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To be intimidated by men for no reason?

(11 Posts)
sniffle12 Tue 25-Apr-17 18:31:47

I know this is irrational so I guess I'm more just wondering if it affects anyone else too.

All my life I have felt intimidated by men (and even boys, when I was young). I particularly hate being in a vulnerable situation with a man I don't know e.g. walking alone when there's only a strange man nearby, getting taxis alone (which I won't do).

But even perfectly nice men at work make me feel a bit on edge where a woman wouldn't.

I had a normal childhood - nice mum and dad. Never been in a traumatic incident or bad relationship. Was bullied at school and the ringleaders were boys which I wonder if contributed to it.

Anybody else experience anything similar?

Crunchyside Tue 25-Apr-17 18:37:49

I suppose what you're describing could be normal sexual tension around members of the opposite sex. Also, at work there is still a power imbalance as men are not only physically stronger in general, but sadly still have more credibility/authority than their female colleagues in most workplaces too, even if people don't consciously see it or believe it sad

SpuriouserAndSpuriouser Tue 25-Apr-17 18:41:32

I wouldn't say that being uncomfortable in a vulnerable situation with a man you don't know is entirely irrational. It would depend on the level of anxiety, and whether you can still live a normal life etc. Diving for cover every time a male colleague gets into the lift with you is not normal or sustainable. However, a sense of unease or the feeling that you are just a bit more alert in those situations, that is something I think most women experience. Also, in light of the statistics on violence against women, it's probably entirely justified.

VestalVirgin Tue 25-Apr-17 18:52:19

I was bullied by boys in school, and read the statistics on male violence against women, and yeah, I'd say you are entirely justified.

It is not irrational at all. One could argue that it is not comfortable to feel that you are in danger, when, statistically, you are in danger, but it is certainly not irrational.

Perhaps taking self-defense classes would make you feel more confident, and thus, more comfortable in those situations that you cannot avoid?

TheSnowFairy Tue 25-Apr-17 18:52:43

ALL men?

If so, YABU.

Do you not have any male friends?

sniffle12 Tue 25-Apr-17 19:03:42

Most of my male friends (whether I know it at the time or it just turns out so later) seem to be gay. I have very few straight male friends, most of whom are partners of my female friends and any conversation I have with them feels much less natural. It's like I just don't know what to say.

One bullying incident centred around the boys deciding I fancied a boy way out of my league (when that was a thing) because I had smiled at him in class, and overhearing them finding it hilarious, so I wonder if I'm so awkward around men because I have this subconscious worry that if I'm friendly they'll think I fancy them (even though I have a lovely DH!). Whereas with girls and gay men there isn't really that worry so I can act much more naturally.

VestalVirgin Tue 25-Apr-17 19:12:53

SnowFairy, don't be silly. Yes, ALL men are potential rapists. There's an endless number of women who have been raped by men they trusted.What men do you think should be exempt from being regarded potential rapists? On what grounds?

I wonder if I'm so awkward around men because I have this subconscious worry that if I'm friendly they'll think I fancy them (even though I have a lovely DH!). Whereas with girls and gay men there isn't really that worry so I can act much more naturally.

Entirely possible. This, in a nutshell, is why I don't have any male friends. Men always think you're flirting with them, it is annoying. Every time I did something with a man that, with a woman, would have been the start of a friendship (such as going to the cinema together) he has hit on me afterwards.

I have given up on trying to be friends with straight men. If I knew more gay men, I might try to befriend them, but straight men, I am fed up with.

(For a long time, I wasn't at all suspicious around men who were old enough to be my father, but reality has proven me wrong on that account, too - they, too, think I am flirting with them. confused)

TheElephantofSurprise Tue 25-Apr-17 19:20:16

* Men always think you're flirting with them, it is annoying*
My experience has shown this to be true. You can't even afford to be civil.

blackheartsgirl Tue 25-Apr-17 19:21:33

I'm the same sniffle. I feel very awkward around men, I don't know how to relate to them at all, even though I have a dp and ds who is 17, but they are somehow different, I'm ok with them.

I have no male figure in my life at all apart from them. I have no male relatives apart from a distant brother, my dad is dead, my uncle is dead, no grandparents. My few friends I have are single parents.

As a result I'm as awkward as shit around the men at work and it is a male dominated place unfortunately. But I have one good female friend and we work and eat together so I don't have to speak to anyone else, however it's excruciating when the team leaders come round and ask questions about our work or try and make conversation, I really feel awkward.

It's not exactly I feel a fear of men, I used to clean in the place I work at now and used to have to work on my own down some remote corridors at night, I'd feel a lot safer if I knew some of the workers were there in earshot or I was on my own with the hard as nails beefy security guard there to talk too.

I just think because I don't come into close contact with any other man apart from dp (and he has the conversation skills of a dead duck) I have lost the art of talking to them and it's a shame

handslikecowstits Tue 25-Apr-17 19:29:35

I like the company of men but I understand what you mean OP. I'm wary of their physical potential. Most of them are much bigger than I am.

TheSnowFairy Tue 25-Apr-17 20:46:15

Vestal Yes, ALL men are potential rapists. There's an endless number of women who have been raped by men they trusted.

So because they have a dick they are potentially going to rape a woman? hmm What about women predators? It's not just men.

Op, maybe you do feel more comfortable with gay men and female friends, nothing wrong with that. But there are nice men out there (as you know from your DH).

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