The stereotypes are powerful, and many high-achieving women have created similar strategies.
And if a woman makes a lot of money, men will be intimidated.
Conservative and liberal pundits alike mythologized the failure of feminism and the “waste” of these talented women who were searching for soul mates.
Newspapers throughout England, France, and Australia jumped on the bad news bandwagon in 2005: “Here Dumbs the Bride,” “Keep Young and Stupidful If You Want to Be Loved,” and “Alpha Females Use Their Heads, but Lose Their Hearts.” Finally, these negative ideas hit a saturation point in 2005, when outspoken and then in a book, the Pulitzer prize-winning writer asked plaintively, “What’s a Modern Girl to Do?
” Spreading Myths Ironically, it’s two successful women, a well-educated and influential economist in her 60s and a pioneering journalist in her 50s, both of whom accomplished so much ahead of their time, who have done the most to scare off younger ones from pursuing similar paths to success.
CHAPTER 2 | Overqualified for Love Imagine, as newspapers and magazines recently have, the “plight of the high-status woman.” She is a well-educated young woman in her 30s, earns a good salary, and has a great social life — but she is single and is worried that her success might be the reason she has not met a man to marry.
Any hint of bad news about the successful or talented has always made headlines, but media pessimism about the happiness and life balance of millions of young, career-oriented women has struck a chord nationwide.
“It was just depressing.” Kim chimed in: “I’m on the cusp of turning 30 and people are always complaining that smart women don’t get married.
You never hear about the relationships that are going well, the people who have found a great match.
For a generation of SWANS — Strong Women Achievers, No Spouse — these myths have become conventional wisdom.
If you attended a good school, have an impressive job, have career aspirations or dream of future success, men will find you less attractive.
“I’ve been told by well-meaning relatives: ‘Don’t talk about work on a date, dumb it down, and it’s bad to earn so much money because guys will be scared of you.’ And I got the word ‘intimidating’ a lot,” said Alexis, a 35-year-old lawyer in San Francisco. Nearly half of single women believe their professional success is intimidating to the men they meet.