Stay away from girls who read. Really.

My response to Charles Warnke’s blog post “You Should Date An Illiterate Girl”
Find it here.

You are absolutely brilliant. That is all.
Well no, there’s more:
I love how you can slather on the satire so thickly I almost can’t tell if you’re being serious or not. I love how you genuinely capture the malcontent nature of so many girls who read (who really read—not just mediocre literotica). But it’s really a curse, you know? The tragic irony in your piece is that it really is better to date and marry a girl who doesn’t grasp all the contingencies of relationships, the hidden nuances of meaning. Those are the girls who will never be content; who will read Heidegger and Derrida in graduate school and feel like the ground they stand on crumbles before them. At the risk (or certainty) of sounding like a pompous douche, simple girls might just be a healthier way to go through life—for the uninitiated, for the complacent. Who wouldn’t want the narcotic effect of having a girl who fulfills all the socially imposed expectations of her gender?
But what happens to the other girls—those troublesome readers? Do they end up playing their part, or breaking someone’s heart?
What if men changed the ingrained logic of possession into a momentary embrace? They could let them go as they pleased, only to return when and if ready. Again, at the risk of sounding like a feminist hack, that just wouldn’t do for the patriarchal institutions of marriage and child rearing.

This took an entirely different turn than I intended… but anyway, thanks for writing and please do keep it up! If you happen to have answers to any of my neurotic musings, do share.

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3 thoughts on “Stay away from girls who read. Really.

  1. This most certainly does not make you a feminist hack! However, marriage and child-rearing are what we make of them. They aren’t necessarily “patriarchal institutions.” In any case, the piece seems it could also be called “stay away from reading.” I think the benefits he highlights (satirically or not) apply equally to all genders (mind you, I haven’t read the piece). I often question the value of reading. Frankly, its value still remains elusive (outside the obvious value associated with social mobility and being attuned to literati puns). The pompous intellectualism and inaccessibility of (to take just two examples mentioned) Heidegger and Derrida turn me off in ways intuitively egalitarian souls seem especially attuned to. Nevertheless, the importance of critical, and intellectually honest, treatment of, well, everything is invaluable.

    1. Sure, I guess I was thinking of them in a historical sense, which still informs our current understanding whether we like it or not. It’s subtle and insidious, but there. And yes, reading probably makes a cynic out of many–men and women alike. I don’t think Heidegger and Derrida were (necessarily) elitist and intentionally obtuse. Well, maybe Heidegger–that damn Nazi sympathizer. I just think the subjects they were tackling, along with all that is really lost in translation, hindered the accessibility of their work. That said, I’ve never had (to borrow from Derrida) aporias the way I’ve had with them–and for that, I am incredibly grateful. Plus, after them, everything is cake!

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