More Men Are Marrying Smarter Women, Except in New York

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Photo: New Line Cinema

A study released today from the Pew Research Center reveals that men are increasingly likely to marry women with better educations and higher income than they have. This is good news in that it signifies that women's earnings have increased so that they are more on par with men's, and that everyone is getting more comfortable with the notion of equity among the sexes. It is also kind of bad news in that it may encourage that subspecies of men who have, anecdotally if not scientifically, been proven to be congenitally lazy (budding musicians in their mid-twenties), and in that it throws a wrench in the story single women in New York have been telling each other over the years, which is that the reason they are single is that they are simply too amazing for dudes to handle, and that their rare combination of brains, beauty, wealth, and success intimidates men to the point that they have to run away and seek shelter with inferior mates because otherwise they might shrivel up into raisinlike creatures under the light of their awesomeness.

But the Times speaks to a few such women today, and they so far seem unbothered by the cold, hard statistics. Like Syreeta McFadden, a 35-year-old Columbia and Sarah Lawrence graduate, who tells the paper she believes that she and her friends have had trouble finding boyfriends because they are just too smart. “With men of any ethnic group, it’s a little intimidating for them to encounter smart women," she says confidently, apparently quite secure in the knowledge that it's Syreeta and Company's brains, not their neuroses, self-involvement, or grandiosity that renders them undateable. It will take someone special, Syreeta concedes, to match her level of intellect:


“I think for me, it comes down to compatibility,” Ms. McFadden said. “Can you grow with me? Or as my genius friend the textile designer says, she asks on first dates or meeting men in bars, ‘Do you have a passport and a library card?’ ”

Ha. That is genius. Who wouldn't be charmed by such a line — which would, we assume, naturally lead to a stimulating conversation about one's SAT scores, college grade-point average, and sperm count? Probably only someone of inferior intellect, and therefore quality. Way to weed them out, ladies! And hang on, with steely New York resolve, for the ones who appreciate you! We're sure they're out there.

More Men Marrying Wealthier Wives [NYT]