Michael Eriksson
A Swede in Germany
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Perceived fears, threats, disrespect

Original discussion

When reading what feminists (and often women in general) themselves write, it is clear that many of the problems they have are rooted in perception, typically with no connection with reality. In many ways they are building their own prisons, creating artificial enemies, attacking wind-mills that they confuse with giants, ... No wonder that feminism has something Don Quixote-ian about it.

They fear that they will be jumped in a parking garage, and wish for women-only garages to combat this—without having any true reason to actually expect being jumped (a case in pointe; and men can be attacked, beaten, robbed, in a parking garage too). They fear that their SO will hit them, and file DV charges based on that fear—where very few men actually would do anything. They feel patronized, and cry “sexism”—without having an objective check on what the counter-part actually meant. They think that a professor putting his hand on a shoulder is an attempt to feel them up, and file sexual harassment charges—where the hand was just an attempt at conveying friendliness. (So they even strike down a Samaritane or a helpful hotel employeee.) They assume that men are out to oppress women, and paint men as evil—while there is no such conspiracy. They think that sex is about power to men, and build an entire ideology around this confusion—and fail to see that, to the average man, sex is just sex. Etc.

Once in a blue moon, they are right; but that does not justify behaving as if the event was pre-determined—a fear is just a fear. Even trying to do so would do more damage in the long run than taking the odd minor risk. Unfortunately, this is a part of what is happening. Worse, it may even be that such behaviours cause a vicious circle, where one woman’s complaint of fear scares two others, who start to complain about fear, ... It would not hurt to read up on Mass hysteriaw.

I too am nervous when I walk through an unlit park at night—this is normal: Humans have had reasons to fear the dark for ages. I too perceive slights—but I stop to think about what could actually be meant, if I could have misunderstood or over-interpreted. I too have the occasional feeling of being discriminated against—but I try to look objectively at the facts and consider whether I am just being a sore loser. I do not stand up and demand that the world should change to accommodate my feelings and perceptions—I try to argue for changes based on actual experiences, actual facts, actual statistics, actual reasoning, actual arguments.


As the reader of other parts of this website will have noticed, I have strong negative opinions about the way the world works and feel that this way has caused me many disadvantages. However, unlike so many women, I do not think that the world (women, extraverts, nitwits, ...) is out to get me. Instead, I understand that the problems almost always lie in a mixture of the non-malicious incompetence of others, natural differences between different people (e.g. the extraverted majority and the intraverted minority; with consequences ranging from different priorities to misunderstandings to the odd case of personal dislike), and my own faults.

A few words to the wise:

Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.

Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will...


Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.


A fanatic is a [wo]man who consciously over-compensates a secret doubt.

(Aldous Huxleye)

In addition, it may be a good idea to keep the stories about chicken littlew and the boy who cried wolfw in mind (note that even deliberate lies were no prerequisite for that scenario—being wrong often enough would also do the trick).

A particular complication with the above is that women tend to not discuss problems with the people they perceive as problematic (thereby removing any possibility that these will become aware of the problem and have a chance to adapt, clarify misunderstandings, whatnot), instead they talk to everyone else and/or build an internal pressure to the point of explosion—the explosion often being the first sign that the “offender” has of something being wrong.

A specific example is perceived sexual harassment: In my readings of forums, I have repeatedly come across the case of a woman asking for advice on how to handle this. In most cases it has been comparatively harmless issues (e.g. unwelcome flirting); and in almost all, a first, self-evident step, would have been to talk to the alleged harasser. Alas, this is very rarely the advice given. OTOH, “advice” that she should immediately talk to his, or her own, superior is abundant—without regard for the inherent unfairness (he may not even be aware that his activities are unwelcome), the disproportionate risk this has to his career (in the wrong company, this could lead a firing; even in a normal company, it can be a spot on the vest), and the risk it has to her career (she may look foolish or over-sensitive in the eyes of the superior; and should she happen to complain about the wrong person...)


Sexual harassment, be it objectively true or just perceived, is an area where particular caution should be taken. For one thing, it is not justifiable to crucify someone over what is often a misunderstanding or a difference in communicational style. For another, most of these events are so trivial that it is best to let them slide. Short of acts that are criminal per se (without adding a sexual or sexist angle), they should never, ever, be escalated before an attempt at discussion has been made.

Beware that men are also exposed to e.g. “unwelcome attentions”: I once had a less-than-attractive female colleague who, during the many lunch-hours we sat next to each other, pressed her legs against mine in a way that went beyond both casual flirting and possible accidental touch—I let this slide, because it did me no harm. I have repeatedly had older women (and a few men) touch me in a clearly inappropriate manner with their hands—I let this slide, because it did me little harm, and may have been a rare thrill for them. I have had many sales people, managers, and the like, pat me on the shoulders or (upper) back with such intensity that it was both intrusive and annoying—I let this slide, because sometimes diplomacy is better, and because sales people will remain sales people.

When a behaviour does harm or when the quantity gets out of hand, then it should not be allowed to slide; however, these cases form a small minority—and the first discussion should always be taken directly with the other party.

In the same manner, it is not uncommon for a negative behaviour to be misinterpreted as, e.g., sexist. I have often seen cases of women complaining about a certain “sexist” behaviour in a superior, civil servant, customer service, whatnot, that I, as a man, have been subjected to often enough to know that is a general problem of incompetence, bad attitude, or similar—not sexism. That a male superior treats a female employee like shit does not automatically make him sexist—no matter how wrong the behaviour, in and by it self, may be. The pertinent question: How would a member of the opposite sex, all other factors equal, be treated in the same situation? More often than not, the answer is either “the same” or “even worse”.

Worse, it is far from unheard of that non-negative behaviour is interpreted as negative or that someone else (typically a man) is blamed for something a woman has only her self to blame for—which is then often additionally given a sexist, male chauvinist, whatnot, attribution by the woman in question. To take a specific example (also illustrating parts of the above discussion of sexual harassment): During a company party, I sat at a bar with a female colleague. The bar-stools where very large, rotatable, and consisted of just a circular seat (no back, no arm rests). For support, I placed one hand on the seat of her chair, but several decimeters from her behind. During the course of some five minutes, she squirmed around on her chair, causing it to rotate roughly half-a-lap and her position relative the seat to change accordingly—and because my hand had the same absolute position on the seat, her behind eventually came into contact with my hand. She now complained that I should keep my hands away from her—despite her (inborn or alcohol induced) clumsiness and lack of awareness of her own movements having caused the situation.

Some of these behaviours can likely be traced back to projection, that women have a certain feeling/behaviour/whatnot and assume that men have to. Consider “objectification”: A common female complaint is that men would view them as sex objects, objectify women, or similar. Yet, there are many women who seem to view their children, at least under a certain age, as objects, toys, or similar. Certainly, most women tend to use the de-personalizing “my child” over “my son”/“my daughter”. In the same way, I have repeatedly heard men complain that their girlfriends would treat them like objects, e.g. as accessories to be seen with, dolls to dress up, a machine to fix this or that problem with the house, or, obviously, wallets to empty.

Similarly, “shaming language” could be caused by the fears of a woman, e.g. “[unconsciously] I cannot get a man; [consciously] my opponent cannot get a girl.”. Whether this is caused by projection or by a wish to do maximal emotional damage is unclear, however. The latter amounts to “This is something that I fear greatly, and if anyone were to belittle me in this regard, I would be devastated; ergo, I belittle my opponent to see him suffer the same.” (the hitch being that men and women tend to have somewhat different fears, and men to be less vulnerable to verbal attacks).


More generally, I have found that people tend to expect others to behave like they, themselves, do. Looking at myself, I have often been extremely naive when people have lied to me, where intrigues have been occurring, and similar, because lies and intrigues are comparatively foreign to me—I do lie on occasion, but I do so rarely, I tend to stick with white lies, and I often feel bad about it. This while I, ironically, seem to have been considered an intrigant by several colleagues of old, in particular at E4... It will be no surprise that these colleagues were themselves actual intrigants—and expected others to be so too. No, when I speak up against your idea, it is because I find fault with the idea—not because I want to gain advantages on your cost, not because I dislike you personally, and not to seek to revenge myself for something-or-other.

Addendum on me and my father

As has later occurred to me, there are strong parallels between fear of domestic violence (incidentally, DV has more female than male perpetrators and more male than female victims according to modern statistics—and contrary to popular prejudice and feminist propaganda) and my own, some-time, fear of my father when I was a child:

My father can grow very, very angry, when the universe is in an obstructive mood (e.g. resulting in a long streak of bad luck at the card-game Uno). As a child, I was often fearful in such situations; sometimes bordering on the terrified, even regularly cheating in order to lose (!) and thereby avoid having my teeth knocked out... This fear, however, was entirely unfounded: In my entire life, he has never hit or hurt me—even when in the severest mood. Neither can I recall him ever threatening to do so; on the contrary, despite his mood, I would describe him as unusually kind and pacifistic (for want of a better word). To the best of my knowledge, the same applies to his behaviour towards the rest of humankind (in particular, my mother and sister).

Correspondingly, these fears, no matter how real to the child me, where entirely unfounded and unfair.

As a contrast, I point to my maternal grand-mother, who was quite prone to use physical force of various kinds to get her way, including holding me down so I could not move on several occasions, being in hair-pulling contests with my sister, and not thinking twice about the type of grip which is suitable to move an unruly or obstinate child out of the way/in the right direction. With hindsight, she had a strong streak of bully in her—when she had the occasion, which for a 1.65 m tall grand-mother was not a common occurrence. My father was a barking dog who never bit; my grand-mother a biting dog who never barked.

For further perspective, consider my mother when playing games: When winning she invariably teases the losing parties in a manner that is both lacking in sportsmanship and proof of being a “poor winner”. Further, in the light of my father’s (and, later, my own) temper and reactions, she must be considered deliberately hurtful.