Women Should Not Play Dumb

Nearly half the college women in a 1961 survey admitted they’d play dumb to interest a man. A Post author decried this tactic.

Woman pretending to be dumb

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—“Women Should Not Play Dumb” by Hannah Lees, January 28, 1961

A strong-minded woman I know always used to have a rough time with men. They seemed to be forever mocking her for being contentious. Then one day a man who had been psychoanalyzed came up to her at a party. “Shall we wrestle awhile?”

“What do you mean?” she asked warily.

“You like a good argument. Well, so do I. So let’s go, but no slugging.” And he launched into a discussion of Tennessee Williams. Once or twice when she got heated he said, “Hey, quit slugging.”

As they parted, she said, “That was fun.”

“Sure was,” he said and added casually, “Best kind of sublimated sex play I know.”

“I have thought of that every time a man took a pot shot at me from then on,” she told me, “and I haven’t had real trouble with a man in years.” She grinned. “I guess I’ve learned to wrestle like a lady.”

Read “Women Should Not Play Dumb” by Hannah Lees from the January 28, 1961, issue of the Post.

This article is featured in the January/February 2021 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. Subscribe to the magazine for more art, inspiring stories, fiction, humor, and features from our archives.

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