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January 3, 2005 3:09 AM   Subscribe

A high IQ is a hindrance for women wanting to get married while it is an asset for men, according to a study by four British universities.

The study found the likelihood of marriage increased by 35 per cent for boys for each 16 point increase in IQ. But for girls, there is a 40 per cent drop for each 16-point rise, according to the survey by the universities of Aberdeen, Bristol, Edinburgh and Glasgow. The study is based on the IQs of 900 men and women between their 10th and 40th birthdays. (via)
posted by airguitar (205 comments total)

 
Sounds about right.
posted by Plinko at 3:21 AM on January 3, 2005


welllll a typical thing to say (and perhaps correct?), the smarter a woman is the more she realizes the pointlessness of being married is for them.
posted by edgeways at 3:31 AM on January 3, 2005


Well, wait, is high IQ a "hindrance for women wanting to get married", or does it just correlate highly with not being married? I think your link text misrepresents the article:

The study, based on 900 men and women, measured their IQ at the age of 11 then revisited them 40 years later to find out whether they had ever married.

If that's what they asked, then they don't know if intelligence makes it hard for women to get married, or if it just makes women not want to get married. And since marriages generally produce children, and it's the woman's career that is generally more compromised once kids come along, it's no wonder if smart women who are presumably earning more at more intellectually-rewarding jobs are less likely to get married by 40.
posted by nicwolff at 3:43 AM on January 3, 2005


I wish the study were online; I'd like to have a look at it. The claim of "a 40% drop for each 16-point increase" seems rather incredible. Is this assuming a base IQ of 100? And 40% of what? Are they saying that a woman with an IQ of 116 has 40% less likelihood of marrying than a woman with an IQ of 100? Or is her likelihood of marrying 40% lower than the overall marriage rate of the population? Also, how would these numbers stack up against a study examining the rate of marriage among career women, with no particular reference to IQ?

I always mistrust the conclusions touted by the media in these sorts of studies, but in a way it does ring true. Just about all my friends are extra smart, and almost none of the women are married. Some are in de facto marriages (very long term, stable, monogamous relationships) and some would like to find somebody but don't have much luck. (On the other hand, I have a higher-than-average IQ and am very happily married, though according to these figures there should be about 0% of this outcome, evidently.)
posted by taz at 4:13 AM on January 3, 2005


um. 0% chance. I guess now it's obvious why I'm married.
posted by taz at 4:15 AM on January 3, 2005


Here's an abstract from the actual study. $15 for a login to read the whole thing.
posted by airguitar at 4:28 AM on January 3, 2005


It's hard to take this article seriously:
"... the actress Renée Zellweger, 35, has men fighting over her when she plays Bridget Jones but her real life is littered with failed relationships. Zellweger, who studied English at the University of Texas, parted last month from Jack White..."
Do the British have an unnaturally high respect for the intelligence of those who study English in U.S. schools?
Besides which, much of BJ is about failed/failing relationships and I'm guessing Zellwegger's had her share of guys fighting over her.
posted by mistersix at 4:49 AM on January 3, 2005


Interesting: the abstract also reports correlations between likelihood of marriage and social class (women in more professional jobs and men in more manual jobs are less likely to have married) - and height.
posted by raygirvan at 4:56 AM on January 3, 2005


I wish the study were online; I'd like to have a look at it. The claim of "a 40% drop for each 16-point increase" seems rather incredible.

Yeah, but remember that 16 points is a standard deviation for IQ, so that's actually a pretty large quantum; almost noone falls outside 3 SD's of 100. But yeah, that's still a remarkably tight correlation (p = 0.0001, they say...!! Thanks, airguitar). And that's for IQ at 11, not IQ at present age (yes, I know why it's a "quotient," but I don't believe it remains unchanged through life).

the actress Renée Zellweger, 35, ... is littered with failed relationships.

Yeah, that's a pretty poor example to support their study; first of all, who says actresses are smart, secondly, I'm sure being famous, with the totally wrecked schedule and media hounding, have nothing to do with her relationship problems (if any... I don't necessarily consider it unreasonable to break up with Jack White).
posted by rkent at 5:11 AM on January 3, 2005


who says actresses are smart, secondly, I'm sure being famous, with the totally wrecked schedule and media hounding

Or the ego thing of - "I'm so great, look at all these people fawning over me"
posted by rough ashlar at 5:29 AM on January 3, 2005


Hi. Data from 1932. End of story.
posted by drpynchon at 5:50 AM on January 3, 2005


the smarter a woman is the more she realizes the pointlessness of being married is for them.

that's just goofy, and isn't what this study proves at all. far more likely, women who display above-average intelligence early on are more likely to be pushed towards furthering their educations and careers than more traditional roles.

and men are probably statistically intimidated by more intelligent women and less likely to attempt to settle down with them.
posted by glenwood at 5:54 AM on January 3, 2005


Hi. Data from 1932. End of story.

Well, not really. IQs were measured in 1932 of various Scottish eleven year olds (via the Scottish Mental Survey of 1932), but then apparently surveys were conducted later of these people's marriage status, etc. And the study was just released in December 2004.
posted by onlyconnect at 6:07 AM on January 3, 2005


1. The base IQ is 100, by definition.
2. IQ has no meaning beyond adolescence. It's a measure of intellectual development for children. And it only quantifies a small portion of mental capabilities.
posted by Eideteker at 6:17 AM on January 3, 2005


first of all, who says actresses are smart, secondly...

Not to be too picky, but Renée Zellweger is a particularly bad example. I saw her on a talk show once, and the girl has a real problem with sentence construction. And interesting construction.

Just goes to show you, kids, just because they play a doctor on TV doesn't mean they're really that smart.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:18 AM on January 3, 2005


Well... I probably shouldn't say this as a member of Mensa, but... supposing all of the conclusions are valid, people with high IQs tend to be assholes. And women throughout the millenia have always fallen for assholes.

That hotty you wanted to take to the prom? She went with an asshole. That MILF? She got her babies from an asshole, too. :-)
posted by bugmuncher at 6:59 AM on January 3, 2005


From abstract (thank you, airguitar):
Mid-life social class had a similar association with marriage, with women in more professional jobs and men in more manual jobs being less likely to have ever-married by mid-life.

There is also a recent study about “why men are attracted to subordinate women.”
posted by emanation at 7:03 AM on January 3, 2005


Guess both genders whose IQ is high enough agree that marriage isn't by far important in a relationship.
posted by elpapacito at 7:03 AM on January 3, 2005


I thought girls liked 'em big and stupid.

It's this simple. The smart girls have longer lists of demands, so less guys qualify. Thus, less married smart women.
posted by jonmc at 7:20 AM on January 3, 2005


In the immortal words of Garrett Morris: "Where are these women?!"
posted by lodurr at 7:24 AM on January 3, 2005


When I need something
to help me unwind
I find a six-foot baby with a one track mind
Smart guys are nowhere
they make demands
give me a moron
with talented hands

I go bar-hopping and they say last call
I go shopping for a
Neanderthal!


No, seriously, I think a lot of it is that there are fewer smart people than average people. Smart men are more than willing to settle for average chicks. But I've never once seen a smart woman settle for an average guy.
posted by u.n. owen at 7:32 AM on January 3, 2005


It's this simple. The smart girls have longer lists of demands, so less guys qualify. Thus, less married smart women.

yeah, actually I think that's kinda true. Smart guys will often be okay with having a 'wife', like, just a nice girl who will be good to them etc, whereas women are often looking for 'partners' and don't want to just settle down with a generic nice guy.
posted by mdn at 7:36 AM on January 3, 2005


But I've never once seen a smart woman settle for an average guy.

I don't buy that. I've seen too many women who should know better who will hook up with good-looking morons. This seems to based in the cherished cultural myth that women are less superficial than men, which is not true.

But those who do look beyond looks, tend to have a detailed list of exactly what they want (looks, a good job, intelligence, sense of humor, knowledge of fine wine and Indonesion Harpsichordists, etc).

We men are more pragmatic. At a certain age, we do a remorseless stock taking of our assets on the open dating market, and adjust our expectations accordingly.
posted by jonmc at 7:40 AM on January 3, 2005


what u.n. owen said.
posted by By The Grace of God at 7:40 AM on January 3, 2005


This is the whole article in PDF format. I "work" at an educational institution and am able to login for free.
(I hope this works!)
posted by LunaticFringe at 7:43 AM on January 3, 2005


It takes more to impress a smart woman, so that will trigger a lot of insecurities, and the last thing a man wants is to feel insecure around a woman because she'll call him a woos and dump him right away, unless he has an eight inch schlong or a Porsche 911 Carrera S.
posted by disgruntled at 7:48 AM on January 3, 2005


In the immortal words of Tina Fey:

According to a new study, women in satisfying marriages are less likely to develop cardiovascular diseases than unmarried women. So, don't worry, single women, you'll be dead soon!

LunaticFringe, thanks for trying, but they still want my $15.
posted by emanation at 7:56 AM on January 3, 2005


Aww. Well, I tried. I guess I could email it to anybody who seriously wants to read it. Lemme know.
posted by LunaticFringe at 7:59 AM on January 3, 2005


"Men always..."

"We men..."

"Women go for..."

"Women never..."

Um, guys, can we turn down the generalization here just a tad? Your personal experience does not equal overall truth. (Maybe, for example, that girl who went with the other guy (not you) thought she *was* making an intelligent choice, your opinion of him notwithstanding.)

Others have already pointed out the problems with this study. The whole field of IQ measurement is fuzzy at best, and applying that to something as hard to quantify as relationship choices in a small group of people tells us almost nothing of any usefulness. The study does provide a handy tool for telling women that "smarts don't get you a man, so start acting dumb or you'll die alone," but that's a message we've heard before.
posted by emjaybee at 8:01 AM on January 3, 2005


According to some other study I'm not bothering to look on google for, man with low sexual activity are more likely to incur in prostate cancer !

So, don't worry, single man, you'll .....oh ok nevermind doesn't apply.
posted by elpapacito at 8:03 AM on January 3, 2005


she'll call him a woos

Wuss. The word is wuss.

Woos sounds like a creature from Dr. Suess.

Um, guys, can we turn down the generalization here just a tad?

The article itself was all about generalizations. And barring the time and space to document every concievable variable, the best we can do here is offer our general impressions and illustrative anecdotes.

The study does provide a handy tool for telling women that "smarts don't get you a man, so start acting dumb or you'll die alone," but that's a message we've heard before.

That's not what I'm saying at all. It's more that a lot of secondary charachteristics that often accompany intelligence (being exacting, neurotic, analytical, sophisticated) can hamper the quest for a mate.
posted by jonmc at 8:04 AM on January 3, 2005


Hi. Data from 1932. End of story.

Well, not really. IQs were measured in 1932 of various Scottish eleven year olds (via the Scottish Mental Survey of 1932), but then apparently surveys were conducted later of these people's marriage status, etc. And the study was just released in December 2004.


Let's do some math. They were eleven in 1932. They were 20-35 (marrying age at the time) between 1941 and 1956. Do you think extrapolating marriage data from that era (which has its own biases, and many of them) to today has any value whatsoever?
posted by drpynchon at 8:06 AM on January 3, 2005


Study finds a correllation between a particular cultural ritual and a dubious measure of mental capability!

As with many studies that deal with the concept of I.Q., I am left wondering what exactly is the use of a study like this is, except to get media attention. Does it solve any problems, give us useful insights into human psychology, or anything else? If not, what's the point?
posted by moonbiter at 8:10 AM on January 3, 2005


<voice-family="barbie"> Math is hard! </voice>
posted by zpousman at 8:14 AM on January 3, 2005


But I've never once seen a smart woman settle for an average guy.

I've seen this several times.
posted by bshort at 8:17 AM on January 3, 2005


Actually the biggest obstacle to finding a mate is that most people are looking for a custom fit in an off-the-rack world. If by chance you do find your idealized mate, chances are they aren't attracted to you (this goes against a lot of the "don't settle" self-help propoganda, I realize). Once people realize this they tend to have more success in the whole mating game thing.

To make a broad generalization (or a generalization about broads) men tend to realize this sooner than women, mainly because on the whole their sexual appetites are larger and stronger.
posted by jonmc at 8:25 AM on January 3, 2005


Wow. This study is useless in so many ways it's not even funny. A correlation based on a statistic as fuzzy as the 1930's-era measured IQ of eleven year olds, with no analysis of any kind of relationship status other than married/not-married, using, as drpynchon points out, data from the 1940's and 50's as if it were relevant today (Would a female math major have trouble getting a date in 1951? Really? I never would have guessed that from the 10,000 stories every woman of my mother's generation has told me confirming that. I guess that means that all those guys I see crawling all over every girl in the astrophysics department here because they're so desperate for an intelligent woman must be a hallucination.)

Of course, judging by past standards, this will be on the cover of Newsweek in a month, just like those ludicrous studies purporting to show that career women can't have no babies and women unmarried by thirty just dry up and die.
posted by kyrademon at 8:26 AM on January 3, 2005


But I've never once seen a smart woman settle for an average guy.

Keep telling yourself that honey. ;)
posted by Dreamghost at 8:26 AM on January 3, 2005


Good more available smart girls for the rest of us to get good jobs that pay well and allow us to mooch off them. Win/win, I say.

I know Britain loves their celebrities and all, but do they have to use two bad celebrity examples to make broad, poorly thought out conclusions. This study and the subsequent article is so bad it's indescribable. It's good talker though.
posted by Arch Stanton at 8:28 AM on January 3, 2005


jonmc, to clarify, I didn't mean that *you* were saying that. I meant that studies such as this tend to get filtered into the popular press and carry such a message. See the infamous and disproven study about women over 40 having more chance of dying in a terrorist attack than getting married. There are many others.

After awhile, one begins to wonder *why* so many studies are focused on finding the advantages and disadvantages of being a particular gender, or in acting or looking "masculine" or "feminine." One might begin to suspect that people who fund such studies have a bias. And attempts to generalize about an entire gender, which is by definition half of the human population, seem such an obvious exercise in futility that you wonder why researchers don't narrow their focus a bit. Or at least admit that the men and women they study are a tiny segment of the human population and thus may not tell us a lot about the psychological makeup of humans as a whole. Doesn't it strike anyone as odd that we use the reactions of white Western college students (by and large) and try to figure out what, for example, our ancient ancestors thought was attractive in a mate?

These are the kinds of questions many gender-based studies never seem to ask. And journalists who blithely report on these studies and try to apply them to "what men and women want" and Bridget Jones movies certainly don't ask them.

On preview: I could not disagree with you more on not settling; that's as good a prescription for unhappy marriages as I've ever heard. I won't even get into your assumption about sex drives...there's a whole lot of literature that questions that assumption, but it would take too long to address it here.
posted by emjaybee at 8:30 AM on January 3, 2005


well, emjaybee, me and the SO will be celebrating a decade together in July, so I can only be so wrong.
posted by jonmc at 8:34 AM on January 3, 2005


Um, guys, can we turn down the generalization here just a tad?

hey aren't we talking about statistics and cultural trends? how the hell do you do that without making generalizations?
posted by glenwood at 8:36 AM on January 3, 2005


Along with other comments, I wish I could read the original study. As the posted report reads, their conclusions appear to rest solely on correlations - in the absence of controlling for other factors that differ among the low and high IQ groups, the report is really difficult to interpret. There is the real possibility of underlying variables (variables correlated with IQ but not directly measured) as the source of the correlation.
posted by bluesky43 at 8:48 AM on January 3, 2005


She got her babies from an asshole, too.

Wow, you learn something new every day on MetaFilter...
posted by kindall at 9:04 AM on January 3, 2005


well, drpynchon makes a good point - they say they checked in with the participants 40 years later, but that's still 1972. It would be interesting to see whether/how much the numbers have changed since then.

Actually the biggest obstacle to finding a mate is that most people are looking for a custom fit in an off-the-rack world...

yep.

men tend to realize this sooner than women, mainly because on the whole their sexual appetites are larger and stronger.

It may be sort of way to say the same thing, but there's also the theory that men will pretty much consider any woman a 'possibility' whereas women tend to have guys they perceive sexually and guys who are 'just friends', who they think of more like brothers. The first criterion for a mate is being sexually attracted, so the pool for men is often a whole gender, whereas the pool for women is only a portion (& there also seem to be more women who find their 'sexual pool' crosses gender lines but is still only a fraction of the population).

Anyway, the point is, maybe a person will settle for low sexual interest if the person is perfect in other ways, or maybe they'll settle for low brainpower if the attraction is strong enough, but there will be a much smaller overlap for women, whereas guys might start with a larger pool and so have a better chance of finding a reasonable if not ideal match.
posted by mdn at 9:12 AM on January 3, 2005


Let's remember that correlation != causation.

One would also have to take a look at the increase in emotional instability that accompanies increase in IQ as a factor in the failure to establish long-term relationships.
posted by rushmc at 9:20 AM on January 3, 2005


Actually the biggest obstacle to finding a mate is that most people are looking for a custom fit in an off-the-rack world...

yep.


or as wiser minds than mine have put it:

i always dreamed the boy i loved would come along
and he'd be tall and handsome, rich and strong.
now that boy i love has come to me,
but he sure ain't the way i thought he'd be.

he doesn't look like a movie star,
he doesn't drive a cadillac car,
he sure ain't yhe boy i've been dreamin' of,
but he's sure the boy i love.
let me tell ya now,
he' never be a big business man
he always buys on the installment plan
he sure ain't the boy i been dreamin' of,
but he's sure the boy i love.

posted by jonmc at 9:20 AM on January 3, 2005


the pool for women is only a portion

It's amazing at how the pool turns into a puddle as one's definition of 'the perfect partner for me' refines with the years.
...
IQ as a factor in the failure to establish long-term relationships.


Excellent point, I fully agree with the increase in emotional instability as a factor.
posted by kamylyon at 9:35 AM on January 3, 2005


Um, guys, can we turn down the generalization here just a tad?

Man, you always say that.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:35 AM on January 3, 2005


Boring Personal Anecdote: There was a tall, very good looking female engineer at a company I worked for back in the late 80's. All the single guy engineers drooled over her but she was only interested in the maintenance guys. She now owns her own successful company (don't know if she's married or not).

Even More Boring Personal Anecdote: I married a computer engineer. I couldn't imagine myself marrying someone who wasn't at least my equal, intelligence-wise.
posted by tommasz at 9:36 AM on January 3, 2005


All the single guy engineers drooled over her but she was only interested in the maintenance guys.

I've witnessed a similar phenomenon with UPS guys; every place I've ever worked there's a female employee who wants to bed down the guy in the brown van.
posted by jonmc at 9:39 AM on January 3, 2005


"Woos sounds like a creature from Dr. Suess."

One woos.
Two woos.
Red woos.
Blue woos.

Elponitnatsnoc, the wonderful woos
Was pissed when his high-IQ mate turned him loose.
She said, "All your woosiness isn't attractive,
I yearn for a mate who is more interactive."

Said Elponitnatsnoc to her, "You'll be back!
I may not be handsome, or great in the sack,
Or intelligent, artsy, courageous, or nice,
Or sane or humane or refraining from vice
And it's true that I'm smelly and still a bed-wetter,
But studies from Britain say you'll do no better!"

But Elponitnatsnoc soon found he was wrong
When she wed a nice grad student with a big schlong.
With irony he didn't notice was funny,
Elpo said, "Girls like assholes. Or else it's the money."
posted by kyrademon at 9:41 AM on January 3, 2005


*applause*

I was hoping somebody would do that....
posted by jonmc at 9:44 AM on January 3, 2005


It's this simple. The smart girls have longer lists of demands, so less guys qualify. Thus, less married smart women.
posted by jonmc at 10:20 AM EST on January 3


Women are some demanding bitches!
posted by orange clock at 9:53 AM on January 3, 2005


All the single guy engineers drooled over her but she was only interested in the maintenance guys.

I've witnessed a similar phenomenon with UPS guys; every place I've ever worked there's a female employee who wants to bed down the guy in the brown van.
posted by jonmc at 12:39 PM EST on January 3


I'll agree with you here. Add to the list the water guy and the oil change guy with his shirt off.
posted by orange clock at 9:55 AM on January 3, 2005


Women are some demanding bitches!

Actually, smart people in general are some demanding bitches, but in males horniness overrules the demanding part.
posted by jonmc at 10:01 AM on January 3, 2005


Women want to fuck the UPS man. They want to marry the engineer. It's the blonde/brunette thing, but more career-focused.
posted by u.n. owen at 10:07 AM on January 3, 2005


All the single guy engineers drooled over her but she was only interested in the maintenance guys.

I've witnessed a similar phenomenon with UPS guys; every place I've ever worked there's a female employee who wants to bed down the guy in the brown van.
posted by jonmc at 12:39 PM EST on January 3

I'll agree with you here. Add to the list the water guy and the oil change guy with his shirt off.
posted by orange clock at 3:55 PM AT on January 3


This is because there are men that you want to f*ck and there are men that you want to get to know. There's a sexy bad-boy charm that comes with the blue collar guys, but they're not necessarily the guys that you want to take to the Christmas party and introduce to your colleagues. Utopia is finding the charisma, sexiness, and intelligence all wrapped into one man who's not an asshole, doesn't lack self-confidence, hasn't been totally screwed up by his mother, doesn't refer to other women as "my baby's momma," can hold a conversation, isn't a pretentious prick, takes responsibility for himself, has a backbone, and yes has a sense of humor about himself and the world.
posted by pinkkitty at 10:11 AM on January 3, 2005


There's an implicit correlation between social class and intelligence here that isn't supportable. Silly to assume that the UPS guys and water guys are dumber than the engineers. They often make more money, and their jobs are unionized and provide excellent benefits. I know a number of musicians, artists, writers, activists, etc who do these types of jobs as day jobs. The structured hours and dependable means of support allow them to pursue far more sophisticated interests outside of work than many engineers in my experience. Men in blue-collar professions often have an utter lack of anxiety about using the workplace as a mating ground or social-status arena, and that in itself makes them more attractive.
posted by Miko at 10:14 AM on January 3, 2005


Utopia is finding the charisma, sexiness, and intelligence all wrapped into one man who's not an asshole, doesn't lack self-confidence, hasn't been totally screwed up by his mother, doesn't refer to other women as "my baby's momma," can hold a conversation, isn't a pretentious prick, takes responsibility for himself, has a backbone, and yes has a sense of humor about himself and the world.

See what I mean by "long list of demands." But the guy who meets all these qualifications exists. Unfortunately, he also would probably be more attracted to me than you.
posted by jonmc at 10:14 AM on January 3, 2005


There is so much stereotyping in this thread...it's no wonder that most of you express frustration with relationships. You're thinking about gender relations in such simplistic ways. Better to act as individual, and relate to other in the world as the individual that you are, than explain your relationship experience away with "women want this" and "men always that".
posted by Miko at 10:18 AM on January 3, 2005


Yes, and notice that it's always the women who are stereotyping.

My theory is that everyone marries someone dumber than themselves.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 10:58 AM on January 3, 2005


Why is this even news?

For Baal's sake, the data refer to people who are now 82 years old.

I think that anyone who thinks that Renee Zellweger's "relationship woes" (whatever they are--she seems to have the same kind of dating history I did before I met my husband at age 34, except that my series of relationships-with-nice-guys-who-were-just-not-for-me were not fodder for the National Supermarket Enquirer World News) are somehow explained by the life histories of 82 year old women has an IQ of about 2.

Setting intangible social changes aside, the fact is that, for a substantial portion of the time that women who are now 82 were in the workplace, women who were married were not allowed to hold certain jobs--including being Sisters (more or less corresponding to charge nurse or ward nurse in the US) at hospitals, being fellows of the women's colleges at Oxford and Cambridge, and teaching in high-status girls' schools.

My guess is that the majority of the high-scholastic-achieving girls in the 1932 study aspired to, or in fact held, such jobs and therefore weren't inclined to marry.

"Notice that it's always the women who are stereotyping?" weapons-grade pandemonium, note that jonmc is a man.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:55 AM on January 3, 2005


Utopia is finding the charisma, sexiness, and intelligence all wrapped into one man who's not an asshole, doesn't lack self-confidence, hasn't been totally screwed up by his mother, doesn't refer to other women as "my baby's momma," can hold a conversation, isn't a pretentious prick, takes responsibility for himself, has a backbone, and yes has a sense of humor about himself and the world.

Yep! Reader, I married him. pinkkitty, you will find one, too. There are lots of them out there.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:57 AM on January 3, 2005


There was a tall, very good looking female engineer at a company I worked for back in the late 80's. All the single guy engineers drooled over her but she was only interested in the maintenance guys.

how many of the "single guy engineers" were also "tall & very good looking"?

no one's claiming that brains alone are enough. The problem is finding someone who is both sexy enough to you and also interesting enough personally. Guys might have less trouble finding people to fit the first criterion and so can be less choosy when it comes to the second.

kyrademon, that was genius.
posted by mdn at 12:00 PM on January 3, 2005


Utopia is finding the charisma, sexiness, and intelligence all wrapped into one man who's not an asshole, doesn't lack self-confidence, hasn't been totally screwed up by his mother, doesn't refer to other women as "my baby's momma," can hold a conversation, isn't a pretentious prick, takes responsibility for himself, has a backbone, and yes has a sense of humor about himself and the world.

This is exactly what I found...and I found him on the computer. He's the kind of guy that before hot, morning sex in the shower, we can talk about what we heard on the BBC news that morning. He's great at economics and politics. Girls chase him all the time. He's pretty much oblivious...the only place he wants to be is with me. And he's a geek. Think of the archaeologist geek from Stargate, make him more handsome and add a beard, and you've pretty much got my husband. Yummy.
posted by Beansidhe at 12:00 PM on January 3, 2005


Utopia is finding the charisma, sexiness, and intelligence all wrapped into one man who's not an asshole, doesn't lack self-confidence, hasn't been totally screwed up by his mother, doesn't refer to other women as "my baby's momma," can hold a conversation, isn't a pretentious prick, takes responsibility for himself, has a backbone, and yes has a sense of humor about himself and the world.

No, utopia is finding a down-to-earth, no crazy-demands, slutty in bed but safe for mom, smart enough to know she doesn't need to show off girl who's not a bitch, doesn't evaluate her worthiness by her peers' opinions on her lack of diamonds and gold, hasn't been totally screwed up by her father, doesn't refer to men as "unnecessary necessities", can hold a conversation about Star Wars, isn't a superanuated priss, does the dishes once in a while even though Gloria Steinem says it's oppresive, has a soft side, and yes, has a sense of humor about clearly mysogynistic posts that aren't meant to be taken personally.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:01 PM on January 3, 2005


but in males horniness overrules the demanding part

Not always.
posted by rushmc at 12:02 PM on January 3, 2005


note that jonmc is a man.

I'm a man,
I spell M-A-N, man
All you pretty women,
stand in line
I can make love to you baby,
in an hour's time
I'm a man,
I spell M-A-N, man ....
posted by jonmc at 12:05 PM on January 3, 2005


Actually, smart people in general are some demanding bitches, but in males horniness overrules the demanding part.

Hmmph, I'm horny and demanding.


And yes, my wife is a saint.
posted by sic at 12:16 PM on January 3, 2005


"Notice that it's always the women who are stereotyping?" weapons-grade pandemonium, note that jonmc is a man.
Um, me too, but I thought the irony was pretty clear in both my comments. Read the first one again. Do the math in the second one. I guess I need to use ;^)
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:46 PM on January 3, 2005


Ok, folks. Before we go off the deep end here with our theorizing. Let's just look at the some of the data from the study.

The most important thing that the first table in the paper shows is that the mean IQ for women that were ever married is 97.5 +/- 13.9 based on 303 samples while the mean IQ for women that were never married is 108.4 +/- 15.2 based on 33 samples.
They state that they use a general linear model for their analyses, but don't indicate whether they control for differences in sample size between groups. So, it passes the sniff test, but just barely.
In my opinion (and yes I do this for a living), for the purpose of a direct comparison of between the never and ever married groups a different statistic (a t-test) would have been more appropriate. In this case the two groups are not different.


I'll leave it up to your own judgement as to where places the value of the results of this study. It is, however, a good example of how easy it is to overgeneralize the findings of a study. Kinda like thinking that 51% of the popular vote give you a mandate of some sort.
posted by Gif at 1:02 PM on January 3, 2005


I liked the second one a lot, but since a bunch of wimmins were, in fact, stereotyping here, I thought the first one might have been for serious.

I don't think, C_D, that Gloria Steinem thinks people should have dirty dishes. I was in her apartment once, before she was married, and her dishes appeared to be as clean as anybody's.

Also, "superannuated" means "old". Are you suggesting that men aren't interested in women older than they? Because that hardly seems to be the case.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:03 PM on January 3, 2005


Thanks, Gif, for pointing out the statistical lameness of the study as well as its other lamenesses.

I think that all this study proves is that some UK women who are now 82 didn't get married when they were younger. Well, geez, we know that.

What I find bizarre is that the Times thinks this is newsworthy. I'd expect it to turn up in one of those "Alien Skulls Found in Vegas Nightclub!" tabloids.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:05 PM on January 3, 2005


See what I mean by "long list of demands." But the guy who meets all these qualifications exists. Unfortunately, he also would probably be more attracted to me than you.

Sorry, but I think you're making a fool of yourself in this thread, as you often do when you make these sweeping generalizations about "the mating game". This thread is littered with ill-founded anecdotal "evidence" that would probably make more sense in a Sex and the City Dating Guide you'd find at Chapters for $40.

It's this simple. The smart girls have longer lists of demands, so less guys qualify. Thus, less married smart women.

While this may be true--generally speaking--it would probably be worth pointing out that a lot of the assumptions in this thread are based off that lame study, so you could be backing up something completely baseless with your anecdotal evidence. Furthermore, your phrasing leaves--at least for me--something to be desired. Women aren't crazy terrorist scientists concocting lists of demands in their arctic love labs; in fact, at the risk of bringing in my own generalizations, I think women are far more in touch with their emotional selves, which may suggest that they'd make more emotional "mistakes" in regards to dating (I used to term "mistakes" to denote what may be perceived as an irrational choice). Regardless of whether or not this is true, I still think the way you phrased your response was troubling.


I've witnessed a similar phenomenon with UPS guys; every place I've ever worked there's a female employee who wants to bed down the guy in the brown van.


Do they want to marry them, I wonder? I'm not sure what you meant by that.


Actually, smart people in general are some demanding bitches, but in males horniness overrules the demanding part.


Is that why you've been with your SO a decade, because you're horny and it's a quick lay? If not, I'd suggest that your causal relation between horniess and marriage suffers from some fundamental disconnect. If it is true, then '.'

See what I mean by "long list of demands." But the guy who meets all these qualifications exists. Unfortunately, he also would probably be more attracted to me than you.

1. I'm sorry, but that's an unbelievably stupid thing to say. None of the things she mentioned seem particularly unattainable, or at least unworthy of striving to, and I'm not sure exactly why you seem to passively attack it and label those traits as homosexual. What do charisma and intelligence have to do with homosexuality? What about self confidence, not being an asshole, being able to hold a conversation, taking responsibility, and having a sense of humour--are any of those particularly gay? I would think not. To me, they seem like perfectly natural things that any decent guy should strive to be.

I dunno. Maybe it's just me but it sure seems like you have this fucked up image that women want this effeminate metrosexual half gay mate and you read it into a lot of things (I've seen you do it before). I'm really puzzled at the comment I just linked above and would like some further explanation.

2. Sorry, friend, but I really doubt the homosexual male you described would go for you. They'd probably want someone more like them ;P
posted by The God Complex at 1:07 PM on January 3, 2005


I'm really puzzled at the comment I just linked above and would like some further explanation.

A wiseass retort to the "perfect man" laundry list. Don't take it all so seriously.

The ups guy comment was an observation meant to go along with someone else's earlier observation about maintenance men.

Actually, smart people in general are some demanding bitches, but in males horniness overrules the demanding part.

What that means is this: your typical smarter-than-average male may have a lot of things he'd like in a woman, but when we're single and available, we'll pretty much take whatever female attention comes our way. And if you think that isn't true then you must be insane. And I've been with my SO for a decade, because we met, were attracted to eachother, got along and after going through all kinds of crap together, and learning everything about eachother, we still like eachother. Not because we match up to some idealized checklist of qualifications. There are few things more appealing than an a woman willing to accept you the way you are.

It's nothing but generalizations brought out by years of observation. Women do tend to have a long list of things they demand from a potential mate, until of course they fall for some guy completely unlike what they thought they wanted. At least some of this could be attributed to the fact that (up until very recently) the power of the sexual/romantic yes-or-no was the most significant power women held, and they relish using it. It's not a pretty truth, but there you have it.

I think women are far more in touch with their emotional selves

Well, you're still young enough to have an idealized vision of the fairer sex. Give it time.
posted by jonmc at 1:24 PM on January 3, 2005


and an addendum: the overwhelming majority of males do not possess the capacity to drive a woman mad with desire, myself included. Except for a very men, no woman ever kept herself awake at night thinking "I wonder if [blank] likes me." That's a privilige of a select few.

Most of us receive what female attention we get as a reward for effort, simply putting in the hours. Women are fully aware of this. In that sense they're more pragmatic than men are.
posted by jonmc at 1:37 PM on January 3, 2005


How is this an unreasonable "laundry list"?

Utopia is finding the charisma, sexiness, and intelligence all wrapped into one man who's not an asshole, doesn't lack self-confidence, hasn't been totally screwed up by his mother, doesn't refer to other women as "my baby's momma," can hold a conversation, isn't a pretentious prick, takes responsibility for himself, has a backbone, and yes has a sense of humor about himself and the world.

Are you suggesting that well-balanced adultsof either gender should be open to dating assholes without self-confidence, who have screwed-up relationships with either or both of their parents, who refer to other people as their "baby's momma" or their "baby daddy", who can't hold a conversation, who are pretentious pricks or bitches, who don't take responsibility for themselves, who don't have a backbone, and who don't have a sense of humor about themselves and the world?

Because I'd rather be single forever than date someone like that.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:37 PM on January 3, 2005


What that means is this: your typical smarter-than-average male may have a lot of things he'd like in a woman, but when we're single and available, we'll pretty much take whatever female attention comes our way.

Yes, but I'm not sure how that translates into marriage, unless you think all men are going to just marry whatever one of these women show them attention. I'm sure some will, of course, but I'm sure for most guys--even relatively unthinking ones--marry for more than that, even if they don't express it. What happens a lot, I think, is that most guys aren't very open with their other guy friends, except very close ones, about deeply personal feelings, so you get a lot of ridiculous back-slapping and tawdry fabrications.

Go men?


Well, you're still young enough to have an idealized vision of the fairer sex. Give it time.


Actually, I'd suggest it's born out of a fairly strong dislike for most guys (myself tentatively included at times) and their inability tear down some of the social barriers to be better people. That and we're shallow pricks hardly worth the time given to dismiss us. Generally speaking, of course.

As for the idealized portion of it, I respectfully suggest that you're insane if you don't think women are more in touch emotionally--they express it with far greater frequency and actually discuss such things, while most guys make jokes about "touchy-feely" nonsense and roll their eyes. It doesn't mean women are perfect or incapable of error; it simply means that, in my mind, they're one giant step closer realizing a successful long-term relationship than men are (again, generally).

-----

but in a way it does ring true. Just about all my friends are extra smart, and almost none of the women are married. Some are in de facto marriages (very long term, stable, monogamous relationships) and some would like to find somebody but don't have much luck. (On the other hand, I have a higher-than-average IQ and am very happily married, though according to these figures there should be about 0% of this outcome, evidently.)

Yeah, I think a lot of people don't enter into actual marriages anymore, but I'm not sure whether this skews towards people with higher IQs or not. Perhaps it does. Perhaps the intellectuals are fed up with the inane trappings of government contracts and opt instead for the purely social ones. Or maybe, you know, less people get married today than they used to and that accounts for much of the shift.
posted by The God Complex at 1:39 PM on January 3, 2005


Except for a very men, no woman ever kept herself awake at night thinking "I wonder if [blank] likes me."

I assume you mean "a very few men" there. I have to tell you that this is wrong. I knew a man in college who looked exactly like Robert Carradine in Revenge of the Nerds, except with fair hair. He majored in a very obscure branch of the humanities, with which he was completely obsessed. He was from a highly dysfunctional blue-collar family. He had no money. He smelled vaguely of sour milk. He probably had Asperger's Syndrome, because he had a very idiosyncratic way of communicating with others. He was about 5'8" and weighed maybe 145 pounds. To his credit, he was a very intelligent man with a fairly dry wit and a lot of integrity. But he was hardly a matinee idol.

I knew two very pleasant women, one very attractive by most people's standards and one just regular-looking, who had mad crushes on this man. He also had a woman from his high school stalking him.

jonmc, if you asked your woman friends, you would find that most, if not all, of them had lain awake at night wondering if some perfectly ordinary man liked them.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:42 PM on January 3, 2005


The funniest thing about this is that I know a bunch of women who think the EXACT inverse of what jonmc said above. They think that the only women for whom men lie awake at night wondering "I wonder if she likes me?" are nuclear-physicist supermodels. They think that they are invisible to every man in the universe, who is just looking for a "super-hottie HB9+" with a high-paying career and a sideline as a gourmet chef.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:44 PM on January 3, 2005


Are you suggesting that well-balanced adultsof either gender should be open to dating assholes without self-confidence, who have screwed-up relationships with either or both of their parents, who refer to other people as their "baby's momma" or their "baby daddy", who can't hold a conversation, who are pretentious pricks or bitches, who don't take responsibility for themselves, who don't have a backbone, and who don't have a sense of humor about themselves and the world?

Who are these "well-balanced adults" of which you speak?

Most people I know have at least one of the faults on that list to some degree, and most aren't especially sexy, smart or charismatic. It's a world filled primarily with fucked-up people. If you managed to dodge that bullet, then my hats off to ya. But fucked up people need companionship, too, as they say.

I respectfully suggest that you're insane if you don't think women are more in touch emotionally--they express it with far greater frequency and actually discuss such things

Discuss, sure, but talk is cheap. Women, generally are decietful, vain, arrogant, mean-spirited and shallow. In short THEY ARE JUST LIKE MEN.

on preview: Sidhedevil, the guy you knew in college was merely a Brad Pitt for brain-fuckers. The main difference between men and women is that even the most ordianary, mediocre woman has some poor sad sack pining away at night for her, where the inverse is hardly true.

And don't get me wrong, men are guilty of all this shit, too. I'm not a misogynist, merely a misanthrope.
posted by jonmc at 1:46 PM on January 3, 2005


<kidding>Hmm. I just thought they proved that lesbians are smart.<kidding>
posted by ltracey at 1:49 PM on January 3, 2005


I can't believe how much I'm agreeing with jonmc, of all people. Either I'm getting cantankerous, old and bitter like he is- or I just need to stop drinking so damn much.
posted by hincandenza at 1:52 PM on January 3, 2005


it happens to everyone eventually, hincandenza. Now don't bogart that bottle...
posted by jonmc at 1:53 PM on January 3, 2005


Thanks, Gif, for pointing out the statistical lameness of the study as well as its other lamenesses.

Well, there is a lot in this study besides IQ and the researchers did do quite a bit to statistically control for other factors like socioeconomic class, height, ect. I don't think the authors of the paper should be the focus of your disdain as much as the poor write up it got in the paper. Unfortunately, this happens all too often in the transition from scholarly work to popular press. All nuance, careful qualification of experimental findings and context are usually obliterated in the editorial process of the popular media.

In general this simply reinforces the admonition that grand claims require even grander proof. When you read in the paper that a study claims X, Y or Z, it's usually a good idea to pick up a copy of that study and see what proof those statements are based on before spinning off into baseless speculation.
posted by Gif at 1:54 PM on January 3, 2005


I find it hard to believe that smart men would want a wife to take care of their home. Don't we have hired help for that sort of thing?
posted by ElfWord at 2:01 PM on January 3, 2005


And don't get me wrong, men are guilty of all this shit, too. I'm not a misogynist, merely a misanthrope.

I'd bet my kidneys that you are neither.


I'll suggest that people are not static personalities. And what I mean by that is that on some days a man may in fact be Sidhedevil's ideal and on others he may brush up against jonmc's horny loser. Being with someone else for any amount of time means putting up with a fair amount of assholishness because everyone is an asshole at one time or another, but don't forget that just about everybody has moments of transcendence. Trust me on this one.

By the way, as usual, this thread is far more interesting than the study...
posted by sic at 2:04 PM on January 3, 2005


I still disagree. Though oppressed for thousands of years, women were still afforded the chance to develop and hone social skills. Additionally, they weren't forced into roles of stoic isolation as men traditionally were (and still are to some extent). It's a shame that you disagree, but I sincerely believe that women are far more emotionally intelligent and aware than men are. Their ability to facilitate social interactions, for social networking, their ability to read people emotionally and see what they need and supply if (if they're inclined), etc. These things are all skills that men, en masse, sadly lack. Distressingly, they're also undervalued in our culture, to the point where they receive very little of the respect they deserve.

None of this excludes the fact that women can be vain, shallow, and deceitful: of course they can--they're human, after all. But neither does the inverse occur, where the prevalance of these other traits eliminates the social and emotional intelligence I'm talking about.

My point is simply that women have an emotional intelligence that far surpasses our own meagre isolationist tendencies, and men, if they were smarter and less constrained by social order, would strive to attain these characteristics as best they can. In short, they should be seen as positive traits of a well-rounded human being, not effeminate traits to be marginalized.

But the fact is that these conversations are often quite useless. Most men are, frankly, unwilling to even entertain any of these ideas, even some very smart men. C'est la vie. If you're at all interested, however, perhaps you should look into some feminist philosophy as pertains to global studies--there's interesting stuff out there about everything, even women's roles in the kyoto protocol and how the gains they made were largely undermined by an over-represented business lobby. Or go read some Virginia Woolf. I suggest Three Guineas or A Room of One's Own if you want some purely feminist literature, or Mrs. Dalloway or To The Lighthouse if you want something based in fiction (with many of the same ideas).

I think I've probably adequately expressed my viewpoint and will now cease the back-and-forth arguing. Sorry for the snark in my first post--I need to work on taking a few deep breaths before I respond to something I strongly disagree with.

Cheers ;)
posted by The God Complex at 2:06 PM on January 3, 2005


Just to make my point. The introduction of the paper is very careful to point out that the reason that this topic of particular interest is the increase of cohabitation in non-married couples. It's not like the they set out to determine if smart women are less likely to find love within a committed relationship. Just whether they are less likely to get hitched.

In the conclusion they also are exceedingly careful to make the point that their findings are not representative of the population as a whole, but is a snapshot of a single demographic that predates an important transition (circa 1940-1950) in societies views towards women's roles in the workplace and family structure.

The story reveled by the findings of the paper is actually quite compelling from the perspective of how human society influences innate preferences towards mates. Unfortunately, the Times Online just completely abdicated all journalistic integrity in their coverage. That said, the degree of discussion the article has generated on this thread would indicate that their approach is probably well rewarded.

On preview: agreed sic, nothing like baseless conjecture in a third rate paper to stir up a good discussion.
posted by Gif at 2:44 PM on January 3, 2005


Sidhedevil, the guy you knew in college was merely a Brad Pitt for brain-fuckers. The main difference between men and women is that even the most ordianary, mediocre woman has some poor sad sack pining away at night for her, where the inverse is hardly true.

jonmc, I am saying that this man was the essence of ordinary, the essence of nerdy. He was intelligent but not brilliant--there were lots of brilliant guys at my university, but he wasn't one of them.

I am telling you that even the most ordinary, mediocre man has some woman pining for him. I know this, because a) I am a woman, and b) I have lots of women friends.

You are laboring under a serious misapprehension if you believe the above is not true. Ask your sisters, if any. Ask your women friends. Every one of them will have a story about themselves, or their women friends, pining away for some nobody guy.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:58 PM on January 3, 2005


Sidhedevil: Yep! Reader, I married him.

So that's how you work this quote into a conversation. Nice.
posted by of strange foe at 3:08 PM on January 3, 2005


You are laboring under a serious misapprehension if you believe the above is not true. Ask your sisters, if any. Ask your women friends. Every one of them will have a story about themselves, or their women friends, pining away for some nobody guy.

Probably hard to believe because so many women have yet to start acting on their feelings, even in this day and age. How many of your pals asked our nerdy friend out? Women pine just as much perhaps, but probably far more quietly it seems.

To those that continue to believe aloofness will get them anywhere...

Shyness is nice, and
Shyness can stop you
From doing all the things in life
That you’d like to

posted by drpynchon at 3:11 PM on January 3, 2005


Speaking as an underemployed, short, divorced, clinically insane, impoverished, bisexual writer whose long-term SO is an astrophysicist/bellydancer, I give thanks every day for smart women with low standards. :)
posted by kyrademon at 3:17 PM on January 3, 2005


Women aren't crazy terrorist scientists concocting lists of demands in their arctic love labs

LIES!!!

I respectfully suggest that you're insane if you don't think women are more in touch emotionally--they express it with far greater frequency and actually discuss such things, while most guys make jokes about "touchy-feely" nonsense and roll their eyes.

You need to hang around with a better class of guy. There are 3 billion, give or take, and quite a few of us have evolved beyond the caveman level. Really. Easy generalizations and pop characterizations notwithstanding.

I am telling you that even the most ordinary, mediocre man has some woman pining for him.

:::looks around suspiciously:::
posted by rushmc at 3:22 PM on January 3, 2005


drpynchon, do men really like it when women ask them out? Because the impression I get from male friends and my brother is that they don't. (And most of my male friends, and my brother, are sensitive New-Age guys.)

Although it's certainly possible that jonmc has more insight into the female psyche than I do, or that I somehow know the only (hundred or more) women in America who pine over perfectly ordinary men, I'm thinking that this might be a case of "observation bias".

Cynthia Heimel, author of the very funny Sex Tips for Girls has a long rant in at least one of her books about how, in her opinion, the men she knows are only interested in high-income supermodels with supernatural sex skills and gourmet cooking ability, whereas the women she knows would be happy with any man who is bipedal and toilet-trained.

My guess is that neither Ms. Heimel nor mr. mc are accurate
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:27 PM on January 3, 2005


By "mr. mc" I mean "mr. johnmc" above. mr. rushmc is quite accurate in suggesting that there are at least a few million intelligent, thoughtful, reasonably self-confident guys with a good sense of humor and [insert whatever you find physically attractive] out there.

Before I was married, I dated dozens of guys, five of them seriously. I knew that four of those five serious guys would be wonderful life partners or husbands for someone who was not me someday. They are all happily partnered or married now; the one who was too troubled to be in a good relationship is still too troubled to be in a good relationship, sadly.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:31 PM on January 3, 2005


Sidhedevil, I've actually received the opposite impression from most of the guys I've talked to about the subject - they dislike always having to be the pursuer, and being actively pursued by someone instead (e.g. a girl asking them out) would actually make them feel attractive, wanted, and somewhat relieved. I've heard several complain about the social conditioning which prevents girls from asking them out.

Of course, it probably varies greatly from person to person. Everyone's MMV, I guess.
posted by kyrademon at 3:34 PM on January 3, 2005


quite a few of us have evolved beyond the caveman level. Really.

Ug. Want go hunt buffalo? Ravage females?

I kid. Of course, we've moved beyond it, but it's a good idea to keep The Caveman Within alive if only for occasional fun.


I am telling you that even the most ordinary, mediocre man has some woman pining for him.


They may like him, they may date him, they may sleep with him, the may even love and marry him. But this is because they've made a decision. But teh mythical thunderbolts of desire are not for most us.

lest you think, I'm concieted, I count myself among the "A for effort" guys, not the priviliged few. This is based on statements from significant others and dalliances. I suspect the same is true of most men.

whereas the women she knows would be happy with any man who is bipedal and toilet-trained.


There's some incontinent one-legged men outside who would like a word with you.
posted by jonmc at 3:35 PM on January 3, 2005



You need to hang around with a better class of guy. There are 3 billion, give or take, and quite a few of us have evolved beyond the caveman level. Really. Easy generalizations and pop characterizations notwithstanding.


I was very clear that I was talking about the general attitude of men, one that is worth mentioning because it is created and reinforced by social standards in the west.
posted by The God Complex at 3:36 PM on January 3, 2005


(that is to say that I know there are a number of cool guys out there--they're generally the sorts I count as friends, as well.)
posted by The God Complex at 3:39 PM on January 3, 2005


"superannuated" means "old"

Superannuated also means old-fashioned or obsolete. Dictionaries are fun.

I am telling you that even the most ordinary, mediocre man has some woman pining for him.

Yeah, but I'll bet she's ugly as sin. /kidding
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:52 PM on January 3, 2005


I actually know quite a few guys capable of expressing their emotions without feeling self-concious about it. Some of them are marrried, some aren't.

The one I want to know better doesn't appear to want to know me any better than he already does.

::sits here pining for that slightly-above-ordinary, mediocre guy::
posted by kamylyon at 3:52 PM on January 3, 2005


Sidhedevil, I can only speak for myself when I say heck yes.

My personal observations of other men (and of course, these may be and probably are way off): the kind of guy that doesn't like a girl who makes the first move is the kind of guy a girl can do without. For some men, asking women out just becomes routine. It becomes a game of statistics. These guys could care less if they get rejected because they actively avoid injecting any emotion into the process. But therein lies the rub. These are the guys that are dicks, and usually the one's that couldn't handle a girl making the first move. The guy whose stomach sinks to his feet each time he's rejected, but still has the strength occasionally to muster up enough courage to ask... He will be the more receptive one to a woman's advances. And knowing what it feels like to take that chance, he'll appreciate the gesture.

Which is why it's my opinion that when a man is receptive, it usually also makes for better odds at a long-lasting and fullfilling relationship. Unless you're at a bar, I guess, in which case it'll just get you laid.
posted by drpynchon at 4:03 PM on January 3, 2005


jonmc, why do you think you know more about what women think than I do? I am a woman. I have dozens of women friends. I used to do peer counseling in university. When I tell you that women pine over all kinds of guys, including lots of guys with no particular outstanding feature, I am basing that on my own experience.

I can also offer you citations from published accounts by women of their, and their friends', obsessions with perfectly ordinary men. Let me, for example, direct you to Dr. Tracy Cabot's website and testimonial from Colleen. Or this account of a woman who has pined for a variety-store owner for 50 years. Or this blog entry.

Then there are songs like Neko Case's "If You Knew" or Sarah Cracknell's "Home".

You, on the other hand, are basing your opinion on what, exactly?
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:04 PM on January 3, 2005


I've never heard the word "superannuated" used of a person to mean anything but "old". A superannuated idea is obsolete; a superannuated human is old. Dictionaries are, indeed, fun, but they don't capture usage or connotation.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:06 PM on January 3, 2005


You, on the other hand, are basing your opinion on what, exactly?

My own experience. See my last comment.

Look, I've seen women get a case of "Bring me that man!" with some rather odd specimens myself, but let's not pretend that all men or even most are so lucky.

And to be honest the fact that you are a woman...well, perhaps you're loath to admit that women are often as superficial and shallow as any male pig out there.
posted by jonmc at 4:10 PM on January 3, 2005


Cynthia Heimel on obsession:

It's like this. Say you're obsession-prone and you meet a guy. Nice guy. Smart, funny, pleasant to be around, friendly, warmhearted. Maybe from Colorado or somewhere.

You become mildly interested in this guy, he feels likewise. You begin to cast secret speculative glances at each other, you wondering what kind of kisser he is, him thinking he sort of likes your crooked teeth even though they may not be every man's cup of tea.

And then obsessiveness strikes, and you start thinking of him while ironing your hankies. You go out dancing and wish that he would walk through the door.

And then, when he does walk through the door, it's as if someone has shot a revolver very close to your left ear. Your throat gets dry, your heart pounds, you can't act normal.


Symptoms of Obsession:

The last thing you think about before falling asleep is Him. If you happen to wake up in the middle of the night and crave some orange juice (obsessed people are notoriously thirsty), by the time you've gotten halfway across the room and before you've tripped over the coffee table and sent an entire vase of daffodils sprawling, you will again be thinking deeply of Him. When you wake up in the morning, you feel fine for a millisecond, then His name comes floating into your consciousness, bringing with it dark fear, dank dreams, deep despair.

[....]

You start walking around in his neighborhood instead of doing the laundry. Or even in the neighborhood you think he might frequent once in a while, since he once bought a pair of shoes there. (I have a friend who was once obsessed with a businessman from Cleveland. She took to lurking around Sixth Avenue in Manhattan, reasoning that if he were by any chance in New York, he would be down on Wall Street, and everyone knows that to get out of Wall Street you have to take a cab up Sixth.)


(from Sex Tips for Girls)
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:16 PM on January 3, 2005


Wow, sidhedevil.

Frankly, I'm stunned. People actually iron hankies?
posted by jonmc at 4:18 PM on January 3, 2005


No, jonmc, I realize that both men and women pine over people whose attractions are obvious to nobody else but them.

You seem to think that only men do that, or that somehow the men who are pined-over are "special" in some way that the women who are pined-over are not.

I am telling you on the basis of a) my own experience, b) the experience of at least a hundred other women I have personally spoken to (friends, acquaintances, and peer counselees), and c) numerous testimonies of people I don't know, that women are just as likely as men to be hit by a thunderbolt of attraction to some perfectly ordinary person.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:19 PM on January 3, 2005


Women iron their hankies sometimes; Cynthia Heimel is about 60 now, so this might be a generational thing.

And I'm not trying to give you a hard time about this for the sake of giving you a hard time, jonmc. I have so much experience of women pining for ordinary guys, and of women saying "all men pine for the same few supermodels, whereas women see guys as unique snowflakes" that I couldn't let your assertion go unchallenged.

Both men and women can be completely superficial and obsessed with appearances and shallow details. Both men and women can fall madly in love with someone who doesn't return their feelings and lose sleep over it. Both men and women can be obsessed with someone who is "just a regular person" who nonetheless doesn't return their feelings.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:23 PM on January 3, 2005


I never denied that, sidehedevil. My original contention, if you read back was basically that men who get pined over are a tiny minority of all men (whether they are conventionally attractive or not). Whereas almost all women have been on the recieving end of a pine. You seem to have mistaken my arguments for someone elses.
posted by jonmc at 4:25 PM on January 3, 2005


jonmc, you're absolutely wrong, though. Most women have pined, and they haven't confined their pines to some special subset of men. I know this from all the experiences outlined above.

It's true, as docpynchon says, that women are less likely to express their pining to the pinees than men are. But their friends know about it.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:29 PM on January 3, 2005


Both men and women can be completely superficial and obsessed with appearances and shallow details. Both men and women can fall madly in love with someone who doesn't return their feelings and lose sleep over it. Both men and women can be obsessed with someone who is "just a regular person" who nonetheless doesn't return their feelings.

Enough beating around the bush. You want the heart of the matter, then let me ask you this: to the average woman in western culture, what percentage of all men would you say are sexually attractive? Rough estimate. And do you think that number is higher, lower, or the same when the genders are reversed?
posted by drpynchon at 4:41 PM on January 3, 2005


I don't know. I know that lots of women say "All men are competing for the same tiny number of superglamorous gorgeous "HB9+" women" and that lots of men say "All women are competing for the same tiny number of handsome, rich guys". Obviously, since more than 90% of all USericans get married, neither can be true.

Dorothy Parker's "A Fairly Sad Tale" offers this thought:

I think that I shall never know
Why I am thus, and I am so
Around me, other girls inspire
In men the rush and roar of fire,
The sweet transparency of glass,
The tenderness of April grass,
The durability of granite;
But me--I don't know how to plan it.

posted by Sidhedevil at 4:49 PM on January 3, 2005


Obviously, since more than 90% of all USericans get married, neither can be true.

Because 90% of Americans are taking an honest look at themselves and adjusting their expectations accordingly.

In High Fidelity, Nick Hornby says something to the effect that romance is like boxing: there are weight divisions, and it's best for welterweights not to step into the ring with heavyweights.
posted by jonmc at 4:52 PM on January 3, 2005


Because 90% of Americans are taking an honest look at themselves and adjusting their expectations accordingly.

And more than 50% of those being married then realize how tragic that is and end up divorced. Go marriage!??
posted by The God Complex at 4:54 PM on January 3, 2005


More on docpynchon's question: This study suggests that:

Looking at the results for the total sample, we can observe that among the traits assessed as the most desirable {in a potential mate} are sincerity, faithfulness, tenderness, passion, reliability, maturity, and intelligence. Traits assessed as moderately desirable or important are, for example, courage, elegance, attractiveness, thinness, talent for sports, strength, thriftiness, dominance. The least desirable, or the most undesirable are traits such as conceitedness, selfishness, insecurity, aggressiveness, fearfulness, introversion.

There is a strong agreement between the sexes about this general ordering of the traits, but there are some statistically significant differences. The largest differences (p’s< .01) are in the desirability of aggressiveness, thinness, strength, self-pity, fearfulness, fragility, and beauty. males perceived all these traits as more desirable (or less undesirable) than females, except for the strength which is more valued by women. there are six additional items with somewhat smaller but still statistically significant differences (p .05). two items refer to appearance - good looks and attractiveness, and four items refer to personality traits: seriousness, independence, enterprising, sincerity. men scored higher the former items, while the character traits were perceived as more desirable by women ./i>

posted by Sidhedevil at 4:59 PM on January 3, 2005


And more than 50% of those being married then realize how tragic that is and end up divorced. Go marriage!??

Which just goes to show you that 60% of us were destined to die alone. God, now I'll be listening to Morrissey all freakin' week. I curse the lot of you ugly computer geeks.
posted by drpynchon at 4:59 PM on January 3, 2005


I curse the lot of you ugly computer geeks.

Are you kidding? The ladies love this cat. Besides, I'm more of a book geek ;)
posted by The God Complex at 5:06 PM on January 3, 2005


God, now I'll be listening to Morrissey all freakin' week.

Please, anything but that.

*puts on clown suit, sings Roger Miller songs*

Cheered up yet?
posted by jonmc at 5:08 PM on January 3, 2005


SHOPLIFTERS OF THE WORLD UNITE (and sadden jonmc).


yessssssssssss.
posted by The God Complex at 5:10 PM on January 3, 2005


drpynchon, just keep breathing. If you live to be over 70 and don't smell really really bad, you'll get more 60+ pussy than you can handle.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:14 PM on January 3, 2005




And what does 60+ pussy taste like?

Depends.


posted by jonmc at 5:16 PM on January 3, 2005


*slaps self*
posted by jonmc at 5:16 PM on January 3, 2005


Nice. I love you guys.

The only thing that cheers me up more than "King of the Road" is sixty plus year old pussy. Now if only I could combine the two...
posted by drpynchon at 5:19 PM on January 3, 2005


do men really like it when women ask them out?

Do women? Of course they do, if they don't have freaky power issues. It's flattering and humanizing and demonstrates confidence and self-assurance. Doesn't mean they will be attracted enough to the asker to say yes, any more than when a man asks a woman, of course, but it's still a good thing.
posted by rushmc at 5:54 PM on January 3, 2005


I can tell you from my personal experience that many men are simply intimidated by smart, good looking women. These men lack that all important self-confidance trait. There are a lot of them out there.

I'm going to bed now where I will pine away for that nerdy, self-assured man who has a sense of humor. Blah.
posted by Juicylicious at 6:43 PM on January 3, 2005


Every one of them will have a story about themselves, or their women friends, pining away for some nobody guy.

putting aside odd variability in taste, would you say that most women find all men generally attractive? Or would you say about 50% of the gender? Or like 5%?

I know plenty of women who have dated men they were not really sexually excited by (ie, they did not obsess over him before they hooked up). Sometimes these relationships become serious because the woman decides all the other good qualities make up for the fact that the sexual zing is not really there. It is much less common in my experience for a guy to date a woman he really isn't turned on by. It happens, but I think men in general are more likely to be turned on by someone simply being female, rather than their hitting some magic combo that trips the trigger.

And re: making the first move, I agree with the above that if that's gonna turn him off, perhaps that's a sign that he's not such a catch after all.
posted by mdn at 7:03 PM on January 3, 2005


putting aside odd variability in taste, would you say that most women find all men generally attractive? Or would you say about 50% of the gender? Or like 5%?

I'll go out on a limb and estimate (from my observations, since I'm not female) that most women would find maybe 15-25% of men attractive. Am I close?
posted by rushmc at 7:31 PM on January 3, 2005


jonmc, you are not my type.
posted by NortonDC at 7:35 PM on January 3, 2005


In High Fidelity, Nick Hornby says something to the effect that romance is like boxing: there are weight divisions, and it's best for welterweights not to step into the ring with heavyweights.

High Fidelity is a great guy movie. Especially a great more for "about to dump or be dumped" guys (yeah I know he gets back with her in the end, but it still works.) What it isn't is a very accurate picture of the dating world. It, like most of this thread, is filled with gross generalizations that really only work if all you care about is the gross general public, who I'm not even sure exist. (Oh and some of the best relationships I've had started because I decided to fuck worrying about was someone too cool/sexy for me and I decided fuck it I'm going to try. That being said some of my worst started that way too.)

Yes, many women find it harder to act on crushes than most men do. Drives me crazy when some of my female friends sit around pining for some guy rather than pick up the damn phone and call him. But they do pine. They pine for guys better then them, they pine for guys worse them. They pine for guys who fit them perfectly. Start making friends with women you aren't trying to sleep with and you will hear all about it.

Yes there are repressed idiots of both sexes out there who don't know what the hell they want. Playing into that game is stupid, it's a self fulfilling prophecy that leads to bad relationships and worse sex. Leave the idiots to each other, there are real people out there.
posted by aspo at 7:42 PM on January 3, 2005


I'll go out on a limb and estimate (from my observations, since I'm not female) that most women would find maybe 15-25% of men attractive. Am I close?

Since I don't know 100% of the men, my percentage will be skewed, I'd say I find about 20 - 25% attractive, but my idea of attractive doesn't necessarily follow most 'guidelines'.
posted by kamylyon at 7:43 PM on January 3, 2005


I'll go out on a limb and estimate (from my observations, since I'm not female) that most women would find maybe 15-25% of men attractive. Am I close?

who knows? we'd need all women to give their estimates :). But that sounds close to me. I would guess that men are more likely to find somewhere around or over 50% of women attractive. Obviously, there will be a lot of variation [eg, the hottest 10% of the population probably isn't attracted to more than 10% of the population...], but it still seems likely to me that the general percentage for men will be higher than the general percentage for women. Is that true, or a misconception?
posted by mdn at 8:25 PM on January 3, 2005


Start making friends with women you aren't trying to sleep with and you will hear all about it.

Or worse, start pining for one that isn't interested in you in that way, and you'll hear all about it.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:01 PM on January 3, 2005


it still seems likely to me that the general percentage for men will be higher than the general percentage for women. Is that true, or a misconception?

I would say that it is higher, but not, perhaps, by so wide a margin as you suggest.
posted by rushmc at 9:50 PM on January 3, 2005


<voice -family="barbie"> Math is hard! </voice>

Sorry, zpousman, but your markup just isn't validating.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:19 PM on January 3, 2005


Whereas almost all women have been on the recieving end of a pine.

jonmc never fails to turn me on with unintentional smuttiness.
posted by sic at 11:56 PM on January 3, 2005


Most women have pined, and they haven't confined their pines to some special subset of men. I know this from all the experiences outlined above.

It's true, as docpynchon says, that women are less likely to express their pining to the pinees than men are.


I used Pine way back when, at the CERT lab at the local university, but Mutt is way better, if you're going to ...

Oh, wait, wrong thread.
posted by krinklyfig at 5:40 AM on January 4, 2005


Since I don't know 100% of the men, my percentage will be skewed, I'd say I find about 20 - 25% attractive

And 80% of men think they fall into that category.

I think that women want a more emotional relationship with men, in general, and that a woman with a 140 IQ will likely go for men of comparable intelligence and this is probably a smaller range of mates to choose from than has a woman with a 100 IQ who will be attracted to men of a comparable intelligence. Men, on the other hand, will be more than happy (in general) to substitute some beauty for interesting conversation and a very intelligent man would be more content than a very intelligent woman to try and choose a partner from a larger range of intelligence, hence more men than women with a 140 IQ wouldn't mind a partner with a 105 IQ and a pretty face.
posted by Arch Stanton at 6:37 AM on January 4, 2005


I can tell you from my personal experience that many men are simply intimidated by smart, good looking women.

No offense, juicylicious, but listen to how that sounds: "The only reason I can't get a date is that people are intimidated by how wonderful I am...."

I'd also like to say that the whole "self-confidence" thing is overrated. I, for one, can't fucking stand self-confident people. They tend to be arrogant bores whose interest in you is precisely correlated with what's in it for them. I'll take the self-loathing inferiority complex people instead, thanks.
posted by jonmc at 6:40 AM on January 4, 2005


I'd also like to say that the whole "self-confidence" thing is overrated. I, for one, can't fucking stand self-confident people. They tend to be arrogant bores whose interest in you is precisely correlated with what's in it for them. I'll take the self-loathing inferiority complex people instead, thanks.

Amen to that. I've never understood why so many people are attracted to such a shallow, reproducible, and inert quality.
posted by drpynchon at 8:04 AM on January 4, 2005


I've never understood why so many people are attracted to such a shallow, reproducible, and inert quality.

Because "self-esteem" is our new god. Whenever I hear some schmuck say "I like myself," I always want to say "Well, that's good because nobody else can stand you."
posted by jonmc at 8:09 AM on January 4, 2005


I always translate 'i like myself' with 'I don't think there is any room for improvement', which is such a load a balls that it has to be self-delusional.
I like waiting for the collapse and pointing and laughing.

..writing frightening verse to buck tooth girl from Luxembourg..
posted by dprs75 at 8:48 AM on January 4, 2005


Oh c'mon. Liking oneself doesn't mean not admitting room for improvement. Likewise, self-esteem is only bogus if unearned.

And Jon, you're smart enough to know that isn't what Juicy was saying. But if you grew up smart, female, and generally cute, you do notice that combination is intimidating to many men. There are lots of good theories for why and plenty of good techniques to counter it (notably going after boys yourself), but I can't believe so many people deny it.
posted by dame at 9:16 AM on January 4, 2005


Getting back to sidhedevil's question "do men really like it when women ask them out?".

Back when I was single, I loved it when a woman would ask me out. It brightened up my whole day. In fact, I'd accept an invitation from a woman that I might not have asked out myself. Maybe I doubted we were compatible, but if the woman was willing to make the first move, I'd give her at least a first date to prove me wrong.

I agree with drpynchon, if a guy has a problem with being asked out, he's probably not a guy you want to be with anyway.
posted by tdismukes at 9:27 AM on January 4, 2005


And Jon, you're smart enough to know that isn't what Juicy was saying.

I know that's not what she's saying, but that's how it comes out sounding, which is the problem.

But if you grew up smart, female, and generally cute, you do notice that combination is intimidating to many men.

Yes, but most men I know agree that there's nothing more appealing than a pretty girl who dosen't know she's pretty. Because once she does know, she'll develop arrogance (the world's biggest turnoff) and she'll starting using it to manipulate people.

Getting back to sidhedevil's question "do men really like it when women ask them out?".

I'd love to just once have a really hot woman ask me out.

So I could turn her down flat.
posted by jonmc at 9:28 AM on January 4, 2005


I disagree with those who say women are inherently more emotionally intelligent than men because they discuss feelings. Most of what looks like "discussing feelings" is, in fact, posturing and politicking, anything but actually having a frank discussion.

Which is not to say that mature, real emotional connections and discussions do not occur among females, but moreso that these real discussions are about as common among females as they are among males.
posted by dagnyscott at 9:33 AM on January 4, 2005


Yes, but most men I know agree that there's nothing more appealing than a pretty girl who dosen't know she's pretty.

You mean doesn't act like she knows. I would wager a lot more know than you suspect. Many girls I know can tell you where they stand in the prettiness heirarchy of a room in about two minutes—not because they are so shallow but because they know that prettiness still counts for an awful lot: it gets people to listen to you, for one.

Though you do tend to conflate confidence with arrogance, so maybe you mean really doesn't know.
posted by dame at 9:37 AM on January 4, 2005


the thing about confidence is that overconfidence is seriously annoying, but underconfidence is really just as bad. What you want is someone who is aware of themselves, acknowledges their faults but also their strengths. Egotistic assholes are easy to recognize and reject, but then some otherwise very cool people overcompensate get caught in the really-just-as-egotistical neurotic, mopey, I'll never be good enough, train of thought. You shouldn't be ashamed of who you are, even when who you are isn't anything objectively outstanding. A sense of self, a core identity, can make a person much more attractive than their collective traits would predict.

Yes, but most men I know agree that there's nothing more appealing than a pretty girl who dosen't know she's pretty.

well, if you're gonna psychoanalyze sidhedevil, I'll say that just comes across sounding like, I want a pretty girl whose self-esteem is lacking so that she'll turn to me for support, and I can reassure her and make her feel worthwhile...

It's all about the golden mean. arrogance=bad, but skewing your self image in the other direction isn't healthy either. If a pretty girl has a mirror, she should be able to figure out what she looks like. It's true, it's harder for women to judge what men will consider attractive, but I would bet that most women have some realistic sense of where on the scale they land, whether they are coy about it or not.
posted by mdn at 9:41 AM on January 4, 2005


Though you do tend to conflate confidence with arrogance,

In our society today, confidence has become something of a cult, and when confidence is unearned (as it often is), it becomes mere arrogance.
posted by jonmc at 9:42 AM on January 4, 2005


Though you do tend to conflate confidence with arrogance, so maybe you mean really doesn't know.

Whatever. A lot of people would put them on the same spectrum, but for my money it's all just for show. Everybody's trying actively to play the "how confident can I be without being arrogant" game. But does anybody honestly have anything to be all that confident about in the crazy world we live in?

The higher virtues ought to be spun along the lines of self-awareness and genuine humility. Or hell, how about instead of valuing being "confident," why not just go for actually being "capable," and let yourself and not the object of your interest be the judge of what that means.

You mean doesn't act like she knows.

No. He means she has really low self-esteem, or some kind of body-dysmorphic disorder.
posted by drpynchon at 9:52 AM on January 4, 2005


But does anybody honestly have anything to be all that confident about in the crazy world we live in?

Maybe we're using a different sense of the word "confident". It's latin, com, together, fidere, to trust. It means to trust yourself. To lack confidence means that you're doubting who you are, what you want, where you're going. To have confidence means you have a sense of self, you have integrity or unity within yourself. You know who you are. That's a good thing.

It doesn't mean that 'who you are' is better than other possibilities, or that your choices are irrefutable, or anything like that; it's just a degree of comfort with being whoever it is you're turning out to be (and yes, 'who you are' is a dynamic concept, always changing, but it needn't be chaotic and unstable).
posted by mdn at 10:08 AM on January 4, 2005


To have confidence means you have a sense of self, you have integrity or unity within yourself. You know who you are. That's a good thing.

To paraphrase Bill Cosby, "What if you're an asshole?"

Seriously , if you're mediocre and nondescript, and know it, that equals confidence?

Regardless of the words eytomolgy, the word has come to mean something entirely different entirely (see "cofidence man"). It's not me who's conflated confidence and arrogance, it's all of society.
posted by jonmc at 10:14 AM on January 4, 2005


I'd love to just once have a really hot woman ask me out. So I could turn her down flat.

A friend of mine would purposefully go to strip clubs and only buy drinks, just for the pleasure of having beautiful, naked women throwing themselves at him and turning them down.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:14 AM on January 4, 2005


mdn, in social settings that's just not the common usage. When that quality becomes something one can "exude" I see that as problematic. In my experience, it's generally not exactly a warts-and-all "know who you are" quality people are talking about when they use the term. Otherwise people wouldn't say stuff like "confident but not arrogant." Ultimately, common usage boils down to a word relating to displays of self-promotion (or at least what some people see as an appropriate degree of self-promotion) and not a sense of self.
posted by drpynchon at 10:20 AM on January 4, 2005


No. He means she has really low self-esteem, or some kind of body-dysmorphic disorder.

That's right. He wants someone with false modesty. There is nothing wrong with saying, "I am pretty; these are its uses; it's not the defining factor of my life." There is nothing wrong with knowing where you stand and admitting where you beat out other people.

Both overconfidence and underconfidence are gross. But not being able to tell the difference between confidence and arrogance is worse.
posted by dame at 10:59 AM on January 4, 2005


Both overconfidence and underconfidence are gross. But not being able to tell the difference between confidence and arrogance is worse.

That's right. He wants someone with false modesty.

Actually, I prefer someone utter oblivious or who just dosen't care. I've always been of the opinion that most people male and female are waaay too vain and that they best thing anyone can do is let their appearance go straight to hell.

"I am pretty; these are its uses; it's not the defining factor of my life."

"In a land where the river runs free
In a land through the green country
In a land to a shining sea
And you and me are free to be you and me..."

Those "uses" generally amount to selling cosmetics, vanity and manipulation.

To lack confidence means that you're doubting who you are, what you want, where you're going.

That's a good thing. If you're doubting that means your still exploring and questioning. If you're "sure" about these things than you are arrogant.

It's all simply egomania anyway. Get into touch with your insignificance, folks.
posted by jonmc at 11:15 AM on January 4, 2005


Oh, for Baal's sake. I think everyone means different things by "self-confidence". I mean "not a whimpering mess, or someone so insecure that they constantly have to be scoring points off others to remind them of their self-worth".

Let's try "reasonably happy with themselves most of the time". As someone who spent the first thirty-plus years of her life overwhelmed with self-loathing, I have to say it is overrated.

Plus, self-loathing itself can become a form of narcissism (cf. Dimmesdale in The Scarlet Letter--"Here am I , the one sinner of the world!"). Dude, get over yourself. If you're not Pol Pot, you're unlikely to be any worse than anybody else.

The problem with terms like "self-confidence" is that they're so idiosyncratic that nobody knows what anyone else means by them. As this discussion develops, it seems like jonmc thought that pinkkitty was looking for James Bond, whereas I thought she was just looking for someone who was better-adjusted than, say, Woody Allen. Neither of us actually know what she meant by "self-confidence".

To the guys who say, "It's great when women ask men out!" I say "Hurray!" However, this is not the message most women get--for example, the recent bestselling advice book, He's Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt and Liz Turcillo, says that under no circumstances should women ever ask men out. And it's Greg who says that, not Liz.

I guess it varies from person to person. This, I suppose, is the real key to all this stuff--everyone is unique and what they are looking for in a partner is a unique variation on a fairly standard set of qualities.

I do think that the things that came out in the Serbian study I cited above are a pretty good place to start: sincerity, faithfulness, tenderness, passion, reliability, maturity, and intelligence. (I would add "sense of humor" to that myself, but it may not be at much of a premium in Serbia these days.)
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:31 AM on January 4, 2005


To the guys who say, "It's great when women ask men out!" I say "Hurray!" However, this is not the message most women get--for example, the recent bestselling advice book, He's Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt and Liz Turcillo, says that under no circumstances should women ever ask men out. And it's Greg who says that, not Liz.

Is there any reasoning behind that or is it just policy?
posted by drpynchon at 11:37 AM on January 4, 2005


Those "uses" generally amount to selling cosmetics, vanity and manipulation.

Not really. Like I said before, being good looking (but not off the charts) makes people listen to women in a way they wouldn't otherwise. Do you think Susan Sontag would have done as well had she not been a looker? Her ideas would have been the same but the attention they received would not have been.

I don't like it, and I don't think it's fair. But it is true. As true as playing dumb gets you more boys. Knowing you are being judged on something and understanding what the judgement is likely to be is reasonable, even if you choose to not do anything about it. It's just understanding the repercussions of your choices fully.
posted by dame at 11:54 AM on January 4, 2005


there's nothing more appealing than a pretty girl who dosen't know she's pretty.

And how does that present itself? In other words, please describe the looks, behavior, etc. of a pretty girl who doesn't know she's pretty.

On Preview: says that under no circumstances should women ever ask men out.

I don't dispute this at all, but why is it that so many feel this way?
posted by Juicylicious at 11:54 AM on January 4, 2005


To paraphrase Bill Cosby, "What if you're an asshole?"

If you're an asshole, you're an asshole. Being a self-doubting asshole isn't going to make you a better person.

That's a good thing. If you're doubting that means your still exploring and questioning. If you're "sure" about these things than you are arrogant.

yeah, we're just stuck in semantics here, like sidhedevil said. I made it clear above that a person is always evolving and nothing is set in stone. But flailing about without a clue is not attractive either. Exploring and questioning is good. Lost and freaking out is not. We all have strengths and weaknesses, and we should all be aware of them. False modesty about your strengths is not really appealing to me. Trumpeting them is not either, but to me, if you trumpet them too much, you don't really have confidence in them to start with. If someone is confident about their intelligence, they don't need to mention their SAT scores over dinner... as many of us have said above, both too much and too little confidence are egotistical - overly focused on 'measuring up', instead of accepting who you are, and attempting to make the best of it.

anyway. golden mean, golden mean.

says that under no circumstances should women ever ask men out. And it's Greg who says that, not Liz.

Interesting. well, for the record, it's never worked for me either (not that I've tried that many times). Still, if things would have worked out had I "played the game" differently, then that only means I would have ended up with someone not right for me...
posted by mdn at 12:06 PM on January 4, 2005


And how does that present itself? In other words, please describe the looks, behavior, etc. of a pretty girl who doesn't know she's pretty.

She's not constantly displaying herself to attract maximmum attention. She's not batting her lashes at you so she can cut ahead of you in line or rubbing her boobs against your back so you'll buy her a drink. She'll actually talk to you, rather than looking at you like you're something she scaped off her shoe. She dosen't spend hours putting on makeup and huge amounts of money on clothes.

But flailing about without a clue is not attractive either.

Forget attractive, it's just what we're all really doing if we're honest with ourselves.
posted by jonmc at 12:34 PM on January 4, 2005


Do you see that everything that you listed is subjective? Nothing you listed is concrete. I'm trying to understand you. Give some concrete examples and definitions. I have no idea what constitutes "eye batting." And I wonder how you know how much someone spends on their wardrobe. What exactly is that look that tells you that you're no more than shoe crap? What does a woman who does not portray your cited list look like and act?

Without more, you come across as a guy who projects all your own bs onto women (and most likely men too) who you think will reject you, thus avoiding the rejection.


I was driving in a car with a man once. A female dj came on to do her spiel. My friend commented that she probably wasn't very pretty. I asked why he thought that. He said "because she sounds like such a nice person. If she was good looking, she wouldn't be so nice." I still don't understand this line of thinking.
posted by Juicylicious at 12:53 PM on January 4, 2005


the thing about confidence is that overconfidence is seriously annoying, but underconfidence is really just as bad. What you want is someone who is...

...perfect? We're back to the impossibly high expectations again. Heh.

It's true, it's harder for women to judge what men will consider attractive

This (common) claim has always baffled me a bit, given that our society is absolutely inundated with imagery and description of what men consider attractive. For a woman not to "get" this seems to me the highest conceivable act of denial.

Forget attractive, it's just what we're all really doing if we're honest with ourselves.

But there's attractive flailing and unattractive flailing!
posted by rushmc at 12:59 PM on January 4, 2005


He said "because she sounds like such a nice person. If she was good looking, she wouldn't be so nice." I still don't understand this line of thinking.

He probably meant that our society rewards the good-looking for trading on their looks, and so a disproportionate number of them come to rely on (and abuse) them, at the expense of developing and habitually using interpersonal behaviors that we might consider "nice."
posted by rushmc at 1:02 PM on January 4, 2005


jonmc, I can tell you that I am not "flailing about without a clue". I was flailing about without a clue for a long time, and I know what that feels like. Having some stability and serenity and working steadily toward personal and professional goals feels a lot better.

docpynchon and Juicylicious, I took He's Just Not That Into You out of the library rather than buying it, so I cannot quote the exact reasons Greg Behrendt gave for his belief that it was imprudent for women to ask men out. IIRC, he said something along the lines of "men prefer to be the pursuers; this may be ridiculous and old-fashioned, but I and all of my guy friends feel weird and uncomfortable when a woman asks us out."

This is an excerpt from another section of the book where Behrendt discusses the "asking-out" issue.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:04 PM on January 4, 2005


Actually, if you can bring yourself to read that whole excerpt, Behrendt does spell out his point of view pretty clearly toward the end.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:06 PM on January 4, 2005


Give some concrete examples and definitions. I have no idea what constitutes "eye batting."

eyebatting=rapidly fluttering eyelashes, lip nibbling, making puppy-dog eyes upward, and other stock "seductive" gestures.

And I wonder how you know how much someone spends on their wardrobe.

I can read a designer label, and I know what precious stones look like.

What exactly is that look that tells you that you're no more than shoe crap?

Sniffing haughtily. Sneering. Hmph-ing. Ignoring your presence.
posted by jonmc at 1:11 PM on January 4, 2005


She's not constantly displaying herself to attract maximmum attention. She's not batting her lashes at you so she can cut ahead of you in line or rubbing her boobs against your back so you'll buy her a drink. She'll actually talk to you, rather than looking at you like you're something she scaped off her shoe. She dosen't spend hours putting on makeup and huge amounts of money on clothes.

And you honestly think that means she doesn't know she's pretty? It means she's not shallow and manipulative; she's not unaware that she's attractive, at least not always. I can't understand how you can possibly confuse these two completely separate realities.

Also, everything that dame said.
posted by The God Complex at 1:43 PM on January 4, 2005



A friend of mine would purposefully go to strip clubs and only buy drinks, just for the pleasure of having beautiful, naked women throwing themselves at him and turning them down.


Your friend is an asshole. I advise you not to tell this story in mixed company if you're going to portray it in a positive light.
posted by The God Complex at 1:48 PM on January 4, 2005


I love makeup and clothes, but certainly would never bat my lashes at someone to try to cut ahead of them in line, or flirt with someone so they would buy me a drink.

Makeup and clothes are fun--trying to manipulate other people with the promise of sex is creepy.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:56 PM on January 4, 2005


Makeup and clothes are fun

Yes, they are. My next purchase is going to be a pink silk tie, if I can find one in the right tone.

OMG I'M SUCH A GIRL. All the ladies better watch out if they run into me at a meetup, because I may bat my eyes to get you to buy me drinks. ;P
posted by The God Complex at 2:08 PM on January 4, 2005


mdn - "...it's never worked for me either (not that I've tried that many times)"

I've heard that sort of comment before from some women. It makes me think that they don't understand the basic odds that guys deal with when asking women out. Based on my experiences when I was single, asking a woman out was 90% likely to produce ... a simple rejection or... vague postponements which never lead to a date or ... an initial acceptance followed by later cancellation/weaseling out or ... initial acceptance followed by the "lets be friends" speech or ... the "lets just be friends" speech followed by distancing themselves so the friendship evaporated. (The last one really bugged me, since I wouldn't want to date anyone that I didn't want as a friend.)

Despite those odds, I eventually found a wife who thinks I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread.

If your success rate in asking men out isn't worse than the 90% listed above, then you're doing about par for the course.
posted by tdismukes at 2:11 PM on January 4, 2005


It doesn't matter sid, because certain men (and sadly some women) will project their own crap onto you. They will *assume* that you are a manipulative bitch just be looking at you.

On Preview: I'll buy you a drink if you come to the Minneapple meetup. You don't have to bat your eyes or rub your masculine breasts on me for it either.
posted by Juicylicious at 2:13 PM on January 4, 2005


TGC, I'll buy you a drink but only if you wear the pink silk tie.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:16 PM on January 4, 2005


But I can if I want to, right? I have very nice eyelashes ;) If I can get my particle de-and-re celerator working in time, I'll make sure to teleport into the middle of the festitivies from my subterranean love lab on Vancouver Island.


If your success rate in asking men out isn't worse than the 90% listed above, then you're doing about par for the course.


Maybe I'm young and the world's changing, but I've honestly never asked a girl out, and most of my friends haven't either. I just meet funny/smart/cute girls and they become friends that I hang out with, and if there's something more there it's usually obvious after not all that long. And if there's not, well, it's not like you can ever have too many intelligent, funny women as friends, at least that's my general rule.
posted by The God Complex at 2:18 PM on January 4, 2005


that should have been a semi colon instead of a comma at the end there... i have to point that out for my own tenuous grasp on my self-confidence...

TGC, I'll buy you a drink but only if you wear the pink silk tie.

One day.

Ok, I'm going shopping (for books, not ties). Hopefully there's more goodness when I come back, because the conversation in this thread has been mostly fun and quite enlightening.
posted by The God Complex at 2:21 PM on January 4, 2005


No, it's because you're young, TGC. When I was in my early twenties, that was how the social ramble worked for us, too; by the time we were in our early thirties, people actually had to do more formal "asking out" thingies.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:22 PM on January 4, 2005


Your friend is an asshole. I advise you not to tell this story in mixed company if you're going to portray it in a positive light.

There is no light except the one you decide to cast on it. Don't forget that there are two parts to Titty Bar, and if one decides only to partake in the alcohol without paying $50 to have someone tease them and remind them that they're never going to get laid, I don't see a problem with that. If it boosts his ego in the process, more power to him.

I admit, however, it is a bit of a con, but then, that happens on both sides of the transaction.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:25 PM on January 4, 2005


Forget attractive, it's just what we're all really doing if we're honest with ourselves.

it's been addressed but I feel the need to reiterate: there are degrees of everything. Too far in either direction is a Bad Thing. If you've never known (or been) someone who had no self-confidence or direction, good for you, but if you have, you should understand why it's not a plus.

...perfect? We're back to the impossibly high expectations again. Heh.

:). In this case perfection is not "the highest ideal" but "a good balance". When the right place can be found between two extremes, there is a broader area that is acceptable, and it is not unattainable.

This (common) claim has always baffled me a bit, given that our society is absolutely inundated with imagery and description of what men consider attractive. For a woman not to "get" this seems to me the highest conceivable act of denial.

If you're attracted to people, you "know" without thinking who's attractive. If you're not attracted to them instinctively you have to kind of think about it. Eg, on an askme thread a while back, I was surprised when someone called one of the characters on "sex & the city" ugly, and pointed out which ones were good looking. Although upon reflection I could distinguish the girlishly beautiful from sort of semi-butchily cute, and see who would score more points with the guys, it didn't enter my brain that way. The point is, if you don't feel an attraction to someone, it isn't as immediately obvious that they're attractive.

Still, I think pretty much everyone gets some sense of their assets or not in that department, over time. What's more important is how important they think it is, no

I've heard that sort of comment before from some women. It makes me think that they don't understand the basic odds that guys deal with when asking women out.

No, I was assuming my odds are normal, just saying I don't have any counterevidence, but that if it should turn out that the reason for things not working out was that I played too much pursuer instead of pursuee, then it's just as well we didn't end up together. I'm not assuming that that's the case, though. As you say, things probably didn't work out because they usually don't work out :).

Maybe I'm young and the world's changing, but I've honestly never asked a girl out, and most of my friends haven't either.

it's not that the world's changing, it's that you're young. In high school and college there's no need for "dates" - you're always hanging out, doing stuff with each other, etc. Later, when you have less opportunity to see the same people with interests similar to you own over and over, you may have to engage in weird social rituals.
posted by mdn at 3:28 PM on January 4, 2005


Although upon reflection I could distinguish the girlishly beautiful from sort of semi-butchily cute, and see who would score more points with the guys,

Ironically, the "semi-butchily cute" Cynthia Nixon is a heterosexual, while the "girlishly beautiful" Kristin Davis is a lesbian.

Oh SNAP!
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:54 PM on January 4, 2005


Scoff all you want, my opinions come from my own experiences just like yours do.

I love makeup and clothes, but certainly would never bat my lashes at someone to try to cut ahead of them in line, or flirt with someone so they would buy me a drink.

Please. You're gonna tell me with a straight face that you've never used sex appeal (note not "the promise of sex") to get something you wanted? You've never given in to the power of being a tease?

No offense, but I do not buy it. Not for a minute.
posted by jonmc at 4:02 PM on January 4, 2005


jonmc, I have never used sex appeal to get anything I wanted, except sex. I have definitely used sex appeal to get sex.

I don't care whether you buy it or not--you have a lot of ideas about how people interact that are so foreign to my experience that one more or less won't matter.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:20 PM on January 4, 2005


Also "I love clothes and makeup" != "I exploit sex appeal".

"Hey, big boy. Check out the fine tailoring on my jacket and the real French mascara I'm wearing. And, yes, those are handmade glasses frames. Now how 'bout a drink for a fashionista?"
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:22 PM on January 4, 2005


From the article:

• Don't get tricked into asking him out. If he likes you, he'll do the asking.

• If you can find him, then he can find you. If he wants to find you, he will.


This is the worst reasoning in the world, Sidhedevil. It operates on the notion that all men will basically ask out all women that they are attracted to. Which was my point to begin with. Guys like this are usually assholes. So if you have a crush on an asshole, then yes, the best thing to do is to wait for him to make the first move because he invariably will. If you fancy the nerdy guy who's head is in the clouds, and prefers to spend his time studying obscure branches of the humanities, then don't hold your breath.

I guess women don't appreciate how much heavy lifting is required to make these things happen because it's always made to seem so easy. But it's quite the pain in the ass being a guy and having to initiate all relationships. And most of us generally try to avoid rejection by sticking to people we think we stand a chance with. Which is why being aloof is counterproductive, and why it's even more practical for beautiful, intelligent women to be a little more aggressive if the object of their desires isn't a prick . More and more, I find that the women I run into aren't even interested in seeming approachable or flirting. They've forgotten how to smile, and instead just focus their energies on looking hot and showing more cleavage. What a recipe for disaster.

Why should anyone be a passive participants in their own love lives?

posted by drpynchon at 4:31 PM on January 4, 2005


No pun intended.
posted by drpynchon at 4:33 PM on January 4, 2005


drpynchon, I'm not espousing the "women shouldn't ask men out" principle myself, but I do hear it a lot--not only from stupid pop-culture sources, but from men I actually love and trust. I was interested to know what the MeFi perspective on this was.

As I am happily and monogamously married, it is academic to me, though a source of continuing sociological interest.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:37 PM on January 4, 2005


No offense, but I do not buy it. Not for a minute.

The thing is, you're starting with a presumption: that anyone who doesn't do this is simply unaware that she's attractive. Perhaps she is perfectly aware of what she looks like, but simply doesn't consider it that important. How would you be able to know the difference?
posted by mdn at 4:38 PM on January 4, 2005


I don't care whether you buy it or not--you have a lot of ideas about how people interact that are so foreign to my experience that one more or less won't matter.

It certainly seems that way, doesnt it? I guess I'm just puzzled by the fact that jonmc will put his head through a brick wall and claw tooth and nail in defense of just about everyone--from middle-class bible-belters who vote against their own interest (because of long work hours and no time to educate themselves) to the working-class firefighters and police forces of New York City--and he does so, I must say, quite effectivley; but he's adamant in his condemnations of women, which he claims as general observations while he paints all women with the same brush. I get heavy vibes of latent misogyny when I read things he writes about women, but he never seems to understand why people accuse him of such.
posted by The God Complex at 4:41 PM on January 4, 2005


The point is, if you don't feel an attraction to someone, it isn't as immediately obvious that they're attractive.

I hear what you're saying, but on the other side, while I am not sexually attracted to men, I have little trouble making general distinctions of relative attractiveness among them (up to a point—I grant that I may be missing certain subtle cues that women might pick up on). So I have to conclude that individual taste accounts for more of any discrepancy that exists than strict gender differences.
posted by rushmc at 4:45 PM on January 4, 2005


The thing is, you're starting with a presumption: that anyone who doesn't do this is simply unaware that she's attractive.

Because almost all women I've met have done this is one form or another. I'm at a lovely vantage point to see it, being more or less out of the sex/love arena (and when I was in it, I was more or less invisible anyway). When you witness the whole sordid dance from the balcony it becomes a lot less entertaining.

On preview, I suppose I am a misogynist in that I don't care for most women, but I don't care for most men either, and I do so with prejudice or malice. It's just what experience and observation have taught me.
posted by jonmc at 4:46 PM on January 4, 2005


drpynchon, I'm not espousing the "women shouldn't ask men out" principle myself, but I do hear it a lot--not only from stupid pop-culture sources, but from men I actually love and trust. I was interested to know what the MeFi perspective on this was.

I think that's a shame, but probably a product of a different generation. I think you'll find that people my age are far less concerned with such things. But I could be wrong; I have been accused of being somewhat out of touch before. Then again, as I said, I don't--and hope never to have to--do the whole traditional date song and dance, so the only similar experiences I have are with girls being fairly obvious about their interest: I am never displeased when this happens, even if I'm not really interested; why should I be?
posted by The God Complex at 4:47 PM on January 4, 2005



On preview, I suppose I am a misogynist in that I don't care for most women, but I don't care for most men either, and I do so with prejudice or malice. It's just what experience and observation have taught me.


I understand where you're coming from, but it's a pretty awful way to go through life, assuming that everyone you meet is worthless until they prove otherwise. Frankly, I don't know why anyone would care to take the time to prove they're worthwhile to someone so bitter. It's a vicious circle, that.
posted by The God Complex at 4:48 PM on January 4, 2005


Oh, and for the record, since I never actually answered the original question this thread posed, I love intelligent women, either as romantic interests or friends. There is absolutely nothing better than a woman who can match wits with you and mocks you mercilessly (though good naturedly) about whatever vainglorious foibles you may have, not to mention school you about various things you'd never considered or engage in serious debate about whatever strikes your fancy. I can't imagine ever settling for less, frankly, so we better hope that tie works out and I find the girl before I have to get all traditional dating and whatnot ;)
posted by The God Complex at 4:52 PM on January 4, 2005


TGC, in the immortal words of Roseanne Barr:

"Ladies, you may be married to the man of your dreams now, in ten years you'll be married to a couch taht burps."

The same holds true for us. And you'll be settling on some level, unless you engineer the perfect woman in your genetics lab inthe basement. And she'll be settling for you.
posted by jonmc at 5:02 PM on January 4, 2005


There is absolutely nothing better than a woman who can match wits with you

what if she's smarter than you?
This may be another example of subtleties making a lot of difference. Everyone generally hopes for someone around their level - but perhaps women often want "at least as smart" and men often want "very nearly as smart"... seems like a tiny difference but it could throw the statistics off.

Because almost all women I've met have done this is one form or another.

so the pretty girl who doesn't know she's pretty is just a fantasy, not a type of person actually out there...

I hear what you're saying, but on the other side, while I am not sexually attracted to men, I have little trouble making general distinctions of relative attractiveness among them...individual taste accounts for more of any discrepancy

Well, I think everyone can make distinctions when they think about it - all I meant is that if you're not comparing you might not notice.

I agree that taste has a lot to do with it - I remember an episode of Politically Incorrect where Bill Maher was arguing with a male guest about Pamela Anderson. The guest claimed not to find her attractive, but Maher could not accept this. He insisted that the guest was just putting on an act, that "all men" were hot for pam anderson.

Perhaps one could argue that 80+% of the world is basically average looking. There's maybe 10% who will generally be considered hot, and 10% generally agreed to have lost that lottery, but the majority are in that pool of 'individual preference.'
posted by mdn at 5:29 PM on January 4, 2005


but the majority are in that pool of 'individual preference.'

Perhaps, but I think what Maher was getting at was this: men, if they are single will literally have sex with whatever says yes or offers itself, so preferences are ultimately academic. For women, not so much, since women know this about men deep down, thus they hold the trump card.
posted by jonmc at 5:41 PM on January 4, 2005


(Previous discussion of He's Just Not That Into You here.)

I've enjoyed this thread. I think even if a girl initially asked a guy out, the dynamic has to switch at some point, or at least become equal, so that the girl is not holding the relationship together through sheer stubborn force of will while the guy just has a sleeping partner. Unless that's all she wants, too, in which case, power to them both.
posted by onlyconnect at 8:00 PM on January 4, 2005


men, if they are single will literally have sex with whatever says yes or offers itself

You are so weird sometimes, jonmc...
posted by rushmc at 8:55 PM on January 4, 2005


I think even if a girl initially asked a guy out, the dynamic has to switch at some point, or at least become equal, so that the girl is not holding the relationship together through sheer stubborn force of will while the guy just has a sleeping partner.

This goes for both sexes. I have a feeling that a lot of guys fall into the trap of being overly controlling or possessive of their girlfriends precisely because they feel they are the ones doing all the effort, and if they stop at any time, the girl will simply disappear.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:02 PM on January 4, 2005


This isn't someone who gives a damn for the little guy.

If she matches wits with me and then makes a fool of me--which sometimes happens--then that's even better, as long as she's not a jerk about it (that's a good rule of thumb about anyone though). Besides, as many have echoed, there's no hard and fast rule for intelligence; I know a number of smart young people, and some of them know a hell of a lot more about some things than I do, and I know more about other things. If this theoretical woman was leagues smarter than me, then I guess I'd have a lot to learn from her, and I'd hopefully have at least something to offer her (or what would be the point). Honestly, though, it wouldn't put me off at all.
posted by The God Complex at 9:56 PM on January 4, 2005


mdn, I so agree with the "Bell Curve" theory of physical attractiveness you adumbrate above. In my experience, 10% of people are movie-star-gorgeous, 10% of people are really hard to look at, and 80% of people are more or less attractive depending on what you like or don't like (I know a woman whose biggest movie-star crush is Philip Seymour Hoffman).

However, I disagree with Bill Maher that Pamela Anderson is universally attractive. My lovely husband thinks she's creepy-looking. I think she used to be pretty, but now looks ill and haggard.

On an unrelated note, my husband doesn't get the appeal of Audrey Hepburn. He just thinks she's weird-looking. "A decent actress, but just strange-looking" he just reiterated.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:56 AM on January 5, 2005


I don't know why I accidentally quoted something from jonmc in another thread. Probably I was reading that other thread and doing my usual move-the-mouse-all-over-highlighting-things-and-whatnot-because-i-have-add thing, but it sure makes for funny reading. I meant to quote this:

What if she's smarter than you?
This may be another example of subtleties making a lot of difference. Everyone generally hopes for someone around their level - but perhaps women often want "at least as smart" and men often want "very nearly as smart"... seems like a tiny difference but it could throw the statistics off.
That would have made far more sense. I'm sure nobody is reading this thread anymore, but I must correct myself if I am to sleep at all tonight!
posted by The God Complex at 2:39 PM on January 5, 2005


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