What makes a woman look intimidating

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‘I’m not claiming to be Albert Einstein, but I can’t seem to meet a man I find intellectually stimulating,’ she says.

The issue, she explains, is the calibre of men she attracts.

Most accept it although one, a company director, went on the defensive, saying I thought I was a princess,’ says Natasha.

‘I think he had anger issues.’ British women began to ‘catch up’ with men’s educational attainment levels in the Sixties, when larger numbers entered universities, but only recently have the roles been dramatically reversed, with men falling behind at an alarming rate.‘In the Sixties there was a gendered way of pushing female graduates into jobs such as teaching and nursing,’ says Nichi Hodgson, author of The Curious History Of Dating: From Jane Austen To Tinder.‘And only 20 or 30 years ago a man wanted his female partner to be smart because the assumption was that she would be the primary carer, staying at home to raise their children, who would then absorb her intellect.’But now women are competing with men for the same careers — there are more female junior doctors than male, for example, while nearly two-thirds of practising lawyers in Scotland under 40 are women — their achievements have become more problematic.‘Smart women raise the issue of who would take time off when they have children,’ says Hodgson.

Indeed, she is one of a growing breed of women who fear — perhaps with good reason — they will be left on the proverbial shelf because of a shortage of educated men.

Recent figures from the university admissions service UCAS showed that 30,000 more women than men are starting degree courses in the UK.

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