Blog

Stories and opinions that spark creative thinking

In defense of the smart, complicated woman

 "For the work of a day, for the taxes we pay, for the laws we obey, we want something to say." I love this old women's suffragette poster.

"For the work of a day, for the taxes we pay, for the laws we obey, we want something to say." I love this old women's suffragette poster.

When I’m thinking—often, and often out loud—I don’t expect to find answers. I’m looking for questions. Before I began making the case for a self-initiated piece that I'm working on, I saw incredibly intelligent but profoundly disorganized men and women flailing around me in a company where change was coming down hard. My question was: What would it be like to be forced to change everything about the way you think and work—not for your own gain but for your very survival within your organization every day? That question, which sprang from my own day-to-day, began my research, and lead me toward a solution to an important problem that could help a lot of people.

Smart women think more, seek questions more, have a viewpoint and argue it more, and are capable of effecting change. Smart women can also generally be seen as a royal pain in the ass in the eyes of some men. But smart women also know that those men don’t deserve them. 

One ex-boyfriend of mine would often assert, in a judgmental tone, that I think too much. “You think too much,” he would tell me, literally and frankly, in response to my out-loud searches for questions. He preferred I not think. He thought I was incapable of “going with the flow.” He wanted me to be more interested in partying with him than anything else. Such men do not prefer to be challenged. I left him far behind.

Last week, bored, I searched “smart woman” online and found this:

My dad always says the thing that attracted him most to my mom was the fact that she was smarter than him. Only a real man can say that and know it’s good for him.

A simple woman may be undemanding. She may be always sweet and always fun. She may text you in cute emojis, and be the life of the party. But she will never make you better. She will never push you to be more than who and what you already are—she probably won’t even push herself to be these things. 

In a world where simple is better, I think it's easy to miss how powerful intelligent and against-the-grain can be; how smart, complicated women exert a gravity on the right man.

If you are a man and you find a smart woman—a thinker, a question-seeker, who challenges you and makes you better? Keep her close and treat her well. She deserves it and so do you.

Alyssa YeagerComment