Notable Quotables

“What passes for woman’s intuition is often nothing more than man’s transparency.”   George Jean Nathan


A few thoughts…

On micros issues, such as dealing with infants or small children, intuition may be a very real phenomenon.  I don’t know.  It seems plausible to me though.  I’ll defer to the men with children to confirm or deny this.

On the macro level however, I think it is complete horse hockey.  It sounds a bit more respectable than, “I vote with my gina tingle” though.

As far as relations between men and women, I give it very little heed either.  Perhaps in long term marriages where changes in mood and behavior might be more subtle and hard to notice.  That could just be attributed to knowing someone exceptionally well though.  Men, especially good men, are pretty transparent, just like Nathan says.  

It seems to me intuition is often used when a woman doesn’t want to believe what her lyin eyes are telling her.  Or when the right thing to do is inconvenient.  A rationalization of the feelings she already has.

Maybe the believe in intuition is perpetuated by women that think they can control or figure out the mysterious bad boy types they often desire. “Nothing can happen to me that my finely tuned intuition won’t pick up on first!”

Sometimes I find it used to demonstrate how in touch a woman can be within an interpersonal relationship .  That only a woman, with these special powers, could possibly read a situation so deftly.  This can apply to spouses, coworkers or complete strangers.

A quick story…

I was once with an ex girlfriend at her friend’s place of employment.  As we arrived, the door was locked, so we had to knock.  When she opened the door, she informed us that she was there by herself, and locked the door because she saw a man lurking around the building.  She then said something like “He might be harmless, but my woman’s intuition went off” or something like that.  A throw away line that I didn’t give much thought to when she said it.

I then walked outside and happened to see “lurking” man.  He could have been Charles Manson’s son.  He looked like a deranged lunatic.  Long greasy hair, ratty clothing, jerky nervous movements, the whole nine yards.  Omegus Maximus.

Boy that woman’s intuition thing is a life saver.  I’m sure without it, she would have invited him right in.

I had to laugh. It turns out Charlie Jr. had a reason for being where he was as well.  I can’t remember exactly, but it seems like he was a relative of someone who worked in the same complex.


I also notice that the gina tingle somehow manages to overpower the intuition as well.  I don’t think they can work at the same time. 

O.J. Simpson sure didn’t lack for girlfriends, and he chopped his wife’s head off with a knife.

Check that.  Maybe it just works in the opposite way many of us assume it is supposed to.  For instance, a woman can “intuit” whether a man has the ability to make her gina tingle or not.  As Roissy alluded to yesterday, Scott Peterson passes the intuition test, while Nat Schnerdling doesn’t.

Once a women doesn’t feel like she needs her vaunted intuition to figure a guy out, her gina stops a tinglin.  Reason and logic can be icky mood killers.

I have noticed, in my own personal dealings with women, that candor and straightforwardness aren’t  usually rewarded as much as cocky aloofness and playful teasing.  Certainly exceptions though.

One last thing…

Does it surprise anyone that read this quote that George Jean Nathan worked with H.L. Mencken and had a reputation as a ladies man?

One last last thing…

If you find my skepticism to be that of a close minded neanderthal, take heart, you are not alone. Click here  for a full throated defense of women’s intuition.  It was so persuasive I may just have to rethink my narrow and petty assumptions. 

If you don’t have time to read this tour de force, I’ll leave you with a quote that will change your life…

“Your emotions are the breadcrumbs to your essence”.



Filed under american women, female nature, humor, Mens Issues, pop culture

10 responses to “Notable Quotables

  1. Wow, that defense of intuition was simply bowlderizing.

    It’s stuff like that that makes the Roissy and Roosh’s of the world so successful…they (women) are trained to put a lot of stock in the chemical ebb and flow in their brains, and those chemicals tell them to mount this guy to that, so they do it. Can’t stop to reason, as you say, it’s a mood killer. Even if the guy has a swastika branded to his forehead.

    That said, there may be some element to intuition because of the thicker corpus callusom (sp?) in the female brain relative to men. But I think too much stock in put into it, and it allows web sites like the one you linked to get away with writing “Know that you are a mystery. Accept that you can’t figure yourself out!”. Talk about a recipe for an out of control betty…

    • ew,
      Yup “follow your heart” uber alles.

      Out of control indeed. It never occurs to women, or many men for that matter, that female nature, like male, needs to be constrained for the benefit of civilization.

      The thought that a little intuition goes a long way never occurs to them either. Instead it is trumpeted as some sort of credo that one should live their life by.

      Plenty of women are reasonably rational, and will acknowledge when they have done the wrong thing, even if they don’t feel all that bad about it. It is possible to have a productive conversation with them, even if disagreeing.

      A smaller subset though completely shun accountablity in the traditional sense, reason or logic. Trying to debate with them is futile. It is like arguing with a parrot.

  2. Intuition is nothing more than the shortcut through the logic tree to get to the answer. It often has good reason based on experience, but often as not is just an excuse to do what you want, without thinking. Car salesmen are famous for leading people down that shortcut.

    People with decades of experience in a particular field are good at using intuition because they have learned to recognize the patterns in life around them, particularly in their field of expertise. 12-year old girls are less successful at it. Getting lucky with a good result after making a bad choice is not demonstrating “intuition”.

    Most women have ready-made stories of their successful intuition, but can’t seem to remember all the times it failed them. Just like Christian women ascribe every random positive event in their lives as an answer to prayer and don’t dwell on the thousands of times prayer has failed to produce the result they wanted.

    • Hale,
      Good feedback.
      Often when I hear women use the term it seems like they are talking about some almost super natural ability though. Not just an accumulation of life experiences that are used to quickly make a decision.

      An extra special ability that goes beyond gut feelings or what not.

  3. jz

    Ditto Prof. Hale’s first two paragraphs. Underline __experience____( and )____recognize the patterns___.

    I hear men use the term, too, although perhaps more in the context of work or investing. The Gladwell book, Blink , simply reworded “experience” as “intuition”. Every time you here someone claims “intuition” or “hunch” , simply replace “experience” and it will make sense.

  4. It’s a well known phenomena among security officer and police that female police officers and security officers, IF they are hard-working and intelligent, can often spot dangerous troublemakers that their male colleagues cannot. It’s believed that these women have made a practice of looking for men who are threat (being law enforcement/security makes them more aware of threats, and of their physical disparity).

    One example: the Millenium Bomber, Ahmed Ressam, was caught in the US-Canada crossing by a female US Customs Agent who found him suspicious. There was no one thing she could put her finger on, but his whole manner was evasive. A thorough search of his car found the explosives meant for LAX and the Seattle Space Needle. Another example was the Manila municipal police officer, female, who spotted one of Ramzi Yusef’s associates looking on at the fire that consumed their bomb-making apartment (the so-called Bojinka Plot aimed at killing the Pope and knocking 12 airliners out of the Sky that formed the later basis for 9/11). There was nothing particular to pin him as a suspect, compared to the other onlookers, but the officer in charge trusted her judgment, and a check of his papers found him to be in fact one of the apartment residents. Further “questioning” revealed the plot.

    Women are not “born with this” nor is it a talent that simply flourishes. It generally takes a careful type of woman, who assesses things and has very detailed observations, and is able to process the result without formally identifying the steps. It’s generally found in women who live in dangerous situations who are not drug users, prostitutes, etc. Proprietors of shops, women in police/intelligence, tend to be those who develop the sense of “intuition” — and note that it’s not “I know he’s doing this” but more “he is suspicious.”

  5. Whiskey,
    Good point. I remember the case of the US Customs Agent well.

    I wonder though if female police officers could also have a tendency to overreact and sense trouble when there is none. Not sure. I do know they are guilty of using deadly force more than their male counterparts. At least in the studies I have seen on it.

    I would agree, to the extent that intuition is legitimate, that it is something that is honed and does not come as naturally as breathing.

    Perhaps a Marge Gunderson, from the movie Fargo, is the type of women that is the best example of this.

  6. Whiskey, what you just described is called “racial profiling” when a male officer does it.

    • Absolutely, and women have more leeway. There is also the issue of cops on the beat. Your average beat cop or Customs Officer who is your beefy type cop, will often bet he can fight and/or shoot his way out of a fight, and often it’s a good bet. Situational awareness is not often very good, and observation is often poor. Many come out of MPs and while some of the training is good, MPs work with fellow soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines, folks who are generally not a threat, and thus there is no need to develop life-death powers of observation (though that is probably changing in wake of the Iraq and Afghan Wars).

      The Philippines for example has struggled with fighting street crime, not just because of corruption but because their street cops just are not very observant. A woman street cop OR Customs Officer HAS to, if she’s at all intelligent, develop a very good sense of observation and rapid deduction for threat awareness, along with general situation awareness. They cannot fight it out like a guy can. A great number are fairly useless desk jockeys, though reportedly some older women got great results in interrogating AQ prisoners, by acting like their mothers. The baillif slain in Atlanta was an example of poor selection — a small, overweight, and mid-forties woman guarding a hulking felon, she had poor situational awareness, which cost her and others lives when he took her gun and shot her and others.

      I expect more “intuition” among male police officers as Iraq/Afghan vets come back and apply lessons learned, i.e. “what doesn’t belong?” types of observations and constant Situation Awareness, as they in combat/war/IED zones must act like “female police officers” in that they cannot just shoot it out or fight it out.

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