When I was young, blondes were associated with being dumb. I had blonde hair, did that mean I was dumb? “Of course not,” my father used to say, “Your hair is dirty blonde, anyway.”
Recently a friend of mine began working for an internet site that posted this interesting statement, which for all I know may have been supported by qualitative research, that declared that although men think smart women are sexy, they prefer to gravitate toward women whom they are superior to when it comes to intelligence. Seems crazy to me, especially when intelligence can be measured in so many ways. Only, that’s not to say I don’t get it, because I do.
Over the past several years, I have joked about not really being sexy but playing that role on Twitter. It’s a lot of tongue and cheek, but at the core of my statement, there is substance and truth. It’s not that I do not consider myself sexy, but there’s a difference between being sexy and being sexy. There really is. When a professional role is one that allows you to be sexy, and it’s part of the appeal, it’s acceptable to use sex appeal in your work, but it’s not so when you are expected to be professional. In that case, you are supposed to tone it down, not aim to seduce your client, but rather impress with your intellect.
My point here, I suppose, is that if someone meets me when I’m out and I’m in a role that’s meant to be sexy, working with a sports talk radio program allows you that freedom, might not welcome the professional woman they come to know. I suppose actors might have similar plights when they end up being real, as opposed to the character they played in a movie role.
The people I met while tweeting for a radio program, who knew me as a ‘social media gal’ seemed to drop me like a hot potato when they realized I was an intelligent buisness woman. Was I all the sudden less than? It seems so. It’s happened in both my personal and business worlds. It causes me to think about that quote, and wonder if it’s true. Do men prefer to be around people who do not challenge them intellectually? Is it good to know, but not know more?
What’s an intelligent person supposed to do, when they find that the opposite sex prefers them to be dumb or at least dumber than? If you open your mouth and words come out, and they happen to make sense, should you tone it down so that you do not appear to be intelligent, or more so just to keep the guy? If you know me, you already know my answer.