Why Are Men So Dumb? Our Answer
Welcome to Love and the Last Bite, the newest topical corner at Hobbes Lives on love, relationships, and the general confusion that comes with socializing with other human beings.
Both Scott and I will be attempting to provide insight (or humorous anecdotes, if nothing else) about anything related to relationships. Post any question in the comment section, and we’ll try to answer the topic. Today’s question:
“Why are men so dumb?”
Ali on Male Idiocy within Dating
This is perhaps one of the most amusing things I hear women ask. The context of the conversation can be varied, since it may be a sister asking why her brother just shoved a pencil up his nose (he was dared!), a single girl wondering why that boy she liked didn’t kiss her after their first date (he didn’t realize he should?), or a wife wondering why her husband argues about sports with his friends for hours (Sports!?).
Whatever the context, the premise is the same; according to women, men inexplicably do things that make no rational sense and will likely lead to injuries, money loss, and/or general destruction. As a man, I completely agree with the premise of senselessness. Nonetheless, I will attempt to answer this question, although I must add the caveat that I am a man, so I suffer from the same flaws that are listed below.
So let’s begin. Why are men so dumb?
Because we are.
Seriously, we are a stupid gender.
My first piece of advice to women about men is simple: just set the bar low to begin with. From the get-go, just assume that the male in your life will do stupid things for as long as he is alive. Trying to get him to not do stupid things is the equivalent of fighting entropy or creating a perpetual motion machine–it will fail.
But you may be thinking, “Hey, I can name all these times he wasn’t stupid, like the time he held the door open for me, did not fart at the dinner table, or won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry.” And I agree. The expectation I’m trying to convey is that although men can do intelligent things at times, we will do stupid things at some point. The exact ratio of intelligence : stupidity may vary for each man, but I want to emphasize that no matter how high that ratio becomes, there is still some positive aspect of stupidity present.
Maybe this answer still isn’t good enough. Maybe you want a different why. Okay, let’s try looking at something else.
Arrogance. Pride. Ego. Hubris. Whatever you want to call it, each man has it on some level. Some display it more prominently than others, but each of us has it. Maybe it’s biological, maybe it’s social pressure, but regardless, men have to compete at some time or another, and that competition will typically result in a man going down moronic paths.
And the most ridiculous thing is that the competition could arise from anything: who can spit farthest, who can be the most annoying, who can quote the most lines from Archer, who is laziest, who can win a game of NBA 2K13 by throwing only lob passes, or even who can be President.
From ridiculously specific and irrelevant acts to immensely important feats, men will compete. The trick for the “mature” man is to know when to compete. Do you do it when you’re in line for a promotion, when you’re trying to show off for the cute girl across the gym, or just when your girlfriend isn’t around? (All are acceptable answers).
All in all, men are dumb because we simply are. My advice for dealing with us is fairly simple and can be summarized as follows: Ask yourself if it’s truly worth it to get mad.
So you’re still angry. The last thing you should do before you waylay him is ask yourself if his idiocy is worth the fury. This is a multifaceted cost-benefit analysis. Factors to consider:
- Should I have expected this? a.k.a. Haven’t I already yelled at him about this before?
- Can I just walk away and just forget what I saw?
- Do I even want to know?
- Is there something more important and productive I can do with my time and energy?
- Can I leverage this moment to get something I want in the future?
Odds are that if you take the time to do the cost-benefit analysis of being angry versus remaining calm, you will find that it’s simply not worth the rage stress. At some point, the question will change from “Why are men so dumb?” to ”Why do I even bother?” and everyone will suddenly be happy. Okay happy-ish. Blissful, at least.
Scott’s Advice for Dealing with Male Stupidity
So you’ve got a guy who’s prone to doing what scientists call “dumb shit.” What can you do with this male pattern dumbness? Here’s a couple of positive routes to take.
#1 Separate idiotic from assholish
When he was still married, Louis C.K. described an interaction with his wife that made him angry. After his wife reminded him to clear out the dishwasher, he forgot and did something else–a common happening. When his wife found this out, she asked why he decided not to do the chore. To which C.K. replied, “Can’t I just be F**cking Stupid?”
While stupidity is irritating, it’s a far cry from actively misremembering or not doing something out of spite. An asshole says, “I’m not doing that.” An idiot says, “Sure I’ll get that done” and then forget once Archer comes on.
#2 Savor the smart
While he may have farted during dinner with your grandma and blamed it on dear Maw Maw, most men have redeeming moments of glory or skills that make them appealing. Guys that space out while looking at birds or race their friends down hills in old wooden wagons might always remember your birthday or be a genius with engines. Encouraging men in these moments of memory or brilliance is great because, well, deep down we’re just man-sized children.
#3 Distinguish between self-destructive dumb and childlike dumb
This can be a fine line, but if no one is getting hurt, most stupid behavior is harmless joy for most men. Playing horse on pogo sticks could lead to some minor injuries, but it won’t ruin lives. Besides that’s an awesome story to tell [ed. Helipads and surgical stitches also work]. These ego-driven science experiments are healthy for us. Self-destructive dumb, on the other hand, gets the man and the people him around in trouble. Telling the bouncer at the club that he should get a bra for “shits and giggles” is one such example.
#4 Enjoy the Show
This pretty much says it all, but in most situations, getting mad at your male for stupid behavior will only make you feel like his mother. So, if possible, let it go and enjoy the show.
P.S., remember to post comments about what you would like us to discuss in the future.
Ali Hasanali is a contributing writer to Hobbes Lives and is the author of Prythvii: The Forgotten Heirs. He also dabbles in law and can solve a Rubik’s Cube in under a minute without switching the stickers.
Scott Danielson is a social media marketer with a heart of gold. In his spare time, Scott hits on his fiancée, tries to teach sign language to his cat, and yells at his neighbor for watching Django Unchained at full volume at 1 am on week night.