Wait, she might be clever?

Posted: October 11, 2010 by Jender in Maleness of philosophy, trivialising women

During my M.A., several of the men graduate students had a regular conversation about whether it would be desirable to have a relationship with a woman who was also a philosopher (I heard stories of it from other women graduate students in the department before witnessing it myself). Once when I was present, one suggested to another that having a philosophically-trained wife would be ideal, since “you would have someone to keep notes on your lectures.” The other chuckled at this, but then said to me–in all seriousness–that he seriously doubted that he would ever be able to maintain a healthy relationship with a woman philosopher because he was gifted with the ability to offer devastatingly incisive objections to most people’s arguments, and that this would clearly put too much strain on the relationship. Appalled, I asked what on earth made him think that this wouldn’t work the other way around (that is, that she wouldn’t be the one devastating his arguments). He stopped and stared at me, and then admitted that it had literally *never* occurred to him that this might happen.

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