According to Marc Kac (a physicist and therefore a man you should trust implicitly), there are two kinds of genius; the "ordinary" and the "magician".
An ordinary genius is a fellow that you or I would be just as good as, if we were only many times better. There is no mystery as to how his mind works. Once we understand what they have done, we feel certain that we, too, could have done it. It is different with the magicians. They are, to use mathematical jargon, in the orthogonal complement of where we are and the working of their minds is for all intents and purposes incomprehensible. Even after we understand what they have done, the process by which they have done it is completely dark. They seldom, if ever, have students because they cannot be emulated and it must be terribly frustrating for a brilliant young mind to cope with the mysterious ways in which the magician's mind works. Richard Feynman is a magician of the highest caliber.Enigmas of Chance
, Marc Kac, 1995
There are two things to note about this quotation. Firstly, Feynman is of course sadly no longer with us. Secondly, I feel I must apologise for "fellow" and "his" (I almost put "...a fellow [sic] that..."). There is probably no sexism implied; I don't know, I haven't read Kac's book. I usually read "he" and "his" etc and think of it as generic, genderless. But then I am a he. I know that occasionally I've used "s/he" in correspondence, but usually after using "his/hers" a few times, I give up. It's just too ugly.
I'll always remember a conversation I had with a friend, Malia. We were talking about the film "Medicine Man" (Sean Connery and Lorraine Bracco). Connery plays a doctor doing research in the Amazon jungle. He's looking for a cure for cancer within the biome. He finds it but then looses it,... Bracco plays an assistant who comes to help (and, wouldn't you know it, falls in love with him). I said I'd quite enjoyed it. Things in it just pressed my buttons I guess -- science (well, Hollywood Science), problem solving that sort of stuff. Not a great movie, but entertaining. However, Malia said she hated it because of the character Bracco played -- that she was such a wimp, the "typical" Hollywood helpless woman, in contrast with the dominant male character.
I'm ashamed to say that this really opened my eyes. Here was a very bright, talented young woman feeling put-down by the portrayal of her Gender in the movies. Since then, this kind of subtle sexism is something I've tried to be aware of.