A question rose in my mind today “Are intelligent women sexy, or just oxymorons?”
I’ve made the mistake of watching television recently, trying to stay abreast of the issues playing out these days: torture, swine flu, and the economy. I rarely watch television, but given that I was out of the country for three weeks, I figured I’d risk filling my brain with bullshit, trusting that my crap-filter would sort the golden nuggets from the brown ones.
A lot of what I’ve seen and heard appalls me. Especially from women. There are a lot of attractive women on TV and most of them are ninnies, apparently. Either they can’t think or they aren’t paid to think — just read the teleprompter. Regardless of which political ideology a network subscribes to, the attractive women are mostly ditzes, and most of the talking heads the networks feature are either knowledgeable and unattractive, or brainless and beautiful. A notable exception is Rachel Maddow. She’s intelligent, insightful, humorous, easy on the eyes, and obviously a lesbian. Which got me thinking that the only way a woman who was smart and sexy could be on TV (and speak her mind) was if she was a lesbian (enter Ellen).
As soon as that thought occurred to me, I remembered something my paternal great-grandmother told me. I was 10 or so, and I’d done some testing that showed I was not only gifted but a genius and my proud parents called everyone in the family. When Grandmother got the news she immediately drove over to see me. She took me aside and said, “Be careful not to let the boys know how smart you are. Boys don’t like girls who are smarter than them, and if they find out, you’ll never get married.” To which I answered, “Then boys are stupid and I’ll never get married.” (And I haven’t ;)
Of course, boys aren’t stupid, but they are easily led–by the eyes. Flash a pretty girl in front of them and they start diverting blood-flow to a different head. I never considered myself a pretty girl, and I remember I used to look at people who said I was pretty and wonder why they were lying to me. But then, I did have four beautiful sisters, and what I know now that I didn’t know then was that even if I am the least beautiful of the five of us, I’m far from ugly. My beautiful sisters (none of them idiots, mind you) focused on being beautiful and the benefits that could be reaped from it. I focused on being smart. I educated myself. In retrospect I know that I took the ‘easy way’ just like my sisters did–the only difference being in what came easily to each of us.
As a teenager I struggled with my brainy persona. Few boys asked me out, mainly because I either intimidated them or was completely uninterested in them, and when I did choose to date and be sexually active, I chose partners significantly older than myself. People I could relate to, people who appeared to enjoy my mind as much as my body. Away at my Ivy League college, I discovered that I found intelligent women sexy as hell, and that very often they were easy on the eyes, too. I also found that often as not, the ones I found most sexy were lesbians–or at least, bisexual. It was like having my cake and eating it, too.
When I left my Ivory Tower and rejoined the Real World, I was disappointed to find that most of the women I encountered were sheeple. I became rather misogynistic, not because I disliked women, but because I knew what women could be and was appalled by what they had become. Most of the vibrant and intelligent women I encountered were single, most of the sheeple were married. I wondered if marriage and baby-making turned women into sheeple, or if the intelligent women were unmarried because men considered them oxymorons.
In questioning them, I found the intelligent women often said that being unmarried was a conscious choice, or that they were very discerning about their partners and had difficulty finding men who met their criteria. Some reported knowing that they intimidated men and thus had few dates, others reported that they had to beat men off with a stick. It was the latter group, of course, that made me curious. Somewhere in the middle, I found that most of the men I had to tell to shove off were submissives–same with the ones who found me intimidating. For me, I knew it was a matter of being a Dominant, and I wondered if it was the same with them. I learned that, for the most part, it wasn’t. Naturally dominant women are rare. So what was it? I asked myself what quality made these women so sexy that men not only hit on them but wanted to stick around even after discovering that the girls had brains.
I mulled the question over for a couple of years, and the answer came when I asked myself what I had in common with them, besides being smart and reasonably attractive. Sensuality. These women were all very sensual. They had the kind of sensuality that truly sexually liberated women have. “Aha!” I thought. “Guys will fuck smart women if they think they’ll be great in bed.”
Of course, its true in some cases, but not all of them. There are, I learned, men out there who are sapiosexual–who are attracted, first and foremost, to intelligence in others. There are men out there who, being naturally submissive, unwittingly seek out a woman who can dominate them, both inside and outside the bedroom. There are men who are turned off by women who react first instead of think first, and thus date thinking women. And of course there are men who hate women, hate intelligent women even more, and are attracted to them, consciously or not, so they can “put them in their places” as God intended.
The truth is, its complicated as all hell, but there are men (and women) who find intelligent women sexy. I don’t think we are as rare as the mainstream media seems to indicate with its profusion of bubble-headed correspondents, and I hope we start getting better coverage–outside the bedroom.