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Her Education Makes Him Live Longer, but Happier?‏

Women graduate A few weeks ago, a study by the Swedish Institute for Social Research and published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health stated men married to highly-educated women have a longer life expectancy. When I read an article summarizing the study, 2 thoughts came to mind. The first was: not in my case. Those of you who read my recent post know that my husband passed away 6 years ago at the tender age of 47. Since I am one of those ‘highly-educated women’ with my Master’s degree and all, (tongue planted securely in cheek), I immediately chalked the study up as turkey baloney.

The second thought that came to mind was: How does her education level impact his longevity? The synopsis of the study that was published did not speculate as to how a woman’s education level positively impacts her husband’s lifespan. But a fellow blogger, Mason Jamal of Mason Says, dissected the study for me and offered an explanation.

Mason said (and I’m paraphrasing): Marriage helps to stabilize men. Left to their own devices, men would self-destruct. “We’re aggressive. We’re relentless. We’re stupid (at times).” He further explained that highly-educated women are full of knowledge that they share with their husbands. (Or assault their husbands with, I say.) Somewhere in this plethora of “good information along with some erroneous unchecked factoids,” there is bound to be something in there that may save his life.

Thank you Mason for drawing the connection. Without your explanation, the study itself would have been a useless factoid. After I took Mason’s explanation into consideration, I gave the study a little more credibility and upgraded it to beef baloney.

From the beef baloney study, I developed my own theory: the men married to highly-educated women may live longer, but I doubt they are happier.

Those of you who know me personally or have been following my blogs may have gathered that I am not really a proponent of the ‘educated, independent woman’. I personally think their ‘independence’ is disadvantageous to black men, black families and the black community. But that’s a blog for another day (and trust me, it is coming!)

To further expound upon my theory, highly-educated women, whom I define as Master’s degree and above, think they know everything. There is something about a Master’s degree that makes a women think she doesn’t need a man; she can conquer the world without him; that she is the head of the household instead of the helpmeet. Highly-educated women can often be full of themselves, finding it necessary to let every man she meets know she is degreed. (Which is different from pedigreed… but you can’t tell them that!)

And to be married to one, oh my God! She has to be the one in control of the bills, because he can’t be trusted to pay them on time. She has to be the primary decision-maker, instead of the decision supporter. She has to be heard and just won’t listen. She has to be the chief and not the Indian. And please don’t let her make more money… he may as well turn his man card over to her (and his credit card too), because she will proclaim the title breadwinner, and refuse to be the bread baker.

See men, if you get yourself a nice ,humble, smart, little lady with a high-school diploma or a bachelor’s degree, you might not live longer, but you sure might live happier. These women don’t think they know everything because somebody’s university gave them an oversized plaque to hang on the wall. They are satisfied being your helpmeet; supporting you and the family in your collective endeavors. They are happy to grow with you; they don’t have to be the leader of the pack. They are happy being the woman and allowing you to be the man, actually promoting your manhood… which is exactly what the Lord intended!

Consider this: If a woman’s high education level makes her husband live longer, then the reverse would be true also… the wife of a highly-educated man would live longer. Right? Wrong! The study didn’t find that. But that makes perfect sense. Think about it! Unlike women, men of higher education don’t feel the need to unleash their wealth of knowledge onto everyone around them. They don’t feel the need to let everyone know how smart they are, how educated they are, unlike us women. They are happy to live and let live (Wow… I sound just like my husband). But not us women… oh no! We gotta let the world know how many degrees we have. How much education we have… what the statistics say… how many studies we’ve read. (Oops, kinda like I’m doing right now!)

Prime example. On the Mason Says blog in which Mason discussed the study, one of his readers, Carla, posted a comment: “I'm familiar with a similar statistic (see, quoting statistics) about pet owners living longer. If you don't find a smart wife, at least get a smart dog.” That’s a cute comment. I didn’t have a problem with that comment. It’s the way she signed her comment that got my attention. She signed: Single with an MBA and Master of Arts!

Aha! See what I mean? Was it necessary for Carla to let us know that she had 2 degrees? She hasn’t even met a man yet and she’s already wearing her education on her sleeve. Singlehandedly, Carla has proven That Teowonna! right.

So men, word to the wise: Marry a woman with a high school diploma or a Bachelor’s degree. If you are uncertain which one is best for you, use the That Teowonna quick reference guide: Marry a woman with no more than 1 education lever higher than yours; preferably one with the same level. If you have a Bachelor's degree, marry a Master’s degree or lower. If you have a high school diploma, a Bachelor’s degree is as high as you should safely go! If you marry a woman with 2 or more levels of education higher than yours, you may live a few years longer, but you probably won’t be happier! Follow my marriage reference guide and you get to actually be the man in the family!




Does a degree make a person smarter? IQ has less to do with grades and more to do with ability.

I ask because I don't really care about degrees, I ain't impress with the letters behind your name. But you do need to be able to hold your own against me.

I think you are right about this one. Delete Reply

Teowonna, girl, why are you over here starting stuff, lol?!! So, have you conducted a poll or something? How did you arrive at this particular theory? I'm shocked you didn't add "keep 'em barefoot, pregnant & in the kitchen too!"

For the record, yes I do have a Master's degree, but so does my husband. According to your theory, what does that mean? We're going to kick the bucket at about the same time?

I am going to assume that you wrote this "tongue-in-cheek." You strike me as far too intelligent of a woman to really believe this. Lord help you, if you do . . . :D

I, also, can only assume that my spouse is happy with his highly educated wife. We met at college, in the library, no less. We've known each other for more than 20 years.

I can remember telling him once, "You know, if we keep this up, we're gonna be one of those little, old, gray-headed, couples." He paused for a moment, then looked at me and said, "I hope we do grow old together."

It was by far, one of the sweetest things he's ever said to me. Delete Reply

HELL YA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That Teowonna; HELL YA!!! Now if you didn't break that all the way down for men, and women then the single life is whatthey should partake in. Again, HELL YA!
PS my dude is retired Air Force (16yrs) and I'm a high school graduate with a couple years college under my belt. What's your take on his longevity when he discontinues pissin' me off. Delete Reply

Your article made me think about three questions. One, what city/state does Teowonna live in again? Two, what kind of girlfriends does she have? Three, is there a difference between men and women's educational levels and geographic locations? All of this because of your blog post. You are a powerful, well-educated woman. Keep it coming!

Rekaya Gibson, Author
The Food Temptress Delete Reply

This comment has been removed by the author.
This comment has been removed by the author.

Lori: First things first... I have NEVER written a single word in this blog that I don't believe 100%... so it is a little tongue in cheek in the tone I wrote it, but I believe these words to my core. Now don't get me wrong... I don't think women should be dumb, barefoot and pregnant. I was wondering how long it would take before someone misinterprets my theory. Trust me... there is a lot of latitude between barefoot and preganant and trying to be the man. You can be educated and a helpmeet... the problem is a lot of women don't think so. Ultimately, I consider myself the 'anti-independent' woman. There is a slow-growing school of thought that women need to get back to their traditional roles, and I'm getting ready to light a fire under it. But I definitely have my work cut out for me with all you liberated women out there.

Rekaya: why you wanna know where I live? Girl, I live in NY City! lol. To answer your other questions. I have dropouts to PhD's. But the point I'm making is, listen to the radio, tv, people talking, even ask men. Women wear their education on their sleeve like it is a badge of honor. Even more importantly, their education gives an 'air' about them that says I'm independent, I don't need you. Men don't like that. My husband didn't like it when I called myself a 'millennium woman', a term I coined to say I was a new-age girl. Now I understand why! Delete Reply

As the mother of two sons I hope they don't buy into this type of thinking. They should choose a wife based on love, respect and what they bring to the table, not based on their number of degrees. True love is the key to happiness and longevity.

~Patera Delete Reply

whoa! my girl and i have to finish school... Delete Reply

Just got a chance to stop and check out the post. You clearly feel much stronger about this than I do. But I appreciate where you're coming from. I don't totally agree with everything like the notion that highly educated women can be a detriment to the family. I come from a different school of thought. Strong post though. And thanks for the mentions. Delete Reply

Thanks everyone for your comments. Yes, I feel very strongly about this subject, as I do all my posts. I'm not surprised many of you disagree with my theory. But I'm glad that there are a number of you who do. That means maybe my movement won't be so difficult after all. And Mason, in the coming months, I'll demonstrate how the independent-spirited women is breaking down the black family. Delete Reply

gurl you about to start some mess with this one...(sounds like a great subject for a book!?! :) Delete Reply

Anon: I'm just getting started. Stay timed! Delete Reply

I'll look for that...your thoughts on the "independent-spirited black woman breaking down the black family." Perhaps, you can join me Mason Says for a one on one discussion about it and other topics. I have a new featured called the "The Chop Up" where I kick around issues with other bloggers. Shoot me an email and let me know if you're down. Delete Reply

Having dated women who were h.s. dropouts, h.s. graduates, associate degree holders, bachelor’s degree holders, and master’s degree holders, I can honestly say the less educated they were the more fun they were. But tricks are for kids. So around that 30-something when the games are over and you figure out that life is more than just having fun, I can see the value and benefit of a highly educated woman.

I have come to learn that degrees are only keys to open doors. That same knowledge that a college or university charges $20k-200k+ could be gained at a public library for next to nothing and wrestling mentally with people smarter than you.

I think you are talking about “angry” women. Whether educated or not, angry women find joy in busting a man’s balls at every turn! Delete Reply

Trurh: You make a good point, but I think the two are closely intertwined. The educated woman is often the angry woman! Delete Reply

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