05 February 2007

15 the smarting girl

(because sometimes even ladies must bitch)

nothing infuriates me more than when a guy says "smart girl."

that may sound irrational. because i'm moderately proud of my smarts and have gone into considerable debt to further them. but there's something about that phrase.

"smart girl."

it's loaded. and it doesn't help that it's usually said with raised don't come closer! you're scaring me, woman! hands and in a tone that implies, thank God! you're not the dimwit i thought!

i hate "smart girl."

back in september, bombsy, bee and i went dancing. we met three guys and sold ourselves for drinks and a few songs. the one i wound up with made the standard shouted small talk: where are you from? how'd you wind up here? oh, really, grad school where?

upon my response, the boy's jaw literally hit the floor. he stumbled backwards a bit. stricken, he gasped, smart girl!

in the sexual networking context that is clubbing, this simply meant he'd hit the jackpot. he'd randomly bought a diet coke for someone with excellent eyeliner who, it turned out, had a working brain and with whom he hoped to score. i couldn't get away from him fast enough.

because i hate "smart girl."

but you can't escape "smart girl." last week, it came at me again. because i had the sense to notice something even a blind man would be at pains not to see. surprised, he said, smart girl. it's hard to imply fury on a cordless phone. that damn beep is so inadequate. it could never convey how much i hate "smart girl."

i HATE "smart girl."

because yes, we are smart girls. stupid boys should not be astonished by this. it shouldn't warrant relief. it shouldn't elicit a patronizing exclamation akin to good for you, little girl, for not being thick as a plank. but still, it does. and that is infuriating.

the funny thing is i'm quite sure "smart girl" means nothing. it's just a transitional aside. a tiny two words that lazily fill a conversational gap. it's how we get from where did you go to grad school? to what was your major? it's supposed to carry connotations of applause. it is supposed to be a compliment.

maybe i'm too much of a smart ass to see "smart girl" for what it really is. maybe i have some monumental inferiority complex i'm not aware of because some stupid people have thought my smarts pretty stupid in the past. or maybe this is all wrapped up in societal influences- little things like the fact that mothers tell daughters to play quietly because that's what daughters do.

but whatever the impetus, the end result is it's tricky being a smart girl. you have to become aware of it and grow into it and find people who help pull it out of you. like walking in heels, it takes practice- putting your smarts on your sleeve. it's Love Not Fear to the hilt.

and in return, we smart girls, we demand rather a lot. we expect exciting wordplay, satisfying discourse and, most importantly, prodigious diction. because we intelligent, clever, discerning, creative, sensible, cunning, tenacious charmeuses- we're so much more than your simple "smart girl."


*~JoDi~* said...

Hi there! Stumbled across your blog and I LOVE IT! Fun content, witty remarks - great photos!

I'll be stopping back by to see how you're faring "in the city"!


Bombsy said...

a friend of my boyfriend's has a match.com profile in which he lists "brainy girls" as a turn-off. i think "brainy girl" is the new opposite sex slap in the face. "brainy girl" is the new "bitch", the new "upity". why? because brainy girls require more effort.
this, i really have no problem with. it's a loser filter. only the intrepid will reach our shores.

Clark MF Price said...

It's weird how guys think that. Maybe, they think that a "smart girl" won't generally fall prey to their usual method of subterfuge. A "smart girl" entails that if you are going to pursue a relationship with her you will have to give her some measure of respect, no matter how grudgingly. Most guys aren't ready for that, but would you really want to associate with those kinds of people?
For me, when I find out that a woman has a brain I give a sigh of relief. That way I know she is not a complete waste of my time. There is nothing that I hate more than awkward silences, basically when you run out of things in common to talk about. I love watching awkward silences with others though.
Slut Bucket! I completely forgot where I was going with this comment. Now I am completely dissatisfied with it.

To put it simply, tell a guy, "Me Cray you abacus." If he doesn't know the meaning or lacks the means of disputing the statement, never speak to him again. You are an Anglicizationist for goodness sakes and you studied Anglicizationeering.
Still no idea what I wanted to say.

oline said...

you're right, bombsy. this would be the opposite sex slap in the face. but someone needs to tell the boys. they seem to be rather unawares. incidentally, this friend of the BF wouldn't happen to be Erotica would it?!

c- i'm sorry you were so dissatisfied with your own comment. it does bring up the notion that you have made it a mission to introduce a varietal of "anglicizationist" into all future commentary. which is kind of awesome.

and hurrah for slut bucket- the invective of champions!

Les Savy Ferd said...

bah, I just wrote a very long comment in defense of mans. But blogger appears to be opposed to any such ideas. it touched on many things, my croft, bombshelldom, etc. some enigmatic things i remember writing now completely out of context (since it is the context i've since forgotten and can't recover):

1. Hard out there for a pimp! err, i mean for a Smart Girl!

2. Nobody goes to a club, bar, laundromat, or the library looking for a nice piece of medulla. They are looking for some ba-donk-a-donk.

3. One can look the part of the bombshell but not BE a Bombshell, but you cannot fake intelligence, nor can you prove you have or don't have it in a single conversation. "getting to know you, getting to know all aboooooout you..."

4. Brains are difficult things, hard to manage, and can let you down when you need them most. I still haven't quite gotten the hang of mine.

5. If you see a group of mans flocked around a good looking girl and said girl is revealed to be brainy, those are good mans. If you see a group of mans flocked around a good looking girl who is a little dim but has a good heart, those are good mans. However if you see a group of mans flocked around a good looking girl who has neither intelligence nor heart, there is a possibility you are in the presence of some less than stellar mans.

oline said...

wait a minute. people go to the library looking for ba-donk-a-donk? (you said ba-donk-a-donk. tee hee!)

in related questions- do people do this to guys? in your professional and private life, do you ever get the "smart boy"?

Clark Price said...

In guys it is called being Nerds. End of story.

oline said...

i think us smart girls get the fuzzy end of that lollypop.

Les Savy Ferd said...

and if that level of knowledge transcends society approved of topics and ventures into areas like, i dunno, comics or math, nerds become geeks.

Bombsy said...

i love nerds. plus, nerds are so in right now.
and oline- yes, it most certainly was erotica.

oline said...

that has to be the best nickname yet!

Bombsy said...

no, i think we have better ones.

oline said...

am trying to think of who would play the character of erotica that's going on in my head. maybe a cross between skeezy aussie eric/john tuturro?

Osutein-sensei said...

I think the male equivalent is "nice guy," if we're talking about seeming compliments that are often either meaingless or condescending. I've never had anyone say "smart boy" to me, at least not the way stupid men say "smart girl!"

oline said...

sensei, think you nailed that one. "nice guy" is about as back-handed blah a compliment as can be.

and since i'm apparently incapable of reading or hearing things properly these days- misread that as you having never had anyone call you a smart boy like stupid men call you a smart girl. now that would be unfortunate.