Sunday, March 02, 2008

I Am Not Dumb and I Must Scream

I am not stupid.

My mother is not stupid. My grandmothers, my aunts, my cousins are not stupid. I have no stupid friends. (Even the guys.)

Women are not stupid.

I watch General Hospital. I play The Sims. I've fainted. I bake. I feel emotions other than rage and triumph.

I'm still not stupid.

Maybe I am a mutant. Maybe the fact that I play Dungeons & Dragons, GURPS, (it has math!) Oblivion, and Civilization, that I don't read romance novels, watch Grey's Anatomy, or talk about Botox, that I have aced every standardized test I have ever taken, can do Calculus, and help my boyfriend with his math homework means that I am part of that cadre of "brilliant outliers."


Or maybe, just maybe, gender is a little more complicated that brain scans and IQ tests. Maybe there are more kinds of intelligence than abstract logic and suppressing your emotions. Maybe there are a lot of women who are good at "male" things--and a lot of men who are good at "female" things.

Maybe gender and intelligence are both way too messy and complicated to declare that "women are dumb" with a handful of studies and some circumstantial evidence.

I am not "dim." Not deep down, not even a little bit, not even secretly.

I live in a society that undervalues what women are good at, and then tells them to go take care of "men and children and the weak" because they obviously aren't useful for anything else. I live in a society that is obsessed with measuring and testing and putting people into categories so it can confirm what it already knows about race and gender and class.

But I'm not stupid.

And Charlotte Allen isn't, either.

No comments:

Post a Comment