I do not hate men.
Let me say it again, loudly and clearly, in case you missed it the first fifteen times. I DO NOT HATE MEN.
In fact, I love men! The ones I’m dating, the ones I’m related to, the ones I’m friends with. There are lots of men I love in lots of different ways. I identify as a feminist because I believe in equal rights and equal treatment for all genders. Let me reiterate this a third time. I. Do. Not. Hate. Men!
What I will readily admit is that I am afraid of all men, until I know them well enough to be reasonably sure there’s nothing to be afraid of. And, contrary to much popular belief, fear and hatred are not even remotely close to being the same thing.
I do not hate men. I am frightened of men. And I know I am not even close to being alone in this.
“But you don’t have to be afraid of me! I’m a Nice Guy!”
Yes, you very well might be. You’ve probably never deliberately harmed a woman in your life. You believe in consent and equality and all that stuff. You might very well be a perfectly wonderful human being. So why, you ask (and it’s a reasonable question) am I afraid of you simply because you have a penis?
In short, it’s because I don’t know you’re safe until you prove it. Contrary to what you might think, rapists and predators don’t come with a glaring neon sign above their heads. What makes them so dangerous is the fact that they look and act just like you. They’re not slathering beasts stalking around dark alleyways. They have friends and jobs. Some of them have wives, girlfriends, children.
This is what makes them so dangerous.
To our eyes, when we first meet you, Potential Rapist and Perfectly Nice Guy look exactly the same. We don’t know which one you are, and it’s often much safer to assume the former until we have reasonable evidence to suggest the latter.
The thing is, if you are indeed a perfectly nice person, YOU know with absolute certainty that you have no intention of hurting me. What you have to understand is that I have no way of knowing that.
A close male friend said to me recently something like “the look in your eyes when you think I’m going to hurt you breaks my heart.”
Is it unfair that you, as a man, have to prove yourself Not A Rapist before lots of women will trust you? Yes, it probably is. But it’s not because we’re horrible misandrists or actually think all men are evil. It’s not because there’s some Grand Feminist Conspiracy to keep you from getting laid. It’s because bitter experience has taught us not to trust too soon, too easily.
The fact that you – most likely – do not have that bitter experience is a manifestation of the male privilege society awards you. Please check it. Please don’t tell women they’re oppressing you by being initially wary of you. Please understand we do not hate you.
I wouldn’t be wary of letting a male friend anywhere (emotionally or physically) close to me, if someone hadn’t once pretended to be my friend, just to later decide I owed him sex and abandon me when it wasn’t forthcoming. I wouldn’t be quite so terrified of relationships with men if someone hadn’t raped me repeatedly as a symbol of ownership, and then told me that having had consensual sex with another man made me worthless to him. I wouldn’t assume you don’t give a damn about me as a person and are only after a piece of Hot Blonde 22 Year Old if so many people hadn’t proven exactly that to be true.
I guess what I’m saying is please don’t blame the women who are wary of you. Blame the men who made us that way.
 Term borrowed from Cliff Pervocracy. Read the full article here.
[2[ Quoted with permission.