Monday, March 30, 2009

Librarians Are Sexy by Daylight Too

"What's a four letter word spelling Phi Beta Kappa? That's me! I'm as bright as a girl can be. So bright someone else who can not tell a fig from a frigate is off with my Hecky at sea!"
-Richard Maltby Jr. (Starting Here, Starting Now)

In middle school, the smartest girls in the class can be the prettiest. But they can rarely be the most popular. The popular girls are busy seeing movies with their friends and having premature sexual experiences while the smart girls are home studying. But when the smart girls try to talk to the popular boys, they're smart enough to know to play dumb. When asked to hang out they quickly reply "I can't I... have a date" and conveniently leave out that they have a giant test to study for. 

How do they know?
How do they know at so young an age that it's not sexy to be smart? That when you talk to boys you dumb yourself down so as not to frighten them away? You want to be cool- you shut your mouth. And you open it when you have something to say about lip gloss.

I wish I can say it's changed much since those days of disney channel and spin the bottle in basements. But every now and then I find myself using an innate filter when sit across my date over dinner. Not if it's someone I'm comfortable with, but if it's its a second date I don't want to frighten him away. No, it's not just that. I don't want to intimidate him. If I sit there and start talking about chemical differences between men and women and how it affects society what would he think? He might think it's sexy. 
But I highly doubt it. 

Even I, clearly opinionated and outspoken, shut my mouth. And open it when I have something to say about lip gloss. 
It's tricky because both men and women censor themselves to appear attractive. That seems to be something more human that gender assigned. But why is it the what makes a woman attractive is a closed mouth? If a man is brilliant it's a plus. I nabbed a winner. If a woman is brilliant it's threatening and lacking femininity. 

A big problem I have with our generation is that it seems that the average girl is trained to be dull. Her potential is not cultivated because that would interfere with her sex appeal.
People, not just women, will always put sex first. They want to be attractive to other human beings. That's not my issue. My issue is that smart does not equate sexy. 

So here's the plan: If we're all smart, then they'll have to pick a smart girl cause that's the only option they've got. And they'll will pick her because men will always pick sex over no sex. Unless you're married. 
We can have the brains and the boo. 

So crack open those books ladies. Let's stop being afraid to be smart. We're SO much better than that. 


  1. For the first time Danielle, i think your wrong.

  2. Just wanted to say that I really like that you took the care to acknowledge that self-censorship is not a uniquely feminine issue. It's more an issue of why it is that women in particular feel the need to hide their intelligence to feel appealing. I don't know many men who are afraid to seem "too smart" on a first date. And while I do know a fair number of men who might happily take to bed a girl who talks about lip gloss and sex in the city all date long, I don't know many men who would be happy to stay with a such a vapid creature. It really makes me wonder why we hide that side of ourselves when ultimately, most men value intelligence in good, solid relationships. And good solid relationships are what most of us want, right??
    Bah, I'm just chasing my own thoughts in circles!
    Anyhow, I liked this post!

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  4. Heather I totally agree with you, I think in the end men definitely want to be with someone they can have an intelligent conversation with who has her own unique, profound thoughts and can even challenge theirs. I just find it so odd that we feel that side of ourselves has to be revealed slowly so as not to frighten them away. In movies the hot popular girl is almost always the bimbo and I have to wonder if we model ourselves after that or if the media is reflecting habits we've formed on our own. I certainly don't have an answer, just something to think about...

    Anyway, thanks so much for reading, I really appreciate your comment!

  5. My question is when does the change happen? Why from elementary school to junior high does getting good grades change a person from a genius to a nerd? What is telling these young teens that hiding their knowledge or slacking off is cool? Maybe when we find what is causing this shift then we can change this so in the future women will not be ashamed of their knowledge.

  6. Absolutely! When did it change from feeling SO badass for being the first kid in the 1st grade to read a level 4 book to being embarrassed by your intensive knowledge of Medieval manuscripts?

    Well, if ever there was a time for change it's now. Or so says every Obama T-shirts sold in the seaport vicinity...