Today the Wall Street Journal dredged up some hausfrau to scold young women for spending their 20s trying to build themselves into something they like instead of focusing all their energy on finding a man. The laughably out-of-touch author writes:
Could you marry a man who isn't your intellectual or professional equal? Sure. But the likelihood is that it will be frustrating to be with someone who just can't keep up with you or your friends. When the conversation turns to Jean Cocteau or Henrik Ibsen, the Bayeux Tapestry or Noam Chomsky, you won't find that glazed look that comes over his face at all appealing.
I'd like to think that I'm the intellectual equal of most women. I'm a lawyer who went to a good school, I have a subscription to the New Yorker and I've mastered the basics of grooming. In my dating history I find that Cocteau, Ibsen, the Bayeux Tapestry and Chomsky rarely come up. Never, in fact. An intellectual equal is more likely someone else who gets Arrested Development, not some annoying pedant going on about existentialism. And if your criteria for an ideal mate is someone whose eyes don't glaze over when you bring up a 19th Century Danish playwright then you're eliminating a fairly large part of the dating universe. You're allowed to be picky, but Ibsen is a fairly haphazard line to draw in the sand.
But I decided to test Ms. Patton's hypothesis. I searched a typical OKCupid search (5 miles of Williamsburg so I can capture intellectuals on both sides of the East River, ages 24-31 so it's post-collegiate but not too old) for people mentioning Cocteau, Ibsen, Bayeux Tapestry and Chomsky. The results broken down by gender:
1. The WSJ opinion page is still full of shit. At least they didn't compare anything to Kristallnacht this time though.
2. There's probably someone out there who likes the same weird shit that you do. In fact, if you're searching for a male Cocteau or Chomsky fan, then you get the pick of the litter.
3. Unless you like the Bayeux Tapestry. Poor girl. Hopefully she can find a man that wants to talk about the Bayeux Tapestry, or is willing to settle for those unfamiliar with the Norman Romanesque.