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Are gender dynamics so skewed because men are terrified of women?

I can keep this one pretty short, I think. It’s not a complete stretch of a discussion.

Issue 1: We “let” women run our families, right? Families are the absolute bedrock of societies, because families lead to communities, and communities are everything. So women can do that — often are supposed to do that, yes? — but they can’t run companies. (Obviously they can and do, but the statement “they can’t run companies” means it’s still far more normative for men to run companies.) Companies fall into the ocean every day and it doesn’t drastically impact society. 88% of the Fortune 500 from 1955 doesn’t even exist today, and guess what? We’ve got cars that can drive themselves cross-country. We’re doing OK (well, somewhat). When families splinter, it does — it changes the fabric of communities. I got divorced about a year ago. The entire fabric of my life is different. In many ways it’s better, so that’s good — but it’s still different. It’s changed. My point is: the stuff that actually matters we allow females to do, but the stuff that’s just means to an end (work) can’t be their domain.

Issue 2: Now we’ve got some new research — look here and here — about how men are threatened by smart women. It’s a small sample size, yes — “105 men were first read a hypothetical scenario involving a woman who either outperformed or underperformed them in a Maths or English course and then made to imagine them as a romantic partner” — but the results are clear. Men consistently favored the person with presumed lower intelligence. Now there’s even a hashtag: #MasculinitySoFragile. (This has also all been backed up in studies with larger sample sizes.)

Now think on something: Have you ever seen a male-female interaction at most jobs? The female usually knows more, honestly. We know from research that females develop employees better than men do. A lot of guys are, unfortunately, needle-dick assholes. Those types of guys actually rise up at companies a lot, because they’re so uncomfortable with themselves that they throw everything they have into work and step on necks throughout a bunch of supposed 85-hour weeks until someone mints them. Probably 22 percent of that class gets married simply because it “looks better.” So when one of those guys encounters a good, smart woman — what happens? The guy is instantly back on their heels and trying to find a narrow box to shove the woman into, i.e. “You wouldn’t understand this because it’s financial” or some other horseshit.

If you don’t believe me on this section, here’s what you need to know/understand. On performance reviews, the exact same behaviors are “abrasive” for women and “go-getter” for men. That’s just fact. It’s true.

So, marry everything together: I would most assuredly say that many men are terrified of smart women.

And now, one more level: All these gender dynamic problems that have been flaring the last 18 months? Is it all just because guys are scared of trying to relate on a base level to another competent human, so they have to sexualize or demean in order to make it more level for them? That seems like the winning ticket, honestly.

Ted Bauer

One Comment

  1. I’m always intrigued by this attitude in men, which like you, I see far too often (even once is inexcusable). That’s why I love the confidence that women often express in the statement, “I am a woman. What’s your superpower.” Face it guys – in so many ways we will never catch up.

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