We can separate different types of regurgitation into three main categories. The first is the regurgitation of the boyfriend's knowledge. This is the lot of the common woman. The second is the regurgitation of the entire history of man-centered knowledge. This is what ails the female populous in general. Finally, there is regurgitation of the professor's (and other men in a teaching/advising position's) knowledge. This is what befalls the college student or scholar.
I can say that I have experienced the first and last types of regurgitation (that word is becoming cumbersome), blind acceptance, and zealous bandwagon jumping. I've managed to steer clear of the second. Even as a teen in the gay 1990s, when I thought I was the last bastion of anti-feminism, I was really thinking like a feminist (I can see that now). I have always been suspicious of old dead white men. But as I grow older, I have developed a healthy suspicion of living men too, yet as a student I continually find myself influenced by male professors.
For the rest of female humanity, let's start at the beginning. (We're writing in the royal "we" today, or in first person when needed. I am tired of the language complications caused by the impersonal third person "one.") Agreement with boyfriend, believing any "facts" he delivers, acceptance of all his ideas and ideals, zany, socially unacceptable or otherwise, seems to be a problem for young women in particular. Figure 1: Where is the young lady's funny hat?
It is especially sad when we see intelligent young women dating intelligent young (or old) men whose ever-expanding egos leave the young women in shadow. From cultural training or lack of a gelled personality (what teenager is outside of influence?) young women hang on the words of their smart young men, shoving aside their own ideas, rationalizing his, and essentially stagnating their own thought processes. A brilliant girl can whither if she sticks by the doctrines of a not-so-brilliant guy who thinks he is a genius. Not to say we all need to be perfectly matched by IQ tests or ego sizes. But a woman who is sharp should not be afraid to turn her wits loose on or around her mate.
I experienced this mind-corralling as a teen. I escaped it at twenty-one. I must say it is advantageous for intelligent young women to date men who are interested in things, who are curious. We can be inspired by their clear thoughts, by their varied experiences. But men, usually the older part of the couple, are bound to be more rigid in their thinking, and less influenced by their young companions whose brains are still bouncing all over, who may not as yet have found focus on a subject or a cause. Sticking to unformed women may be men's way of not being challenged.
Men often think of young women as their muses. Well, the muses inspired creativity for a reason: they actually did all the things they inspired! If they are the symbols we conjure up to represent something, doesn't that mean they must have been pretty darn good at that something? If so, isn't everything man creates on the inspiration of a muse merely an imitation? Men are catalyzed by the beauty and/or talent of a woman, and seek to create art/words/thoughts that can only fall short of the beauty that inspired them, their hairy bulge-veined hands snatching wildly for the proper male expression of or reaction to a female essense.
But sure the antique Greeks were far more mild,
Else of our sex, why feigned they those Nine,
And poesy made Calliope's own child;
So 'mongst the rest they placed arts divine
But this weak knot, they will full soon untie,
The Greeks did nought, but play the fools and lie.
Male scholars, you have a muse as well, and her name is Clio. She is hard at work writing histories recounting your abuses of her methods and memorizing your infractions against her mortal counterparts.
I bet Zeus was proud of his heartbreaking muses, even though his pride was a manly pride in his own offspring, his own creation.
How many great women have been consentually overshadowed by great men? Let's think of a nineteenth century couple: both the lovers and all who observe them seeing her as the muse, he as the thinker, writer, painter, whatever have you. Of course when he dies she can take up a study of something from her bed, maybe write a book or two about it, accept posthumous awards and degrees for him, run a foundation in his name.
But he spent his whole life creating -- his formative years when he made unheard of conjectures, his mature years when he honed his theories or practice, his aging years where he had a chance to recant or defend any part of his body of work. We women can make this life for ourselves, as writers, artists, scholars, but it is far more difficult for us than for our husbands and companions who are better positioned to reap the benefits of a strong mind.
To some few friends, and to thy sorrows sing,
For groves of laurel, thou wert never meant.
Support from a man is something that should be quite welcome to a woman who has a mind to speak. But if the only things on her mind are things he put there, we'd might as well tell her to go back inside and mind the children.