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Aug 18 2007

A selection of open letters, one of which is not like the others

fliphappycrepes.jpg
Of course you care what I had for lunch: a spinach and goat cheese crepe with caramelized onion and tomato from Flip Happy Crepes.

To the two 6th St. joggers who ducked into Whole Foods, made for the produce section, proceeded to cool themselves by rolling cucumbers over their sweaty B.O. hides, and then put the cucumbers back:

I look forward to the day when I can return the favor.

To the merry prankster who linked here from Something Awful, thus flooding my moderation queue with asinine schoolboy vulgarities:

I look forward to the day when I can return the favor.

To the genius women who run Flip Happy Crepes out of an old Airstream in that pecan grove off of Lamar and Barton Springs:

I’ll never be able to return that favor, so I’ll just return. Every day. See you tomorrow.

To poor divorced Anna Pasternak, whose column in Australia’s Herald Sun suggests that “the intrinsic emotional make-up of high-IQ women [is] flawed,” resulting in an inability to sustain love relationships, and that “big brained” women shouldn’t be “too dominant or competitive” unless they want to die old maids:

If your smart-women-are-unlovable theory were accurate, you’d have more dates than a palm tree.

Damn. Sorry. That was juvenile. What I meant to say was this. You might consider that “brilliant” women, from whose eyes the scales have fallen, are not “flawed”, but are merely more difficult to dominate, thus ensulkening the partner who sees her/himself as the rightful heir to patriarchal privilege based on the traditionally lopsided power differential of the heteromonogamogodly model. In other words, it’s the weenie’s fantasy, i.e. the culture of domination, that’s flawed, not the brainiacs.

60 comments

  1. Cass

    Mmmmm… crepes. If only you hadn’t ruined my appetite with that cucumber story, and Anna Pasternak.

  2. Kyso K

    Cucumbers? Oh, dear god. Why not just go to a lower-class grocery store and wait for the lettuce misters to shoot off? Still disgusting, but less sweat bacteria/other person’s goddam food contact that way.

  3. Marytracy9

    “You’d have more dates than a palm tree”. Hilarious!!!

    Couldn’t it be that smart women just refuse to put up with crap? And the same thing happens with everybody and at every level. When you refuse to put up with crap you end up alone, unemployed, hungry, poor, bare-footed, etc.
    Note: there will allways be crap in this world, and there will allways be people who WON’T put up with it. And that’s how things get changed.

  4. odanu

    I usually don’t go around trumpeting my IQ score (mostly because I think a high IQ is worthless without an equally high EQ, and I had to work VERY hard to be emotionally intelligent), but that woman pisses me right the fuck off. My IQ is somewhere in the “genius” range (around 159-165, depending on who you ask), and she’s full of crap.

    My mother used to pull that crap on me… “never let a man know how smart you are or he won’t love you”. I bought it hook, line and sinker. My first husband was a sadist who enjoyed my intelligence because it was a challenge to overcome and then diminish me. Even though he was incapable of love, he did value my intelligence, for the extra challenge it gave him in his favorite game.

    I have been married to my current husband for 10 years, and with him for twelve. We test about the same on an IQ test, but have very different intelligences, and ways of expressing them. My husband loves that I’m smart. We can talk for hours about current events, and politics, and difficult conundrums, and literature and media, and philosophy, and still have a great sex life (for those idiots that think that friendship and love and good sex are incompatible).

    Oh, and by the way, I’m both dominant and competitive, and in different ways, so is my husband. And the marriage still works. So screw Anna Pasternak and her “big brained women are doomed to be unloved”. She doesn’t know what the fuck she’s talking about, and she’s perpetuating a myth that has created an entire market of emotionally unsure smart women for assholes like my first husband to exploit.

  5. derrp

    Step 1: Invent flaw.
    Step 2: Sell solution.
    Step 3: Profit!

    It’s the same tired old woman-blaming patriarchal bullshit.

  6. Hippolyta

    As if not having a date with a man that was intimidated by my intelligence would be the end of my world. I think I’d rather be an old maid, gentleman spinster.

  7. Buttercup

    A very long time ago I refused to dumb down for anyone. I was happily single for many years as a result, and now I’m happily married. Anna Pasternak is full of beans.

    The cucumber thing? EW. Those people needed to be publicly shamed.

  8. trailer park

    Shorter Anna Pasternak:

    “I’m divorced and really unhappy about it, but it’s only because I’m so much smarter than most women, including my married friends.”

  9. PhysioProf

    (1) Crepe looks delish!

    (2) “‘[T]he intrinsic emotional make-up of high-IQ women [is] flawed,’ resulting in an inability to sustain love relationships, and [] ‘big brained’ women shouldn’t be ‘too dominant or competitive’ unless they want to die old maids[.]”

    This is just so outlandishly idiotic, reading it made my brain hurt. And then I went and read the article. And my brain exploded.

    According to Dr. Robert Holden, intelligent women must “[l]earn to have emotional strength, which is about yielding, openness and a willingness to be vulnerable”. In other words, intelligent women should place men’s concerns above their own, have no personal boundaries, and pretend to be weak. This is great advice for intelligent women who want to sustain “good relationships” with total assholes.

    Just for the record, there are men out there who seek out and sustain relationships with brilliant women who are highly competitive, who place no one’s concerns above their own, who maintain strong personal boundaries, and who never pretend to be weak.

  10. CoolAunt

    You might consider that “brilliant” women, from whose eyes the scales have fallen, are not “flawed”, but are merely more difficult to dominate, thus ensulkening the partner who sees her/himself as the rightful heir to patriarchal privilege based on the traditionally lopsided power differential of the heteromonogamogodly model.

    I’d come to that conclusion before I got to that paragraph. Okay, well, my mind worded my conclusion much more like Macytracy9′s “smart women refuse to put up with crap” comment, which I attribute to my nowhere-near-genius yet larger-than-my-shoe-size IQ number. I’m not only smart enough not to put up with bullshit from men simply because they’re men, I’m also smart enough not to cool myself from the Texas heat by wiping cold food all over my hog-sweat covered body, not my own food nor especially someone else’s. Yuck!

  11. Dixie

    Does Anna think her friends didn’t know she was avoiding a celebration of a “landmark” in her own life? Did she think that by not going out, it would decrease the likelihood that there would be “Bless her heart, she’s SO big-brained that no man will ever love her” commentary over coffee?

    Wait, maybe she’s right that they didn’t know. Their IQ’s MUST be low enough since they’re married, right? And even if their IQ’s were edging dangerously high toward the normal range so that they might figure it out, their marriage-eligible EQ’s were high enough that they wouldn’t be catty.

    O holy id, who doesn’t she insult with this dreck? Big-brained women fail EQ. Women who easily master EQ fail IQ.

    Sorry, Anna. When I tell a man, “I’m too smart to marry you,” I’m not mourning.

  12. josquin

    The cucumber story totally eclipsed the rest.
    Yes, Anna Pasternak is clearly feeble-minded, and fie on the stupid prankster, and whatnot.
    BUT THE CUCUMBER STORY.
    AAAAAAAAACK!

  13. chingona

    From here on out, I always peel the cucumbers.

  14. Pinko Punko

    They should have finished off with some citrus, for the BO. Then maybe some mint.

    Perhaps it was some hippie/cult hazing thing that they were doing?

    Oh, my brain locked up on the Anna P. thing. I shouldn’t be surprised that the patriarchy desires for patriarchical BS to be spewed forth, but Jesus H!

  15. Christina

    Thank you, always.

  16. Jeni

    Oh, holy moly. When I was in high school, my mom tried to convince me that my combination of intelligence and an unwillingness to give out blow jobs was a combination that made me preposterously unattractive, which in her book meant unmarriageable. I think my response was somewhere along the lines of “Screw marriage if it means I have to be dumb and subservient.” I still feel that way, actually.

    I eventually happened to find a partner who thinks my mom’s idea of marriage is as dumb as I do, but it took a while. And I was not sorry that entire time I was single. I don’t have the energy or the patience to put up with stupid games.

    And the cucumber thing? How do they even think that’s okay?

  17. CafeSiren

    “Learn to have emotional strength, which is about yielding, openness and a willingness to be vulnerable.”

    Weakness = strength

    Slavery = freedom

    Patriarchy = Orwell for the ladies

  18. Carol

    And maybe the smart women won’t put up with crap from the loser men either? And since it’s a smart woman we’re dealing with here, she also can support herself and thus doesn’t have to put up with shit from losers.

  19. kristi

    My words for the next week will be ensulkening and heteromonogamogodly. Perfect!

  20. ceezee

    I don’t know if the Pacific Northwest somehow managed to breed a population of relatively enlightened men, but I actually have a great deal of trouble convincing local male friends that there is any form of social pressure on women to act less intelligent–and thus, less threatening–than they actually are.

    But now I have proof! Thank you!

  21. H

    “Learn to have emotional strength, which is about yielding, openness and a willingness to be vulnerable.”

    Ye gads. Translation in the context of the article, which portrays any notion of active intelligence. self-assertion and self-worth in a woman as a Very Bad Thing:

    ‘Yielding’ = submission.

    ‘Openness’ = pretending to consider or actually capitulating to ideas or behavior one knows are wrongheaded or harmful to oneself.

    Oh, and ‘vulnerable’? That’s got to mean ‘submissive AND pretending to consider or actually capitulating to ideas or behaviour one knows are wrongheaded or harmful to oneself.’ That, or ‘floundering around in floods of tears waiting for Mr. Right to show up and rescue you’.

    I’ve lost count of the number of times other women have smugly informed me either directly or in a roundabout way, that my intelligence, tendency to independent thought and generally expectation of being treated as an equal are both ‘scary’ and ‘threatening’ to men and that ‘men don’t like women who act smarter than them’ (note, not women who ARE smarter than them, just the ones who show it).

  22. Orange

    Thank your lucky stars that the joggers didn’t try to get intimate with the cukes right there in the produce section. And yes, unwashed produce is frightening. It looks so healthful and yet, who knows what invisible filth may cling to it?

    Chicagoans should head to La Creperie and try the poulet au curry crepe. To die for! Also good: dessert crepes.

    If bossy, competitive, high-IQ women (hello!) can’t sustain love relationships, then how come I’ve been with the same guy since 1988?

  23. kiita

    I’ll see you at Flip Happy Crepes!

  24. Iris

    Hey Twisty! Abortion law proposed in Ohio: if a woman wants an abortion, she has to consult The Scumfuck Father, who can VETO her already limited access to abortion. If she does not know the father, she must provide a list of past sex partners to the provider, who will paternity test at her expense. Broadcast this terrifying shit! I couldn’t find your email address, so I posted! Mas details at revcom.us

  25. CafeSiren

    (To add to Iris’ threadjacking: I believe the same law is already long in effect in Tennessee, but I could be mistaken. Do the words “undue burden” mean nothing?)

  26. Ruth

    Too dumb, not dumb enough. The usual patriarchal choices.

  27. metamanda

    According to Dr. Robert Holden, intelligent women must “[l]earn to have emotional strength, which is about yielding, openness and a willingness to be vulnerable”. In other words, intelligent women should place men’s concerns above their own, have no personal boundaries, and pretend to be weak.

    I respectfully disagree with that interpretation. Or rather, I think Holden is, in fact, an asshat who meant it that way, and certainly in the context of Pasternak’s idiotic assertions it comes off that way. Singling out intelligent women as needing to be that way is particularly gross. But. A stopped clock tells the right time twice a day, and even asshats occasionally, inadvertently, say things that aren’t totally wrong. My very closest friendships (with women and men) are marked by a willingness to be open and vulnerable in ways I (and they) wouldn’t be with the rest of the world, and I hope I can manage a partnership that has those characteristics as well.

    Of course, if only one partner is being yielding, open, and vulnerable, then by all means, that’s a horrible relationship. And of course, IBTP that the woman is always expected to be the one partner that does that. I think it takes a very good sense of personal boundaries to be able to know when to yield and when to kick ass.

    many women with a high IQ have a perilously low EQ

    This actually made me laugh. Has she met any male engineers? Ever?

    If your smart-women-are-unlovable theory were accurate, you’d have more dates than a palm tree.

    Oh, and since I’m high-ish IQ and low-ish EQ, I can’t not point out the logical fallacy there.

    if
    smart woman -> not lovable
    is true,

    then
    lovable -> not smart woman
    is also true.

    but that doesn’t mean that
    not smart woman -> lovable
    is true in every case.

    God, I’m so pedantic. That must be the reason my relationships don’t work out. [grin]

  28. Sean

    “EQ” sounds like a made-up, unquantifiable term that brands how well individuals can capitulate to received notions of emotional propriety within power contexts. IQ is already suspicious enough, but now we have to add a supporting dialectical turn to make the patriarchal backwards-world complete? (rhetorical question)

  29. EN

    My poor stomach has no idea how to react to this post as a whole.

  30. Star42

    Why is it that every time someone mentions anything to do with IQ levels, someone always has to brag about their supposed genius-range IQ? God, that’s annoying.

    Also, smart doesn’t always equal rich. Regardless of intellectual capacity, the economic choices often aren’t there these days. I had to put up with crap from men for a long time because minimum wage just doesn’t pay the bills, and all college did was put me deep in debt. So, it was either put up with some jerk boyfriend, or live on the street.

  31. larkspur

    Oh, dear god, what you see when you work in retail. (Cucumber stories for 40 hours a week.)

    Back in the olden days (but not so olden that there weren’t tamper-proof containers), I once saw a woman break the seal on a bottle of salad dressing, stick her finger in to taste it, decide it was yummy, and then put the opened bottle back on the shelf so she could select a bottle that hadn’t been opened.

    Now, because I am oldish and don’t much care about popularity, I’d say, OMG, you didn’t just do that! Put that new bottle back! Yes, you! Taste-Test Lady! I’m looking at you!

    Or something like that. But back then, I worked there and I was wimpy on armed struggle, so I just retrieved the contaminated bottle and put it in the defective bin.

    I do not know what my IQ is. Feh.

  32. Sasha

    I saw the crepe women on that Bobby Flay Throwdown show and was damn tempted to get on the four-wheeled horse and high tail it down your way. But then I realized that it is August.

    As for the rest. Ick. Just ick all around.

  33. Starfoxy

    If these women are as smart as we think they are, then why can’t we just trust that they know what they’re doing. Sigh.

  34. Lara

    If Anna Pasternak actually lived up to what she believed in she would have never gone into publishing her lousy writing, she would have shut up, and she would have let the men do the talking. I think that out of all the oppressed groups of people in the world women are the most compliant in and supportive of their oppression. And in the end it’s not women that should be blamed. It’s the big P…
    Blame on Twisty!

  35. nd

    From the article:

    Also, the American Journal Of Marriage And Family cited studies that claim the divorce risk rises when women out-earn their husbands. The evidence seems to say that thousands of bright women can’t sustain meaningful relationships because they are too controlling and can’t tolerate less successful men. Equally, men resent higher-earning partners.

    That’s a mighty big leap from “divorce risk rises when women out-earn their husbands” to “bright women can’t sustain meaningful relationships because they are too controlling and can’t tolerate less successful men.”

    And I love that little “equally, men resent higher-earning partners” — to be fair, you see, it’s not all women’s fault. Naturally you might think it’s all about women being too controlling — what isn’t? — but she would like to point out to you that men have been known to resent higher-earning partners too!

    Very fair-minded of her.

  36. camipco

    The idea of loving a woman who didn’t constantly astound me with her intelligence is baffling. But then, I’m married to an incredibly smart woman. She dominant and competitive too. I blame the patriarchy for every man who wants a woman any other way.

  37. sabrina

    I have heard that dribble before; “You’re too independent, a man wants a woman who needs him…”

    My sister, my girlfriends, my guy friends, everyone said that mess to me. My response: “I’d rather be single then stuck with an insecure boy who is afraid of someone who may be smarter than they are.”

    Well I didn’t get to stay single forever(though it was quite a blast) but met and married a wonderful man who loves me for my intelligence and ambition. It seems after years of dating females who needed to be taken care of, he needed a break. As for my girlfriends, who dumbed themselves down, and just couldn’t take care of themselves, they are now married to men who think their purpose on earth is to cook, clean, and do laundry. Oh yes, don’t forget, they are the sole child care providers in the home. Hmmm, doesn’t sound like much of a deal to me.

  38. rich

    Sorry, what does intelligence have to do with being bossy and competitive? I think being bossy and being competitive are both expressions of a desire to dominate others… which is what patriarchy is built upon. Why are those laudable drives in anyone, ever?

    Here I’m differentiating between self competition, which is a desire to be a better You, and external competition, ie. “I’m going to beat you.”, which is a desire to defeat/dominate someone else. Isn’t it possible to stand up for yourself and express self determination without having to oppress anyone else?

  39. Feminist Avatar

    I know this goes without saying on this blog- but, come on, do we still all shake in our boots at the threat of being an old maid. Oh no, if I don’t get married my life will never start -how devastating!

    And, the suggestion that women need to adapt themselves to men simply re-affirms that men are the only model for humanity and that women are merely creatures at their disposal who should evolve to meet their needs.

    Hey, I am a HUMAN too!

    Ever notice how the responsibility for the smooth running of the patriarchy falls on women.

  40. Cass

    “Ever notice how the responsibility for the smooth running of the patriarchy falls on women.”

    I have indeed. The psychology of domestic violence, in this as in many other cases, is a near-perfect microcosm of the patriarchy as a whole: the woman is assigned almost all the responsibility for the state of things, but gets very little of the power. From rape to child-rearing to traffic safety in Saudi Arabia, its a pattern you’ll see over and over again, if you only learn to look for it.

  41. Twisty

    You remind me, Cass, that patriarchy is more easily comprehended if you consider that it is a social order based on the domestic model of woman’s slavery, rather than some vast dudely conspiracy from which domestic violence merely trickles down. In other words, the family is the primary unit of patriarchy, and it replicates itself efficiently enough that the whole world is now one big abusive and abused mob.

  42. stacey

    mental note: don’t buy cucumbers from whole foods.

  43. CafeSiren

    My response: “I’d rather be single then stuck with an insecure boy who is afraid of someone who may be smarter than they are.”

    Right on, Sabrina. Seems like it’s a good idea to ask ourselves: What do I get out of this deal? Answer: you get the privilege of being not-single — with which comes the daily responsibility to act as a prop to someone’s fragile ego, or else they might leave you, meaning that you won’t be responsible for assuaging their insecurities.

    Like Sabrina, when offered the false choice between being less than I am so as not to offend the insecure, or living single for the rest of my life, I’ll take B, but will continue to believe in the existence of option C (“none of the above”).

  44. Spinning Liz

    Ahahaha, you REALLY want to scare the menz away? Try being not only way smarter than they are, but also physically stronger than they are, highly trained in full-force self-defense, licensed to carry a Glock, and to top it all off live with a 90-pound Doberman Pinscher who would just as soon rip a man’s throat out as look at him. The damn sissies tuck their tails and run every time.

    What, do I have a problem with that? Hell no, why should I? In fact I’m thinking of taking added precautions by stocking my fridge with 200 sweaty cucumbers.

  45. Twisty

    Spinning Liz, some of you new blamers might not be aware, is a fuckin superhero.

  46. larkspur

    Also? Liz’s 90-pound Doberman is an albino. See him coming at you around midnight, you’ll think you’re already dead. Also too? He’s a New Orleans native who survived Katrina mostly on his own. And now he’s with Liz, and he loves loves loves her.

    (Hope you don’t mind, Liz. Superman has me enthralled. Or possibly in thrall. Anyway, he is liked very much by moi.)

  47. tigtog

    Not that it matters greatly, but I’d just like to point out that the Herald Sun (Aka “The Hun”) was merely reprinting an article from the even more execrable UK paper the Daily Mail.

    Anna Pasternak is not Australian, thank bog (thus the references to her “friends from Oxford”). She is distantly related to the novelist Pasternak (Dr Zhivago) which is probably the only reason anyone gave her a writing job to begin with.

  48. doorknob

    No DUH the divorce rate rises when women earn money. It means that when the divorce settlement gives him the house, car and money and us the kids and maybe a package of crackers for child support if we can get him to give it to us, we won’t be living on the streets. Money allows women to finally get away from the assholes they’ve been thinking about breaking up with for ages.

    Also, intelligence means I can’t catch a husband? Sweet! I get to be intelligent AND not have to deal with a husband! It’s 2-for-1 day!

  49. Supermouse

    The Daily Mail is in fact the UK’s favourite family-values rag. It writes to home owners who don’t like change, do like the patriarchy, are suspicious of non-white non-Christians and get very upset about royal women wearing the wrong clothes and not upset at all about people being held without trial.

  50. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    The only time in my life a man ever sent me a dozen red roses was for a feat of my freakish brain, not my body. I wrote an essay for him which earned him a higher grade than he would’ve deserved on his own.

    But it still made me feel like a whore, you know?

  51. Shira

    But it still made me feel like a whore, you know?

    Yep. Some revolting dickblister I dated (very!) briefly earlier in the summer asked me to perform a sex act in exchange for vicodin. What put that idea into his revolting little shit-for-brains head I’ll never know (though I’m guessing it starts with a ‘P’ and rhymes with ‘hornography’), but that was the last time he’ll ever be in the same room with me. The worst part is that he’s a med student – he’s already trying to use his ability to dispense controlled substances to coerce sex-acts out of women!

    You know, it’s not like I keep my politics a secret. I tell everyone the first time I meet them that I’m a radical feminist, a gender and women’s studies major, and that I blame the patriarchy. You’d think they would know better than to try this shit. But I’m starting to wonder if they don’t see it as just a challenge, that it doesn’t make them want to conquer me all the more. Maybe it is as Twisty says in her FAQ, that they, “find irresistible the compulsion to try and take me down a peg.”

    In any case, ultimately it’s just the fuckbot continuum, and we’re hated no matter where we fall on it.

  52. Katbread

    “I saw the crepe women on that Bobby Flay Throwdown show and was damn tempted to get on the four-wheeled horse and high tail it down your way. But then I realized that it is August.

    As for the rest. Ick. Just ick all around.”

    Please tell me she won. It’s off-topic, but I despise Bobby Flay. He’s an insolent asshole who challenges experts with his vague knowledge and TV backing under the guise of honoring them. I cheer whenever someone beats the smug smirk off of his face.

  53. Katbread

    Oh, and I absolutely hate to post again but I am simply too rushed to actually take in what I’ve read sometimes.

    I’m checking in as a fellow Doberman-owning, defense trained woman. Sure my canine buddy is essentially harmless, but tell that to any would-be attacker. That and Brazilian Jui-Jitsu work wonders for keeping any people with the wrong idea far, far away from me.

    As for the rest of the topic, I may be naive but I do think that eventually all of these issues with female struggle will wash away. There’s a lot in the past to fight, but compare the droves of men who can barely read to the capable and intelligent women with PhDs and I think that it should be self-evident that intelligence has nothing to do with gender.

    Of course, that’s assuming that said man won’t just think “Damn wimmins is takin’ our jobs, she must have sucked a lot of dick for that degree”. Sigh.

  54. mg_65

    “Ensulkening”! Woo! Sorry, great post all around as usual. But “ensulkening” really made my day.

  55. Twisty

    Shira said “You’d think they would know better than to try this shit. But I’m starting to wonder if they don’t see it as just a challenge, that it doesn’t make them want to conquer me all the more.”

    Ding ding ding!

  56. Shannon

    I’m with mg_65 — “ensulkening” completely made my day.

  57. That Girl

    “Ensulkening.” I love you.

  58. Lara

    The fact that I am actually in the fuckbot continuum, as Shira noted, is the strangest and most disturbing thing….but it doesn’t surprise me.
    And the fact that men have to fuck, date, and marry women who seem less intelligent or strong than they are just goes to show you how fucking pathetic said men are.

  59. Gloria

    I love you. I just do.

  60. Ms Kate

    I think Mrs. Less Than Brilliant Divorcee missed some pretty important clues somewhere along the continuum between fish and bicycle.

    Like, truly brilliant women may be lonely and lack company, but that doesn’t mean they need a man or even another woman where a dog or two or a properly purchased cucumber will do!

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