[TW: ableism, classism]
(sapiosexual: being sexually attracted to intelligent people/attracted to people for their intelligence)
The idea of intelligence as a single feature is perturbing to me, as is the fact that often the definition of intelligence is tipped in favor of mentally abled and upper or middle class people. I’m really uncomfortable with being called or calling someone else smart as a compliment, because it’s an incredibly vague idea loaded with classism and various kinds of ableism; just as stupid is an ableist word, so must intelligent be, since it’s the opposite side of the same coin. I feel like the whole concept of intelligence and the way it’s used in our culture benefits no one; it’s used to make people who are denoted as not intelligence feel bad about themselves and people who are designated as intelligent to feel superior to others.
I understand that intelligence is a concept a lot of people want to hang on to because it is/was all they felt they had going for them, or similar reasons, and I don’t think that makes those people wrong or bad. However, I would really encourage people who aren’t attached to it in that way to cease or decrease their use of it.
Additionally, I would much rather be complimented on my critical thinking skills, self-awareness, or compassion and sensitivity (which are all things that people have included under the umbrella of “intelligence” when complimenting me) than be called smart, because I feel like since all of those are things I have worked on developing, it’s a compliment to something I’ve *done* rather than something I *am* and have no control over.
I hope this is at least semi-coherent—I’ve had kind of a long day.
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- last-of-the-time-cats said: That was coherent, yes, thanks. It’s an interesting thing for me to think about, because I definitely see your point. I have unorthodox ideas of intelligence, but that doesn’t mean the concept isn’t inherently classist or ableist. Interesting.
- onyourownsidethistime posted this