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Home > Blog > Powerful Men and Smart Women
Out of Our Minds
Thursday, January 13, 2005 6:41 PM
Powerful Men and Smart Women
Anita Sharpe on Culture

When it comes to romance, are high-achieving men most attracted to doting, un-ambitious women who long for little more than to cook, birth babies and look pretty?

Maureen Dowd, writing in today's New York Times, makes a pretty strong case that, at least in Hollywood, that's what's driving our culture these days. More alarming, she cites a British study that found: 'The prospect of marriage increased by 35 percent for guys for each 16-point increase in I.Q.; for women, there is a 40 percent drop for each 16-point rise.'

Is this really true? If so, what gives?


8 comments

merry clark - 5/8/2005 10:06:16 PM
Until men and women can see ech other as equal partners in a relationship WHATEVER their respective roles may be -- someone is going to feel like they're getting short sheeted. Men probably care more about having kids than women do, deep down. I don't understand why any woman would want children, personally. People should be able to do whatever makes them feel fulfilled. I guess that makes me a feminist. I don't believe in obligations or DUTY. Our duty is to LIVE our lives to the fullest. There are many ways and many things to love.
mike - 1/19/2005 4:21:50 PM
Of course its true. Just because many women rebelled and forced wimpy men to say they are feminists, it doesn't mean that men agree. And many women didn't buy the feminist rebellion. Academics and feminists live in a fantasy. Men haven't changed and won't and shouldn't. Women should return to their traditional roles. That will be good for everyone. If they don't, here is what will happen - women will be devalued and forced to chase a man and beg him to marry her. (Instead of the man courting a woman.) If women value their femininity and role, men will value them...
mike - 1/19/2005 4:17:53 PM
Of course its true. Just because many women rebelled and forced wimpy men to say they are feminists, it doesn't mean that men agree. And many women didn't buy the feminist rebellion. Academics and feminists live in a fantasy. Men haven't changed and won't and shouldn't. Women should return to their traditional roles. That will be good for everyone. If they don't, here is what will happen - women will be devalued and forced to chase a man and beg him to marry her. (Instead of the man courting a woman.) If women value their femininity and role, men will value them...
genevieve - 1/15/2005 8:17:05 AM
And there are all kinds of fools too. I knew a lawyer who left all the home handiwork to his wife and four sons - he would say, 'what does mother think we should do?' The poor woman was probably his intellectual equal but was not as well educated and became completely seduced by his professed need for her help. It was sad to see this interesting woman in later life realise that many good things had passed her by because a powerful man had co-opted her to suit his own purposes.
Jennifer - 1/14/2005 11:13:14 PM
That's the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
Tony Quinlan - 1/14/2005 8:55:00 AM
I wonder whether there's a further dynamic at play. I've seen among various female friends - all intelligent women and all into personal growth, development, etc - a tendency to demand the perfect soulmate. Any flaws mean he's not up to their level and they'll move on. (Thankfully my wife was willing to focus on my potential than my flaws.)

While I'm not suggesting that they 'settle', perhaps this overly stringent set of demands hampers as much as it supports. One friend, deeply in love with a man, decided he was a couple of years behind her in terms of the personal growth seminars, so decided to let him go - and try again in a few years' time. Needless to say, he's gone elsewhere.

It's great to have the confidence to aspire to have a wonderful partner and relationship, but sometimes we need to start from the current situation, rather than demand perfection immediately.
Grant Henninger - 1/14/2005 12:24:33 AM
I think it has to do with compromise. I'm just out of college, so is my girlfriend, and both of us are fairly smart and ambitious people. (She is smarter than I, btw.) In searching for jobs, and looking at careers, we cannot pick just anything, we must compromise. We must live in a place that allows us both to find work we are passionate about and will be successful at. I am sure that if I wanted to be uber-successful (at least in financial terms) I would need the freedom to move about and pursue the biggest opportunities and highest pay.

These people that the study talks about don't have balance in their lives. Work should be important, but so to is family. Some people concentrate on one or the other, these people don't know how to compromise. I think it is rare to find somebody that is highly successful both at home and at work. By trying to do both, you don't do as well at either as you could if the focus was on one.

That is not to say, being highly successful in one and lousy in the other is more fulfilling. But to be great at one you must sacrifice being good at the other.
Ahmaud - 1/13/2005 9:55:53 PM
I find these recent findings perplexing myself. For one, I have never enjoyed going out with a girl who I did not feel was at least my intellectual equal. The conversation will invariably be dull and mundane. Perhaps it's that men no longer looking for real life partners in women; rather for relationships that will not challenge them in any real way, just another womb for them to recess into. It reminds me a great deal of Joseph Campbell's The Hero With A Thousand Faces, and how he discussed the hero's journey that we all must take. Perhaps men are less willing to truly take one of the greatest journeys any human being can undertake. There is an old biblical adage that says 'as iron sharpens iron, so man sharpens man'. I believe a relationship with a woman of equal or even greater intelligence can make me sharper. But hey, I apparently I'm in the minority on this particular subject.

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