We Boomer women on the leading edge of the generation came up at a time when women were just beginning to understand the power of showing men their minds.
Conventional wisdom in the 1950s said that to get a man women had to dumb themselves down. It was considered bad strategy to do better in school or at least to let a boy know you were doing better. I know plenty of smart girls of my generation who pretended they weren’t. Or wished they weren’t, because they believed a man would never go for them. Pretty was much better than smart in the 1950s, as women went to college not for an M.S. but to get their M-R-S.
Well, too bad for them.
As someone who has always led with her brain (although, as I’ve written before, I’m totally clueless about how that works) and who thought it would be refreshing if a guy called out “nice ass” to her, as that girl, the smart girl, I never did find my brains to be a marital deterrent.
I am on my third husband and fourth marriage (since I married my first husband again) and if I’d have married every man who asked I would have had four more. And these were men of quality. Mostly.
Do I sound arrogant? Is it arrogant to know yourself? I don’t think so. I won’t kid you. I know I’m an acquired taste. But I like to think I’m like, say, raw oysters: not for everyone, but for some a most delicious treat.
Men of our generation really do appreciate that kind of treat.
I love that women in the generations that followed the Boomers don’t feel the need to dumb themselves down. They embrace their clever, geeky, accomplished selves in a big way and, it turns out, most men in their generation appreciate a brainy girl.
When I look at the world with dismay I realize that one thing is for certain: the world keeps turning. There’s only one constant, and that’s change. The change in the way women are perceived is one of the better ones.
If only we could get women’s pay equal to men’s, she said, as she reached out to twirl the world a little faster.