Are Men Intimidated by Strong Women?
I had another post planned for today which I intended to put up to take us away from our regular relationship rant and advice however the week is long and I wanted to cover this topic while it was still fresh in my mind. As most of you know over the weekend our friends at Ivy Munro put on an event which we already told you about (“The Big Conversation” with Mr Paul Carrick Brunson at the Clapham Grand) and our man on the ground @MrGrillet attended the conference and hit us up with the feedback yesterday morning. Amongst the recurring themes mentioned from the day was one which I would like to focus on “Men don’t like strong women” this myth seems to be spreading wings (amongst women anyways) so at the BWNG we chose to comment, so if your interested here’s the Don’s take……
It’s a myth ladies, come on..seriously????
I know it seems rather easy to just dismiss it as things are never black and white; so maybe ‘its rare’ is more fitting but I genuinely feel it is nonsense in most cases and here is why. Firstly what is a strong woman? Surely most people’s perceptions of this are quite subjective and I’m sure if you ask everyone you will get a different answer although the Oxford dictionary will keep it 100, let me just give you an example.
Random female friend (RFF) “Don I know this lady you so need to hook up with you will love her she’s gorgeous, a nice person and a real strong woman.
Don “Strong, do you mean like Serena Williams strong with the mad biceps and that Ish?”
RFF. “No silly, I mean she’s independent, focused, intelligent, pays her telephone bills, pays her automobills you know…”
Don “Ok I hear you! when you said strong I had to ask and make sure she didn’t pump weights or anything”
You see many people can take this statement to mean various things according to your mindset so life is always easier when you stick to dictionary definitions. I asked people on twitter to give me some words and I got confident, ambitious, educated, independent and hard working balanced out by words such as forgiving, resilient and brave. Our perceptions of strength vary although not that much. What’s noticeable however when I meet people who use this as a reason for scaring off the guys, is that there seems to be a consensus that strength equates to the first set of words mentioned….usually linked with achievements and status. This isn’t everybody, just a large number including those that tell me their storie and trust me I get earfuls. The perception of strength comes from her ability to take care of herself as well as personal and career achievements and the woman finds herself in a position where the man she is dating or interested in is not where he wants to be so he bounces or goes cold on her.
Some people deem the fact she has a good job, a degree, her own house/flat (maybe) and brings in a good salary as a reason men may be scared of her “strength” (I’m sure there is a better word). My thing is, is this really strength? This tells me little about her personal characteristics outside of the working world apart from she is probably dedicated and works hard; and next to nothing about her social skills. Does this make her any stronger than say a woman who has 5 little brothers she has virtually raised, works a part time job which barely pays and has virtually nothing to call her own as what is hers is her family’s? None of the brothers have ever told me “Fam I had to dump her man, she was just so strong caring, forgiving and sh*t” I haven’t heard this once, not ever. I can tell you what I have heard though (don’t shoot) “Fam I can’t work with this chick man, she’s so up herself, condescending, superficial always boasting bla bla bla”.
I hear a lot of men complain about how women relay their “strength” to them and constantly remind them about how independent or successful they are or want to be and how they seem to cut little slack for their partner making them feel uncomfortable about their own situation and pressured to achieve their goals overnight. I don’t think it’s about whether that is what the woman is actually trying to do but more about how it makes their partner feel. Believe it or not I know a lot of men who have women who earn more than them or are more educated and have achieved more and at this moment in time, their relationships are just fine.
I know a few successful women and some have these problems I mention and I must admit they are kind of similar. Their achievements and dreams are the first thing to roll off their tongue, how prestigious her company is, her goals and dreams, what private school her kids will go to, how Lidl goods will never be visible in her cupboard and this is often without even being asked. If you want a certain type of man; then reiterating this to men you meet and amongst your circle (always potential there too) is fine BUT it may be better to think it and find it, than to speak it and make him run away as he feels you are too forceful with it, and your desire for these characteristics supersede his more human ones.
Are men scared of women with the first sets of qualities listed earlier? not at all. Do we want to hear you promoting them day after day like you have Destiny Child’s ‘The writings on the wall’ on repeat in your house? hell no. I know some may think that you are not talking about strength you are talking about success and I think the same things apply even if we are. If this mass generalisation is correct and they are scared that means they will probably go for a female equivalent of what women love to call “wastemen”. I assure you however men are very aware of competition and him not being where he wants to be will still bug him and he will have nightmares of Mandingo the businessman stealing his woman if he perceives she is desirable to anybody bar himself.
I think it would be more fitting to see it not as a problem caused by your standing but more linked to whether HE is where HE wants to be or if you flaunt it in his face. The fact that somebody can even make this statement is more scary to me than the topic itself as when that line rolls of your lips “I think he was intimidated by my [insert ignorance here]” 9 out of 10 times you just seem pretentious and its going to sound wrong, remember self recommendation is no recommendation at all.
Don Kwelu (@DonKwelu)
Ladies and Gents do you agree? Is the strong woman a myth in this sense? How do we measure strength? Do women still believe it’s this strength that is keeping them single? Do Men seem intimidated? speak on it!