856. She Talks About Masculine Subjects?


At post 849 Her Highness Sunny asks “how do men generally feel about women who would rather talk about subjects society says are masculine? Is it bad, from the male perspective, for a woman to be more interested in the physics of a bullet’s trajectory than in whatever brand of purses?”

Not bad, no, but perhaps unproductive. It all depends on these competing situations—before conquest versus afterward, small talk versus discussion, her intentions versus her expectations, and screening men versus choosing a husband.

Before conquest: The subject talked about has little to do with a man’s response. Expect that a man will buy into anything an unconquered woman wants to talk about, as long as he senses he’s making progress. If he cuts her off, he likely seeks a more direct route to the pad.

After conquest: He’s very different. Men are not curious about personal relationships in small talk or discussions and especially not female monologues. But they do find interest in the masculine side of how things work. Bullets are great, potentially, but purses are not.

Small talk: Her intelligence is never bad from the male perspective. However, she automatically competes with him when she knows more about so-called masculine subjects than he does. Men don’t compete with women very long. So, when small talk discloses that she’s master more than he of a subject, men tend to change the subject, drop out, or fade away.

Discussion: If a guy has equal or greater knowledge and interest in her favorite subjects, he’ll listen enjoyably, discuss, and critique. He’ll talk all day to bring her up to speed about what he knows of the subject. She opened the door to competing with him, and he’ll respond by trying to dominate. (WADWMUFGAO: We all do whatever makes us feel good about ourselves, and it’s never truer than when males deal with females.) If he sees he can’t ‘win’, he’ll likely change the subject or depart.

When she knows more than he does about a subject, men are reminded that they as the immovable object can’t resist her as the irresistible force. So, when competition opens and the man can’t win, he’ll find a way out to save face.

Her intentions: If she’s trying to impress men or a man to favor her, indirectness works best. Broaching so-called masculine subjects can be done slowly by dropping curious hints and tidbits almost inadvertently. Let his interest pull it out of her; it then appears to him that he’s won, which makes him appreciate her subject matter.

If she’s interested more in spreading her reputation as learned person, dropping tidbits about deeper subject matter helps. But she can’t really rely on guys that have not conquered her to spread her reputation about esoteric subjects; they might, however, declaim her as not worth chasing for sex. (Such as, “Yea, she’s smart, but she takes the fun out of everything.”)

Her expectations: More important than the subject matter, her ability to hold a man’s interest with style and manner of delivery is critical. The more she makes it enjoyable than thoughtful, the better for her. Then, on his side, it all depends on whether he likes himself with her talking about what she wants to talk about. If she lacks sensitivity to detect when he’s no longer interested in what she happens to be saying at the time, she’ll not be able to keep him listening as much as she’d like.

Screening men: Generally, she has two options: She searches for Mr. Good Enough by screening out those whose interest she can’t hold to her satisfaction. And she learns to be sensitive and shut up when guys she likes become less interested in what she has to talk about. Both options make up her screening process.

Choosing husband: She either yields to premarital conquest to see how he reacts, changes, and appreciates discussing her favorite subjects. Or, she withholds sex long enough for him to appreciate what she has to say and how enjoyably first and thoughtfully second that she says it. In the process he learns to feel good about himself listening or discussing her favorite subjects.

Sexless courtship has a way of making men become more agreeable about a woman’s preferences, standards, and expectations. This option should maximize acceptance of discussing her favorite subjects, because it maximizes respect for her as potential wife.

HOT STUFF: The best rule for women to remember is this: Men don’t want, like, or long tolerate competing with a female. If her style, manner, or dialogue hits him as coming even close to a put down for him or his gender, he will rebel, resist, and retreat if necessary to escape. Although women may like to indulge in so-called masculine subjects, history shows that they’re not too welcome doing so with men. So, she needs to weigh the risks versus her mental tastes and druthers. She can certainly succeed, but she’s handicapped more than sex objects for example.

In the end, men don’t seek high intelligence in a woman. So, women do best when they indirectly use whatever intelligence they have to outsmart men and their man.

25 Comments

Filed under How she wins

25 responses to “856. She Talks About Masculine Subjects?

  1. Abigail

    >>>>> So, women do best when they indirectly use whatever intelligence they have to outsmart men and their man.>>>>>

    I love it! If I’m so smart, I guess I can pull off finding a Mr. Good Enough!

  2. Jill F.

    I wonder if women like to challenge men on manly subjects because they want to find out how intelligent a man is?

    One thing I absolutely love and appreciate about my husband is his intelligent mind. It’s true that our approach to controversial subjects is very different (I don’t like lots of debate and he does) and it is true (as Guy says) that when I try to dominate the conversation by proving that I know more than he does he tends to give in and “fade away” but, in the end, I love the fact that he’s a really smart guy and his brains can meet my challenge!

  3. Denise

    I think that women should consider the extent to which they are going to supress their natural talents, abilities, and proclivities to snag a particular man. The footwork involved may not be worth it in the end, especially considering that if a woman is just that intellectually oriented, she might do well to simply find a man that is equally if not more intellectually oriented than she is. What’s worth it will depend on the particular woman, though.

    I know several professor couples and couples where the woman likes video games as much as the man to know that women have been and can be successful in finding someone who doesn’t feel threatened by her interests.

  4. Princess Rita

    I could be wrong but I suspect in some cases, there isn’t an issue of a man being less intelligent or even them not know the topic as well but rather the fact that in general men are less articulate than women. Most of them, in my experience don’t like talking as much as we do either!

  5. MorningGlory

    I think this quote by Ella Wheeler Wilcox applies:
    “A man likes a woman’s intellect to shine brilliantly in its full force only when great occasions demand it. At other times he wants it veiled by beauty and modesty. He would rather it should gleam like star shine in his path, or suddenly glow forth in shadowed places like a powerful dark lantern, than to glare always about him like an electric light, which blinds the eyes of his egotism and offends his pride.” (I like the gleam like star shine part!)

    Your Delightfulness Morning Glory,
    You add frosting to my wordy cake. Your starshine gleams aplenty.
    Guy

    • Princess Rita

      Beautiful, thank you. It’s a little hard to accept that men don’t value intelligence as much as I thought they did but that’s the way it is.

      Your Preciousness Princess Rita,
      Men like it. Just in the right dosages as Her Highness Morning Glory describes it.
      Guy

      • Cinnamon

        There is a lot to think about here. Here is how I understand it:

        I think the biggest problem at the dating stage comes where a woman uses her intellect as a selling point. In addition to putting him in competition, it makes him the buyer and her the seller; both are losing strategies for the single woman. Yet many highly intelligent women make exactly this mistake, and end up sabotaging a relationship with a man she might actually be quite compatible with. She wrongly concludes (and single girlfriends of hers agree) he is “intimidated” by her intelligence, when the underlying dynamic is that he finds her behaviour competitive and unfeminine, and therefore not particularly attractive.

        Sir Guy has explained previously that men like to discover a woman’s virtues for himself, not be told by her what her virtues are.

        Your Highness Cinnamon,

        I took the liberty of changing “intimated” to “intimidated.” Let me know if that’s not what you meant.

        Yes, and I think you’re right about the self-sabotage.

        Guy

  6. Meg

    I’m going to memorize that Ella Wheeler Wilcox quote and repeat it every day. Showing my intelligence in the right way is not something I ever knew I had to do; I thought being smart was enough and married a smart guy so we could have smart talks. I wanted a mental tennis partner. But I do notice him fading or losing interest, so this posting was frustratingly true.

    My mind is incredibly active; I write novels and books and constantly seek new things to learn. I don’t want to limit my intelligence to small doses. I feel too bottled up and insignificant when I do. I respect every other aspect of gender differences but this one REALLY has me struggling.

    How can I not feel bottled up with my thoughts, but rather project intelligence in a less glaring way? I release a lot of it through writing, but I don’t want to go through life not feeling like myself with my husband. Does ‘know thyself’ win over respecting gender differences?

    Your Supremeness Meg,
    You seem to ask a question with the answer at hand. If you memorize, repeat daily, and commit to living the Wilcox quote, your other concerns will vaporize under repeated successes fulfilling the commitment and doing what you say you’ll do. As to a mental tennis partner, lowering the net might make him a better player that enjoys your serves a little more.
    Guy

    • Princess Rita

      hahaha…lowering the net. Love it!

      • Denise

        Meg, I understand. I had to learn the art of compartmentalizing. An old friend of mine and I would talk till 4am about philosophy–Kierkegaard, Kant, etc., or or physics, notable theologians, etc. I can never get enough of that kind of intellectual stimulation and am energized by challenging conversation. I can also have a tendency to challenge points simply out of enthusiasm and curiosity rather than an argumentative attitude. But…I had to learn to save that for my friend or other friends who would enjoy intellectual talk for its own sake just as much as I do.

        I think it’s important to give ourselves those outlets with other people who will appreciate that aspect of ourselves. And then focus on what the person in front of us will consider interesting and build that unique bond. We can still be “ourselves” without bringing every aspect of ourselves to every conversation.

        I’m going to memorize that Wilcox quote as well.

      • Denise

        Oh…and maybe join something like Mensa, or go to talks given at universities and expend all your mental energies there and with the people there.

  7. Miss Dawn

    Hello Ladies!

    When it comes to men, most don’t care how academically smart you are. If they do it’s like number 8 or 9 on the list.

    I wonder- Why are women so obsessed about this? Could it be that it is easier to control our level of education than it is to develop “hard-headed” character?

    Almost any woman can attend a university these days.

    But how many women can say they have developed enough self-dicipline, self-restriant, & sense of worth that will keep her from making all the mistakes with men found in examples all over this blog?

    I think that most women are just getting an education in the wrong department.

    I am a smartie- pulling off a 3.8-40 and honors student since middle school. I’m a musician, can solve diffucult puzzles, write journal worthy artcles and papers.

    And you know what? Never had a boyfeind, never been courted, marriage is not even on the horizon.

    If it was my education that drew men in, I’d be married by now. If anything it is a hinderance, because I love to argue and I love to win.

    I’m competitive and opinionated and need to have an outlet where I can be that part of myself away from love interests.

    So attend public lectures, am going back to school, go to special political events and expell all my knowledge- with other women or men whom are not types I could date.

    Let me say that again:

    “…with other women or men whom are not types I could date….”

    • Princess Rita

      Great advice Miss Dawn.

      I think women were taught to find their value in career and education and that’s why we thought men valued it a lot too. (at #1 or 2 rather than #8 or 9)

      Thank God, I get to read “what women never hear”. I know the truth now!

  8. Jessica

    Very thought provoking post… which leads me to a question. What if one’s past experiences are all “masculine” subjects?

    Take me for instance. You won’t see me leave the house without painted nails and makeup — even when work required me to leave at 3:30 in the morning. I love wearing dresses, acting like a lady, and being a girl.

    But most of my work, stories, crazy experiences, etc has to do with ranch work. Breaking horses, getting broken, cows, working on the kill floor… You get the picture. Oh, and my version of current events is water, animal rights activists, why organic isn’t all it’s cracked up to be…

    Anyhow, it’s not like I’ll talk about this stuff unless someone else brings it up or someone really wants to know but I was just curious as to how a ranch hand, or say a police woman would come across even if they weren’t competing, and looked and acted feminine…

    Your Loveliness Jessica,

    I don’t see what you described as ‘masculine’. I see it as work, upbringing, or employment. Your having been brought up on a ranch and talking about horses, for example, doesn’t challenge a guy unless you tend to talk on and on. And even then, you’re not competing with him so much as making him tired of listening.

    To my mind, the so-called masculine subjects that put men off are technical, academic, or esoteric subjects that require education. Something he could have done or learned but didn’t for lack of interest, opportunity, or dedication. If what you talk about reflects special achievement or accomplishment on your part, that’s what guys specialize in. In that case, their nature would kick in, and they would take you as a competitor and seek to win or fade away.

    On the flip side, a ranch upbringing, ranch hand experience, or breaking or training horses will interest most guys without challenging them. Ditto for police work. And especially if chatting emanates from an attractive, very feminine, obviously modest female.

    Guy

    • Jessica

      Very interesting! Thanks so much for your insight.

      So it sounds like as long as a girl avoids teaching or showing off what she knows/has done — and makes the listener draw the story out of her — she’s pretty much ok.

      Jessica

      Your Spriteliness Jessica,
      What men enjoy after pulling it out of you, they view with success. And success keeps people doing the same thing. So, you will become known, perhaps not as well or soon as men enjoy.
      Guy

  9. likeinabook

    EDITOR’S NOTE: Her Highness Likeinabook asked questions shown in lower case. I inserted my response in CAPS.
    Guy

    ————
    How does a woman appear intelligent to a man? Do men value intelligence in women at all? YOU WOULD BE AMAZED AT HOW INTELLIGENT A WOMAN APPEARS BY SILENTLY HANGING ON TO WHATEVER A MAN SAYS. MEN DON’T USUALLY TALK TO WOMEN INTELLECTUALLY. THEY TALK MASCULINE TO FEMININE, UNTIL THEY LEARN IT DOESN’T WORK WITH THIS OR THAT WOMAN. THEN, HER INTELLECT DOESN’T COUNT, BECAUSE SHE LOST HER ABILITY TO IMPRESS HIM.

    IT’S NOT WHETHER SHE’S RIGHT OR WRONG, SMART OR NOT. HE EXPECTS TO DOMINATE INTERPERSONAL THOUGHT PROCESSES UNTIL HE DECIDES OTHERWISE. WHEN HE COMES TO APPRECIATE HER SOUND JUDGMENT (NOT MAKING HIM APPEAR DISRESPECTED OR INSIGNIFICANT), HER INTELLIGENCE BEGINS TO SHINE.

    And this is just slightly off-topic but do you think that women in colleges are graded the same or differently than their male counter-parts when it comes to things like essay writing? SO WHAT IF THEY ARE? WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE EXCEPT FOR FURTHER CORRUPTING THE CHARACTER OF WHOEVER DOES IT. CRY VICTIM AND YOU WASTE TIME TRYING TO CRUCIFY THE UNCRUCIFIABLE. ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTELY ETC.

    I have a very strong knee-jerk reaction to the idea of hiding my intelligence because I was raised to value intelligence above all else and the key to getting respect from others. VALUING INTELLIGENCE ABOVE ALL ELSE SOUNDS ELITIST. SUCH PEOPLE TRUST THEIR INTELLIGENGE TO JUSTIFY TELLING OTHER PEOPLE HOW TO LIVE.

    It is really hard for me to imagine being respected if I don’t make it obvious that I am smart. I GUARANTEE YOU THIS: IF YOU HAVE TO MAKE YOURSELF OBVIOUS ABOUT ANYTHING, YOU OPEN YOURSELF TO DISRESPECT. PRAISE YOURSELF FOR SOMETHING, AND THE MORE OTHERS HAVE TO ADMIT IT, THE MORE THEY LOOK TO DISCREDIT YOU FOR OTHER THINGS. RESPECT COMES FROM WHAT PEOPLE GIVE MORE THAN WHAT YOU EARN.

  10. likeinabook

    I see what you are saying. You make a lot of sense.

    On the one hand I can see it as a positive that men do not value women based on their intelligence but on the other hand I worry that if women do not strive to be intelligent and flaunt it when possible they will reinforce the negative stereotypes that have existed through the centuries. Famous historical figures have been often quoted saying some awful things about womens intellect and emotional depth.

    How does the tide of public opinion turn if people are not going out of their way to change it? I am not sure that women being content to be seen as good listeners would make their value in the non-domestic spheres increase.

    I understand what you mean from the perspective of one-on-one relationships with men but I guess I just wonder how women can be feminine with individual men while not downplaying their capabilities in society.

    Your Princessness Likeinabook,

    There’s a vast difference in directly disclosing one’s intelligence and using it to win ‘battles’, accomplish things, and indirectly impress people with results. You seem to think the former delivers the latter, and I argue the contrary. The former weakens and even can prevent the latter, because those with whom one deals have info against which to better defend their position.

    As to negative stereotypes, modern women are far more negatively stereotyped in the eyes of males than among our forebears. The history you point to is highly selective to show negativism and chosen for political reasons by early feminists.

    Guy

  11. Peach Blossoms

    Sir Guy,
    It’s an old comment, but could you explain a bit more, please? What do you mean by “they talk masculine to feminine?”

    Your Highness Peach Blossoms,
    I can’t find the phrase and so can’t see the context. Please help me with more clarity.
    Guy

    • Cinnamon

      Sir Guy,

      The quote referenced by Peach Blossoms is from your response to the first comment by likeinabook, not from the article itself.

      Your Highness Cinnamon,
      Thanks, and I respond in a separate commment.
      Guy

      • Cinnamon

        YOU WOULD BE AMAZED AT HOW INTELLIGENT A WOMAN APPEARS BY SILENTLY HANGING ON TO WHATEVER A MAN SAYS.

        This sentence is gold. It needs to be put right up there with “If you want a better man, become a better woman.”

  12. A.GuyMaligned

    Your Highness Peach Blossoms and Your Highness Cinnamon,

    Re “THEY TALK MASCULINE TO FEMININE” in my comment to Likeinabook. Men don’t approach a woman to talk intellectually unless it’s a diversion before leading up to “talk masculine-to-feminine, man-to-woman, boy-to-girl, conqueror-to-target, and whatever they think it will take to get the desired response from her. They choose masculine-to-feminine chatter to make themselves likeable and acceptable with the hope that it will get a woman into bed the first time.

    IOW, before conquest, men don’t have sex on their mind all the time. Their minds are preoccupied with doing and saying the right thing such that they facilitate rather than lose the opportunity she represents for conquest. True, sex lingers in the back of their mind, and they will take advantage of every mini-success that makes them more likeable and bedtime more possible. However, sex doesn’t take precedence over making themselves likeable to an attractive woman. After all, she may be worth more than sex, but that takes time to determine.

    Guy

    • Peach Blossoms

      Thank you Sir Guy, for an illuminating (if rather disconcerting post). I’ll be observing conversations around me more closely from now on.
      And thank you too, Lady Cinnamon. 🙂

  13. Iva

    European and really intelligent Asian men do not feel put down or de-masculinized by good, insightful, intriguing conversation with women. That, unfortunately, is a purely American characteristic.

    Your Highness Iva,
    Welcome aboard. It’s a great day when another pretty woman joins us on this cruise to WhatWomenNeverHear.
    Guy

    • Princess Rita

      I’m glad you have nothing to learn Iva. It must be nice to have life all figured out. PS. Hi Sir Guy!

      Princess Rita, darling,

      It’s a great day. You’re the first thing I saw this morning. Thanks.

      Now, where have you been? Understand this, you’ve been missed.

      Guy

    • Cinnamon

      Hi Iva,

      My boyfriend is European, and he asked me if I would log into WWNH today to thank you for speaking on his behalf about this matter (he would do it himself but he is busy watching football). So thanks! 😉

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