Sunday, 18 February 2007

Male Pattern Stupidity?

I think I may have uncovered a previously ignored phenomenon, which I have termed 'Male Pattern Stupidity'.

After consulting with a handful of other women I have come to the conclusion that the longer your acquaintance with a man the less intelligent he appears. I'm not sure if this means that over time these men are actually suffering from an IQ drain or if it's a matter of perception. What I am sure of is that the other women consulted and myself have noticed this disturbing trend.

First, you meet a man, any man.
You decide that he's of suitably intelligent stock and find yourself impressed by his level of cognitive functioning.
You like this because intelligence is an important trait in your not so humble opinion. So whatever the nature of your relationship you tick off intelligence on your list of desirable traits. You like this about the man. You expect that he will continue to impress with his mere ability to think and express his intelligence.
But somewhere along the line of acquaintance you notice a problem. Said intelligent man no longer seems to be quite as impressive as when you met him. You notice glaring examples of stupidity. You notice those gaps in his intelligence. And a level of disappointment sets in. What happened?

Thinking back this has applied to every man I've ever had a relationship with, be it casual or otherwise. Excluding the ones that could be immediately assessed as lacking intelligence, and believe me, there's been a few of those. But these intelligent men, the ones that initially seemed so intellectually challenging, eventually somehow managed to incur my disappointment as I realize that they're not the genius I originally thought they might be.

I asked my Mother about this the other day. My Mother who has been happily married to the same man for 30+ years. She just giggled and informed me that there's definitely anecdotal truth in that. She herself noticed the same pattern with my Father. And if I'm completely honest I first noticed this with my Father also. When I was younger he seemed so knowledgeable, intelligent. Then he just didn't. I learnt to kick his arse at chess and debate, and a mild sense of sadness kicked in. But back then I put it down to the child growing up to out-do the parent, which isn't altogether uncommon.

But then it started to emerge as a pattern with other men. All the intelligent men I have known well enough to observe and analyse. And it led me to question this phenomenon of 'Male Pattern Stupidity'.

Ultimately I suspect that this is a mere pattern of perception. The longer your acquaintance with a man the more you learn. The more a woman learns the more clear the man becomes. And we all suffer from intelligence gaps that may not be immediately apparent to others. So over time these gaps begin to show and we find ourselves wondering if said men are suffering from an intelligence leak. When in fact they're probably just becoming more real, exhibiting their flaws for us to knock them off their pedestal with.

Now I wonder if men also find themselves confronted with this disturbing trend? Do they too meet intelligent women only to notice later that there seems to be an inadvertent dumbing down?

Should I refrain from calling this 'Male pattern Stupidity' and err on the side of gender equality and rename it 'Human Pattern Stupidity'?


Mrs Smith said...

Ha! First commenter on the new blog! Three cheers for me. Hope I don't suffer from male-pattern stupidity. I am quite sure the more people get to know me, the stupider I get/seem. Or it could be the alcohol. Either reason, I don't care.

Ms Klake said...

Yay, my first comment!

I think there is a lot to be said for reveling in stupidity. I personally abandoned all pretense of intelligence a long time ago. intelligence is so....stifling.

But goddammit I expect those men to stay intelligent. Because I'm a hypocrite.

Span said...

Fair enough, some of my best friends are hypocrites.

Good luck with the new venture ms K.

morgue said...

I have drawn this post to the attention of several female bloggers of my close aquaintance. If this phenomenon is true, it deserves to be brought to light...

Ms Klake said...

Thanks Span:-)

Morgue: I would love to know if this is actually a phenomenon, or if the women I know are just agreeing with me when I'm off on one of my weird tangents.

Off-Black said...

I believe it is a perception thing, related to knowing someone more. You get used to the intelligent stuff to the point of complacency, so when the poor fellow does something dumb it stands out more.

Also may be related to men being less willing to question their significant other's opinion ("yes dear" (ie I can't be bothered arguing))as time goes by, but that is a whole different box of fireworks.

Not Kate said...

Maybe the longer you know someone the more you notice SOCIAL intelligence and that's what some men are lacking in..... things like knowing getting your girlfriend snackfood for her birthday will no go down well.....

Ms Klake said...

Not kate: Snackfood is 100% inappropriate!

I've found the best way to deal with such people is to give them little lists of things I actually want. Sometimes people need just a little bit of direction. Like comprehensive lists in order of preference, where to find the desired present, etc.