Calling yourself intelligent on the Internet or in real life is asking for backlash. Many people like to pretend that they want others to be confident and self-actualized. In reality, many people have such low, shaky, and/or warped self-esteem issues that the idea that someone could call themself something positive – intelligent, beautiful, etc. is taken as a personal affront. Intelligence as a social construct, is problematic. It privileges specific spaces and modes of thought and creativities over others. It privileges education levels, social-classes, and thus, even race. I get it. (I am intelligent enough to get it. Ha!) I am definitely an advocate for the broadening of how intelligence is constructed.
While I struggle with humility as a human being, calling myself intelligent is not one an act of a lack of humility in this respect. As someone really intelligent told me once, “Humility is first and foremost, a realization of truth.” He went on to say that humility is about trying to objectively see yourself and those around you, honestly. So humility doesn’t amount to this self-deprecating way of seeing one’s self that popular culture often ascribes it as. So yes, I am calling myself intelligent and sharing a few reasons why it actually really sucks.