Playing dumb is stupid

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December 17, 2013 by nooffensebut

Let me be blunt: To me, playing dumb is just plain stupid.

Crafty flirting strategy or not, I cannot get behind the notion of women intentionally pretending that they are intellectually inferior in order to land a man. And thankfully, I’m not alone.

“It’s honestly one of the worst things a girl could possibly do,” one male friend said.

Sure, I can see how a pretty, (fake) dumb girl could pick up a guy for a night. It’s not too hard to figure out: He probably will just want to put her to better use than spouting off feigned ignorance. But why would a woman be satisfied with a man who needed her to pretend to be less than she is, in order for him to consider her desirable?

“For an intelligent woman, this would be maddening,” Frank observed. And honestly, I’d think it would eventually be maddening for an intelligent man as well.

My father, who happens to be one of the smartest men I know (he takes after me), said: “Generally, (women who pretend to be stupid) are a turn-off to men who don’t doubt their own self-image. Lots of men like challenge. Therefore, they should appreciate the challenge of an equally intelligent woman.”

Fortunately for him, my mother is both intelligent and challenging. In a good way.

One friend said he relishes any opportunity to get to “act dumb,” to have a reprieve from the constant demand to show how intelligent he is at work, but that’s different.

Look. I’m not lambasting anyone, male or female, who doesn’t bring the intellectual A-game all the time. Believe me, I’m not whipping out Proust over beers with my friends. But that’s relaxing as opposed to putting energy into intentionally making yourself come across as worse than you are. I wouldn’t use makeup to create blemishes on my face to make a friend with acne feel better about herself, why would I make a point of pretending to be ignorant to make a man desire me?

“Maybe that’s a good tactic if you want to date a stupid guy (who would otherwise) be intimidated by your intelligence,” Andy said, “but it wouldn’t work on me.”


Originally published Nov. 12, 2010 in the Chattanooga Times Free Press

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