“Stupid Girl”


I’ve been using the word “stupid” a lot lately.  No real reason; it just seems like everyone and everything is kind of annoying to me right now.

This is one of the more mean-spirited songs from the Rolling Stones.  I mean, let’s face it, these men are not exactly bastions of enlightened feminism.  Calling them sexist pigs would really be an insult to pigs, since, as far as I know, pigs don’t care what sex anyone is.  Unlike some of their other disturbingly anti-woman songs, “Stupid Girl” has never been one of my favorites, although I can think of any number of reality TV stars it could be applied to.

Stupid just seems to be everywhere right now.  It’s like some kind of highly communicable disease: Everyone catches a case of it at least once in their lives, but if you’re lucky, it’s only mild and temporary.  But I see so much stupidity being treated like something worthwhile, it kind of burns me up. From politicians who proudly declare that they don’t know much about whatever important (and usually scientific) thing they’re trying to legislate against to a family of people whose last name begins with K and ends with “Oh my god, why do these people exist?”, stupid seems to be way too popular.  There was an epidemic of stupid in Baltimore the other day, which seems to be dying out but could flare up again at any moment.

I should take a moment to explain my definition of stupidity.  Stupid people are not those who are uneducated.  That’s simply being uneducated, and if you expose most people to ideas and knowledge, they will take in at least some of it.  Stupid is also not an inability to learn.  Developmental and mental problems are not stupidity; they are conditions that can be dealt with and adapted to.  No, stupid is the willful, conscious refusal to learn.  Stupid is the refusal to be open to new ideas and facts that may contradict or invalidate beliefs you hold dearly.  Stupid is the refusal to acknowledge that other people might not feel or believe the same things you do, and that you should not impose your beliefs or feelings on others without their permission.

So this merely adequate Rolling Stones song is dedicated to all you stupid people out there.  I’d say you know who you are, but you’re probably too busy declaring how smart you are to the rest of the world.

6 thoughts on ““Stupid Girl”

  1. It astounds me how much there is an anti-intellectual movement in this country and how few apply critical thinking skills. It is fueled by a lack of empathy and a “hey, it’s not happening to me, not my problem” attitude. It’s hard not to feel discouraged.

    • Absolutely! I’m not sure how far back the roots of anti-intellectualism go, but one of the first real dismissals of intelligence as a quality to be desired was in the 60s when so many college students and intelligensia opposed the Vietnam War, and all the lower/working class “regular” folks saw them as draft dodgers and malcontents. Smart is making a bit of a comeback, but we’ve still got a long way to go before stupid is cured.

      • I don’t know when the movement started, but it’s horrifying to watch now as people who should know better discard facts in order to perpetuate their view of the world. It’s a dangerous game– especially when people cannot view events objectively or critically. It stems from mental laziness– they could know, but choose not to.

  2. I hate to say it, but I believe that the Internet (particularly social media) has allowed many people to know just a little bit about a lot of things. I’m not immune from that effect.

    • A little knowledge is indeed a dangerous thing. Worse, I think the Internet allows people the comfort of anonymity of being nasty and partisan without the burden of having to prove yourself to others. You can just shut down anyone who doesn’t agree with you, and ignore any information that doesn’t support your worldview.

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