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When she was 35 and single, Julia, a lawyer in New York City, would play a game when she went to bars: “I told some guys I was an attorney and they ran away from me, and then other guys that I was a secretary at a law firm and at least for the short term they seemed more interested,” she said.
“There’s the idea that high-achieving men don’t like the competition, that they find us a little bit frightening, and get enough of that in the office.
Some 66 percent of SWANS disagree with the statement “My career or educational success increases my chances of getting married.” Anne, a 30-year-old chief resident at a Boston hospital, said she doesn’t think of herself as intimidating or uber-intelligent, but men seem to get that impression.
“I was out with two friends from residency recently and I asked one of the married guys if he had any single friends to set me up with.
” Spreading Myths Ironically, it’s two successful women, a well-educated and influential economist in her 60s and a pioneering journalist in her 50s, both of whom accomplished so much ahead of their time, who have done the most to scare off younger ones from pursuing similar paths to success.In 2002, Sylvia Ann Hewlett presented a study of high-achieving women who weren’t marrying or having children at the same rates as other women.In her book she stoked the flames of panic among successful women: “Nowadays, the rule of thumb seems to be that the more successful the woman, the less likely it is she will find a husband or bear a child.” She argued that high-achieving women who were still single at age 30 had a less than 10 percent chance of ever marrying.Three years later, Maureen Dowd blamed her own single life on her career success.In her 2005 book Dowd told readers that she came from a family of Irish maids and housekeepers.