Find me some articles about why you shouldn't date intelligent women
January 22, 2011 8:47 AM   Subscribe

Find me some articles about why you shouldn't date an intelligent girl.

A friend sent me this article yesterday. I think it's ridiculously dramatic and presents a false dichotomy, with an unrealistic situation on either side.

This is no wonder after reading the author's bio: "Charles Warnke is a 21 year-old writer based out of Berkeley, California. While trying his hardest to live a life fit for an autobiographer, Charles writes, studies, and starves in a small room in the Bay Area. " He's just a kid.

But I know that there are adults out there with a little more experience of the world who still hold more mature versions of this sentiment.

I'd like to send my friend some articles in response, but I can't think of any off the top of my head. Any recommendations?

PS: Please don't bother getting upset about whether or not guys should actually date intelligent women. That's not what this is about, and I don't hold the sentiment myself.
posted by sunnichka to Human Relations (32 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
 
I don't think the article sets forth the sentiment that you think it sets forth.

And as to the argument that men shouldn't date intelligent women -- seriously, I don't think there ARE "more mature versions of this sentiment." How can there be a mature version of the sentiment that "you should date someone dumb"?
posted by jayder at 8:57 AM on January 22, 2011 [22 favorites]


That's not an article, it's a short story.
posted by bcwinters at 9:00 AM on January 22, 2011 [34 favorites]


What jayder said. No mature person is going to say that you shouldn't date an intelligent person. And I agree I do not think this article literally is saying that you shouldn't date someone illiterate.
posted by Lobster Garden at 9:03 AM on January 22, 2011


It's making a statement about living your life consciously, not just letting it happen, by presenting the opposite as a tragedy. I'm not quite sure it needs a response; it's just to make you think and possibly break your heart a little if you see yourself in it.
posted by Mala at 9:07 AM on January 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


I like the story you linked to, but like jayder, I think you missed the point. It describes the sad and pathetic existence of someone who drifted through life, not thinking, not feeling, not loving. It strikes me as a warning, not a blissful dream.

The writer might be a 21 year old, but he has the wisdom of someone older. Or the ideals of someone young.
posted by adahn at 9:17 AM on January 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think you've completely misread this article.

It's a wonderfully dry, sarcastic work of opposition... "Don't do as I did. Date someone ordinary, subpar, and even stupid. I dated someone wonderfully savant, who made me realize how deep every single thought could be. She made me realize how empty my life is, now that she's gone. I'm in deep regret, now that she is. I am angry with myself, and want to place that anger on her. I'm trying to. It isn't working."

Doesn't answer your question, I know, but it's lovely, IMO.

And, I would disagree slightly with some of the advice above. Intelligent girls are not for unintelligent guys. It's probably easiest, and most likely to work out, if the two partners are more equal.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:19 AM on January 22, 2011 [16 favorites]


Yeah, that article doesn't say what you think it says. Read the whole thing, not just the title. Also watch some Stephen Colbert if you need help with the idea of saying one thing and meaning another.

And, there's no such thing as a mature version of the sentiment that guys should date unintelligent girls.

But, to answer that question on its own terms, you could arguably go with anything by Tucker Max. Or AskMen.
posted by J. Wilson at 9:24 AM on January 22, 2011


He's just a kid.

He's four years younger than you, and you appear to have missed his point.
posted by gene_machine at 9:44 AM on January 22, 2011 [9 favorites]


Wait. Wait wait wait wait wait. This very short story doesn't say that you ought not date intelligent women; it says you ought not date women who read. It's talking about education, and/or lack thereof. Where did you get the part about intelligence?
posted by dancestoblue at 9:53 AM on January 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wow, that was actually a lovely story. I think you've really really missed his point and are in no position the author as a kid.
posted by peacheater at 10:01 AM on January 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, yeah, look at religious views on the relationship between education and happiness for people generally (the amish, for instance) and for specific genders.
posted by phrontist at 10:02 AM on January 22, 2011


Oh, let me clarify. I think I'm kid, too, first of all. And second--the article is part of a larger discussion about relationships and settling. I don't think it's inappropriate to conflate a person who reads literature as a person who is intelligent. I am aware of the irony to the article, but I don't think this negates its relation to my question.

Please, just articles, nothing else is helpful to me. Have you stopped to consider that I may be intent on arguing AGAINST my friend's sentiment? But first I'd like to find other, more complex versions of it.

I'll stop thread-sitting now. I'm sure Jessamyn is exasperated already that she'll have to watch this thread closely. I'm sorry!
posted by sunnichka at 10:05 AM on January 22, 2011


Yeah, you've misinterpreted the article. It's about literary women rather than intelligent women. And more importantly, it's a pretty good little piece of creative writing which is playing around with using the voice of an unreliable narrator. Unreliable narrators are not uncommon in literature and can, for instance, be found in the works of Joyce, Nabokov, Woolf and Hemingway.
posted by Bwithh at 10:10 AM on January 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


Also, quality is very important to me.
posted by sunnichka at 10:10 AM on January 22, 2011


I am aware of the irony to the article, but I don't think this negates its relation to my question.

Yes, it does. Read iambroom's reply. You don't need to send your friend an article refuting his sentiment that 'one should not date girls who read' because that's the exact opposite of what the story is saying.
posted by suedehead at 10:39 AM on January 22, 2011


I'm confused why people are assuming the OP has misread this article. Calling it dramatic doesn't mean not picking up on the irony. The narrator is unreliable, yes, but the problematic assertion they're making via irony is that well-read people live richer, more valuable existences by virtue of their being well-read. You know, I kind of disagree -- there is somewhat of a false dichotomy between well-read (and therefore intelligent, worldly, of worth) and non-reader (and therefore stagnant, outside of meaningful/literary existence, etc). This is why Matthew Arnold fell out of fashion in critical studies (though the idea that reading = better person is still hugely important in schooling and culture and blah blah, of course, and we in the West are certainly a product of that.)

Sorry if that's off-topic, but wanted to clarify that.
posted by elephantsvanish at 10:45 AM on January 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, the author is requesting articles about NOT dating intelligent women to refute this article, which logically implies that this article is FOR dating intelligent women. Which, of course, is the point it's making via irony.
posted by elephantsvanish at 10:48 AM on January 22, 2011


Well, just Google up the recent research on marriage, which shows that lowest rates of divorce are among college-educated partners. This suggests that equal education is a factor in successful marriage. To the extent education is a proxy for marriage, this persuasively rebuts the idea that you should marry dumb women.

From a practical standpoint, do you really want to always financially support an uneducated wife? What if you get fired or your family needs two incomes? Also, if you had kids, wouldn't you want them to have smart genes, not dumb genes? If you had a daughter, would you want her to be educated and have a mother who provides a role model?
posted by yarly at 10:52 AM on January 22, 2011


From a practical standpoint, do you really want to always financially support an uneducated wife? What if you get fired or your family needs two incomes? Also, if you had kids, wouldn't you want them to have smart genes, not dumb genes?

While I agree with the ideas here, I think you're conflating formal education with employability and intelligence.

There are plenty of people without formal education who are more employable, or more intelligent than conventionally educated people.

If you had a daughter, would you want her to be educated and have a mother who provides a role model?

I agree with this point. Of course, a formally educated mother is also a good role model for a son. It's not as if the boys imitate dad and the girls imitate mom.
posted by esprit de l'escalier at 11:02 AM on January 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, the author is requesting articles about NOT dating intelligent women to refute this article, which logically implies that this article is FOR dating intelligent women. Which, of course, is the point it's making via irony.

It's not really clear what sunnichka is asking for. The statement that "there are adults out there with a little more experience of the world who still hold more mature versions of this sentiment" weighs against your interpretation of sunnichka's words.
posted by jayder at 11:14 AM on January 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you don't mind a pop psychology-ish take on it, the YourTango site has some relevant articles here, here, and here.
posted by fuse theorem at 11:18 AM on January 22, 2011


Sunnichka, I have read your question and later comment in this thread, both, two times over, and I have read the story (not an article, not at all) that you linked, and I have no damn clue what you want.

First, the concept of reading vs illiteracy that is so pivotal to the story you have chosen to intepret as "intelligence," which is not at all the same thing. The author suggests that the very act of reading confers upon the reader a sense of timing and syntax and patterns that translates into real life relationships...well, anyway, surely you see that there is MUCH more implied here than common sense or intelligence or even education, when the author refers to "a girl who reads". You do see that, right?

I think your friend sent you, presumably a reader, this story thinking that you would enjoy the ironic tip of the hat the author gives to well-read girls. The author laments that these girls have come to have high expectations from their relationships, which they expect their prospective suitors to fulfill. That means he, the author, has to work harder to prove himself worthy.

Why in the world you would want to counter that, and by doing so paint yourself as someone who doesn't care at all for reading and/or has low expectations in her relationships, I cannot fathom. Are you unaware that a compliment has been paid to you (admittedly in a rather coy manner)? What makes you so want to distance yourself from the lovely 'girl who reads' the author depicts?

Could you please come back in and explain your position a bit, for clarification?
posted by misha at 12:56 PM on January 22, 2011 [15 favorites]


I think your best option is to point out to your friend that he's misinterpreted this "article" (which is really a short story as others have noted) using the points made here. That is, if the misinterpretation is coming from him originally.
posted by Nixy at 1:04 PM on January 22, 2011


Illiterate and unintelligent are not the same thing. The story makes this quite clear. You are chasing a nonexistent goose and making yourself look silly in the pursuit. IF you wanted to find a better version of this story the question should be "Help me find literature on why knowing little about the world preserves its wonder, and why you should date those people who do."

I would start with a search on magic VS science, (Science being understood, magic not) there are lots of great arguments for magic.
posted by Felex at 1:20 PM on January 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


One more response to elephantvanish's comment:

Here's why Sunnichka's question is causing such confusion, I think. Consider the first sentence:

Find me some articles about why you shouldn't date an intelligent girl.

This first sentence, on a standard interpretation, suggests sunnichka is asking for articles defending the proposition that one should not date an "intelligent girl."

Later in the question, this interpretation of the question is bolstered by the fact that sunnichka says

But I know that there are adults out there with a little more experience of the world who still hold more mature versions of this sentiment. ["this sentiment" being that one should not date an "intelligent girl."]

Note that both of these sentences, taken together, pretty conclusively show that Sunnichka has not correctly interpreted the essay/story/blog entry to which we are linked in the question. And also, both taken together suggest Sunnichka is seeking articles defending the offensive proposition.

But then Sunnichka says

I'd like to send my friend some articles in response, but I can't think of any off the top of my head.

Stating that these are to be sent "in response" to a proposition that Sunnichka does not agree with, could mean that Sunnichka is seeking articles that refute the proposition that one should not date intelligent girls. But such an interpretation still runs up against the first line of the question. All things considered, I think sunnichka is asking for articles that defend the proposition that one should not date intelligent girls.

Furthermore, if Sunnichka meant for us to suggest articles refuting the proposition that one should not date intelligent girls, then why include final bit urging us not to "bother getting upset about whether or not guys should actually date intelligent women .... I don't hold the sentiment myself"? That would be out of place and unnecessary, because after all, why would Sunnichka end with that caveat if he/she were seeking to refute the offensive sentiment.
posted by jayder at 1:46 PM on January 22, 2011


What I picked up from the story was that her illiteracy was little more than a convenient way of illustrating the guy's disrespect for the woman. He found someone he thought "beneath" him, in short; "illiterate" was a way to hint at it without giving away the deeper, sad meaning of the story too soon.

No matter what your literacy, intelligency, cultivation, whatever, you should date people you respect. OP, you asked for article recommendations, here you go:
Importance of Showing Respect on a First Date

Contempt - A Relationship and Joy Killer
Contempt is when you begin to look down on someone, to see them as inferior or worthless and to express it through words or actions. There is an energy with contempt. One sign of contempt can be intentionally saying or doing things to communicate to the other person what a ‘nothing’ he or she is. It will come out in things like name-calling, hostile humor or ridiculing, sarcasm, how you wished you never married/met the person, or even a disgusted look or tone.
posted by fraula at 2:26 PM on January 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


"intelligency"? eek. Intelligence.
posted by fraula at 2:28 PM on January 22, 2011


The closest example I can think of is Forbes' "Don't Marry Career Women" from a few years back, but it sparked a lot of controversy and chatter at the time so you could also try looking for sites and articles that link to it.
posted by Jacqueline at 6:02 PM on January 22, 2011


I thought that the link in this question was going to be this article ("Never Date a Girl Who Can Read". Which I wouldn't exactly call a more mature perspective. It's a little bit tongue in cheek, but mostly just stupid. (Summary of the article: Someone told me once not to date chicks who read. I'm okay dealing with smart girls, but I know most of you guys aren't. You can't control or manipulate a girl who's smarter than you. So watch out. If only Tiger Woods had dated a dumb chick, he would never have gotten caught cheating, and his life would have been better!)
posted by mandanza at 1:06 PM on January 23, 2011


Hey, I'm not chickening out on responding to everyone here. I've been having medical problems for the last few weeks and I'm not capable of forming good sentences yet. I will be back here to bring coherence and apologies, just please give me a little more time.
posted by sunnichka at 1:27 PM on February 7, 2011


I came across these two responses and thought they might help:

you should date a bibliophile
initial response (from which the response above was written)
posted by dustyasymptotes at 3:53 PM on February 8, 2011


Oh god dammit, misha was right about everything. Sheesh. He's very handsome, metafilter. Wish me luck!
posted by sunnichka at 9:45 PM on February 20, 2011


« Older Conservative predictions   |   Sink gritting us down.. Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.