Social Question

mary84's avatar

Are men intimidated by strong women?

Asked by mary84 (570points) October 22nd, 2009
52 responses
“Great Question” (3points)

Yeah are men intimidated by strong women?
I don’t want to generalize or speak of “men” generically because I know people have different opinions and tastes, so don’t get angry with me lol, I just want to start a discussion. What is your opinion?
I, for one thing, is a very individual person (I am a female too) and not what you’d call “girly” and have a strong personality (or so people say). (I’m not saying I’m not feminine, I think I’m rather feminine, but not the girly type if you know what I mean.)
But I find that sometimes men seem to take a step back once they get to know me and see that I’m rather independent. I have also not been very lucky in love and relationships.

What do you think? Is a strong woman intimidating?

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Roory's avatar

Yes, they are… which is why usually you find very succesful women single… even in general, if a girl can do anything better than a guy, somehow guys will not like her as much!! I hate that, but it is true.

Darwin's avatar

To many guys they are, especially if the guy has any degree of uncertainty about himself. But not all men are turned off by strong females. Some prefer them, and some are content with their own personality and so don’t feel threatened by a strong woman.

There are weak men, you know, who are delighted by strong women. There are also strong men who see their partner as equal and so prefer a woman who will stand her ground.

MrItty's avatar

You’ve already answered your own question:

“I don’t want to generalize or speak of “men” generically because I know people have different opinions and tastes”.

That’s absolutely true. So some men are intimidated by strong women. Some men are not.

mary84's avatar


Duh – yeah. But I want to know what the men on Fluther think.

poisonedantidote's avatar

For quite a few I think this is the case, and for some it is the case that they are intimidated by all and any woman.

but personally, I like a strong personality, someone who has ambition and is strong. then again, this is just my prefferance, but really im easy, i like all women.

MrItty's avatar

@mary84 Okay, so your question is not “Are men intimidated by strong women?” but rather “Hey guys, are you intimidated by strong women?”. Is that correct?

Okay, my answer to that question is: No. All for it. I much prefer a woman who can take care of herself, emotionally and financially. Yeah it’s great to feel needed once in a while, but not to be depended upon at all times.

mary84's avatar

And for those who reply “yes” I am interesting in hearing why?

Because many times you hear people saying a strong woman is very attractive. But ultimately… I don’t know?

DarkScribe's avatar

Not at all. My wife is an extraordinarily strong woman – successful both academically and professionally although physically she is quite tiny. That aspect of her personality and character I find attractive. ( She is also gorgeous.) Before I met her nearly all the woman who I dated were very strong, confident, intelligent women. I find meek or subservient women off-putting

MrItty's avatar

@mary84 I can’t imagine any guy admitting “Yes” to this question. If you’re intimidated by strong women, you’re sure as hell not going to (in your mind) show weakness by admitting your intimidation by strong women to a strong woman.

dpworkin's avatar

I have never been attracted to a woman who has not been accomplished, independent and fierce, no matter how beautiful. I fell in love with my first wife only after I saw her work and realized what a unique and creative artist she was.

Facade's avatar

Weak men are. They want a woman they can control; you can’t control a strong woman.

CMaz's avatar

“you can’t control a strong woman.”

Unless you have the skills. ;-)

Sabotage82's avatar

No, they just get oppressed.

missingbite's avatar

I’m with @DarkScribe, I can’t stand meek or subservient women. I have dated women only to find out they wanted their life to be what mine was and it was a turn off. If anything, my GF is smarter and more outgoing than I am.

MrItty's avatar

@missingbite agreed. The two girlfriends with whom I had what I consider the best relationships are both significiantly more intelligent than me. One is a fellow software engineer, leading her development team. The other is a single mother putting herself through college for a degree in Mathematics, while working two jobs. Both wonderful women, who I loved very very much.

mattbrowne's avatar

Weak men are intimidated by strong women. Strong men are inspired by strong women. And vice versa of course.

Disc2021's avatar

Going off of statistics I’ve read/heard somewhere based off of some sociological study, generally, men tend to flock away from strong women. They’re used to the stereotypical “bread-winner” gender role. Control may or may not have something to do with it – but I think it’s mostly the idea that the male is brought up to have a strong sense of pride and being beat by a girl kind of destroys that entire foundation. Also, think of it as being over-qualified for a job.

I’m gay so I can’t really answer this question from a personal perspective. The gender roles are often vague or nonexistent. I think your best shot finding someone compatible is looking for a guy that transcends the whole idea of gender roles and has a more of an egalitarian view of a relationship. I’m in agreement with what’s been said – strong women should be attractive as well as strong men.

Two people that can respect that power unconditionally instead of constantly comparing and competing have something very special in my opinion.

drClaw's avatar

Some men are, some aren’t, while others are just scared of women in general.

wundayatta's avatar

I am not personally intimidated by strong women. I love them. They are much more interesting that women who want to remain in the background or who want to place their husbands in front. I am bringing my daughter (and my son) up to be independent and capable of being able to support themselves on their own. I want them to have the expectation that they can accomplish anything they set their minds to.

I don’t have expectations about gender roles. I don’t care who makes money or who stays home, for whatever reason. I think those decisions should have nothing to do with gender.

I have no idea what percent of men prefer so-called “traditional” roles. Honestly, I don’t care. I think there are plenty of men out there who love strong women, and if you think that being strong is keeping you from a good relationship, then I think you’re going about it the wrong way.

HGl3ee's avatar

My relationship, as I have talked about in other answers, is a Domme/submissive one. My parther loves the fact that I am a very strong, independant, authoritive and intelligent woman. But even though he would be looked at as weak by others, I have never viewed him in this light. I see him as being just as strong as I am for the fact he is so comfortable and secure in our relationship and life together that he happily let’s me take charge. He trusts me and knows that we both want the same thing for our lives; so he sits back and enjoys the ride while I power that ride. It’s a beautiful union of two opposites coming together like 2 pieces of a puzzle <3 I love him!

Okay enough babbling for me. – LB

proXXi's avatar

They make me hot!

Any strong woman want to strap on and demand I call her Daddy with my mouth full?

evegrimm's avatar

To me, it’s sort of an age/maturity level thing.

As men (and women) get older, we find that we don’t want someone with no backbone (or most people don’t).

Yet, as young people (HS and college age), society somewhat pressures us into gender roles—specifically, a weak woman and a strong man. Although I don’t agree with that at all, it is sometimes seen as the ideal (probably partly due to media).

It is only as we age and mature that we can move past this stereotype and into what we, ourselves, want.

Ria777's avatar

I don’t want to generalize or speak of “men” generically because I know people have different opinions and tastes, so don’t get angry with me lol, I just want to start a discussion. What is your opinion?

your question depends on making a generalization about what men do or don’t want, though.

mary84's avatar

@Ria777 as I said in my previous response to that statement/question; I am very very well aware that everyone is unique and has a different taste opinion etc and the reason I am asking is because I’ve had previous experiences of men backing off because (seemingly) I am too independent.

Since most people have actually answered the question I think most people understand what I mean to ask.

I should have asked “Why are SOME men intimidated by strong women” alright, but I typed the question in a bit of a hurry, sorry about that.

So alright: The question is then: Why are SOME men intimdated by strong women?


airowDee's avatar

I think the answer is clearly yes, this is probaby why so many men rush to say they are not intimidated by strong women. There seems to be this huge urge to defend one’s self against this stereotype. lol

Alot of people also can have different opinon on what a strong woman is, i dont think it has to do with whehter one is ambitious or not in terms of theri career choices, a woman can be strong without wanting to achieve any finanical/ employment success.

I think we need to first look at how we define “strong”, my mother is a strong woman who might not have achieved alot of work considered valuable by the society, but that does not mean she is not a strong woman.

gemiwing's avatar

This is a gross generalization- so caveat and all that.

Boys are intimidated by strong women. Men aren’t.

airowDee's avatar

the unfortunate thing is, boys seems to outnumber men in this society. lol.

HGl3ee's avatar

@proXXi – don’t tempt me >:D – LB

MrItty's avatar

@airowDee “think the answer is clearly yes, this is probaby why so many men rush to say they are not intimidated by strong women”

That’s just phenomenally terrible logic. You’ve essentially just proclaimed that every guy who answered “no” is a liar. When you start off by assuming you already know the answer, and anyone who gives you a contrary answer is lying, you’re really not going to get anywhere in the discussion.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

Not intimidating… but more of a turn off for me. I like classic feminine. Like a girl from the 20’s. But that’s just me.

MrItty's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater Unless you’re approaching 100, you have no idea what a “girl from the 20’s” is like.

airowDee's avatar

Sorry, Mritty!

It was a tongue and cheek comment, more like a Freudian slip I was inferring to , which is half true, half lies.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@MrItty Ok Mr./Mrs. technical. The idea of such a woman. Congratulations. You’re one of those people I can tell immediately that I wouldn’t get along with in real life. xD

mary84's avatar

lol @MrItty
@NaturalMineralWater I appreciate your honest reply very very much. Thank you!
However. Can you not be feminine and strong at the same time?

MrItty's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater Okay. So you want a Fantasy woman. I can understand that. I just thought we were talking about real people in this thread.

(and anyone who judges someone on their very first encounter enough to know they wouldn’t want to spend time with them, is not someone I’d want to spend time with either. So I think we’re good.)

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@mary84 Of course you can.. I just prefer a woman that leans toward sweet and feminine versus strong and feminine… if that makes sense.

@MrItty No offense intended. First impressions aren’t always correct.. You just pushed a peeve that’s all.

proXXi's avatar

@ElleBee. I’m a natural sub but dignified and poised.

Dr_C's avatar

I like women with strong personalities/convictions/sense of self, women who are independant and daring, intelligent and willful.

Having said that, women that are physically strong ( body-builder types/grave jones/insert name of muscular woman) scare the crap out of me.

HGl3ee's avatar

@proXXi absolutely nothing wrong with that ;)

rooeytoo's avatar

I have met many men who say they like strong women, and perhaps they do but the unspoken part of that phrase is “as long as they agree with me and defer to my judgement on matters of importance.”

Obviously not all men are like this, but a hell of a lot are. I describe myself as a general and life is never easy when you have 2 generals in charge of the same army.

lifeflame's avatar

I suppose this is another thread, but it made me think—well, do you really want to date a man who is weaker than you?

rooeytoo's avatar

@lifeflame – that is an interesting point. I think in life all people have their individual strengths and weaknesses. In an ideal relationship, the partners would defer to the one who has the expertise in the area in question.

I am not sure if that happens as often as it should though. In my personal experience it often seemed as if the male felt he should have the final word regardless and that is where the trouble starts for strong women unless they are willing to play the game and I never am.

airowDee's avatar

Men definately want to have the final word!

proXXi's avatar

final word…..

Darwin's avatar


proXXi's avatar


and Chef Boyardee…

DarlingRhadamanthus's avatar

Insecure men who do not like women in general….are usually intimidated by strong women. That’s what I have learned. I find that if a man had a mom or sisters who were tough cookies, he is quite comfortable with them.

But if a man has had a bad relationship with women in general and feels insecure then uses bullying tactics——he will be intimidated by strong women and will attempt to sabotage them, bully them will always…try to find a woman who cannot see past his veneer of pretense…basically a woman who is a “yes” woman.

Poser's avatar

My GF is in medical school, and can science circles around me. (I just verbed the word “science,” btw. If that last sentence didn’t make sense, read it again with science as a verb. Yes, you can do that, officer. Would you like to see my literary license? Oh damn. I think I left it in my other pants.) She is much smarter than me in the areas of science and math. But I think we are pretty equal in most other things. She’s fairly opinionated and has a pretty strong personality.

And yes, I’m extremely intimidated by her.

rooeytoo's avatar

Good on ya @Poser ! GA

shf84's avatar

I like normal healthy women capable of independent action and a healthy interest in life ass opposed to a spineless girly girl who want’s her daddy to protect her. I think it’s a mistake to refer to an independent woman with normal ambitions as “strong” I think a better word would be normal if you call her strong that indicates that a woman must be unusually vigorous to pursue normal healthy human activity’s as opposed to hiding behind some man.

Crossroadsgrl's avatar

Darling is right on the money .

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

If she can pick up and move the easy chair all by herself, or carry a small fridge up two flights of stairs without my help, she don’t intimidate me at all.

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