Thursday, September 10, 2015
IQ, Sex roles and tradition: A reflection
Having a high IQ has all sorts of advantages. It has been known since the '20s that high IQ people do better in education, tend to earn more, live longer and have better health. They even have more stable marriages. So what's not to like about that?
Only one thing but it is a biggie. It greatly constrains communication with run-of-the-mill folk. High IQ really puts you into a different world of thinking. I can be using language which is natural to me and find that I am making the person I am talking to slack-jawed. They just cannot follow what I am saying.
I am of course aware of that and do my best to tame my vocabulary on everyday occasions but it is more than a matter of vocabulary. It is how you look at things and what you think about. I have on various occasions tried to listen in on conversations between shop-assistants and the like -- and the conversation just seems to me to be too trivial to be worth saying. I just could not do it. Their mental horizons seem tiny to me.
And where that is a particular bugbear is in male/female relationships. If I see a nice-looking lady who is (say) a checkout chick, I would often be inclined to get to know her. But I know it is hopeless. I just cannot do conversation at that level. I would just have to mention some general term in what I say to have the lady freeze. She too knows that she and I come from different mental worlds. In her vocabulary, I would be a "toff" or the like.
So finding girlfriends has always been difficult for me. Most women that I meet just seem to be too dumb. Joe had that problem for a while too. The only women smart enough for him were Asian. But he has now given the Asian ladies up in favour of a nice-looking blue-eyed woman he met at university.
So one has to sift through huge numbers of women to find a compatible one. But that has its rewards. High IQ people tend to be healthier, taller and better-looking. So finding a high IQ lady is finding a treasure indeed. And the feeling tends to be mutual. Highly intelligent women HATE men being duller than them so are greatly relieved to meet someone who is at least their equal intellectually. Even a woop like me gets a welcome. When two highly intelligent people meet, it is arriving at the "haven under the hill".
Just a little bit of culture that would once been recognized immediately but is no more: Tennyson's great lament over the death of his homosexual lover includes the line:
"And the stately ships go on / To their haven under the hill"
Google will get you there but you first have to know what to Google. And it is the poem as a whole that delivers the effect. I am a great devotee of the culture of the German lands but English culture offers enormous resources too -- but only if your education has made that available to you, which modern education does not. I am a dinosaur -- but a very happy one. I have that which was lost
What?! You didn't realize that I was also quoting when I said, "that which was lost"? It's in Luke 19:10.
But, sadly, even shared IQ is not always enough. All the normal rules of male/female relationships still apply. And there is an operetta that depicts those well.
One should not normally look for serious themes in operetta but Leo Fall and his librettists clearly had one in mind in creating Die Dollarprinzessin. He pushes it in both the "Alice" and "Daisy" stories of the show. Part of what he implies is that female assertiveness is inimical to love. The ladies of course get their way in the end but they have to be nice about it!
But more generally, Die Dollarprinzessin is in fact a celebration of traditional sex roles. Accepting such differences and working within them is needed for good male/female relationships. Most women HATE to have a man they can push around, for instance. They want a man with a mind of his own. "Daisy" in the show says that explicitly. So men have to be men and women have to be women. If you don't like that, your relationships will suffer.
GLOSSARY: In good academic style, I am going to add a very small glossary to the above post. A glossary is an explanation of unusual words and terms. I use the word "woop" above. "Woop" is one of those wonderful words from Australian slang that are powerfully meaningful but cannot be completely translated into formal English. At its most basic, "woop" means "poorly dressed person" but it is also redolent of country people dressing in the fashions of yesteryear in a failed attempt to be modern. A woop is a figure of fun for his unsophisticated and inappropriate dress. That's the best I can do to explain it. I have been a woop for most of my life. Even my mother accused me of being a woop! And I don't care! But woops just don't notice anyway!