Madame on the Street: Are Men Intimidated by Women with Degrees?

June 3, 2011  |  

We hear women say it all the time, you might even be the one thinking it: “Men are intimidated by me.” We’re not arguing whether this statement is true or not; there’s bound to be a few insecure men out there who fit the bill. We’re interested in knowing if a woman’s education affects the way men feel toward and interact with her.

We asked a few people on Harlem’s infamous 125th street to see what they had to say about this issue. Check the video above.


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  • Truthhearts

    WOW, these comments are full of hatred. There are generalizations about both black men and black women and most of them are negative. We have some serious self hate issues and have fell for the hype of too many stereotypes. Some of you need to read the Miseducation of Negro because you have some serious post colonialism issues.

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  • maika

    menissance isn't intimidated of anything! Menissance is fearless and tells his personal truth as he perceives it. I applaud him for that.
    But what you also should know is that he is that way because he has no education, no experience with women, no wife, and certainly no life. Otherwise he wouldn't post ignorant stuff all day long. Since he has no friends either, he spends his spare time posting irrational comments so he can stir up controversy, so he would feel as if someone actually wanted to talk to him. A sociopath's way of getting into contact with other people.
    He really puts his mother to shame… unless she's a lowlife, well then he just confirms the family tradition

  • Sheri

    I would have to say that I am a college educated Black woman and I have never met a Black man that was intimidated by my education. In fact my husband is a high school graduate that motivated and encouraged me to finish college. He was more proud at my graduation than i was. I don't understand why we buy into all of these stereotypes about one another when we know alot of them to be false.

  • SMHBlkman

    3) How can you rail against black people tearing each other down, and in the same breathe call the people that commented on the question "ignorant" just because you disagree with them? That's hypocrisy personified. And that's ThaTruth!!!
    The real issue is that black women with degrees put out an aura that let's men know that htey belive men should be intimidated by their degrees. When I get this aura from a woman I approach I bounce QUICKLY and don't even mention I graduated college. She probably tells her girlfriends that I was intimidated by the great "professional black woman with degress." NO, I just don't want to associate with someone who is so impressed by the pieces of paper that they hang on their wall!

  • Gwen

    You want buxom blondes and latina's because you like them submissive–don't blame the strong black woman for that. By the way, learn how to spell and create logical sentences!

  • SMHBlkman

    Exactly, and did you see the woman in the pink at the 2:06 mark. She revealed the truth of the situation. Black women feel that black men are intimidated by them period. It doesn't matter how the question is put Are black men intimidated by black women's ______ is the real question. And of course the answer is generally never, and especially not a brother with his stuff together.

  • SMHBlkman

    Good point on the "where is this degree from" question. Nobody is intimidated by someone with a Communications degree from Bozo Community College.

    • Gwen

      It doesn't matter where the degree is from….the University of Phoenix online is better than where yours is from….oh wait, you don't have one. That explains why you all are so mad!

      • SMHBlkman

        LMAO! Not that it matters. And I'm telling you that it doesn't matter where a person gets their degree from, what matters is what they do with it. That being said, I graduated from one of the top law schools in the country. I just don't hold myself as bettter than anyone else just because of that.

  • The Rain

    Feel free to call me cliche’ names,but just be sure to refute anything I have said with facts and figures and no anti intellectual emotionalism.Use those degrees to deconstruct what I have said,I dare you and any self loathing,mammy raised,mammy worshiping black male to rebut my statements.

  • The Rain

    The irony is you people are way more educated than your momas,nannas and great grannies,yet you can seem to get or keep a good man,and you can’t seem to stop banging and have babies with no good mickey fickeys.You people sleep through biology and sociology class.And truth be told ,more than 87% of you geniuses are not working in the field you went to school for,and all you bring to any relationship is attitude and a big ficking college loan.These brothers are making good money as cops,service men,firemen,Fed Ex and UPS drivers,mechanics,plumbers,etc,with no outstanding debt.They get involved with you owers,pay off your bills and cosign your car notes,and you pretend that you are “strong and independent and holding it down and paying your own bills”.Overspending,overeating beggars and liabilities,are what too many of you are.

    • JayP

      I agree 100%. And i'm a black female. If this makes you angry, it's the guilt talking.

  • Bravo!!!

  • Kunte Kente Jr

    I first heard this "intimidated by educated sistas" topic as a teenager in the early 90s; it was silly then, it is silly now. It is difficult to look in the mirror and take inventory of your personal strengths and weakness. It is a lot easier to create a one-size-fits-all reason to account for your lack of success.

    I have several degrees and I don't bring them up in conversation unless asked directly. What's interesting is listening to women less educated than me bleat about what a hard time they have finding a suitable partner, while I sit in mild amusement right across from them.

    Confident people do not wear their credentials on their sleeves. It is in bad form in the professional world and worse in social interaction to telegraph your status. Experience, competence, and ease in "one's own skin" outweigh credentials anyday. Perhaps these women should expand their social network, they'll find a lot more suitable partners than they do in their usual stomping grounds.

    IMO, this myth stems from hubris on the part of women unsuccessful in their attempts to find an adequate partner.

  • Ummmm


  • Brittany

    You sound so ignorant…I'm embarrassed for you.

  • NEWHAIR 5000

    plenty of black men behave&look the same way ,so your point was??.you and menissance most be related huh? don't answer i already know the answer.

  • You Mad?

    No.we're not

    this is a cop out thought up by fat, ugly, or single-mom'd black women

    • Gwen

      Single-mom'd??? Enough said, another uneducated…..

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  • Ooh La La

    I don't think that most men have a problem with well-educated women. I do believe they have a problem with an attitude of superiority that might accompany her. I have dated both extremely educated men and men who only have a high school diploma. Educated men typically are more attracted to women who are on their level academically, while it might not be as important for others. But one thing I've noticed having attained the college degree myself is that lack of education does not necessarily equal lack of intelligence. So women who do have that mentality of superiority should not be so condescending. There are several reasons why someone could have chosen to put off or never go to college and it isn't always an issue of intelligence, capability, or even ambition. So, no, I don't believe a man will be "intimidated" by your academic status as long as you're not judging him for having accomplished the same.

  • LBC

    Why is this even a question in our current economy? How many people out here with degrees are unemployed or under-employed? A college degree can very much be useless if there is no market for it. Get your education people. But keep everything in perspective.

    • HeadSmackeroni

      Not to mention the fact that just about any idiot can get a degree from some worthless never-heard-of-it university. How many of you are going to Ivy league or top 50 schools? Not many obviously considering the majority if ALL Ivy schools is white men, and white women. Same goes for top 50 schools. lol @ black men or women acting like a small portion of you who make it to college are doing something amazing. It's college, my father never went to college and can afford to pay my four years of tuition to MIT. Because he owns his own company that he started working for at 17.

    • Gwen

      You sound stupid! Must not have a degree.

  • Just another guy

    LOL Noooooo!! it is preferable! why the hell would I want to date some girl who is not ambitious and doesn't have anything going for her for the near future. I would never stay with a girl like that long term. That is just dumb. Also a lot of those girls who flaunt their degrees have a degree in something that lacks substance or that brings the big dollars(African-American studies, Criminal Justice, Psychology etc…) but hey I guess they finished college LOL. Degree or no degree if you are attractive their are plenty of men beating at your door.

  • MissRae

    wow you think that all attractive woman are dumb or have to be? smh that sounds ignorant as hell. BTW A real woman regardless whether she is attractive or not, does not need to buy things and do things for them because she can get those things on her own.

  • kayla

    you sound so ignorant be quiet.

    • pfft

      I never realized how rampant mental illness was amongst our men until recently. Get some help.

  • lively09

    I believe it depends on the person. I've dated a couple of guys, who were not supportive of me when I was in college. Often times women have to be dumbed down to attract a guy. It's sad, but true. Men are very visual, and they do not really care about an educated women in the beginning, but maybe after awhile they do. Also its best to meet a man, who is in college with you, because they will understand all the hardwork it involves to attain a degree of any kind. The sad part is we live in a world driven by looks, and not smarts.

    • MissRae

      One thing I learned is that if they do not support you in getting your education or any other priorities, you do not need them. I think It is easier to date a man is in college and is about his business as well.

    • NEWHAIR 5000

      dude what the hell is your problem?i mean seriously there's something wrong,you sound like a male chauvinistic pig who loves giving women(blacks especially) trouble.i mean really what posses you to open your mouth and say the stupid things that you do?.you just take information and change it around to fit your needs and your beliefs when it's nothing like that.seriously you need to think before you speak,you might think that your saying something intelligent but it's the farthest thing from it.

  • janet

    Guys would be fine with their women having a degree but DON'T flaunt it in his face

    • geemoenettie

      what do fine smart women flaunt?

      • Sheri

        Some of what you just said is on point but the rest of it…you are really funny. I am intelligent and fine but I don't flaunt anything. There really is no need because I went to college for me not to be better than someone else but to get a better job.

    • No…

      In my experience the finest Black women are educated. I don't know why but that attractivene/dumb vs smart/ugly logic doesn't apply to Black women.

  • t_04

    I agree with the sentiments of a few of the brothers in the clip – a man who has his act together will not find a women with degrees intimidating. I have seen how both men and women with degrees who will rattle on about how much money they make, who they know, and how good of a catch they are, and will even look down their noses at those who they perceive don't have degrees. Not a good look.

  • kayla small

    I am in college now, so i don't have time for no one who isnt in school. I can't have a man be all upset when he knows i have to study all the time. Men in college not all have a better head on the thier shoulders then men who have no interest in getting an education. Women get these degrees should expect the same out of thier men. I never understood a college girl being with this leech, who sits around all day. And this is true esp of alot of black men, they think im better then them because im in school. im not flaunting anything around, i have to know where your head is at, before we take things any further. that's why i always make it a point to bring up that first

    • Locoeng

      Very good point! "Nosce Te Ipsum"…you sound like a young lady who already knows who she is and who does not need the degree to "define" herself. There are a lot of people out there who consider their degree or lack thereof as an affirmation or indictment. Having a degree is a very valuable tool for success in a society that values education as the vehicle for upward mobility and there is nothing wrong with demanding the same of a potential mate. You kept it real when you said that not all men in college have better heads on their shoulders than men who have no interest in education. Truly "educated" sisters like you, Kayla, is what keeps reality in balance.

    • luap laeno

      I would have thought your grammer and speelling would be a little better if you were in college

  • here is something I think needs to be addressed. A large number of BLACK MEN HAVE SERIOUS IDENTITY CRISIS AND SELF-ESTEEM issues. there is nothing black women can do about it. Some men are lost between being a Mandingo and King but don't want to earn anything. Some don't value education (formal or not) but want to be considered a leader, some don't want to comply with the workforce but want to work for themselves, blame black women for everything and then won't stick around to raise their children. Now on the other hand women are feeding into this garbage of I'm better than you because I have a couple degrees but no self-esteem to pick better partners and stop trying to save these corner hugging thugs.

    • InnocentTruthIsBack

      You don't know ALL black men to make such bold generalizations. You're simply one of those women menissance discussed in his post. Sit your funny looking behind down and be quiet.

      • Imagine that a retort that does not any issues I brought up. Apparently you are not literate enough to see how many times I put "some men". And you don't seem bright enough to offer any incite other than to attack the way I look. (thank you for proving me right)

    • Ummmm

      You hit the nail on the head, Princess!

    • Pinkdiamond


    • you cannot do this for all men but I agree we need to recognize and support those working towards something. I will however need to see more men DEMAND that women allow them to play their roles. Black women as a whole would respond to "I am ready to assume the role of father and husband so make room for me" rather than "Don't tell me what I am/not doing, you make it to difficult to fulfill my role because you won't get out of the way so I blame you". We do need to recognize the issues in order to resolve them.

    • yaya


  • Suga Suga

    not at all…intimidated..
    …my girl & I going on vacation…air line gave away $1000 Gift card for anywhere in world..just for giving them our puttin the fam on it..

  • Nic

    "Church men" are the biggest individuals who are intimidated by women with degrees. I don't know how GOD and bettering yourself is a problem with them. SMH!!!!

  • WithAllHonesty

    Some are, some aren't. I love a level headed, intelligent, attractive, woman with a career and goals. I expect that since that is what I am also bringing to the table.

    It's mainly about the personality that comes along with a college degree holding woman–as with any woman–college grad or not–nothing more, nothing less. If you're personality isn't exactly great, it doesn't mean men are intimidated by your level of education–it's you.