How Misguided Feminism Prevents Relationships

May 6th, 2010 by Pelle Billing

Do men avoid dating successful women? It certainly seems to be a common perception, and British writer Zoe Lewis is so sure of the phenomenon that she claims to understand why men won’t date successful women. According to Lewis, one of her former boyfriends explicitly broke up with her due to her intelligence and professional success:

He told me that he just didn’t want to go out with a woman who was clever and successful. He said it meant that I could never let any discussion go, or concede a flawed argument; I had to solve problems when they arose, and would argue political points with him.

Apparently Zoe Lewis cannot take a hint. The problem quite obviously was not her intelligence nor her success, but the fact that she would never let any discussion go or concede a flawed argument. That kind of behavior has nothing to do with being clever or successful, it is simply the behavior of an obnoxious person!

Let us have a look at another of Lewis’ examples of how men supposedly cannot handle a strong woman:

I invited my new boyfriend to see me perform my one-woman show on stage in London. Before he walked in to the play, we were tactile and it struck me that I had high hopes for the relationship.

An hour later, after watching me on stage and then networking with a group of high-powered theatre people at the aftershow party, he became distant.

Of course he became distant! You invited him to come with you and then you proceeded to ignore him. If you wanted to be able to network freely then it would have been better not to bring a date. Why are you blaming him for becoming distant when you are the one who ignored him first?

The problem here is not that she is a strong and intelligent person, the problem is that she tries too hard to be strong and independent. A relationship cannot be about independence only, if it is, then there is no actual relating going on. How can you form a relationship without vulnerability and connecting to your partner?

Surpringly, Lewis seems to have grasped some of these insights, in spite of her inability to correctly interpret why men pull away from her:

Modern women have learned to regard men as the competition, in order to get ahead professionally. And while men can accept this female aggression in the workplace, they evidently can’t in relationships.

Why would you want to be aggressive towards a man you’re dating? And why would you expect men to accept female aggression in a relationship? These expectations are absurd, and I’m happy that you’ve finally figured out what should have been self-evident.

These days I try to focus less on the flaws of feminism, and more on the potential in educating people about men’s issues. However, in this case I cannot help but blame feminism. Why else would a woman have these strange ideas about relationships? Common sense tells us that being cold, argumentative and aggressive is a lousy strategy for having a nurturing relationship, and yet this seems to be exactly what the writer has pursued in her dating life.

Towards the end of her article, the writer comes up with the most odd quote of them all:

Men love vulnerable women. We need to accept that, just because we’ve changed, we can’t expect them to. I don’t think they can.

So we cannot expect men to start liking cold, argumentative and aggressive women? Wow, that is a surprise. Do you as a woman like men who are cold, argumentative and aggressive? If not, then why do you expect men to like that kind of behavior in you?

Personally, I believe that men and women (on average) have some different preferences when looking for a relationship. Men place more importance on looks and softness, and women on status and confidence. But there are a lot of similarities too, especially when looking for a long term mate. Men and women alike appreciate a partner who is warm, relaxed and not overtly aggressive.

How can these common sense insights have been lost? The only answer I can come up with is that misguided feminism has taught a generation of women that men are opponents and not allies. This insight makes me tremendously sad.

15 Responses to “How Misguided Feminism Prevents Relationships”

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  2. Paul Says:

    Reminds me of an article I read years ago (can’t for the life of me remember where though) that was on a similar track as this one. The author was claiming that men don’t like dating successful inteligent women. As an example she used a date she was on with a doctor who suddenly became very withdrawn an uncomfortable when she began having a conversation with the owner of the restaurant (apparently a friend of hers) in ITALIAN. In her mind she figured the good doctor didn’t like the fact that she could speak another language fluently, or something.

    Uh, no. He doesn’t like the fact that you’re having a conversation, with another man, in a language he doesn’t understand… on your date.

    It boggles the mind.

    Hell, even without that last part it would be incredibly rude.

  3. Zetamale Says:

    so true

    as ive said before, theres a difference between being strong, and being a bitch

  4. Jay R Says:

    “misguided feminism has taught a generation of women that men are opponents and not allies”

    It has also taught generations of men that women are opponents and not allies. You may have sex with your opponent — the more meaningless it is, the more degrading it is to the person you’re “doing it to” — but who wants an opponent for a life companion, after all? You can never trust your opponent.

    As the father of a beautiful 20-ish daughter who would love to be a wife and mother, but who is enmeshed in the ugliness, callousness, and disrespect of the current “dating” environment, this also makes me sad. It has also been making me mad since she was a baby, knowing this state of affairs would be inevitable due to feminism’s triumphant “victory.” Remember, feminists have made it clear that they don’t think the destruction of male-female relationships is a bad thing.

    Feminism is nothing more than a scheme to utilize relentless misandry in order to generate actual misogyny in men, and thus justify its continuing, cancerous existence.

  5. Klas Says:

    It is like she is trying to copy men, but for some reason she has chosen to copy men without social intelligence.

  6. hopeless_case Says:

    I think what makes Zoe Lewis’s observations problematic isn’t that a lot of women treat men like she does (I’d be suprised if most women who consider themselves feminists would be that callous toward men, let alone women generally), but that her argument is widely believed (and not just by feminists).

    There is a disconnect between people’s operating philosophies and their stated philosophies.

    I think the actual damage being done is more subtle than that. It is more along the lines of preventing clear thinking and encouraging misunderstanding between the sexes.

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  8. Lavazza Says:

    Here is some good advice to women who want a successful marriage:

  9. Lavazza Says:

    And here:

  10. Karyn Says:

    Thank you for writing this. As a woman, it was hard to read it. I took a bunch of “Women’s Studies” classes in the 80s in university. At such a young age, I had a hard time seeing through the negativity. I left university thinking men had been crushing women for most of history. And well, this isn’t untrue but the problem is that for today, for the present, in relationship with various partners, when one carries resentment like that, it makes for an unhealthy situation. Resentment breeds defensiveness and my take is that you are writing about some basic defensiveness and wall-building in women. We are afraid that if we are vulnerable all that horrible stuff in history will happen in our own personal lives.

    I have had several men ask me how to be men, how to be sexual with women without causes offense. And it breaks my heart. So much fear on the part of both men and women.

    So thank you for starting a conversation. It means progress is being made.

  11. hopeless_case Says:

    I left university thinking men had been crushing women for most of history. And well, this isn’t untrue but the problem is that for today, for the present, in relationship with various partners, when one carries resentment like that, it makes for an unhealthy situation

    Although I am about to take you to task, I really appreciate the honesty and goodwill with which you offer your comments.

    You still think that “this isn’t untrue”? You don’t fault the women’s studies classes for their view of history, only that women leave those classes with a burning resentment of men?

    I think part of the reason for that resentment is that view of history, which Pelle’s article is specifically refuting.

  12. Pelle Billing Says:


    Thank you for being open to reexamining your own beliefs. If you’re interested in challenging your beliefs further, I invite you to read more of my blog posts.

  13. JJ Says:

    Thank god I left the US. I’ve had so many terrible experiences with mean, rude, callous women who treated me like dirt. So many women who would not return phone calls, text messages, or even show up on pre-determined dates.

    Now I’m in Asia where most women are still ladies: feminine, sweet, nurturing and pleasant. Not to mention, most women here are not fat and poorly dressed like most American women.

    I hope to god the US falls and its influence (at least the feminism part) falters.

  14. Pelle Billing Says:


    I’ve heard other men say the same thing. I think this is what Farrell calls adolescent feminism. Where women feel a sense of entitlement but not responsibility for their actions.

    I hope it will pass, and I think it will. Men are adapting to feminism and in Sweden we are slowly seeing a return to more conservative values, such as marriage. In the meantime though, I think it’s perfectly reasonable for men to look elsewhere, if they cannot connect to women in their own country in a meaningful way.

  15. T. Rose Says:

    Well technically those Women’s Studies class aren’t wrong at all. Technically men have done all those things

    The only thing different and conveniently left out,is that the world has had bloody queens,and 99% of men were probably slaves anyway.

    Actually a little aggression wouldn’t be too horrible, so long as it isn’t forced and it is in said woman’s personality.Sort of like a frank,quiet relationship would be ideal for someone seeking a timid woman/man. Same dynamics apply to the desired workplace.

    It’s kind of saddening to see that this “third wave” “gender deconstruction” has made women even feel the need to always do something to appear intelligent and strong like anything else is weakness,it’s sickening irony. That final quote says it all,not to mention how it seems to imply men are supposed to be changed.

    It’s all so vile and disgusting