“Men seldom make passes at women who wear glasses”

I’m back! I found an article a few days ago that I felt compelled to write about. Warning: I’m writing this in a state of frenzy as I’ve got about a million disconnected (and connected) thoughts going through my head. So, if I digress…forgive and forget. K? Cool.

So, the LA Times has an article out on the single (and happy!) woman in Egypt. How appropriate. The article is essentially about the burgeoning population of single, career women in Cairo, and their waning desires to get married all young and stuff and start having babies (not that there is anything wrong with that). The article addresses the social pressures (which are present in the States as well, but I think, not as prevalent) of getting married at a young age and foregoing a career in exchange for a stable, dependent husband. As if the two are mutually exclusive.

The whole idea of beauty and intelligence being two mutually exclusive attributes really bothers me. It actually really annoys the hell out of me. I had the unfortunate experience of dating a huge misogynist not too long ago, and he pretty much fit right into Parker’s quote. The reasons he broke up with me? There were a few…let me break them down…(yes, they are that good):

1) I never cooked him dinner. Ever. Whoops. Homeboy wanted me to make him sandwiches and bring them to class for him as well. I’m a bad girlfriend.

2) I “studied more than he did, worked out more than he did, went out more than he did, drank more than he did.” Dating a frat boy probably wasn’t the best idea on my part.

3) when we walked down the street, and I was talking politics or feminism or…anything serious, even for a second…it made him “feel like he was walking down the street with a 45 year old woman” (what?!?)

and

4) he was afraid “I would correct him in front of his friends at the weekly kegger or frat party”

Right. Right. So…homeboy kept on asserting, the entire length of our relationship, that he loved the fact that I was smart and funny and also…”a hottie to boot!” (wow, what a compliment) but that…in social situations, I was never to “one up” him. On anything. Ever. Even if he accidentally mis-used a word. Or made a total ass out of himself. Which he did. Often. Without trying to figure out my deranged mental state while dating this character…the point is…that I always felt like I had to hide my motivation, my intelligence. I had to hide the fact that I was opinionated and…that I was *gasp* a feminist! No! If he only knew I was guest-blogging for a feminist blog RIGHT NOW…I think he might pop a blood vessel.

I’m in no hurry to get married, and while I’m definitely open to the idea of marriage, I don’t feel as inclined towards meeting the man of my dreams and popping out lots of babies. My older sister, on the other hand, is the complete opposite. She’s a 27 year old, Harvard and Johns Hopkins educated pediatrician, and has definitely cried to me on the phone about her plight as the “old maid” who just wants her boyfriend to propose. She’s 27. We’re different, if you couldn’t tell. My parents have pretty much caught on (they are smart!!) that I’m not necessarily jumping up and down about the thought of getting married and I am constantly sending hints to my mother (via emails) trying to telling her that feminism, human rights, women’s rights, all of it…well, it’s not just a hobby.


I’m not always a huge fan of Maureen Dowd, but her article (complimenting her book Are Men Necessary) really hit home for me.

At a party for the Broadway opening of “Sweet Smell of Success,” a top New York producer gave me a lecture on the price of female success that was anything but sweet. He confessed that he had wanted to ask me out on a date when he was between marriages but nixed the idea because my job as a Times columnist made me too intimidating. Men, he explained, prefer women who seem malleable and awed. He predicted that I would never find a mate because if there’s one thing men fear, it’s a woman who uses her critical faculties. Will she be critical of absolutely everything, even his manhood?

He had hit on a primal fear of single successful women: that the aroma of male power is an aphrodisiac for women, but the perfume of female power is a turnoff for men. It took women a few decades to realize that everything they were doing to advance themselves in the boardroom could be sabotaging their chances in the bedroom, that evolution was lagging behind equality.

I discussed the article with my mother, who is a successful career woman herself, and her response was…are you ready for this…”act dumb, but be smart.” Really? Really!?!?

My parents have also taken a special interest in my relationship status of late. I’m 21, and as soon as I turned 20 (…yikes, I’m also an old spinster!), my dear old dad decided it was a good time to start mentioning marriage in literally every conversation I had with him. “Fauzia, you have to get married. I don’t want to hear this talk of ‘I’ll never get married.’ You need to start thinking about it now. And you can’t just marry anyone. The man has to be well-educated, from a good family, preferably raised in ‘the West’ or at least educated here. See, Fauzia, finding a husband is like buying a house. You can’t just buy the first nice one you see. You have to shop around a bit. And you can’t just judge someone on appearance. They have to be able to support you as well.”

Um. Ok, Dad. Finding a husband is like buying a house. Right. Well, shit, at least it’s not like picking out fruit at the grocery store. A house is a much bigger investment, I’m glad we managed to make the right comparison.

I digress. A lot. I swear my stupid little personal anecdotes are actually connected to this article

The LATimes quotes several different “career” women. Some of whom I find rather condescending, some who I agree with.

“The men I meet are educated, yes that’s true, but some Egyptian men don’t like ‘girls’ to talk about politics and culture, or to argue with them about ideas. But I have my own personality. I don’t need someone else forming my mind.”

Hmmm. That sounds familiar.

And the condescending quote of the day:

Cairo has become so open. We’re more exposed to the West and the influence of satellite TV. We are like the village girl who gets brought to the city, that’s what our country has become. But the men want the veiled girl. She makes him feel safe.

The village girl who gets brought to the city?…hmmm. I can pick out several really, really wrong things about that statement.

What I’m trying to connect between my annoying experiences and this article is that the “single and not so restless” woman in Cairo is becoming a common thing. Wow. A woman who is intelligent and motivated and beautiful actually making the decision to not get married, or just not right this second. Mind boggling. I understand that the point of the article was to expose a not-so-common-before trend that has become popular and almost, *almost* normalized in Egyptian culture. I just always find it rather annoying that the phenomenon…yes phenomenon…of the career-oriented woman, as opposed to the marriage-minded mother is so crazy. There are some of us who are looking forward to getting married and having beautiful children, and there are some of us who aren’t necessarily crying our eyes out because we’re 35 and unwed.

There are marital pressures from every culture (not just Middle Eastern or Muslim) on women. I have plenty of “American” (whatever that means) friends whose parents are constantly pestering them about marriage and boyfriends. So, I’m not trying to portray the pressures of marriage as solely an “Eastern” thing. It’s not. But the pressures of an arranged marriage or marriage in general seem to have progressed slower.

Marriage, to me, is about finding the right fit. That other half of my heart that knows me well and loves me, for all my flaws and my strengths.

Breakfasts at Sheikh’s house skip from talk of available men to cousins just married to dowries to hints that expectations could be lowered, perhaps even obliterated.

The worst part? My parents have essentially said the same thing to me. “No one is perfect, Fauzia, you can’t always have everything, looks, intelligence, money” (as if those are the three things, and the ONLY three things I’m looking for in man). No. I probably won’t end up with all the those little boxes checked off under “ideal qualities in my mate” but…I’m not going to lower my expectations because my family thinks I’m becoming a spinster jaded old hag. No. I won’t. And I’m glad that Cairene women aren’t either.

Read the article. It’s pretty decent, and an interesting concept.

…all in all…I’m frustrated with the whole idea of marriage as our society dictates it. Finding someone to spend the rest of your life with is hard enough, I don’t need my community making me feel like an outcast because I wasn’t the first one at the finish line. Thanks, though.


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36 comments for ““Men seldom make passes at women who wear glasses”

  1. wayward
    November 14, 2007 at 8:53 am

    Well, if you hide your intelligence, hold your tongue, and act sweetly submissive and awed, you too can be married to an insecure misogynist!

  2. November 14, 2007 at 11:23 am

    Dating a frat boy probably wasn’t the best idea on my part.

    Almost always a bad idea. Even worse: I-bankers.

  3. November 14, 2007 at 11:33 am

    “No one is perfect, Fauzia, you can’t always have everything, looks, intelligence, money”

    So much for shopping for a house!

  4. Betty Boondoggle
    November 14, 2007 at 12:59 pm

    Well, if you hide your intelligence, hold your tongue, and act sweetly submissive and awed, you too can be married to an insecure misogynist!

    And they think THEY came up with the marriage strike idea.

    Goofballs.

  5. tyro
    November 14, 2007 at 2:02 pm

    This is one of my biggest pet peeves.

    I noticed the “be smart, act dumb” phenomenon in junior high. I’ve always been the Smart Girl (not to mention I’ve had glasses since the fourth grade, which just adds to the stereotype), and I was completely unfamiliar with the nuances of gender politics. It drove me NUTS. I mean, I was meeting girls who got straight A’s in class but never had any interesting conversations. I would get bored with them because they were just as vapid as the “dumb” girls. I ended up hanging out with the “outcast” group because they were more fun.

    I never tried the playing dumb thing to get a date, and I only ended up dating one guy in my entire high school career. I’m not sorry. I had other things to worry about in high school–like, y’know, graduating with my soul intact.

    I would love to start dating now that I’m in college, but there are more reasons I’m still single than the fact that I’m of above-average IQ. Luckily my mom doesn’t seem to be in too much of a hurry to see me married, thank fuck.

    If a guy wants me to be dumb, then he’s not worth my time. Hello, yes I have nice tits, no I will not be your arm candy, thank you, goodbye.

  6. November 14, 2007 at 2:45 pm

    The first thing I noticed when I hit the college dating market, lo these many years past, was that if a guy was awed, or even excessively admiring of my brains, he was invariably trouble down the line. As far as I could make out, the ones who were so admiring were so at least partly because they didn’t expect a woman to be smart – or at least to admit to being smart around men. So as soon as they had established that I was earth-shatteringly intelligent the first thing they wanted me to do was stop acting like it. They wanted the brains for the cachet – or maybe the good genes, I don’t know – but they sure didn’t want the smart person in the woman suit.

    My husband does love my brains, but he took them as part of the total package. And other than teasing me about my tendancy to correct pronunciation in public (which he does for table manners), he has never once asked me to tone it down.

  7. Nobody
    November 14, 2007 at 3:16 pm

    “Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses.”

  8. Anne Onne
    November 14, 2007 at 3:21 pm

    The ‘don’t be too picky’ line has always been problematic for me. I mean, do they really think that we’re dumb enough to leave a relationship (or not start one) because a few minor boxes weren’t ticked off or something? Really. However ‘picky’ it might seem, it’s never a good idea to compromise on wanting to only be in a relationship with a decent human being. If you’re not dating, you can still be perfectly happy, but if you’re dating someone who doesn’t respect you, you’ll be miserable, edgy, and forced to pretend to be someone you’re not. I’ll take being single over miserable any day.

    I can’t believe people still expect that of women, in Egypt or anywhere else.

    I guess I’m lucky in that my parents at least understand that single and happy is far preferable to being in a relationship with a controlling manipulative jerk..

  9. exholt
    November 14, 2007 at 3:46 pm

    1) I never cooked him dinner. Ever. Whoops. Homeboy wanted me to make him sandwiches and bring them to class for him as well. I’m a bad girlfriend.

    2) I “studied more than he did, worked out more than he did, went out more than he did, drank more than he did.” Dating a frat boy probably wasn’t the best idea on my part.

    3) when we walked down the street, and I was talking politics or feminism or…anything serious, even for a second…it made him “feel like he was walking down the street with a 45 year old woman” (what?!?)

    1.
    Sounds like an adolescent slacker who is not someone ready to attend university/college, much less adulthood. Expecting others to cook/provide meals and bring them to class??? Out of curiosity, did he grow up in a wealthy family with legions of servants to cater to his every whim? Sounds like a sizable portion of my clientele when I moonlighted as an academic tutor after working my regular job.

    2.
    As a dude who was invited to join an underground fraternity (frats and sororities are banned at my college) and refused, I could have told you that. :)

    3.
    While this desire to discuss anything serious in a social setting is especially hated when it is applied to women, I found that most people in general have a strong aversion to discussing serious topics beyond the extreme superficialities when on a date or in leisure social situations like a dinner party, especially in the early stages. Those who do want to introduce a more deeper discussion are often seen as pedantic killjoys who are not content to enjoy the banalities of superficial “fun” party/social talk. I have a feeling your ex has the same mentality.

  10. November 14, 2007 at 5:03 pm

    All this reminds me of why I’m so glad to be out of the dating scene. I also dated a guy who couldn’t stand that I was smarter than him, especially in math since he had majored in accounting.

    I remember playing a game (can’t recall the name of the game) with him, my sister and her date. We had to answer a question along the lines of: If x + 8 = 2x, what is x? He insisted my instant answer of ‘8’ was wrong and spent several minutes trying to prove it. Obviously the relationship didn’t last.

    My husband on the other hand is quite delighted with my intelligence and readily concedes that I am probably the smarter of the two of us. We married when I was 29, and I never regretted waiting that long for marriage.

  11. nonskanse
    November 14, 2007 at 5:27 pm

    “Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses.”

    Thank god! Those that do are pedophiles, ick. Any male that calls me girl had better be prepared to be called a boy.

  12. orlando
    November 14, 2007 at 5:47 pm

    Since leaving my hicksville home town some years hence I have been perpetually delighted by the number of men I’ve met who just adore clever women, seek them out, and value them.

    I have a hunch that Maureen Dowd is roughly the female equivalent of the Nice Guy(TM) who complains that women only want rich and powerful men, but you know that when he says “women” he means leggy, hyper-groomed model types, because all the others don’t count. When she complains about “men” being intimidated by intelligent, successful women, she only seems to be talking about the sort of status-driven posers who regard dating as a competitive sport. Thank you, but I can think of few things less appealing than playing the role of shiny medallion in someone’s ongoing bouts of homosocial bonding.

  13. November 14, 2007 at 5:56 pm

    I suppose you would blow your sister’s mind if you suggested that SHE propose to her boyfriend?

  14. metamanda
    November 14, 2007 at 6:47 pm

    orlando, you’ve exactly expressed my feelings about maureen dowd better than I ever could. ::hearts:: i could never, ever relate to her accounts of dating and gender, and I always wondered if it was because she was hanging out with NY i-bankers and I was hanging out with CA geeks.

    I never got the memo that I was supposed to hide the smarts. I think as much as it repels insecure jerks, it attracts (though not exclusively) the kinds of guys that might actually be fun to date. or marry. or whatever.

  15. pizzadiavola
    November 14, 2007 at 7:47 pm

    Almost always a bad idea. Even worse: I-bankers.

    Hey, I’m an investment banker. Good to know that not only should I dumb my smarts down if I want to catch a man, I should also not bother dating at all because my profession makes me a misogynist asshole. I guess the chances of ending up a bitter, single cat lady are doubled for feminists that are also ibankers!

  16. November 14, 2007 at 8:12 pm

    I can never figure out why so many people seem to be in such a hurry to get married. These are usually the same people who are insistent that marriage should be forever. You’d think that if you were expected to stay with the same person forever that everyone would tell you to slow it down, take it easy, not rush into things. You’d think they’d tell you that if you’re so sure that you want to get married, maybe you should just live with him for awhile, because if you’ve done that for a few years and still want to get married, then what’s the difference? But no. Always with the rushing in. It’s almost as if they fear that you won’t actually be able to keep a spouse any other way than trapping them. “Ha! Now we’re MARRIED and you’re TRAPPED! Let’s see you try to get out NOW!”

    Screw that noise. Being married to someone you end up not liking is far, far worse that never getting married in the first place.

  17. November 14, 2007 at 8:29 pm

    Hey, I’m an investment banker. Good to know that not only should I dumb my smarts down if I want to catch a man, I should also not bother dating at all because my profession makes me a misogynist asshole. I guess the chances of ending up a bitter, single cat lady are doubled for feminists that are also ibankers!

    Yeah, you’re basically screwed. ;-)

    I wasn’t trying to shit on all i-bankers. I know plenty of them who are very nice (and even some frat boys who are nice too). But as far as NY stereotypes go, they beat out the frat boys for the type who are on a quest for brainless arm-candy. I’m pretty sure Fauzia is familiar with the type of i-banker who dates the NYU freshman (they’re everywhere), so the joke was mostly intended for her.

  18. Dylan
    November 14, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    Your troubles could have been avoided, thanks to the “Boys in Your Life” section of McCall’s 1959 Guide to Teen Age Beauty and Glamour:
    “The Girl They Don’t Ask Again
    – The one who makes it clear that anything I can do she can do better – Any gal that who corrects me in public. She might get away with it once, but never twice.”

    I picked this up at a thrift store. Sounds like frat boy has one, too.

  19. November 14, 2007 at 9:03 pm

    It’s happening all over Europe, Asia and North America too:

    http://www.city-journal.org/html/17_4_new_girl_order.html

    http://www.thenation.com/blogs/notion/?pid=251737

    Women are marrying later if at all and having fewer children.

    What happens in many countries is men start outsourcing women when it’s better for them to adapt to women’s higher expectations/feminism.

  20. pizzadiavola
    November 14, 2007 at 9:05 pm

    So jokes that perpetuate negative stereotypes are okay as long as they’re partly true and they’re funny?

    I resent the ibanker slams because a) all of them so far have functioned under the assumption that investment bankers = obnoxious men; b) they’re insulting, full stop. I like my job and I’m good at it and I don’t make assumptions about other peoples’ characters based on their professions, so why do I get judged by mine (oops–it’s not really about me, is it? I should learn to take a joke.)? Also, there are few women in the industry, and the whole “banker = obnoxious man” stereotype gets tiresome purely on the basis of assuming my female colleagues and I don’t exist. I get enough reminders that I shouldn’t be at an analysts’ desk already, thanks.

  21. Jamie
    November 14, 2007 at 9:35 pm

    People getting married later and having FEWER children? Sounds like a good idea to me! The world is over-populated as it is.

    Also, it sounds like the guy you were dating, Fauzia, was trying to make a catch out of you, as though to say “I have an intelligent woman that obeys me! See? You can train them!”

    That’s just how I read it.

    As for me, I never got into the dating scene of university because of my boyfriend-dar, where any woman I was genuinely interested in already had a boyfriend. However, I wouldn’t have been intimidated had they been smarter, stronger, or had any other attributes better than any of mine. I mean, 1 + 1 = 2, not 1? That is, a couple is supposed to compliment each other, not make one person, um, right?

  22. November 14, 2007 at 10:17 pm

    “there are some of us who aren’t necessarily crying our eyes out because we’re 35 and unwed”

    I understand your point entirely, though it IS TRUE that you are only 21.

    You have to be careful to not dismiss the feelings of those who ARE 35 and unwed. Particularly when you are not speaking from experience. (A bit like a beautiful girl claiming that “she doesn’t care about how she looks” or a 20 year old saying “she would never have a face lift”). It sounds really easy to say that you don’t care that much about getting married, when you are that young. Particularly since very few people of your age aren’t married anyway. But many women who aren’t in your position do not have that luxury.

    Just saying that you could be a bit more respectful of other women’s feelings.

  23. exholt
    November 15, 2007 at 3:07 am

    However, I wouldn’t have been intimidated had they been smarter, stronger, or had any other attributes better than any of mine. I mean, 1 + 1 = 2, not 1? That is, a couple is supposed to compliment each other, not make one person, um, right?

    Hmmm….I swear 1 + 1 == 11….right?

    On a more serious note, never had issues with women who were smarter or better than me in many other departments. In the most of the workplaces I’ve been involved in or the school I’m currently in, being intimidated by women with superior intellect/socio-economic background/better in other areas would have severely constricted my dating choices. Moreover, I thrive on being around highly intelligent people who have much to say so long as they are not patronizingly condescending about it. This last part has rarely been an issue.

  24. Fauzia
    November 15, 2007 at 3:20 am

    i know we don’t like maureen dowd and all…but i was perusing the NYT this morning, at work, (ya know, while also doing real work. uh huh). and this seemed pretty relevant to the discussion at hand.

  25. November 15, 2007 at 5:40 am

    I think I’m in a strange, small minority. I’m an educated, highly driven woman, who loves her freedom and adores moving all over the world, but is also obsessed with getting married as soon as possible.

    I’m insanely picky, though. This used to be my biggest problem (especially when I lived in DC), but now my biggest problem is that I meet plenty of great guys I’d like to be with (feminist guys, human rights activists, idealistic international lawyers, etc), but absolutely NONE of them are single. Most are engaged, married, or might as well be married. And they’ve been that way usually since the beginning of their undergrad years.

    When I complain about this to my mother, she says 1) that can’t be true, 2) you’re too young, just have fun, 3) try not to become “one of those women” who goes after already attached guys, and 4) what do you expect me to do about it?

    It doesn’t help that A LOT of my friends are engaged and getting married now to their college/law school/overseas volunteer work sweethearts. And I’m talking about overwhelmingly urbane professionals, here, which is probably why my mother thinks I’m grossly exaggerating. In “her day” (the 1980s) she was considered weird for getting married straight out of grad school. Worse than lack of motherly understanding, is the fact that, in my field, I am bombarded daily with the idea that if I don’t meet my soulmate and get hitched soon, the opportunity will have passed me by, possibly for life. This isn’t because human rights/ILaw/humanitarian folks are secretly very old-fashioned patriarchy-loving creeps, but rather a practical thing. Especially people who work for the UN (and especially protection officers) are moved around, from disaster/war-zone to disaster/war-zone with great frequency, making marriage or family a virtual impossibility –unless, that is, they marry young and to someone abnormally loyal or on the same life path, someone who will understand the insanity that comes along with the lifestyle and, you know, stick by their partner if he or she gets horribly injured or actually loses her or his mind.

    The “I love my career but hate my life. I’m so lonely!” stories coming from people less than a decade my senior are ubiquitous. Every so often, I even get one of these really scary “the UNHCR destroyed my private life” chain emails. ::Shudders::

    So I see two choices ahead of me: 1) lower my standards significantly, or 2) wait until “round two” when everyone starts getting divorced in 10-15 years time, and hope that it won’t be too late, and I won’t be unbearable by then.

    Sorry, I know that was off-topic, but that rant had been stored up for far too long.

    Anyone else?

  26. Anne Onne
    November 15, 2007 at 7:29 am

    Jamie, I think you’re right. Intelligence, as long as it isn’t at all threatening to the man (seems to be seen as a bonus in the initial stages, but when it gets to actually seeing the woman as a person, not as a shiny shiny toy that’s a bit shinier than the rest, it becomes a problem when the guy has to deal with the fact that a woman who is smart, maybe even smarter than him might actually SHOW it.

    Anecdotally, my friend used to get involved with a lot of guys like that. she’s very attractive, and also intelligent, so for whatever reason she kept attracting people who wanted her as some kind of smart eye candy to show off to friends and family (i.e. look mom & dad, she’s not one of those wimmin!). The family thing had an extra emphasis because she is Indian, and many Indian guys (much like most Fundies, etc) want to marry a fairly smart very attractive virgin, despite, you know, playing the field themselves, constantly. The problem was, none of these guys could respect her intellect after the initial comliment of ‘you’re smart/ smarter than most girls etc’, and would actively try and limit her expression of self after that.

    I think that is misogynists seem to see being fairly smart as a positive thing, (at least, being smarter than the ‘dumb chicks’ they constantly criticise) but they don’t actually want them to show it around them. Meaning only be competent at ‘women’s things’ and leave the rest to the men. Uh-huh as if.

    Great post, Fauzia. :D

  27. Nobody
    November 15, 2007 at 12:43 pm

    Any male that calls me girl had better be prepared to be called a boy.

    Dorothy Parker was a woman. The trouble is that there isn’t a good single-syllable word for women. Substituting ‘women’ for ‘girls,’ injures the meter. It was a priggish comment, to be sure; but the line is the line.

  28. Micky
    November 15, 2007 at 2:26 pm

    Contradictions galore, check if any of those taken men are in open relationships. You’d be surprised at the number of people who are not monogamous.

  29. Laurie
    November 15, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    Any male that calls me girl had better be prepared to be called a boy.

    Dorothy Parker was a woman. The trouble is that there isn’t a good single-syllable word for women. Substituting ‘women’ for ‘girls,’ injures the meter. It was a priggish comment, to be sure; but the line is the line.

    “*Boys* don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses.”

    There. Fixed.

    Or, if you must (although this usage sets my teeth on edge for some reason): “Men don’t make passes at *gals* who wear glasses.” I think it’s something about the formal/informal juxtaposition….

    And YES, I knew the original was by Dorothy Parker, back in the Dark Ages where being called a ‘girl’ was all too common. And I enjoyed the edit for the grit and bit of snark it added. Miss Dorothy would probably have enjoyed the change, even if it did fuck up the meter. Besides, she WAS the one who said “If you don’t have something nice to say, come sit by me.”

    Nobody — Don’t be an ass. (Says the *woman* who is just as anal retentive and priggish about quotes as the closest English/Literature major you can find.) Find something on topic to contribute, or go away.

    P.S. Being a girl who wore glasses, I never forgave Ms. Parker for that line. I felt ugly enough as it was, and it has taken me years to get over that feeling. Finding out that a woman penned that line felt like a betrayal (even if it was a bit of a truth.)

  30. November 15, 2007 at 3:15 pm

    re: the Dowd, City Journal and Nation articles, the problem seems to be men who should accept smarter, independent women. The City Journal article talks about the outsourcing of poorer women from other countries. This is also the men’s problem.

  31. Contradictions galore
    November 15, 2007 at 4:47 pm

    Contradictions galore, check if any of those taken men are in open relationships. You’d be surprised at the number of people who are not monogamous.

    No. My field is monogamy city. End of discussion.

  32. Heather
    November 15, 2007 at 6:05 pm

    I can say I really relate to your experience with your ex. I’m glad I’m not the only feminist who has dated a chump. My ex did something similiar, and when I broke up with him, I realized how much he had been repressing me. He just expected me to ‘behave’ around his friends. A lot of my guy friends still get uncomfortable when I don’t react ‘like a girl’ about certain things. My recent boyfriend says he always wanted to date a smart girl, and I asked him if he really knew what he was getting into becuase, after learning from my ex, I won’t shut my mouth just to make him feel ‘manly’ around his friends, and I told him this. He said fine, he didn’t expect me to, so I keep my part of the bargain and don’t. And I refuse to like his friend that told him, even in jest, that he should ‘be the man and keep a handle on me.’ Yeah. He said the friend was ‘the lovable asshole,’ and I said ‘how about just the asshole?’

  33. Helen
    November 19, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    “You have to be careful to not dismiss the feelings of those who ARE 35 and unwed…It sounds really easy to say that you don’t care that much about getting married, when you are that young.”

    It sounds really easy to say that at 38 too. At 35 I didn’t care; at 38 it’s more, “Oh thank HEAVENS I didn’t cave to stupid pressure to settle.”

    I don’t think there was anything dismissive about the original post — rather the opposite. By “some of us” the author undoubtedly meant me, not herself or you.

  34. courage the cowardly dog
    December 17, 2007 at 7:32 pm

    A man derives a great deal of his self worth from his ability to support a wife and family. When you challenge that you challenge his self worth. I believe and I think a review of the popular literature on the subject supports my belief, that a woman upon becoming a mother would prefer to be with her child(ren) particularly in the formative years. If upon entering marriage your career advances at a faster pace than your husband’s you may find yourselves in a situation that may become untenable and that is in order to support your family in the lifestyle that it has become accustomed too your husband becomes the stay at home parent while the wife trudges off to work to maintain the family standard of living. The man’s self esteem diminishes and the woman’s resentment grows. This situation will lead to no where good. Unfortunately, it has manifested itself in a large percentage of the situations where wives outearn their husbands.

  35. zuzu
    December 17, 2007 at 7:34 pm

    Boy, you’ve been waiting a whole month to say that?

    Buh bye.

  36. July 11, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    Its a myth guys don,t make passes at ladies wearing glasses, I worked as an opticians assistant, ladies who wear glasses, I can tell you I have seem women in really thick, thick glasses, yet they had the most wonderful personality, we verty cutious and I would certainly have dated anyone of them , you dont date glasses you date the person behind the glasses. So ladies here is one guy who will see beyond those pebble dah looking glasses and see the real lady behind them.M

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