Smart Girls


Over the weekend I visited my family and ended up in a somewhat disturbing conversation with my father about my 14-year-old sister. I had mentioned that I am considering more school, and it turned into something like this:

Dad: How come you didn’t get all your brothers and sister to be as smart as you?
Me: um . . . [unsure how to respond to this strange question.]
Dad: [Lil’ Sis] is doing pretty well in school, but she’s getting really boy crazy. Pretty soon she’ll figure out that boys don’t like smart girls.
Me: You told me that when I was younger.
Dad: I wouldn’t have actually told you that.
Me: But you did!
Dad: Well, I wouldn’t have said that until you could handle it, at least until you were a senior in high school.
Me: Make sure you never tell her that!

What I remember him saying was that boys would be intimidated by me. From our conversation over the weekend, it seems clear that he had, and still has, no idea what kind of impact that kind of statement from a girl’s father can have. I’ve always felt he was proud of me and my accomplishments. Whatever my father thinks he did or did not tell me, I clearly remember the devastating feeling that there was something less lovable about me because of my intelligence and that I would not be wanted by boys. As I spoke with some friends about the experience, it seems I was not the only one who heard this. Another woman recounted being told by her father’s friend, a successful businessman, that she’d better “dumb it down” or she would not get married. Recently, even President Hinckley seemed to play off of this idea when he said to the young men: “And so I say to you young men, rise up and discipline yourself to take advantage of educational opportunities. Do you wish to marry a girl whose education has been far superior to your own?”

I found a brief chance to converse with my sister later, and I asked her about her class schedule for fall. (After discussion of other classes):

Me: So what math class are you taking?
Lil’ Sis: Geometry. It will be my last math class.
Me: Why?
Lil’ Sis: I’m not smart enough to take more math.
Me: What are you talking about? Of course you are smart enough!!
Lil’ Sis: Well, actually I am pretty good at math.

The playing dumb act that I did is already happening with her. So I’m left wondering what I can do or say to help my little sister avoid what I went through. A good long talk with my father is in order, in the hopes that he will not continue to believe or perpetuate such a damaging idea. I don’t believe there is any truth to the idea that boys don’t like smart girls, at least any boy worth dating. I wonder what I can say to my sister. I have no idea how much influence I have on her. Our age difference is quite large and I haven’t lived in the same house with her for nearly a decade. I hope I can so something to help spare her some of the same difficulties that I went through.

 

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38 Responses

  1. Keri says:

    What a tragedy. I don’t know what to say.

    I feel blessed that my father always encouraged my intellectual ambitions, and he never made any remarks like that. I still absorbed it from society, but I was fortified by the support I got at home. I think it was fortified by actions speaking louder than words. Although my mother isn’t highly educated, she is very intelligent. That showed me that an intelligent woman can get a guy. I finally decided, like you said, that any man worth having wouldn’t be bothered by my intelligence and education.

    I think you have more influence on her than you realize. Just quietly show her, by your own actions, that smart is cool. If you feel the need to, discuss it with her.

    Good luck!

  2. C. L. Hanson says:

    It’s sad to hear girls still being taught to play dumb to get the guy.

    Personally I got a different message from my (faithful LDS) mom (many decades ago ;^) ). She told me that she hated having to play dumb for guys just so the guy could feel like he’s the smart one, and one of the things she liked about my dad was the fact that she didn’t feel like she had to play dumb for him. So the take-home message was that it would be a shame to settle for the type of guy who needs you to play dumb — the one that’s worth having isn’t intimidated by an intelligent woman.

    This whole question may be rearing its ugly head again because of some talk in a priesthood session of G.C. that I heard some rumors about: something about what a shame it is that women get more education than men these days and how a guy should feel bad about marrying a woman with more education than him because they’re supposed to be “equally yoked” or something like that. I don’t have the exact quote…

  3. Liz W. says:

    I’ve experienced this as well. And sadly, in my earlier dating years, I played into that idea.

    But, as I’ve grown older (and still remain single), I’ve come to realize that 1)it hasn’t helped me any, and 2)if I have to dumb myself down, he’s too dumb for me.

  4. AmyB says:

    Keri, I’m glad you got a different message at home. I’m hoping if I speak up, my little sister will get a better message at home as well.

    c.l hanson, I quoted part of that talk in my original post. It’s from an address called “Rise Up, O Men of God.”

    Liz, I completely agree that it’s not worth it to dumb down. I figured that out for myself too, but only after those trying and insecure teenage and young adult years where love and approval seemed so much more important that being true to myself.

  5. Kaimipono says:

    That’s awful, Amy.

    I wonder about this, because I’m raising a girl. I tell my daughter that she’s smart, and that she can be anything she wants to be. I hope that if I tell her that often enough, it will counter the negative messages that she will inevitably pick up from school, church, peers.

    I think it’s awful that so many girls get this message. It’s so damaging. And it’s just wrong.

    Smart girls are great. My wife’s intelligence is one of the things that attracted me to her. A girl’s intelligence can be one of the best things about her.

    (I wouldn’t be reading and commenting on your post if I didn’t have a lot of respect for your intelligence, would I? And it’s one of the best things about you.)

    Thing is, unfortunately, this description is somewhat true, on a purely descriptive level. That is, there _are_ a lot of boys (and men) who are intimidated by smart girls (and women). But that sad fact should not be endorsed.

    If my daughter ever asks me whether boys don’t like smart girls, I’ve got an answer ready. I’ll tell her, “Sort of. _Dumb_ boys don’t like smart girls. But there will be boys you’ll meet who will appreciate you for your intelligence.”

    That sounds like the right balance of descriptive reality, along with a message that that social trend is not one that I accept, or that she should feel she has to accept.

  6. Caroline says:

    Amy, Yikes. What a frightening message you and your sister have gotten. I agree that a chat with your dad (and mom? would she be an ally here?) is in order.

    I am so lucky that I never got that message. I was raised by a single mom who always encouraged me to do well academically. And who always said I could do professionally anything I wanted to do.

    And I’m also lucky that I married a man who liked smart women. That was probably his number one reason for being attracted to me.

    Regarding Hinckley’s comment, I don’t know whether or not to be disturbed by it. Because for a long time,I have tended to agree that it is a good idea for spouses to have similar education levels. But I tend to think it should go both ways, whereas it seems Hinckley is really just encouraging the man to not be less educated than the woman.

    But on the other hand, I don’t want to fall into a trap of imposing my personal ideals on all relationships, so I’m trying to step back from that viewpoint. If couples can make it work – whether the man is less educated or the woman – then who am I to tell them they should do it differently?

  7. Ben says:

    Hinckley’s comment was a critique of lazy men who want to live off their wife’s education instead of getting some themselves. I don’t think it’s relevant to this conversation.

  8. Caroline says:

    Ben,
    I just read Hinckley’s talk right now, and I didn’t at all get what you got. He never mentions lazy men living of thier wives’ education. He is simply speaking about the fact that women are outpacing men in completing secondary and higher education. And that he’s worried about that, because of his ideal of “equal yoking.” I don’t think he’s implying that men who don’t pursue higher education are lazy.

  9. Ben says:

    As a man who was in attendance, I didn’t understand him at all to be critiquing women who get education.

    Given that Hinckley emphasizes education largely for functional purposes, and has frequently made connections between education and work, education and providing for the family, I don’t think it a stretch at all to interpret him as critiquing men who don’t seek education (and therefore aren’t providing for the family) because their wives are doing it for them. I see his two following comments to be addressing laziness.

    “Young men are more likely to drop out of school than young women….I say to you young men, rise up and discipline yourself”

    It’s quite possible his comments don’t apply to many of us in the Naccle. I’m not sure he’s even talking about higher education as education in general.

    I don’t think that if I have a MA and my wife a PhD, he’d be critical. If I had no degree and my wife had an MA and she was the sole provider and I wasn’t doing anything, I think he would perhaps be more critical. Of course, they don’t teach the exceptions in conference, as Elder Packer is fond of saying.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm, I think the problem might be more that smart girls don’t like guys that aren’t on the same level… and guys maybe don’t mind so much? A double standard for sure, but maybe we should give the men more credit for once.

    I normally attend an Ivy League university (for whatever that’s worth), but I’m at BYU with another friend from school for the summer, taking a couple of classes for fun. I think that most people are actually totally fine with the whole “smart girl” thing. I actually think I’ve probably gotten more respect than I deserve because of it.

    So while I can’t say that I really think there is much discrimination from that direction, I can say that I’m not totally comfortable with the idea of dating/marrying someone who isn’t as educated as I am, or who has a much lower earning potential, or who just doesn’t know a lot of things that I know….
    I sort of hate that I have this attitude, but it is the truth.

  11. TMD says:

    I agree with Ben–Pres Hincley was clearly concerned with men’s failings, and to interpret it otherwise is to be looking for trouble where there is none. It’s not for nothing that many educated young women are increasingly complaining that there are ‘no men out there’ in places where that seems unexpected–places like NYC. Schoools’ failures to reach boys, over the past generation, are coming home to roost in this regard, and I think, and most everyone else who heard it in context (that I have talked to) has agreed it is an effort to get men to better reach their potential.

    More on point, it’s very much the case that people who feel unmatched educationally are less likely to like people smarter than them (particularly in overt ways), so there’s a bit of truth, statistically thinking here.

    That said, as a (single) mid-western mormon guy in his twenties, I have the hardest time finding non-bitter mormon girls who are interested in classical music, literature, philosophy, etc., at a relatively high level. It’s depressing–getting beyond ‘pop culture’ is all but impossible with the relatively personable ones.

  12. Caroline says:

    Regarding Hinckley’s comment – I don’t argue that its main thrust was to encourage men to reach higher educationally and otherwise. But I didn’t get anything about lazy men living off of wive’s educations. There was nothing in there about that. Though I suppose one could mentally extend his comments in that direction.

    anonymous, I was the same way. Determined to not marry a man who was less educated or intelligent. I got what I wanted, and it all worked out nicely. I think, now, however, if I could go back and give my 20 year old self advice, it would be to open myself up to dating different types of people – particularly interesting, highly creative artistic types that might not have as much formal education.

  13. Lindsey says:

    I think I was proud of my intelligence until I married my husband. He is constantly telling me how smart I am, but refuses to beleive what I say re. politics, news, world issues, unless I cite a source or he agrees with me anyway. I think it’s possibly more damaging to teach our YM that they need to be the smarter ones or that girls aren’t as smart. I know my hubby knows I’m intelligent, he just doesn’t know how to handle it. (also, my complete lack of common sense denies the intelligence that I do have–completely book smarts.)

  14. Link says:

    Sorry to say, but your Dad sounds like a real idiot. A real mysoginist pig. Why do you even still talk to him? This may sound harsh and over the top, but really. What a prick!

  15. dangermom says:

    I feel lucky that both my parents always encouraged all of us to get lots of education. I certainly never recieved any message from them that smart girls aren’t attriactive (my mom has more masters’ degrees than my dad does…).

    And you know, I have not met or dated a lot of guys who were indtimidated by intelligence. I’m sure it still exists in some guys, but I don’t think it’s very common, really.

    My husband and I have very different sorts of smarts, so we make up for each others’ deficiencies. It works well for us.

    I do think that Pres. Hinkley was talking about lazy guys. He may not have explicitly mentioned men who don’t want to support their families, but it’s been brought up more often lately and it’s a reasonable inference. And he’s a strong supporter of girls getting as much education as they can. It seems clear to me that he’s just trying to get the guys to do some catching up–and just today my friend was telling me her fears for a young friend of hers who is about to marry a guy who doesn’t do anything. She seems to be prepared to support him, knowing full well that he will never amount to much, and we were both saddened by it. It didn’t seem like a very good way to have a happy partnership.

  16. dangermom says:

    How embarrassing, I typed too fast and didn’t preview. I can spell, really I can!

  17. AmyB says:

    The are many takes on Hinckley’s talk, and I’m trying to read it generously. For my own taste I would like to see wording that doesn’t seem to play off men’s fears of being inferior. But I don’t mean to dwell on that. I wouldn’t have wanted to marry someone who isn’t a good intellectual match for me, but it’s more about compatibility and being interested in what each other has to say.

    Re: lazy men- I don’t buy it. I don’t think that there are more women in college than men right now because the men are getting lazy. There are many factors, such as because of the women’s movement more and more women are going to college. I’ve also read studies that more men than women tend to believe they can be successful in life without a college education and there are more trade-type jobs that men do. It’s not necessarily a bad thing that the ratios are changing. I find the assumption that men aren’t living up to their potentials or are being lazy somewhat unfair and demeaning to them.

  18. AmyB says:

    Link, I admit that my father has some unfortunate beliefs. However, were I to choose to call him names and not associate with him because of it, I would be much the worse person. I think its better to work on my ability to love more unconditionally, and take opportunities to speak with him and challenge his beliefs than to become self-righteous and write him off.

  19. CS Eric says:

    I find it somewhat amusing that both genders take his talk as a criticism directed at them. The men all got the message “Get off your lazy butts!” and the women got the message “Don’t be smarter than your husbands!”

    Naturally, as a man, I took the former interpretation. The fact that he gave this talk in the Priesthood session and not at the Women’s Conference also gives me some confidence in that interpretation.

  20. EssicaJay says:

    I agree with cs eric. I would read into Hinckley’s quote as more of a “don’t be too smart” comment if it hadn’t been given during the Priesthood session.

    As for the rest of this post…
    I [unfortunately] must admit that I do think there is a true intelligence factor that, when present in women, intimidates some men. How the man handles it determines his dateability. 2 out of the 3 “real” relationships I’ve ever been in have come complete with differences in intelligence/education yokedness.

    I don’t mind being with a guy who isn’t as intelligent or educated as I am as long as he is supportive, proud of my accomplishments, and doesn’t try to highlight which other factors (talent, looks, humor, etc.) he “beats” me at. However, I haven’t really met a guy who handles it quite right yet while being right for me in other ways.

    My parents never really talked to me about “smart girlness”. It was assumed that we were all to do well in high school, go to college, and be academically successful. There was never any mention to how boys would react to me as a “smart girl”. Then again, we never really talked about dating at all, so I think I entered the dating world inadequately prepared to deal with these sort of things.

    I agree with most of the suggestions here on what to tell the sister. The good thing about dating is that, while she may meet many guys who can’t deal with the smart-factor, in the end she really only has to find one good one that can. That’s the whole point. The boys who can’t deal just fall into that large group of “people who weren’t right” and not into the teeny-tiny spot of “the one who is right”

  21. Patata Brava says:

    Yeah, I feel bad for you “smart” women. We smart boys had it made in high school. We never felt passed over socially and always felt like we were the center of attention. There were huge lines of hot girls who wanted to take a look at my calculus assignment, or read my essay on Melville. The football team was terrified of us.

    Look, your father was telling a partial truth. Some people (to quote John Lennon) “hate you if you’re clever, and they despise a fool”. That is human nature. You should not be mad at your father for stating an unfortunate truth. BUT, he has to follow the statement with a “it doesn’t matter what teenagers think, you owe it to yourself to achieve all that you can achieve.” After all, you could substitute the word “smart” with “Mormon” and have the same meaning.

    In any case, I don’t think that President Hinkley intended for women to interpret his talk in an all-male setting to discontinue academic pursuits. He did talk in a previous priesthood session about some men that just pretty much lived off the work of their wife. He said, “From the early days of this Church, husbands have been considered the breadwinners of the family. I believe that no man can be considered a member in good standing who refuses to work to support his family if he is physically able to do so.”

    http://lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1-602-20,00.html

  22. Tatiana says:

    I totally do think smart girls often are overlooked by guys who want to be the one who is better at everything. I can’t figure out how this trait (of disliking smart girls) can survive darwinian selection, since smarter moms would tend to have smarter offspring. Why wouldn’t anyone want to join the winningest team they could? But I’ve seen it happen over and over.

    I’m hopeful from what other commenters have said, that there are social groups, or parts of the country, in which this isn’t true. I really am glad.

    I could never deliberately dumb it down, either. It was just too demeaning to pretend to be less. But I know scads of girls who did.

    Maybe times are changing. The two guys who liked me who also liked that I was smart both happened within the last 5 years. 🙂

  23. dangermom says:

    Mentioning this topic to my husband, he commented that in his opinion, a prophet of God would never recommend girls to “dumb it down”–as that would be deception. (Besides which, Pres. Hinkley is well-known to encourage girls to get good educations.) He saw the talk and also interpreted it as telling guys to get off their butts.

    I think the point about education and the disconnection with boys is a very good one. Our schools are not good to boys these days, and it’s taking a toll on college-age men. I don’t think the disparity in colleges can be entirely attributed to feminism.

  24. Azúcar says:

    When I was dating it never even occurred to me to dumb it down. If a guy couldn’t keep up, he was gone. I’m sure that this approach to intelligence came as a result of my highly educated professor parents. My father always encouraged our academic pursuits, raising a questioning eyebrow when his girls came home with even a B.

    Since he was specifically a religion professor, it never crossed my mind that other girls were getting different messages from their experiences at church or with family.

    That’s why I think it has more to do with the familial environment and societal mores, and far less to do with The Church.

  25. Anonymous says:

    I am a woman who went to an Ivy League college and is now a “stay-at-home” mom to two girls. My (non-member) dad advises me not spend so much money on my own girls’ educations as he did on mine, cause they’re just going to stay home with babies and won’t need the earning power. My choice to mother is clearly a disappointment to him. So what? He’s not a bad man, even though his views are screwy. And i have enough confidence to just laugh him off and decide with my equally-smart husband that we’ll give our girls whatever education they want. A friend of mine actually just published a book called “Why Smart Men Marry Smart Women”. I believe it, although Mormon men fit this truism less often than gentile counterparts.

  26. Kristine N says:

    I guess I’m just a nerd to begin with, but I used my intelligence to weed out the dumb guys. I’m not so sure that guys do prefer dumb girls, though it may be true that they prefer girls who are less accomplished than they are, or at least who know how to make the guy feel accomplished and smart. I do know of at least one LDS couple where the wife has a PhD and the husband stopped with an MS, so unequal accomplishment isn’t necessarily a bar to successful relationships anyway.

  27. Deborah says:

    You ask a poignant question, Amy. While teaching middle school, I’ve seen girls succumb to the temptation to “dumb it down” on occasion. A few do it quite deliberately and “effectively,” taking on the facial tics (head nod, hair twirl) and verbal pattern of Paris Hilton — or whoever the current “dumb” over-sexualized young woman is vogue at the moment. And I’ve seen boys become very titillated by the girls who can pull it off — whose body and posture can mimic what’s heralded as sexy in the media. I also hear how the boys talk about this subset of young women — a lot of joking about their relative dumbness. Titillation and respect aren’t in the same orbit. And then I see girls who watch the attention these few girls are receiving and try to copy cat the behavior, with less . . . success (yeah, I get the irony of the word). Dumbing down doesn’t wear well on most girls; it’s an uncomfortable skin, with an inner voice that says “I’m smart — take me seriously.” And that voice competes with “please think I”m cute.”

    But I’ve also watched girls succeed at breaking out of this role (cause it’s really hard to change roles at this age once you’ve developed a reputation among your friends). It’s great to have a big sister to look up to — and it’s really important almost vital to have at least one friend who is also into school and academics. I hope she has some good teachers who know enough to push her — because it’s life-changing to discover a passion for a topic/subject at that age.

    I’m a big fan of Joshua Aronson’s work on Stereotype Threat. I taught a couple of lessons on it to my 8th graders, and one girl who “hated math” began to refuse to say she was bad at math on feminist principles. Check out this article. She’s lucky to have you for a sister.

  28. Anonymous says:

    The only two guys I’ve ever dated were mostly attracted to me because they thought I was smart — at least one actually said so, and I’m pretty confident about the other. Admittedly, I tend to date only after I’ve known someone for a long time, and we’re already friends — maybe it’s different on the bar scene. And, umm, both guys I dated were enrolled in engineering programs; these were the kinds of relationships where one person ends out subscribing to EverQuest just so that they have a way of IMing the other one without racking up cell charges. Yes, it was actually cheaper that way. Sadly enough.

  29. Dora says:

    Regarding President Hinckley’s remarks … well, I think he should have been more cautious in his diction. Maybe he only meant to chastise men who aren’t getting a good enough return on their *talents*. However, if, as he infers, there are loads of lazy and dumb men in the church, who is to say that instead of changing their behavior, they won’t just try to change their daughters’ behavior?

    It’s almost like Elder Oak’s unfortunate remarks on walking pornography. In an age where the spoken/written word is so readily available, one has to be extremely cautious that good sentiments aren’t misinterpreted by a large portions of a world-wide audience.

    I never got these types of lessons in my home. Intelligence and dilligence were highly prized. However, I did learn these manipulative behaviors from my peers. Tried it out for various stretches of time. But it’s just a tiring waste of time.

  30. dangermom says:

    President Hinckley was talking about “an education *far* superior to your own.” To me, that does not imply different levels in higher education (MA vs. PhD, or even BA vs. MA). That seems to me to mean high school vs. at least BA. And the fact is that a high school education won’t get you very far these days. Vo-tech can be very solid and lucrative, but I wouldn’t say that a plumber or refrigeration specialist is uneducated either. I have a literary-type friend whose husband does machine work, and while he didn’t do a lot of college, she speaks often and admiringly about his intelligence and drive. He’s just focused on an area that’s technical, not academic.

    However, I wouldn’t infer that there are scads of these guys who don’t do anything. There are some, certainly, and I’ve known them, but it’s not like they’re endemic.

    I think it would take quite a bit of work to interpret the GA’s general attitude as “don’t let your daughters get an education.” Overwhelmingly, they tell men to get their acts together and be the best they can be. It seems to me that we are working rather hard to put an anti-woman spin on Presidnet Hinckley’s words, when his record shows just the opposite.

  31. Eve says:

    I got this message (that it was important not too intimidate boys by seeming to know too much, more than they did, for example) too.

    As a teenager when I heard these sorts of things I always wondered at what point one should “come out” to one’s boyfriend or spouse. Having married the poor man on the pretense of being one sort of person, one suddenly explains that one is, actually, another sort? After the sealing, on the way to the honeymoon, one explains to one’s new husband that one is, actually, a [nuclear physicist/presidential speechwriter/CEO of one’s own business] ?

    Marriage inevitably produces such surprises, but it seems fundamentally dishonest to arrange them ourselves. It’s gimmicks like this that get us into that unpleasant rhetoric of “catching” a man.

  32. Andrea says:

    (Sorry – Blogger needs an “edit comment” feature.)

    I lucked out with my parents, too. Intellectual achievement was gender-neutral for my brothers and me. When I compliment my older brother and he gets bashful, he likes to point out that I’m the only one of us with a graduate degree. This makes me uncomfortable not because I fear appearing less feminine, but because there are a lot of equally valid ways to achieve. But anyway.

    I’ve twice dated guys who weren’t my intellectual equals. Both were sterling human beings, but I couldn’t picture anything long term with them. One was humble enough to ask frequently what my words meant, which was admirable but disconcerting. The other made a joke of it, saying, “Whooooooaa! Big words!” which abashed me enough that I started filtering my vocabulary as I had been filtering my conversation topics. I’ve made an entertaining variety of mistakes in dating since then (just ask my patiently waiting, already-married brothers and parents), but want of intelligence isn’t one of them.

    p.s. – this is for TMD – check out the East. I’m serious. When I came out here (after grad school in SoCal) it felt like I had moved home. As my best friend said, “in LA, people talk about TV shows. In DC, people talk about books they’re reading.” I’ve never met young single adults as cultured, educated, interesting, and intent on making a difference in the world, as around here.

  33. kuri says:

    I’m quite certain that President Hinckley meant “men, get educated,” not “women, don’t get educated,” but I do see that he could have worded it more clearly.

    That said, I find this entire discussion pretty puzzling. I can’t imagine my daughters caring all that much about, much less changing their behavior in negative ways because of, “what boys like.”

  34. Stephen says:

    ? Our age difference is quite large and I haven’t lived in the same house with her for nearly a decade. I hope I can so something to help spare her some of the same difficulties that I went through

    You will be surprised at just how much impact you can have. One important lesson you can teach her is that guys come and go, but girlfriends are forever if you treat them right. Once she has that down, all sorts of other lessons will come into play.

  35. Deborah says:

    Stephen: It’s nice to see you stopping by!

  36. Dora says:

    As my best friend said, “in LA, people talk about TV shows. In DC, people talk about books they’re reading.”

    Well, maybe you were spending time with the wrong people? Anytime you want to dissect books in So Cal, I’ve got a salon full of interesting people who are ready to oblige! Maybe sometime this winter …

    OTOH, congrats for finding a place that you can call home, and good people to call friends.

  37. Heather O. says:

    A friend of mine asked me to set him up with a girlfriend of mine. I told him, “You’ll like her–she’s really smart!”

    He said, “But is she hot?”

    She happened to be quite attractive, so I shrugged and said, “I guess so.”

    He then told me that men don’t need smart women, because they get intellectual stimulation from work, colleagues, etc. He worked for a test prep company, and spent his life training smart people, or at least people who were trying to be smart. He said he would much prefer a hot girlfriend who was a little bit slow to an intellectual woman who was ugly.

    Needless to say, I was appalled. Sadly, though, I think in some ways he might be right.

    He’s not Mormon, by the way. Nor is he married. Shocking, I know.

    I got the opposite reaction from my parents. My mother often said of the men I dated, “He’s too dumb for you. Find a man smarter than you, and you’ll never be bored.”
    She never wanted me to dumb it down, nor did she want me to settle for a moron.

  38. Kiri Close says:

    Your dad’s a dumb a**.

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