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lionsThis picture made me laugh. I do love lions. In our perfectly balanced equalitarian natural world, male lions tend to sleep about 20 hours a day while female lions hunt. For those who believe lions should be removed from the animal kingdom entirely due to their lack of political correctness, there’s always the Bonobos. Feminists and some evolutionary psychologists are rather fond of the Bonobos because they perceive them to belong to a female dominated matriarchy. Coincidentally, they also happen to be on the endangered species list.Β  I should note here that Bonobos are also resistant to the simian immunodeficiency virus, which is really only relevant in discussions involving people having evolved from monkeys.

So are women scary? Yes, I suspect we are, we can be anyway. Something that seems to be a bit different however, women rarely realize we’re scary. Seriously, for all the talk of strong, empowered women, biology still intrudes and we grow up with an awareness that we are smaller, weaker, and not terribly threatening. We rarely engage in games of bluster and bravado, so we seldom gain any recognition of our own power. I have observed women rushing a small animal, “oh, look at that precious little thing,” with absolutely no awareness of how intimidating we must appear. The poor thing is cowering in fear and horror and we just think it needs us to comfort it. “Oh, it’s scared!” Well gee, I wonder why.

I remember when the kids were young, a few times the sisters would try to terrorize their brother. Frequently they would say, “he’s not scared of us, he’s a boy!” Well, at that time he was a boy that weighed about 60 pounds and was barely 3 feet tall. Also, you girls are five-ten years older. Like hello! You can physically intimidate somebody smaller than you, regardless of gender. No, he’s not squealing because he enjoys it. You are actually scaring him.

Boys grow up with a much better awareness of their own intimidation factor. Not all of course, there’s always a few that evolution seems to have left behind and natural selection has abandoned, but for the most part, men are much more aware of themselves physically than women are. Being perceived as scary can come in handy, so let’s not knock that entirely, it’s just that it’s really rather awful to have people frightened of you for no reason. People are very social creatures, so having the villagers flee in terror is not quite the response most of us are going for.

We are living in a culture right now that seems to be working very hard to portray all men as bad, evil, scary, potentially dangerous, rapists, pedophiles. Be afraid, be very afraid and make sure you are armed with all your rape prevention tips, your pepper spray, and lots and lots of laws to regulate male behavior so you always have back up. That just strikes me as incredibly sad. No one really wants to be perceived as scary when they aren’t trying to be scary.

Kind of ironic, one thing women really don’t like, is men being afraid of us. In fact, one thing that often attracts us to men, is evidence that they do not fear us. If you observe women’s behavior, we tend do everything we can to appear as non threatening as possible. That really is what all those trappings of femininity are often about, presenting ourselves as physically non intimidating.

That attraction to men who don’t fear us is also a rather amazing built in fail safe. Men who are scared, insecure, feeling threatened, are actually potentially dangerous to women and we recognize this on some level, because generally those are the men we do not feel as attracted to. So, if she thinks you’re scared, insecure, or that she has the power to intimidate you, you could be the nicest guy in the world, but she’s unlikely to read it that way.

Biology is really a remarkable thing. This push to make women more like men, more dominant, more intimidating, more powerful, has consequences. I’m all for women having rights, safety, opportunity, but when we start to stake claims to ALL the power, as we are seeing in the western world, it throws the whole equation out of whack.Β  Men wind up afraid of us and women wind up unhappy.