It’s not that we’re intimidated, You’re just a bitch

Posted: June 19, 2009 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,
Kneel before my fabulousness, swine!

Kneel before my fabulousness, swine!

Ask any single educated black woman who wants to be unsingle, and there’s a 50% chance (unscientific) she will say the following:

“Men are intimidated by me.”

She could be five foot even or six foot twelve, 90 pounds or three hundred, but chances are good you’ll hear some variation of this trend as reason why guys are

1. Not hollering at her

2. Not staying in a relationship with her.

This gets particularly touchy as you go up the professional and educational ladder. I’d venture by the time you hit 120k/yr. or a JD, the number in my first claim goes from 50% to say, 85%. Hate to bust your bubble, ladies, we’re not intimidated by about 90% of you.

Halle Berry, Oscar winning actress, millionaire, consistently voted one of the world’s mot beautiful people; maybe a little intimidated at stepping to you.

Beyonce, million selling artist, workaholic, wife of millionaire former crack dealer who stabbed a man in a nightclub; perhaps we feel like we should get our weight up before taking a run at wresting you away from the jiggaman.

Average looking late 20’s to early 30’s mid career professional with a Master’s degree from a top ten school; enh, not so much.

See, here’s the thing. Men are typically attracted to beauty, will pursue positivity, and will keep a partner. It’s really that simple. Next time you’re in a social setting, take a look around. You’ll see all the guys checking out the hottest women at the place. But you won’t necessarily see these women have the most conversations. You’ll see the women who are laughing, smiling, and flirting doing that. And the women who are holding hands with their Sig O? They’re usually the ones that have held their dudes down.

So maybe your ravishing beauty is what’s keeping guys away. You’re so good looking that men just feel you’re out of their league. You must be able to do so much better than them, so why bother even trying? Wrong. After a couple of Hennessy and Cokes, most guys don’t have a single inhibition at macking to the best looking girl in the world. When I was sixteen, I went hard at Idalis in LA. Sober. And this was back when she was hot. Like on MTV err’ day lookin’ right hot.

Ey guhl! What yo name iuh?

"Ey guhl! What yo' name iuh?"

And I was getting ready to be a junior in high school. I didn’t have a drivers’ license for fuck’s sake. But I wasn’t intimidated in the least. Because she was really friendly and sweet. This might have also been because I was somewhat non-threatening being all underage and shit, but at the end of the day, how people react to you is in direct proportion to how you make them feel. When you make them feel good about you and themselves, they will respond positively to you.

You see, the reason people don’t respond positively to you isn’t because they’re intimidated by you. It’s because your bearing, your disposition, or your conversation doesn’t make us feel good. Simple as that. Now, I know you want to believe that it’s your job that has us shook. Or your impressive array of degrees. but these don’t really turn off most dudes. What does turn us off is when you use these admirable achievements to puff yourself up or to try to raise yourself above others because of them. No one likes feeling that someone else is looking down on them. This is especially true when it comes to education and career. People are invested in these aspects of their life, both timewise and emotionally. If you spend 50 hours a week at your job and at least four years at a particular school, you’re not really going to take kindly to someone putting themselves on a pedestal because the school they went to or the company they work for is arguably superior to yours. So if you think your problem is that you intimidate men, it’s probably not. It’s that you don’t make men feel good. Some tips:

1. Check the mirror: Ask yourself seriously whether or not you make others feel good? Do you give off a positive vibe? Are you supportive of people? If not, well, hey, you get back what you put out.

2. Pride goeth before the fall: Yes, you should be proud of your accomplishments. They’re great. But no one needs endless repetition of how great you are because you do xxxx or went to xxxx. You don’t need to constantly prove that you’re worthy because of these things and when you do, you come off as an insecure douchebag. They’re not the bellweather of who you are. That Stanford degree won’t cook a steak or suck a good dick or give a fine backrub after a tough day.

3. Drive slow, homey: I have a friend who’s finishing up a residency at Harvard Medical. She calls her school the H-bomb because when a lot of guys hear that, they immediately think their resume isn’t up to snuff. I feel bad for her on one hand, but she also does a great job of not making it the focus of who she is. And as such, she’s able to de-escalate a lot of these potential issues because she doesn’t overplay the Harvard hand and she doesn’t lord it over anybody. If anything, she often makes fun of the arrogance of a lot of Harvard people. If she can be chill about her accomplishments, you with the Bachelor’s from the mid-pack state school? You really need to cool the fuck out.

4. Take the armor off: Look, it’s a cold world out there. Everyone knows it. You face rejection and unkindness every day. That’s no excuse to be a twat. Too many people (men and women) try to use very superficial things to give themselves self-confidence and make them feel better about their lives. Phrases like “I’m always in VIP,” “Oh, I don’t wait in lines to get in the club,” “Isn’t that last year’s model?” etc, are just some examples of douchey things people say to try to elevate their status and give themselves a level of protection against being thought of as less. Please quit.

5. Get off the entitlement train: Because you went to x, you deserve x. Because you work at x, you deserve x. Becuse you wear x, you deserve x. Enh. I said it before, I’ll say it again: Part of the problem is that people think you get what they deserve. You don’t. You get what you work, hustle, cheat, steal, and strong-arm for, and then you still usually have to rely on some luck to get it done. So yes, you’re good looking, went to a great school, and have a great job. That does not make you princess of the world, so expecting everyone to wait hand and foot on you because of your looks or pedigree isn’t going to get you a lot but looks of disgust from most people. Especially when you run into someone whose track record is tighter than yours (you will). Humility is really attractive.

Caveat: Most of this advice actually applies to both sexes. That means it’s unisex. Like cKOne or something. Y’all remember cKOne? That was the hot shit in like ’93

Not douchey!

Not douchey!

Jee, she seems like shed be nice to talk to

Jee, she seems like she'd be nice to talk to

Damn you David Bowie!

Damn you David Bowie!

Comments
  1. tulani says:

    women are to bitchy what men are to over confident, cocky and arrogant. we’re over it too. good call though.

  2. TheSweetestThing says:

    So, do they make a man that is intimidted my the average 20-30 YO woman?

  3. TheSweetestThing says:

    So, do they make a man that IS intimidated by the average 20-30 YO woman?

  4. Does who make one? Chrysler? I’m not sure I understand your question.

  5. Reina says:

    *goes to check mirror to see if this applies to me*

    Naw, I’m good. LOL

    Truth that I acknowledge and will repeat to an associate or two (and myself). It’s easier to find fault (insecurity causing intimidation) in others than it is to look in the mirror & discover the real reason we’re home alone on a Friday night. Why admit a flaw in ourselves when we can demean another? Make yourself feel better and convince yourself that the permanent scowl on your face isn’t why that guy refused to approach.

    How would one know they’re only average looking anyway?

    But…

    You did recognize that 10% ARE intimidating?

    Hmm.

    Great post.

  6. @reina:

    I give credit where it’s due.

  7. Eh…

    I think when all things are equal this is true, but I’ve seen one to many conversations go like this to know there are (some) men who are intimidated by what you refer to as an “impressive array of degrees:”

    guy: I saw you standing over hee fro across the room and I thought I’d say hi..

    girl: Hi, I’m x and you..

    guy: I’m x –

    Fast forward…more small talk things are going well..

    girl: So what do you do…

    guy: I do xyz..and you…

    girl: I’m getting my PhD

    guy: Oh really…that’s nice…

    Several beats of awkward silence later..

    guy: Well it was nice talkig to you…maybe I will c you around some time…

    girl: okay..you too

    – End convo –

    I’ve seen it go down A LOT. Insert any Ive league school where PhD is and I’ve seen it be a conversation iller with a guy who was obviously interested up to that point.

    It’s like if the guy isn’t of the same “pedigree” if you will he doesn’t even try to entertain chick…there are still plenty of men who aren’t okay with a woman being more successful than him and she doesn’t have to be the one who is bringing that ish up all the time.

    So yes and no to the intimidation factor.

    There are a lot of women who use that as a crutch to explain their dating woes, but there are those who have legitimate concerns as well.

  8. pardon my typos I think faster than I type

  9. I hate it when people come up with well-reasoned and fair rebuttals to my tirades. Very well, Butt, I’ll allow that this may happen. Occasionally.

  10. DayDreamer says:

    I agree with you Brandon, it is ALLLL about how women come across to men; hell, and period really. Positivity breeds positivity and the reverse is true as well. I can’t tell you much of a difference ex-ing my bad attitude or ‘no one wants me bc’ attitude has made such a difference. Just responding with a nice smile and hello to the corner guys makes them out to be much nicer. They really just want attention, I’d never indulge, btw. Anyway, yea The Single Black Woman does have a point though. BUT the Girl X in her example should not see that as a reflection upon her. His intimidation is more about his inadequacies than her stellar achievements. 🙂

  11. @Brandon St. Randy

    LOL.

    I’m sorry:-(

  12. miko says:

    i firmly do NOT believe a grown ass man can be intimidated by a woman. there is absolutely nothing intimidating about women, at least, not so much that men wouldn’t still be able to rule the world as they do. every time I have been rejected by a dude at the bar or the club or whatever (which has happened a good number of times), I don’t think something is wrong with him or that I must have intimidated him. I just conclude – rightly – that he’s just not that into me. He does not find me attractive. Or he had a closer look and realised I’m not what he’s looking for.

    and I am also getting a PhD at an Ivy League institution.

    In my opinion simply being unattractive to someone and actually intimidating someone are not the same thing but black women often conflate the two to feel better about themselves. When a man knows, he knows. and if it wasn’t you, it wasn’t you. period. it doesn’t make you intimidating to someone, it just makes you unattractive to someone.

    plus pretty much every guy I know with a PhD himself married a woman who never went to college. the laws of attraction are not usually as predictable as we think (past the light-skin/dark-skin thing, that is).

  13. Phd-Bound says:

    Brandon,

    What an interesting post. I both agree and disagree with varying points throughout your post (as well as the comments). I have an undergraduate degree in Economics from a top-ten institution. I. Am. Beautiful. And I am currently pursuing my Phd.

    I must admit that miss “Single Black Woman’s” scenario has been my own on far too many occasions. I tell a guy I am working towards my Phd and he says “wow, that’s cool” and doesn’t seem interested any more. I have no clue why, and I choose not to concern myself with this question as it doesn’t concern me. I also, however, agree with “Miko” when he states that the laws of attraction (if they exist!) are far more nuanced and complex than we can possibly imagine.

    Discussing my own situation (about which I am eternally positive) is not why I am responding to your post. I chose to write back because of the following words that arrested my attention:

    “how people react to you is in direct proportion to how you make them feel. When you make them feel good about you and themselves, they will respond positively to you.”

    I will give you credit for stating at the end that your advice can be applied to all genders. I find your advice curious though for a several of reasons. Your entire post is not directed at both genders. It is aimed directly towards women (I will presume women of African descent). This robs those words at the end of your post of their meaning. I also find these words to be inherently contradictory, as the title of this post reads:

    “It’s not that we’re intimidated, You’re just a bitch”

    I understand that this is a blog and where you have to balance several (perhaps competing goals). Your apparent ease with labeling women with this awful and derogatory term would suggest that men in fact, do not have to follow this advice of emanating positivity and “making the other person feel good about themselves.” At the very least, you do not have to follow this advice.

    This brings me to my third and final point and I will phrase it in the interrogative. First, it is worth teasing out some of the advice you give. You recommend that these high-achieving, (implicitly) cold and bitchy women put forth more positivity and make men feel good about themselves. And the way you put both of these in the same sentence almost conflates the two, as if they were one and the same. Yet, They are not (although they can be done simultaneously).

    This is not, however, my point. What I wish to know is: Why should a woman need to make a man feel good about himself”? More to the point, Why should a woman who is unacquainted with a certain male individual need to make him feel good about himself? It seems to me that support is something available to give and receive once two people know a few things about each and actually have a relationship. And this does not have to be official as two people who are only distant acquaintances can still be supportive of each other.

    In the situation you address, where two people meet each other for the first time, you seem to suggest that the woman at the outset of the interaction make the man feel good about himself. This firmly supports an unequal balance of power as your post says nothing substantive of the male individual returning this gesture (which, is a bit much to ask during a first conversation). Yet, You insist on this point 3 times during your post.

    By emphasizing this point, and implying that professional, educated women are negative, cold “bitches”, you perpetuate the power dynamics and backwards, chauvinist, sexist systems of interaction that so many women have worked diligently to reverse.

    No woman, or human being, for that matter, exists to make a male, “feel good about himself”. If we are partner’s/couple, and there is a relationship, this is perhaps both implied and expected.

    In my opinion, a woman should scowl from time to time. My question to you is, why is it that if she scowls or if she is upset, she is a bitch? Could it be that she had a hard day at work? Could it be that her male boss made an inappropriate advance? In my opinion, entitlement (can) and should be used. It is a strategy for making it in a world where we were not meant to survive any way. (That goes for men of color too). And I do not advise taking that armor off. Because I cannot go into my place of work without SOMEONE looking at me as though I do not belong there. I cannot turn on the television without having a stereotype of my own body looking back at me. As I said before, we were not meant to survive. Excuse my platitudes, but life is full of ups and downs and no one can exude a relentless positivity at all times. And you know as well as I do that everyone tries to put on their best when they go out. And Trust, women as know what they want, and they will let go of the armor for the right guy!

    By failing addressing to dysfunctional histories of relationship dynamics between men and women of color, (which would take into account a host of other social and economic factors) you miss many components of the difficulties faced by BOTH parties. Most importantly, FAILING (completely) to address the racisms and other obstacles that both men and women of color face on a daily basis as they rise is unacceptable.

    While I applaud the spirit of your post, I believe that there are many women who would disagree with both your analysis of the situation (woman as bitch, ready to fight a way) and your recommendations.

  14. More Than Meets the eye says:

    I concur and co-sign with most of what PhD Bound said and I am a young single black female, I have no reservations in revealing so. According to this post, some women simply come off as aloof,detached or ‘bitchy’ if they do not flirt,make eye contact engage in small talk when a guy approaches BUT if she really isnt interested then i see no reason for a woman to go through the motions as though they were manditory. TRUST ME women have no problem reciprocating to the flirting etc when they are genuinly interested so it is rather as so not to mislead men that they dont not adhere to any kind of front when they aren’t, no matter how preferable it may seem for the male ego,they’re actually just being honest.

    Also i dont know about you but in terms of looking approachable i understand its nice to look warm and inviting but i dont know anyone who walks around with a constant smile on thier face readily randomly staring into the faces of men! these are things that can leave one vulnerable and a certain degree of defence/reservation is necessery in the kind of word we live in. I do not however condone anyone having a ‘woe is me’ demeaner and walking around like the world owes them a favour with a chip on thier shoulder. Smiles can always be given where due though 🙂

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