However, all hope is not lost, considering the definition of dumbing down is slowly changing. Dr Sagar Mundada, a psychiatrist goes on to share, “I think the definition of dumbing down has evolved. Earlier, it was expected, and even the norm for women to appear less intelligent so that they do not intimidate men. However, nowadays, women are questioning this perception, and believe that they would rather risk be themselves, than dumb down. But that’s a small section. For many, the definition of dumbing down has changed, where women are encouraged to be less confrontational, more flexible and accommodating at the same time, and yet not be a doormat. The focus of the date is to explore likability and compatibility.”
‘TAKING A NON CONFRONTATION STANCE, NOT DUMBING DOWN’
Both men and women on the dating scene underline that what people perceive as dumbing down, is actually a non-confrontational stance taken by women to get to know a date. Prajakta Rajesh, a 3-D animator by profession shares, “When it comes to dating, my friends and I have the same approach.
Not being yourself just to impress a date may not be the right approach even if some women and men expect it. And not all women will toe this line. As in the case of Gauri Shetye, a data analyst, who dismisses the idea. She says, “I would never dumb down. If I am agreeing to meet someone on a first date, I would like to be myself, and see no reason why my date should be intimidated by who I am. Initially, when I had just started to date people, this perception was always there at the back of my mind. However, I don’t think it applies to all women especially women who are independent like me and would not cloak who they are as that’s a kind of deception.” And that’s one way of looking at it. Varkha Chulani, clinical psychologist and psychotherapist goes on to elaborate, “Yes, there was a norm earlier and an expectation among people that women should not come across as strongminded because they did not want the men to be intimidated. Most women would rein in their confidence, and try and appear to be more feminine, but not dumb. Even that is slowly changing as more men want women who are emotionally and financially independent. These men have shed their armour as they want women, who can function independently, and are not damsels in distress.”