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Men Intimidated By Strong Women

User Thread
 42yrs • F •
Chione is new to Captain Cynic and has less than 15 posts. New members have certain restrictions and must fill in CAPTCHAs to use various parts of the site.
Men Intimidated By Strong Women
I'm a 35 year old woman and I have worked myself up in my career to where I am now a senior staff member of the company I work for. Without going into detail about my company and what I do, what I can tell you is that this industry has largely been governed by males and I am only the second woman that has ever become part of the senior staff circle.

And the way I got into the great position I am in was by using my intelligence, and not letting the doubts of others obstruct my ideas. I helped to turn the company around when it would have otherwise drowned during the recession.

Ever since I began in university, I have repeatedly experienced an occurrence where men that I interact with seem to be intimidated by me. At first when I started noticing this in my youth, I thought perhaps it was something wrong that I was doing, perhaps I was coming off as aggressive or had some behavior in me that resulted in men behaving the way they were, but then as I experimented more with altering my behavior, trying to be more subtle and passive in ways, I learnt that it wasn't a behavior in me that was triggering them. It was simply the fact that I am a woman who is smart and embracing of my intelligence. Once I learnt this, I decided that the treatment I was receiving from them was wrong, and I became very bull headed towards my goals, determined to do my intelligence justice by succeeding in my career.

And now that I am there, I find that very little has changed. Whilst I have men that work under my supervision and follow my expertise, I do not feel I receive from them the same respect that other men who are in the same position as me do. It feels as though I am actually despised for being a woman and having the position that I do.

And this problem is not just isolated to my career. In social circles too I have far less success than other females who seem far less intellectually driven. I am an attractive woman, I have a very fit body, I know how to dress, but despite these aesthetics, once a man starts having a real conversation with me and they see that I am much more solid in my thoughts and opinions than women they are used to, the initial fire of attraction is suffocated because I don't play whatever role it is they think I should be playing. So now, instead of having what I a real relationship, I have a boyfriend where the relationship is basically a physical one. And I am quite weary of the possibility of ever meeting a man with whom I will have a mental bond with.

I feel quite hurt about how the world of men and women seems to operate. Specifically, I have received the brunt of much aggression from men who have psychological hostility towards me. And often it seems to be delivered in a way where they want to make it their mission to make me feel like I am wrong in my ideas, and press me towards admitting so, even though it is false. Why is it that men can't just appreciate a woman who is smart, instead of making me feel like I am in the wrong somehow? Do men really want their women to be brain dead? Does this provide them with a sense of security or control?

I am very saddened by all this and feel weighed down by possibility that I will grow old alone and without a mate. And I am all too aware that my biological clock is ticking - will I really have to settle and dumb myself down in order to have a family?

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 32yrs • M •
clc12 is new to Captain Cynic and has less than 15 posts. New members have certain restrictions and must fill in CAPTCHAs to use various parts of the site.
The world of men and women, I think, IS very frustrating. I think you have to just accept that on every single level part of being a man is feeling like you bring something to the table, you're providing, either financially, or emotional stability whatever. People think its backwards for men to want to feel needed by a woman instead of just being her cheerleader. The fact is though that pretty much since society split from a one guy gets all to monogamous relationships for all (some) many millennia ago, society has functioned on Men being held to a level of responsibility to NOT be promiscuous, to provide and to be honorable. Its sounds dumb to a lot of people, but even the most progressive and nice guys out there are probably going to feel similarly morally bound. So that's the first point. You can choose to see these guys as weak or insecure but thats just going to shrink your pool even more and kick out a lot of great guys. Try seeing things from another perspective, that there's something that this man really really wants to provide for your life. You need to give him an in. That doesn't mean dumbing yourself down or quitting your job but if its gonna work you got to look for some quality he has that really does offer something new to your life: fatherhood, laid back nature, easy going, fun loving, grounded in reality and NOT in the business world.

My second point continues from what I was just saying. The process of seeing good qualities in a man with significantly less income and unconventional goals is not as hard as you may think. I'm an arts program graduate and my experience with a lot of friends who are successful professionals is that they are never nearly as 'smart' as they think. Most of us have an incredibly narrow vision of life and expertise. It just so happens that in this society those of a very narrow expertise are considered 'smart' and valued over others. In some sense the slow movement of certain Labor markets makes us blind to the relative value of whatever it is we are doing. When a hurricane destroys major areas of the NJ coast and Brooklyn you better bet that firefighters and electricians are the most lauded and beloved members of society (if not always the best compensated). Money and Status tell us so many lies and I pity anyone who believes them. I myself recall a time before I took the unconventional path when everyone said "wow' you're so smart, you could be anything." It took a decade for me to see how little that standardized test, admissions valued, career oriented and ultimately cocktail party intelligence is really worth. What I'm saying (and this comes from my own experience as a poor dude) is not only that you SHOULD seek out and actively make room for guys with other qualities (being stable, being book smart in a way you aren't, artistic, kind, good father, funny etc. etc.) but that there is a strong argument (which I hope I've alluded to) as to why this isn't just pragmatic, but in fact wise, closer to the way things really are. I think the other commenter was way to harsh and pretty unhelpful, but I will say it sounds like you live in a pretty small world.

When you're on a date do what guys do, try to learn about his goals and what he likes and engage him on that level. You don't have to change who YOU are when you share what you do but you do have to strip it of its false sense of importance that society has given it. Put the hard work and virtuous qualities that got you there into context larger than just "I showed them," into something more like "it just goes to show what I can do when I put my mind to it (or anyone for that matter)."

Its all about creating meaning and finding meaning in relationships. Creating meaning is the hard task of making space, accommodating somebody else. There are a lot of guys out there with no cash or status who possess really great qualities, I'm sure they'd love to date someone like you.

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 37yrs • M •
johnnieusername is new to Captain Cynic and has less than 15 posts. New members have certain restrictions and must fill in CAPTCHAs to use various parts of the site.
quote:

And now that I am there, I find that very little has changed. Whilst I have men that work under my supervision and follow my expertise, I do not feel I receive from them the same respect that other men who are in the same position as me do. It feels as though I am actually despised for being a woman and having the position that I do.


In short, and I'm really being as sensitive as possible in regards to this, I believe you are. Men just plain and simple don't like women with masculine characteristics, much as women don't like men with feminine characteristics.

Career orientedness, rationality, decisiveness, leadership, hardness, toughness, self-assuredness and sharpness are all inherently masculine (not male, masculine) and women that possess or attempt to acquire these attributes, no matter how physically attractive, will always be subject to malevolence from men, just as men who are unsure, lack confidence, are submissive, indecisive, soft or overly sensitive, etc will be subject to malevolence by women.

I'm not saying it's right or wrong that this is the case, but that this is in fact the case.

I'm not going to tell you to change or give you advice either, because I haven't figured out how to solve my own problem in this regard short of attempting to fundamentally alter my personality, but I wish you the best.

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Men Intimidated By Strong Women
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