Yesterday I read an interesting rant over at Smart Bitches. The premise of the article is that women in academia are always portrayed as super smart but lack common social skills or even intimacy skills. To name a few mentioned, the heroine usually has no time for relationships because her schooling is most important to her, she’s also a really late bloomer (virgin) in the romance department and she’s implied to be average on the beauty scale because she’s not wearing that long red dress and stiletto heels every day.
It got me thinking about this academia trope discussed in books I read and TV shows I watch. I realized that this is fairly true in a lot of ways and prompted more questions. Why is it the woman scientist or woman professor synonymous with bag lady? Why does she always have awkward social skills? And for the love of all that is holy, why does she always have to attract the bad boy?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m a super sucker for this type of romance always. But it was one of those moments where you stop and really think about it. I was talking to a friend last night, bouncing these questions off him and he state that it’s like protons and neutrons. We’re both rusty in the science department so I looked it up and its like protons and electrons. Protons are the positive charge and electrons are the negative charge. The super intelligent, socially awkward protagonist attracts the bad boy/girl, has experienced everything but true love antagonist. Then they turn the bubble of their atom into this harmony of neutral by cancelling out traits that made them who they are because the other taught them things that made them “change for the better”.
How about the protons attracting the neutrons of world? Neutrons are just your average, everyday no charge individuals. They are attracted to protons and electrons. They can be intelligent and still have social skills. They can be billionaires without the title of play boy or dominant. They can have normal, honest conversation and grow a relationship without forcing one to become more positive or negative. They can be virgins who CHOSE to be that way and not be ignorant to the world of sex and intimacy. That would make a healthy molecule don’t you think?
And speaking of molecules, there are four main types: covalent, polar covalent, ionic and metallic. Covalent molecules are two atoms that share their electrons equally. In relationship terms that can be equated to “the perfect marriage” according to society. Polar covalent molecules occur when one atom has a slightly stronger electron pull on another atom. This could be equated to relationships solely based on initial lust. Ionic molecules occur when one atom has a much stronger pull on another atom. That could be equated to your alpha/beta relationships. Finally, metallic molecules are when atoms share electrons freely with other atoms creating one big electron flow. All I can think of here is an open relationship or marriage.
I know I’m primarily talking about women here but I feel like same goes for men. For example, the man who works in construction is either portrayed as not intelligent or he’s the gazillionaire who can get any woman he wants whenever he wants and it’s a challenge to obtain what is normally unobtainable. They can totally be neutrons too! Trons don’t discriminate (well I guess protons do; they hate other protons so don’t be a proton).
So what do you think? Is this a trope you’ve come across before? Does it bother you or are you a hopeless romantic? Chemistry is cool isn’t it?? (Basic chemistry anyway. I flunked later courses in college just saying!) Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!