There is a difference between "turn your head on the street" attractive and someone that I find attractive because I have gotten to know them.

I simply could not date someone who was not thoughtful and interesting. If they give me a blank stare when I say "NPR," "This American Life," "Garrison Keillor," or the "puzzlemaster Will Schurtz," then I know that we will not be compatible.

The three loves of my life have all been smarter than I am (ok so that isnt a really high bar) and very successful at what they do.


"Men respect a woman who lives in a feminist way."

I think this is true only because I think I know what you mean, but I really wish we could find a different word to describe it other than "feminist". That term is (a) vague, and (b) ruined. It's vague because it encompasses not only women who believe in equal opportunity, but also women who sincerely believe that men are their oppressors and enemies, as well as all the women in between. It's ruined because the high profile women in modern culture who have defined the "movement" and themselves under its banner and claimed to speak for all women in the process have appeared to be, well, shrill and bitter people.

Aren't you really talking here about good old fashioned self-respect? Human self-respect? You never "played dumb" to attract a man because you liked yourself, your talents and your potentials. You thought they were neat and wanted people to see them. People who believe in themselves attract other people to them. Isn't that what you're really saying? Why load it up with such a miserable word as feminist?

"CAVEAT: Not that we women necessarily care whether men are attracted to us. Some of us are lesbians. Some of us value other things in our lives as much as or more than having a man. Some of us have relationships with which we are satisfied and don't need to be seen as desirable by every Tom, Dick, and Harry."

Puzzlement here. I'm wondering why you felt the need to point this out. Do I sense some insecurity here that maybe you're not sounding feminist "enough", as if maybe your more radical "sisters" might imagine you actually CARE about being attractive to a man (eww, yuck)? Very (too) conspicuous statement.

"... devastatingly attractive ..."

Sounds too painful to me ;)


Great post! I read a very interesting study that concluded that, once you got to know someone of the opposite sex, your perception of how attractive that person was would intensify or fade. It was a very interesting read (I think it appearead on Feministing).


I don't get why people insist on creating unified theories of dating. All people are different, even if they share the same gender. I'll admit my dating experience isn't very voluminous (married at 21, had been dating the guy since I was 18), but it never seemed like rocket science to me. Like someone? Want to kiss them and hang out with them? Try it, see if you like it. It worked for me, anyway.


Since when is feminist a "miserable" word?


Since radical feminist theory shifted the focus away from Equality toward androgyny and hostility toward men.


I don't think feminism is a ruined word at all.


Richard, I disagree, but I guess your perception of feminism is narrower and less inclusive than mine.

And gee, I thought the only people whining that men are threatened by professionally successful women were those goddamn power spinsters, who keep writing books.

The Happy Feminist

Hey Richard, Interesting speculation about my motives with regard to the "too conspicuous" caveat, but dead wrong. If you tune into all the crap out there, you'll see that a lot of journalistic claptrap implies that women's primary interest should be attracting men. That's what I'm trying to avoid playing into. Unfortunately, there are enough condescending assumptions burbling beneath the surface our our culture that one does feel on the defensive quite often.

Here are two examples of what I mean that just came to my attention within the last week:

1) An article from the Weekly Standard about the gender gap in American colleges and graduate schools focuses its attention on the supposed calamity that college women will (gasp) have difficulty finding a compatible mate, starting with this first sentence:

"Here's a thought that's unlikely to occur to twelfth--grade girls as their college acceptances begin to trickle in: After they get to campus in the fall, one in four of them will be mathematically unable to find a male peer to go out with."

The article in whole can be found here: http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/006/531ffoaa.asp

2) Then we have arch anti-feminist Kate O'Beirne's sarcastic comment from a
National Review interview:

"I have long thought that if high-school boys had invited homely girls to the prom we might have been spared the feminist movement."


The Happy Feminist

Who the heck is puzzlemaster Will Schurtz?

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