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Fact: Men are cleverer than women. Sort of

Matt Rudd 2008 04 20

Men are cleverer than women. Fact. Well, okay, not fact, as such. Men think they’re cleverer than women, according to recent research by Professor Adrian Furnham of University College London. Whether we actually are is, he says, a different matter altogether. Intelligence is tricky to quantify – grey matter is a grey area, particularly when you’re in a pub arguing about it with a woman. Still, if we’re being honest and just look at things calmly, without getting our knickers in a twist, it’s hard to dispute: men do have the edge. In many aptitude tests, we come out on top.

I, for example, know I am a better driver than you, dearly beloved. Yes, I have hit more things (a tree, a bollard, a whole hairy biker), but that’s because I drive at a normal, sensible speed, and it was never my fault, officer. You drive so slowly, the tree has time to get out of the way.

I know I am better at assembling flat-pack furniture. I apply a calm, methodical, manly intelligence to the proceedings and get the job done. Ta-da. And no, you wouldn’t have done it better, dear. That screw was a spare. The leg is supposed to be at an angle. Tables always wobble initially – it’s just the wood settling. And because the floor isn’t level.

I know I am a better cook. I can make an extremely complicated cassoulet, and people the length and breadth of the country talk in hushed, excited tones about my citrus brûlée. So what if it’s the only meal I do and you are capable of having a different dinner on the table every night without even following a recipe. Anybody can do the basics, but men are better at the more, er, sophisticated stuff. And, for the record, the only reason it got burnt was because you didn’t tell me it was a fan oven.

I know I can set up and operate an MP3 player/TV/lawn mower without reading the instructions. It was the manufacturer’s stupid fault that the blade broke the first time I switched on the mower, not mine for not removing the safety lock. It should have had a label on it. Well, they ought to put the label somewhere more prominent.

I know I have better focus. I can apply a laser-like intensity to the task in hand – watching a film with explosions in it, ordering a pint, playing internet poker, reheating a pizza. What I can’t do is lots of things at once. Jill of all trades, dearest, mistress of none. If you talk to me when The Bill is on, don’t expect me to remember what you said. If you ask me to buy teabags from the supermarket while I’m looking for the car keys, don’t be surprised when I come back with coffee.

You see. Men are smart, just differently so. We’re specially intelligent. The sooner women accept that, the sooner we can all get back to what we were doing. What was I doing, honeybun?

See also
What Greece is Really Like (for Women)

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