Convoluted chain. A reaction post to a post by another women on “feminie or annoying?” I would have just posted a comment, but there were none. No trackback either.

“Dumb themselves down because they’re dating men who would be intimidated by a smart girl. I’ve been in long discussions about degrees & dating. What happens when the girl is Ivy educated & the guy went to the local community college? The girl has no problem dating/marrying the guy, but the guy has issues. He feels less manly. “

What world does this woman live in? Or is she just believing that all women are enlightened more than they are? Women do care and have a problem with it. There are lots of women who wouldn’t go out with a guy from a community college because of his perceived lack of money and/or status. If I were dating and that was my status I’d endeavor to keep it a secret until the woman got to know me for fear she wouldn’t date me. Also I doubt a man would look down on a woman for going to a community college as much as a woman would look down on a guy.

I admit many men would be intimidated by a woman who they thought was smarter than them. But they’d also be intimidated by a guy who was smarter than them.

UPDATE: My wife teaches at a community college. Maybe she could ask her students what their perception of the issue is.

Only a couple of minor followups in the rest of the piece.

6. Wear heels. All the time. No matter the occasion. We’re going to the park, do you really think that’s appropriate? Also, most men in Manhattan walk quickly — Can you keep up in those heels? & don’t complain to me at the end of the night about your blisters. The heels look great at Chanterelle, but your bare feet… EWWW.

Yeah, I don’t know about you, but if I was a girl, I wouldn’t like being told what to wear. Heels are sexy. I forget why, but maybe the arching of the foot reminds of the arching of the back? Anyway, women are under no obligation to wear heels, but if you want to increase the likelihood that we men—some men—want to have sex with you, then heels are a good start.

I agree with Richard that a) people don’t like being told what to wear, b) heels are sexy and there isn’t a rational reason for it. I don’t think a woman has to wear heels all the time, but anytime she does she is going to be sexier. So if she wants to be sexy all the time – which I would think would be a little tiring – she can wear them all the time. I remember seeing an interview with Dolly Parton once where she said since she was a little girl high heels have meant being grow-up and confident. She doesn’t feel good without them. Clothes have different meanings to different people.

7. Wear too much makeup. I don’t want foundation or eyeshadow on the shoulder of my Brioni shirt or Frette pillowcases. I don’t want to taste your Chanel lipgloss in my mouth after I’ve just had a sip of my Sonoma-Cutrer Russian River Ranches Chardonnay (2001). By the way, I can barely breathe because I’m engulfed in your perfume. The guy across the room can smell your Gucci.

“too much” is always a judgement call

It is a judgment call and somewhat cultural. Women in the Northeast and midwest just wear less makeup than women in the south and west. What is considered minimum is just different.

Now for my “feminine or annoying” pet peeve. Frumpiness.

It’s that “I just don’t give a shit how I look.” look. Some women cultivate it as a show of feminism, others are just clueless. My wife was in the clueless faction until a friend of hers told her she needed to take more of an interest in her appearance. This wasn’t when she was a teen, but an adult woman and married. It hurt and she was very upset. But she decided to do something about it. She’s a very smart woman and once she decided it was time to get more feminine she attacked it with an academic ferocity.

There are three reasons I know of for the unintended frumpiness.

First she thinks it doesn’t matter. Due to a poor self-image she thinks it doesn’t matter if she tries, she’ll still look bad. This is false. Better is always a matter of degree. It is also often linked to being overweight. It is still possible to be pretty, feminine and turn guys on with some extra pounds.

The second reason is she doesn’t know how. My wife didn’t know how to wear make-up or pick clothes. She didn’t even really know how to judge good fashion. She asked me to tell her what women we know who’s make-up I liked. (A dangerous job for me). Then she went and found out where they got their make up. Turned out it was all Mary Kay and they teach you how to put it on when you buy it. I often help her pick out clothes. I won’t share what we consider a good sign when she’s trying on clothes. But she ends up looking good most all of the time.

The third reason women are frumpy is the desire for comfort. I understand wanting comfortable clothes that don’t take a lot of time to put on. But I firmly believe you can have comfortable clothes that look good. You can wear a nice blouse as easily as t-shirt and you’ll look better in it.