This is rewritten from a post I made on /r/LeftWingMaleAdvocates
I won't lie, I'm not as big of a fan of this version. but I was asked that I remove a lot of the more personal stuff to fit the form of a CMV post. So here we go.
Feminist shaming tactics needlessly cause lasting sexual repression or guilt in a subset of men most sympathetic to feminist concerns.
There are numerous people who have said as much. Here are some of their stories.
I’m a woman. I’m gay. By the time I realized that second thing, I’d internalized that all attraction to women was objectifying and therefore evil. I spent years of my life convinced that it was coercive to make it clear to girls that I wanted to date them, lest they feel pressured. So I could only ask them out with a clear conscience if I was in fact totally indifferent to their answer. I still decide I’m abusive pretty frequently, on the basis of things like ‘i want to kiss her, which is what an abuser would want’ and 'i want to be special to her, which is what an abuser would want’.
I internalized these messages from exposure to feminist memes, norms, and communities. It was feminist messages, not homophobic ones, that made it hardest for me to come to terms with my sexuality. It wasn’t intentional. But it happened. And it has happened by now to enough people that 'well obviously you’re misinterpreting it’ is starting to wear thin as an excuse. Lots and lots of people are misinterpreting the way I did. By and large, we’re vulnerable people. Very often we’re mentally ill or disabled people.
Here’s the thing: I spent my formative years—basically, from the age of 12 until my mid-20s—feeling not “entitled,” not “privileged,” but terrified. I was terrified that one of my female classmates would somehow find out that I sexually desired her, and that the instant she did, I would be scorned, laughed at, called a creep and a weirdo, maybe even expelled from school or sent to prison. And furthermore, that the people who did these things to me would somehow be morally right to do them—even if I couldn’t understand how.
You can call that my personal psychological problem if you want, but it was strongly reinforced by everything I picked up from my environment: to take one example, the sexual-assault prevention workshops we had to attend regularly as undergrads, with their endless lists of all the forms of human interaction that “might be” sexual harassment or assault, and their refusal, ever, to specify anything that definitely wouldn’t be sexual harassment or assault. I left each of those workshops with enough fresh paranoia and self-hatred to last me through another year.
Feminism can exacerbate a man’s shyness, anxiety, self-consciousness, and guilt exactly because he is working very hard not to be sexist, and because he is sympathetic to feminism. Just as some workers, even conscientious ones, have trouble getting work done out of a perfectionistic fear of making mistakes, some men, even pro-feminist men or proto-feminist men, have trouble interacting with women out of a fear of making what feminism defines as mistakes (it doesn’t help that feminism’s criteria for acceptable behavior and so ambiguous and vague, and fail to clearly distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable behavior, but that’s a whole different post).
And to sum them all up. A quote about all three. https://slatestarcodex.com/2015/01/01/untitled/
Scott Aaronson is a straight guy, and he’s saying feminist shaming tactics have made it worse. I’m an asexual heteroromantic guy, and I’m telling her feminist shaming tactics have made it worse. Unitofcaring is a lesbian woman, and she’s saying feminist shaming tactics have made it worse. HughRistik, who is some sort of weird metrosexual something (I mock him because I love him), is telling her feminist shaming tactics have made it worse. A giant cry has arisen from shy awkward men, lesbians, bisexuals, whatever of the world is saying “NO, SERIOUSLY, FEMINIST SHAMING TACTICS ARE MAKING THIS WORSE”
I internalized this shaming for years and it pushed me into a number of abusive and manipulative "friendships" with people who used me. Because all we're left with for ways to express interest is being nice or being deceptive.
(This probably wasn't the intended result, but I have never seen the people teaching these classes offer a disclaimer that men weren't the enemy or that male sexuality wasn't horrible, or that women weren't the victim.)
And who wouldn't internalize it in my shoes? These people were academic authorities, sounding so self-assured and believable, with scientific-sounding arguments and fire in their eyes.
On top of this. Men shoulder almost the entirety of social pressure to approach and initiate. We're not given a manual on how to do this. So it's going to be awkward sometimes. Please don't hate us or shame us for that.
as a guy we don't get the luxury to wait on the sidelines for someone to approach us. For the most part girls will not initiate dates or ask us out or approach first
So if we don't want to be alone. we have to approach and initiate. And we have to do so right off the bat. Lest we be seen "hiding our intentions"
That constant rejection shit grinds us down. And some guys don't react well after dealing with that. and lash out. And I'm sorry for that. But it's not like we want it to be this way.
In a more egalitarian society this imbalance wouldn't exist. Women wouldn't feel restrained for whatever reason to not openly express their interest and men wouldn't feel the constant need to always have this "i have to impress the girl" mode on.