits show and hold others back until I got to know someone better.

I know I have tried to play "dumb" before but is just does not work for me. I have too many opinions, and some of those are actual informed ones!

9/01/2005 7:26 AM  
Blogger Raemius said...

My wife is smart, very intelligent actually. Smart women are the best...

There are three types of women.

Smart ones - the best

Dumb ones - ok

Dumb ones that think they're smart - the worst.

9/01/2005 7:32 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

I married a smart woman, and had some quick flings with quite a few dumb ones. Need I say more?

9/01/2005 8:33 AM  
Blogger hutytito said...

I would never go out with a guy who thought intelligent women were a turn-off. They're being that insecure would be a turn-off for me.

9/01/2005 9:17 AM  
Blogger The Zombieslayer said...

SG - They're being that insecure would be a turn-off for me.

Well said.

Scott - I think we can read between the lines there. ;)

Raemius - Agreed.

Jenbeauty - That's why I wouldn't have lasted a second in Nazi Germany. I can't keep my mouth shut.

Sadie - Ha ha. That's awesome about the curve thing.

At 6' tall, the average American male is 5'9.6" so you got over two inches on the average guy. Plus every guy I know who says they're 6' tall are actually 5'10". Men lie about their height as much as women lie about their weight. ;)

Slade - That's one thing I don't understand about women. Ramona sometimes thought she couldn't handle a project that was easily in her grasp. Even though she knew she was smart, she still didn't think she was as smart as she really was.

My cousin in Santa Barbara is the same way. Plenty smart, but full of self doubt, always underestimating her smarts. Plus, she plays piano better than I yet she thinks I'm better.

Miranda - As Sygyzy has pointed out, people with things to prove...
No, she was actually quite smart, and even was unsure of herself when she shouldn't have been. This was more a confession to me rather than a bragging.

TC - You're not dumb.

Aiva - if they didnt like me because I was smart, then I was wasting time for both of us.

That was my argument, but she countered that once a guy fell for her, she could be more honest. Who knows? Maybe she was lonely, which is weird because half the guys in the department had a crush on her.

9/01/2005 9:18 AM  
Blogger Sagepaper said...

I have a way of progressively gauging people early in the relationship, regardless of who the other person is, or what the relationship is to become. Most smart people do this. You start-off average. If that doesn't work, dumb way down or be beaten-up by an idiot.

If average works, turn it up a notch. The other person is likely to be doing the same thing. Eventually, you (or the other person) will turn it up a notch and lose the other one. Explore that boundary zone; you might have simply stumbled across a small weakness.

Once you know the other person's level, stop. If they have found your level first, they will soon stop. If that happens, encourage them to be themselves; you can benefit from what they have to say.

My husband and I each think the other is smarter. We have a pretty good map of each other's strengths and weaknesses. It would be too tough to call. Are strengths and weaknesses are not the same (which makes for a great team).

I like to play down my hand some with anyone. It didn't matter for dating. With others, though, I love to be underestimated. I am seldom combative, but when I am, I want to make sure I have already won when the show-down happens. I can best ensure that outcome by being underestimated.

Should guys feel threatened by me? I look for certain strengths of character first and foremost. That includes wanting guys who are neither intimidated nor intimidating. If a guy wants to mess with me, though, he would have reason to feel intimidated (but not enough sense).

I'm on the opposite end of height. I'm 5'3". It is easy for me to down-play in almost any aspect. Is that a lie? You bet!

I have not had a gentle life. Down-playing, with ethics, is not a hurtful deception. In fact, I think it is courteous to make people feel at ease with you. Knowing that many people are intimidated by those smarter than themselves it is kind to find the right level and connect with people on their own level.

I must admit, I don't get the whole intimidation thing. I have met five people smarter than me. Not an IQ point or two, but at a different level of perception and thought. One is a family friend, two are good personal friends, I married one, and the other was intimidating for other reasons. He was an inquisitor about my smoking marijuana back then.

It was flattering, but upsetting. He said that high-end intelligence is a national asset, and it is unpatriotic to do anything damaging to a strategic asset. He was a conscripted Navy physicist who was virtually under house arrest for what he knew and what he work he was doing.

Well, I have an intact brain in a skull in Georgia. Wish I could have smoked a few more joints. I have been relegated to armchair global dictatorship. I have an opinion about anything I hear. So? Who doesn't.

9/01/2005 11:06 AM  
Blogger SME said...

I've found that as a woman you never have to hide your intelligence, because intelligent and well-adjusted men will appreciate it...and morons won't notice it.

9/02/2005 12:24 AM  
Blogger Sadie Lou said...

Plus every guy I know who says they're 6' tall are actually 5'10". Men lie about their height as much as women lie about their weight. ;)

Ha!
My husband is 5'10.
So true Zombie...

9/02/2005 8:01 AM  

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