I’ve recently come across some new guy talk around the gym.
“Is she smart?”
And the right response tends to be, “She’s really smart. Like, her IQ is really high.” followed by hand gestures. If you haven’t caught on by now, these guys are talking about women’s breasts. I’m a sucker for wordplay so at first I was amused. Then I came to realise that there was a deeper misogyny at play here than the objectification of women’s bodies.
The greater offense to me was that, in using words that describe intelligence as descriptors of women’s figures, men have added a hidden meaning behind those words that they can wink to each other for. And those words then lose their ability to empower women when used with the audience of (sleazy) men.
I was made fun of once at church for announcing that one of my favourite passages in the Bible was Proverbs 31.1-31. And it still is because it describe this wife who is complex and capable and wise.
I’m not saying that a woman’s outer beauty doesn’t attract my attention. I think that I need to work harder to ensure women are honoured even in that. But I do want to use my words to sufficiently describe her thoughts and her passions and her character without guys making a joke of it behind her back.