Monday, May 15, 2006

How to Snag the Insecure Man of Your Dreams

Click on the article above and prepare to be very, very depressed. I came across this while on Hotmail today and got annoyed enough for another one of my ranting blog posts.

I just can't believe in the year 2006 successful women are still being told to dumb down their accomplishments so as to not scare off the menfolk. Granted, this doesn't really apply to me, as it's a rare man who is intimidated by office temps. (If you can locate one, I'll go out with him purely on humanitarian grounds.) However, I find it absolutely galling that women out there might actually follow this advice.

Some choice quotes:

Apparently just because you have a lot of degrees on your wall doesn’t mean you have a lot of suitors at your door.

Girls, if you're going to go to college at all, maybe you should just major in Home Ec and find a nice young man to marry you. After all, isn't that why women wanted to go to college in the first place? To shop for husbands?

And a woman having an impressive job always yields the same reaction from a man: Confusion, awkwardness, that moment when he’s wondering, “Is my job as an assistant manager of a copy shop going to sound pitiful?”

Seriously, is this true? Do all men always feel insecure when talking to successful women? I know some guys read this and post comments, so I really want to know if that's what men really think. For the sake of humanity, I hope not.

So are successful women doomed to a life of tense cheese-tray introductions? Of course not. These women can either be patient till an equally high-powered man or a naturally confident fella turns up. Or they can know how best to present their career so as not to scare off less-assured guys.

See, I would pick option #1, of being patient until I meet someone self-assured, interesting, and supportive. However, I suppose the wiser option is to learn how to play dumb, because Lord knows nothing is worse than not having a "fella". The use of the word "fella" strongly implies that this article was imported directly from 1956.

Bring your career down to reality, suggests John Gray, Ph.D., author of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. Open up and show a vulnerable side right from the beginning, “When a woman immediately senses that a man is intimidated, she should find a way of communicating that she has a need for some advice,” Dr. Gray explains: “For example, if she’s a doctor, she could talk to him about something frustrating that happened at the hospital that day.” Dr. Gray points out that men want to feel needed, so this tactic is a good way to bring him inside your circle.

Oh, my God. I didn't think I could despise Mars/Venus Guy any more than I already do, but now he comes out with this pile of steaming stupidity. Girls, you gotta display your needy, whiny side, so the Big Man can make you feel all better.

Seriously, did MSN borrow this article from 1956? It's 2006, and I can't believe I'm still having to explain that, yes, women can have careers, and no, they shouldn't play dumb to score their very own copy shop clerk.

I fear for humanity.

PS - Did anyone else notice the other Hotmail articles today? Women: Slim Down for Summer, and then something about billionaire bachelors. I'm very depressed.

9 comments:

Consul-At-Arms said...

OT: I've linked to you here: http://consul-at-arms.blogspot.com/2006/05/re-diplomats-wife_16.html

Solomon2 said...

“When a woman immediately senses that a man is intimidated, she should find a way of communicating that she has a need for some advice”

Doesn't work because those who need to try it most won't. My worst bosses have been those women who became supervisors immediately after college. They don't know how to work in a team unless they command it. When confronted with events beyond their experience or capacity it is necessary to ignore their commands to get the project done - they can't admit they don't know what to do any more than a man can ask for directions when lost.

Remember, I'm not prejudiced; I'm speaking only from experience (3 for 3).

Shannon said...

I'm confused -- the article was about how successful women in a social context can "package" their accomplishments to meet men. (Frankly, a concept I find nauseating.)

I don't really understand how your comment addresses the question -- could you please clarify?

Anonymous said...

I have been told so many times that I'm intimidating to men that I actually have begun to believe it. ACK! Oh, well, I'm still waiting for one who's not intimidated by me...I'm going to die single, I guess.

Ewan said...

Well, you asked :-). [Caveat: I got here via curiosity after a TWoP post on size, having a 5' 90lb wife myself... so no guarantees of total absence of shallowness :)]

Anyhow - said wife has more degrees than I do {although only 'cos her PhD program gave out a Master's on the way ;) }; makes around 200% of my salary (and always will); and is vastly more attractive. Now, why would I feel anything other than lucky?? Intimidated? Well, on occasion, but it only makes me feel more blissfully amazed.

So - as I said, you asked; one guy's opinion. Unlikely to be representative of any mainstream, but what else is new?

a guy in pajamas said...

Just my experience, but it's not the degrees or the profession, it's the attitude that often seems to come with them. I dated a brilliant woman with a much better education than myself, and from time to time she treated me as if I were an idiot. I dated a successful businesswoman with a job better than mine for a while and she often treated me more like one of her employees than her boyfriend.

I don't think it's a gender thing, either. I expect a lot of women who have dated well-educated and / or successful men can relate to those feelings. Maybe until recently men just haven't had to deal with that situation very often.

The sad thing is, I am very attracted to powerful women, and intelligence is simply a pre-requisite for dating as far as I'm concerned. But, as I'm sure you'll understand, so is the feeling that I'm respected and equal.

So, I would say that it's silly to dumb down to get a guy (you'd turn me right off, for example ;-) ), but showing as much respect as you expect to get wouldn't hurt.

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