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The lengths women will go to to appease men

(40 Posts)
FeliciaJollygoodfellow Mon 14-Mar-16 10:04:58

I've been thinking about this, we see it all the time on MN where women don't want to ask their husband for a break from the baby, more support for their work - all sorts of stuff really.

My friend's ex left her last year - text her telling her he was going to his mums and never came back. Trust me when I say there is loads more to it!

Anyway, she's back on her feet, doing online dating and having fun. Except she's just set up a new Facebook page as there is one bloke she doesn't want to be contacted by anymore. Apparently she can't just unfriend him, and to be fair she's shown time and time again that she will be nice and engage when really she needs to just tell him to fuck off.

I understand why, because I remember being all-accommodating myself when faced with a bloke I'd had maybe one date with that I didn't really fancy - but then I also don't understand why, as a couple of these blokes have just completely cut off contact after a couple of dates (and after being totally all over her hmm) so clearly, men don't feel the same compulsion!

I'm sure it'll be a depressing read but I was wonder what other examples there are? I'm sure there are many.

(Just to add - this bloke is 51 and sent her a dick pic. She still won't block him)

Herewegoagainfolks Mon 14-Mar-16 10:14:43

Is that about "appeasing men"? I'd tend to think that behaviour is about lack of self esteem.

Unless of course she stands up to women who treat her badly and only allows herself to be a doormat for men.

EElisavetaOfBelsornia Mon 14-Mar-16 10:16:51

It's rare to see a man with such a tendency to people please though, even if his self esteem isn't great. Women are raised to be nice, not make a fuss, look after people.

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Mon 14-Mar-16 10:27:17

My friend definitely has low self esteem when it comes to men (although she would deny it to the death!). It annoys me because she's not willing to just say enough is enough, I'm not your friend, I'm not your girlfriend. She doesn't even need to say anything really, just not engage!

Not sure about her self esteem around women, she seems ok but then she has a tendency to hugely overthink things.

I can't think of any men I know who would do the equivalent with a woman - but I think most of the women I know will admit to some form of this. Even the most innocuous comments - like in work, apologising before getting your point across - men don't do that! Women do that - for exactly the reason EElisaveta says.


oliviaclottedcream Mon 14-Mar-16 11:47:08

It's Just men then? She's all strong and no nonsense when it comes to her relationships with women?

scallopsrgreat Mon 14-Mar-16 14:16:50

"It annoys me because she's not willing to just say enough is enough, I'm not your friend, I'm not your girlfriend." That isn't the easiest thing to tell someone though. Especially when you know there will be repercussions e.g. further harassment, aggression, insults or belittling. which could also occur if she doesn't engage. And wouldn't help with self-esteem issues.

I always think blaming a reluctance for confronting men to be based in self-esteem is a bit dismissive. Self-esteem is fluid, for a start. You have different levels of confidence at different times in your life and what influences your confidence levels may be beyond your control. But also it doesn't recognise valid concerns about confronting men and as EElisavetaOfBelsornia says, socialisation.

HapShawl Mon 14-Mar-16 14:32:35

The lengths women will go to appease men are often proportional to the degree of threat they feel from them, which is understandable really

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Mon 14-Mar-16 15:49:21

I have spoken to her today as she has since told me that the guy she was trying to avoid basically messaged her asking why she had defriended him. She hadn't, but her new profile is basically the same and it came up on 'people you know'.

She has since told me that she feels very threatened by him, he is big and beefy, lifts a lot of weights and has also grabbed her round the face 'for a kiss'.

This thread wasn't intended to be about her by the way, it was simply a real life example. But now, it's even worse. She feels threatened by him.

I totally agree with everything you're all saying btw. I just thought it was interesting to talk about, as I know a lot of men who get a pass just because of their sex from the women in or around their lives.

DaggerEyes Mon 14-Mar-16 16:03:22

You only have to watch the way women hold back at bbq's and and the way men will bulldoze their way through the meat until it's gone and the women are left with salad to see your point in action. The other day, at a self service carvery, I felt a male presence behind me, I felt pressured to make way so he could get to the food, but I stayed! Turns out it was a server trying to refresh the carrots!!

Theydontknowweknowtheyknow Mon 14-Mar-16 22:39:02

I have a male colleague who makes me feel uncomfortable by commenting on my looks. I've ummed and uhhed about whether to say anything but haven't.

It's not a lack of self esteem. It's the desire to not offend him coupled with the fact that my job would be a lot harder if he were angry at me.

givepeasachance Mon 14-Mar-16 22:43:53

The 'is she the same with women as she is with men" is a useless comparison.

Women don't tend to violent and threatening to one another. I think this boils down to simple patriarchal values.

Women confronts man, he becomes nasty/aggressive/violent because she is a woman. Women then learn to 'appease' men aka as survival.

AmyAmoeba Tue 15-Mar-16 08:19:21

I think givepeaceachance makes a valid point.

And it may be a bit of a tangent but it reminds me of a talk I heard on bonobos (which are related to chimpanzees). Even in a matriarchal species the females use appeasement to "handle" male aggression, basically offering sex to calm them down.

Ugh hmm

Trills Tue 15-Mar-16 08:30:45

She sounds unusually unwilling to give anything resembling offense, to someone who she doesn't owe anything.

I recognise the type of behaviour as being something women are taught to do, but this is a very extreme example.

I think it is interesting to ask if she is like this with all people, or just all men, or just this one man. Is it a personality trait or a response to his threatening behaviour?

Is she able to avoid seeing him in real life?

oliviaclottedcream Tue 15-Mar-16 12:52:52

Women confronts man, he becomes nasty/aggressive/violent because she is a woman. Are you referring to the experience of the OP. Or Is this your general opinion of all male/female encounters?

oliviaclottedcream Tue 15-Mar-16 12:54:36

HapShawl That also applies to some men with other men.

HapShawl Tue 15-Mar-16 15:55:48

So what?

oliviaclottedcream Tue 15-Mar-16 16:44:17

So, you say -- the threat they feel from them as if it's a given that all men get a kick out of bullying and intimidating women. A bully is a bully and just as likely to dominate men that they see as weaker. A man does not equal a bully.

HapShawl Tue 15-Mar-16 16:56:14

I didn't say it did, did I? "Them" doesn't have to mean "all men", it's you who is choosing to make that interpretation

TheEmperorIsNaked Tue 15-Mar-16 17:03:13

DP is not a bully but he is bigger and stronger than most women. No woman would have to appease him but if she has learnt through experience that some men become intimidating/aggressive towards her when they are upset then she may choose to avoid confrontation with him.

Other men are not especially vulnerable to my DP's size or strength so they wouldn't feel the same level of threat.

In addition to this some men feel entitled to bully and harrass women. This is why we have a law to stop men on building sites catcalling to random women passing by. They don't do it to other men.

oliviaclottedcream Tue 15-Mar-16 17:22:33

That's how I read the word "Them" when applied in this context. Men as a generic group all sharing in the guilt of being 'men'. But that's just me, you know what you meant...

Other men are not especially vulnerable to my DP's size or strength so they wouldn't feel the same level of threat

How do you know they don't?

HapShawl Tue 15-Mar-16 17:25:37

Tbh I thought the word "proportional" would make it clear that we are talking different levels of threat from different men, but that's just me

TheEmperorIsNaked Tue 15-Mar-16 17:59:19

How do you know they don't?

Because they aren't worried about upsetting him.

Are you really saying here that you don't believe that men are generally bigger and stronger than women? Or are you saying that despite their difference in size and strength that they would never use that to intimidate women? Or perhaps you are arguing that NAMALT?

oliviaclottedcream Tue 15-Mar-16 18:21:41

I thought you were talking about the level of fear in the individual. That's how I read it..

If I knew what NAMALT means I might be.. Oo course men in general are physically bigger and stronger than women. Don't be daft! I just don't care to lump all men together as a generic group, who all have a share in the guilt of being men.

You don't really know how these men you refer to, feel about your DP being all big, stronger and tougher do you? You don't know for certain how 'the male ego deals with the fact that your DP could if he chose to stamp on them and dominate them physically? I don't either, bit I imagine that these men respect and fear him slightly and know their limits with what they can do to him (or push him), emotionally and physically.

Theydontknowweknowtheyknow Tue 15-Mar-16 18:32:34

But that's the whole point isn't it. You just don't know what the reaction would be and the only thing you can base it on is your own personal experience, accounts from other people and the news about what might happen when you reject a man.

It's not like all men would be a threat -of course not and no one's saying that - but you don't know for sure about each individual man.

When you say no to a man he might a) take it all fine and dandy, can't blame a guy for trying b) be mildly fed up c) call you a bitch and a prick tease d) crack your skull and put you in a plastic bin liner.

Of course D is pretty rare but not so rare that it doesn't serve as a deterrent to other women.

Theydontknowweknowtheyknow Tue 15-Mar-16 18:34:45

Sorry to be clear, the example I gave was what happened to one of the Argentine backpackers. The other one was stabbed to death.

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