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Do people think a fear of men and what they can do affects their views of men but is unfounded in reality?

(85 Posts)
snoofle Sun 25-May-14 19:10:15

Thinking about all the NAMALT that stuff - some people on here, including me, said they fear male violence and that this fear held them back and that men benefitted from this fear.

But is the reality different? Most men aren't rapists. There is a figure on another thread - 6% of men. That is still a hell of a lot - but 94% aren't. Most men aren't abusers, don't attack women and don't use domestic violence.

If you meet a man, the chances are very very high that he won't attack or rape you. Chances are if you are walking in front of him, he is probably more nervous of worrying you.

But there is always that fear.

Do people think that talking about such things can make their beliefs of how men are differ from the reality of how most men really are?

It is important to talk about it and name the problem. But does it promote a climate of fear about men?

I'll be honest and I know that when I am in certain situations, I think carefully about what to say and what could happen - even though I know it's very unlikely. But the outcome for me could be awful. I am scared of certain situations and I try to avoid them. It holds me back

hiddenhome Sun 25-May-14 19:17:40

I've always found women to be far more dangerous tbh sad

snoofle Sun 25-May-14 19:23:35

That is sad hiddenhome. Being frightened of anyone is sad.

snoofle Sun 25-May-14 19:26:01

If anyone is wondering why there are two threads with exactly the same op and subject heading, it is because I suggested to kim147 that her thread would be a good idea in chat, and she oked me or anyone to repost it here.

havenever Sun 25-May-14 19:27:54

25% of women are abused by men.

i have been raped by 1 man that i know; and sexually assualted by 2. My sister and 3 of my close friends have been raped by strangers. Another close friend has been taped by 2 people she knows

i don't trust men; and it is founded in reality thanks

hiddenhome Sun 25-May-14 19:29:55

I only trust cats grin

Thisvehicleisreversing Sun 25-May-14 19:34:24

I agree with hiddenhome Growing up I would always avoid walking near groups of girls as it was more likely they'd be the ones who'd shout abuse or square up to me.

As I got older, groups of women always seemed so much more intimidating. I'd worry they were gossiping about me or slating my clothes/hair/weight.

I've never felt scared of men.

I do think a lot of it is down to growing up with brothers and many uncles I knew I could trust 100% and at school I was friends with more boys than girls.

I suppose it's just that I've had nothing but good relationships with men whereas there have been some bad experiences with women.

I do know though that many, many women have had awful experiences with men so understand that there will sometimes be fear.

havenever Sun 25-May-14 19:36:49

Reading the OP properly though..
.im not outwardly scared of men though. I have male friends i trust. I have little interest in men i don't know, am probably dismissive and inwardly lacking in respect for them.

I'm not afraid of more physical violence

the only time i feel affected is for example if a mam washes my hair at thehairdressers. I don't like that at all, and have to concentrate very hard not to have a panic attack. Or sitting squished close on a bus...

I've known many men and only one who was, to my knowledge, abusive. one too many but at least a minority. I have known a lot of men who think it's okay to make vulgar comments and behave inappropriately but the same goes for many women I've met tbh.

flippinada Sun 25-May-14 19:48:02

Well, empirically speaking, it's entirely sensible and rational for women to be scared of men. The vast majority of violent crimes are perpetrated by men. Oh a purely physical level, men (generally) are bigger and stronger than women so more of a threat.

Obviously these are examples at the most extreme end of the spectrum but when was the last time you read about a woman going on a shooting spree (as happened in Santa Barbara) or a female family annihilator?

If you look you will find examples of these but compared to the men who do it, they are vanishingly rare.

Many women also have good reason to be frightened of men due to experiences in their own personal lives. Someone who has suffered years of domestic violence, been sexually abused as a child, raped as an adult - all of these to me would be rational reasons.

you're right flippinada, why is it mainly men who commit certain crimes though? often wondered...

flippinada Sun 25-May-14 19:53:02

That's the million dollar question Vampyre. Why indeed.

snoofle Sun 25-May-14 19:57:36

hiddenhome I can see why you only trust cats smile

havenever sad angry Heck. Dont know what to say. Am glad that you are not outwardly scared of them.

snoofle Sun 25-May-14 19:58:53

I suppose for me, I live in a relatively crime free area. And I have not suffered anything at the hands of a man or a woman.
I am guessing that if I lived in a high crime rate, I would definitely feel differently.

I replied on the other thread, but have been turning it over in my mind since.

I don't feel afraid of most men. Those I do feel afraid of are the obvious situations like, drunk man when I'm alone at a bus stop, or someone I know is violent. But I will admit, I've rung DH when I'm walking home alone in the dark and had him come meet me, because I'm afraid of being attacked. I do know it isn't likely but I do feel afraid.

I think the problem is, like a lot of women, when I met a genuinely abusive man, I wasn't afraid at all. I thought he was lovely. Isn't that how we all get sucked in? Most women who're raped or murdered are raped or murdered by close relatives or partners - men they thought were lovely, or men they'd known from so young, they had no ability to judge them objectively.

1 in 4 women will be raped. Just over 2 women on average are killed by their partners. If you look at men, two thirds of homicide victims are male (see here

Whereas with men, they often don't know their attacker, women often do. So we are unlikely to be in a good position to see the reality for what it is. We're likely to assume the men we meet are not going to hurt us. That's why it's so horribly difficulty for people to speak up, because this is the person they grew up with, or the person they love.

snoofle Sun 25-May-14 20:04:12

I can understand that confidence in men or women for that matter would be dented, and you would feel uneasy about trusting your instincts if you have been fooled on this subject at least once.

But isn't that a rather different thing, snoof?

That's sort of like saying, well, if you've had a confidence knock-back, you'll not trust your instincts. Whereas, surely, if you're someone who has no reliable 'instincts' because someone conned you into thinking this is the way the world works, you're not so much struggling with confidence as struggling to see what the reality is?

Like you see people who go from one abusive relationship to another, not because they want to or because they're stupid, but because the things the rest of us see as worrying, they see as normal.

snoofle Sun 25-May-14 20:09:45

True. Very true.

snoofle Sun 25-May-14 20:11:50

Hang on a minute though. I am confused! <scratches head>
Let me have a think.

It is both isnt it? confused

snoofle Sun 25-May-14 20:18:01

So the people of the chat board, on the whole, appear not to be afraid of men.
Or not to the point that it takes up a lot of their thinking time.

And there are a sizeable number who are actually afraid of women.

Perhaps I should ask, are people frightened of what women do, or what they ^ say^?

I grew up with four wonderful, loving brothers so I never really stopped to think of men as being intimidating. That started to change when I hit my late teens, I became more wary of strange men and going out at night on my own, and I can't really put a finger on why.

I've always found girls and women intimidating though, always.


Wow, that was quick!

(Oh, sorry, that was to the OP not kir!)

snoofle Sun 25-May-14 20:33:13

Chat tends to move quickly. Or if it doesnt, it normally means that the subject is really pushing peoples' buttons.

There appear to be more posters on this thread fearful of women, so I have moved on to that.

I suppose, thinking about it, I do find a few women more trouble than the men, in a bit of a catty way. And they can be quite obvious in their "is someone doing something better than me" way.
Couldnt say that I fear them though.

I think the opposite. Chat moves fast when people are interested.

2 posters said they were more scared of women (and a third after you posted your conclusion); 2 have said more scared of men; several (including me) have said either that they're not scared more of one than the other, or have made comments that don't tell us which they're more scared of.

FWIW, you could put me in the 'more scared' column as I know rationally I should be more scared of men.

Interesting you see it as such a strong majority, though.

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