All this, and brains too
I am in the deeply uncomfortable position of agreeing with the Daily Mail
. Yes, I've tried having a lie down, a cup of tea and a brisk whack over the head with a heavy object (my cat, Franklin, who could do with losing a few pounds so we don't have to build a new catflap). It didn't help. No matter what angle I read it from - and I've tried a few, as the blood rushing to my head will evidence - I can't help finding this article
...well...rather pleasant. No mention of binge-drinking, of gold-digging, of sex or single-motherhood - they should have just headlined it Daily Mail In 'Not All Women Are Brainless Sluts' Shocker!
I don't know if there's an American equivalent of University Challenge
, but for the tragically uninitiated, the programme does what it says on the tin. Two teams from different universities compete in a general knowledge quiz show for....the glory, I think. And to meet Jeremy Paxman, who is really quite ace when he's not writing to Marks & Spencers to complain about their Y-fronts. The current series finale is set to air soon, pitting Manchester University against Corpus Christ College, Oxford - a team helmed by Gail Trimble, described by one fellow contestant as an "intellectual blitzkrieg".
So a general knowledge quiz show finalist from Oxford is prodigiously intelligent. What's the big deal? Here's the thing - she may have A* and A's littering her school career, she may have gone to Oxford and then on to a doctorate in Latin literature but she's still...well...a girl. So obviously the majority of comments online have focussed on her looks: "I must admit, I found her sexy" one commenter confesses. "Very sexy, gorgeous smile," another sniggers. And, more bizarrely, "well brushable hair."
Unfortunately, girls with glasses and Jane Seymour-length hair don't appeal to everyone, so the rest of the internet has jumped on the 'let's beat up the smart kid' bandwagon. One commenter on the Guardian article
derides her as having "a patronising, spoilt, only-child demeanour; one for whom affirmation can only be realized by the constantly raised arm in the classroom. What I wonder did her parents do to to make her like that." I'm not sure, but at least they taught her how to punctuate.
As usual, we're damned if we do and damned if we don't. If we dare exhibit our intelligence in public, we're smug and self-satisfied. If we don't we're bimbos. It's acceptable for a man to be brilliant, it's permissable to have a steel trap mind when you also have a penis to go along with it. And yet when a woman shows signs of intelligence, it's shocking - and even more shocking when she's considered attractive.
It's not often I find myself rooting for - or even watching - TV quiz shows, but in this case, I am firmly on Team Trimble. TV Scoop blogger 'Mofgimmers' might not want to go to the pub with you, Gail - but if you're ever in North London, the first round's on me.
Labels: smart girls are sexy