Smart chicken won't alienate rooster

SINGLE FILE

December 05, 1993|By SUSAN DEITZ | SUSAN DEITZ,Los Angeles Times Syndicate

Q: You recently asked men if they prefer women of lesser intelligence for partners and what bothered them about being with a woman of substance.

I'm 76 and claim no particular wisdom because of age. But I have discovered that one looks back with a different perspective, perhaps with insight missing at an earlier age.

In my opinion, intelligent men like and look for intelligent women. But there is a big however after stating that: how the woman comes on. In my experience in the last several decades, too many gals of intelligence and competence come on so strong that the attitude is not at all attractive.

That attitude -- "By God, I'm me, I'm bright, I'm competent, I'm making it in a man's world," etc. -- is so common as to be almost prevalent.

It equates with hot-shot young women driving sports cars, or any other small car driven aggressively. Used to be one had to look out for young men driving like an Indianapolis Speedway racer. Now that attitude has been adopted by young women who want you to know they're in command of the road.

So many of these bright gals don't know what they really want out of life, except to elbow men out of the way (yes, I know I'm generalizing like crazy!) and earn management positions. I have no argument with that, if that's what she wants, but let's not complain when that abrasive attitude backfires in personal relationships.

One extrapolates from one's own experience, of course, and I give you mine: My wife of 50-plus years is one of the smartest women I know or have ever met. She has a masters degree, but she knew what was important in her life; her career went on hold while she raised our three sons, who are now good, contributing members of society. When they were on the right paths, she resumed her career, very successfully. Smart? Yes, no doubt. And used those smarts to know what was important in her (and my) life.

So I give you my answer: Attitude and priorities.

A: They have been liberated and movemented for years, but women still need to graft their femininity onto their feminist mentality. Easier said than done, I know, since it's human nature to crow about one's achievement . . . but in the crowing, too often we alienate the rooster. Men, like women, want a companion easy to be with, one free to bend a bit for the sake of the relationship, with no need to dominate. Or to be dominated. Women still are not at peace with the goals they've won, and as a result men are also off-balance. We need time to grow into our achievements, but no woman who comes on too strong has really achieved all her goals. Quiet self-confidence is the mark of maturity. We're on the way.

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