THE RESULTS are in… and they’re not that surprising, though they should be. The demographic of single women is dominated by those with smarts. That’s right, men are more likely to commit to the Pinky than they are to the Brain.
In a recent article featured on daily media website The Wire, financial writer John Carney suggested that one reason explaining this phenomenon is that “successful men date less successful women not because they want ‘women to be dumb,’ but rather because they want ‘someone who prioritizes [her] life in a way that’s compatible with how [they] prioritize [theirs].’”
In essence, most dudes want a girl to work around their schedules, literally and figuratively, necessitating that she values his priorities and ambitions over hers. But if you possess the slightest modicum of aspiration, or you know, a brain, you understand how much not pursuing your own passions and interests wholeheartedly can hurt in the long run. That 1950s June-Cleaver role doesn’t work for the more career-minded woman.
Another slightly less-researched, yet just as probable, explanation is that many men are big fat pussy cats. Do you have an ex that’s dating a young, emotionally unavailable young thang instead of dealing with the intimacy and self-esteem issues you know he has? If so, you’re not in that boat alone. The simple fact is that smart, present women challenge their partners in different ways than their counterparts who have a more fluid approach to life. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, at all; we were all young once, and not every woman needs to be an intellectual in order to “make it.”
Now, this is not to say, of course, that smarter or more ambitious women are totally left out to dry, because there are plenty of men who are supportive of women with goals and welcome challenges as opportunity for growth. When you see that kind of relationship it can be one of the most inspiring and heart-warming things to witness.
But we can get into challenging stereotype territory when we consider the fact that “brainy” girls are usually assumed to have looks that don’t exactly match up to the standards of beauty that we’re flooded with by the media. And on the other side of the spectrum, a lot of beautiful women aren’t expected to be smart. Besides being a total crock of s**t (celebrity case-in-point: Natalie Portman), it creates the illusion that beauty and intelligence are mutually-exclusive characteristics, when they’re not, and shouldn’t and can’t exist in the same space when they most definitely should and, more importantly, can.
It also perpetuates the idea that women are supposed to look perfect all the time, but not pose any sort of challenge to their significant others or to the status quo — perpetuating the idea that, like children, they should be seen and not heard. Not to mention the idea that a woman who follows her ambitions and pursues a career automatically means that she doesn’t want a romantic interest in her life. While some women indeed do not want a husband or a relationship, many smart and career-oriented women do — just in the right timing and circumstances for her and her partner. And shouldn’t we be supporting that instead of assuming that there’s any right time or situation for a couple to head to the altar?
A Daily Mail article by Minister of Universities David Willetts delved into the future of how this “epidemic” might play out. He implied that more and more “successful women will have to ‘marry down’ by choosing partners less qualified than them – and may increasingly select men based on how supportive they might be to their careers, rather than whether they can support them financially.”
While support isn’t the worst fate out there, “marrying down” isn’t the most appetizing way to phrase it. Here’s hoping there are enough mature, responsible, intelligent men who love being an equal partner and support system to the smart and ambitious women of the world.
Looks like the tables are set to be turned, huh, fellas?
Image Credit: Ramey Guerra