Friday, December 9, 2011

Women Dumbing Down

I've been out of school for two and a half years now and my post-Alverno College, post-women's college, outlook keeps shifting. I see women behaving in the same ways, but with drastically different outcomes between the feminine cloister and the outside world.

At Alverno, there were plenty of students who dumbed themselves down. Normally, they feared insulting someone who might not be as intelligent, which is a twisted kind of empathy that I have yet to see in men. Yes, there have been plenty of women who have complained "so-and-so thinks she's so smart, blah blah blah she's so stuck up." That's even been said of me, when I thought that I was just doing a favor by providing information.
More understandably, these students just didn't want an extra workload!!

In the normal world, there are women who dumb themselves down because they think that they won't be liked otherwise. In private, they might be extraordinarily intelligent; publicly, they feign stupidity. A friend of mine does this and I found out, through one-on-one conversation, that she's very interested in feminist theory (ironic, huh?). Whenever we meet up in a group, I jump in before she has a chance to say something stupid, "hey tell me about the book you're reading!" With others, attempts to get to know them are blockaded by "teehee, look at this cute pic in my phone!"

I'll admit that I sometimes dilute my intelligence, though not to such a degree. Rather than blathering "theory theory theory blah blah blah," I'll see how the conversation goes while asking questions; then I'll point out "what you're saying is similar to blah blah blah theory." I do this because pouring out all I know isn't a conversation, it's a monologue and nobody will learn anything from that. It's more effective and more enjoyable to back off for a little while.

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