The Fear of men

18 May 2020

Androphobia {an-druh-foh-bee-uh}

      1. The abnormal fear of men; an aversion towards the male sex
(According to

 So the fear of men, where to even start? I can't say that my fear of men is abnormal,  I can't say I am scared of them enough to call it phobia as such. After all I live my day to day life in a world were men exist. I am fine in a sense, I don't think twice when I pick up a parcel from the DHL delivery man or when I accept the change from a male Sainbury's cashier. However, it would be a little incorrect to say that I am not scared of men. In a social situation, my interactions with men or boys take a significant turn, I become very uncomfortable in male presence when it becomes more than them being passive figures who are carrying out a service for me.

The feeling I get around men is so intense that I often have found myself holding back tears. It is like a horrible sinking feeling like I am about to throw up but also just explode at the same. It is certainly not a nice feeling and I feel this every time a guy talks to me and tries to initiate something with me, whether it is platonic or romantic, I  just freeze. I always feel like they are up to no good, maybe it was because the person who was supposed to be my template was not someone who gave the overall impression that men were good people.
That person was my Dad. My dad was not exactly a reliable person up until my parents separated. It is simple to chalk it up to "Daddy Issues" and walk away and call it day, but I guess then that doesn't make sense to me. Yeah, my dad wasn't winning first prize for the Daddy contest that is for sure, but I have loving uncles and a younger brother who are clear examples of good in the male species. On my Instagram Poll, 64% of people also felt similar to me about  men and only 16% reported actually having "Daddy issues" 

In fact Fran from www.

Stated that 

"I have loads of male friends....I tried to fit in with girly girls but that wasn't really me."

That made me really think because despite having a lot of male friends the fear of men still remained. In my younger years I struggled with boys my age, I was severely bullied, by mostly the boys in my class and as I got into high school boys were more likely to make fun of me or make snide remarks even if it wasn't bullying anymore. They also had no problem reminding me constantly I was the ugly friend.  People would fake ask me out as a dare and they would scream "Yuck!" at the mere mention of my name. Of course, at a certain point, I would laugh it off and I noticed I started to distance myself from the opposite sex. I think in my head I felt that they were the source of my low self-esteem. I am glad (?) that my Instagram seemed to agree with me on this where  65% of those who voted agreed they were often ridiculed by boys. 

Nzinga-Ain from, I think had a completely different reason for having her own fear of men. It all started from catcalling rather than the people close to her unlike me.

Nzinga-Ain stated 

"I was homeschooled until college and I've known a lot of my male friends since I was a toddler... So we're very close and they're good people and I appreciate their friendship!"

I wondered if it was just me who just didn't seem to trust most men because in my eyes they always had ulterior motives and were good for nothings who did not seem phased by upsetting harming me even if we were close, but Nzinga-Ain, like I had mentioned earlier, had a positive relationship with the men or boys in her life and it was men whom she didn't know that made her start to see men in a different light. So it seems we are no closer to getting the bottom of this perplexing phenomenon that most women like me feel to a varying extent at least once in their life. So I asked one of my close friends Zara and wondered what she had to say. It was very clear she seemed to understand where I was coming from as she seemed to relate to me a little.

"When males try to form friendships or relationships with me I am weary of them and their intentions. I've actually cut off all my male friends since my fear of them grew bigger. I just didn't know which men I could and could not trust."

Zara's experience mirrors mine a little better I did have male friends in high school but I don't think the bonds weren't as strong as the one I had with my female friends, I was far more comfortable if I was surrounded with my gal pals. I remember going on a night out around a year ago with a friend and felt my stomach drop as I realised the number of male friends she had, I was unable to enjoy the night out because I just couldn't even bring myself to look at any of them in the eye. Some will misunderstand and think I am shy due to my attractions to them and most times it's less of a headache to let them believe that because how stupid is it to say I am scared of men!? My personality can come in two forms around men:

1. Hostile, cold, argumentative, snappy
This is clearly a foolproof coping mechanism but also has the effect of just scaring people away and honestly it's frustrating because that's not really how I am like.

2. The silent.

I don't say a word and pray that someone will pick the man in question up.

Even when I appear to be just interacting as normal, I am secretly micro-analysing everything worrying that it will all fall apart and I'll end up at the butt of one of their jokes. Of course, I struggle with interacting with people I am not familiar with, but I will attempt to talk to anyone that isn't a man, whereas for me to open up and even consider small talk with the man in question, they will have to coax me out or we will be sitting or standing in silence. Once again I was wondering if I was perhaps I was alone and although it was close (I just saying this to make myself feel better), the majority of people on Instagram polls didn't have a problem having a conversation with a dude. Like what is there to say?

It is has become very clear to me that a lot of my childhood experiences have been internalised. To be honest as a person general I tend to internalise bad experiences because bad things happening to be me is a massive shock to the system. Not because I feel like I am immune to bad things, but more because I naively think that the world is actually a nice place all the time and bad things can be remedied with good vibes. So, when bad things do happen I end up blaming myself, convinced that my vibes weren't good enough. I do vividly, however, remember back in kindergarten I would play monsters with the boys, or climb trees, but one day I guess one day I saw princesses and barbie dolls and never looked back. I am either invisible to most men and when I am finally was acknowledged I wished I wasn't. It just really reminded me of how my dad made me feel, he made me feel invisible and when he saw me it was just scorn. Then with those bullies from back then...they made me feel so horrible so worthless, to the point when I catch a glimpse of them they make physically nauseous but I just think whatever. I know this will always be part of me if that makes sense?

"Oh.. if they're randoms I mostly don't say anything? If I'm being introduced as a friend I'll say hi and interact as normal I guess. If I don't know them and they're trying to talk to me it kinda just depends on my mood and if I feel like talking to a stranger that day or not (more often I just smile and say I'm busy or not interested)"

Someone who will not be named simply said: "I don't like attention from strangers on the street" that summed me up really good. I just wanted to discuss male/ female interactions at work. I mostly put myself in situations where I was surrounded by women rather than any one of the opposite gender so getting my part-time job at 16 was like the biggest deal for me. Most of my Instagram followers told me that they worked in environments where it was predominately women, my part-time job was evenly split and a very very versatile environment. I was immediately taken aback. Looking back I was so so scared of boys, I remember I didn't talk to a soul I was actually very very petrified. I had nothing to say to most of my co-workers. I felt that even if I spoke to one of the girls I would still end up talking to the boys because everyone was friendly with everyone and yet again I couldn't turn around and be like hey can you not to talk to the guys because they petrify me. I remember feeling so stupid because my age mates had boyfriends and were always getting this attention from boys and I had to smile in the background whilst everyone was being hit on and I was ignored.

I kinda felt the same at work. For the record, the way they talked to the people to some girls was disgusting and very very wrong and I knew that, but no one ever bothered to harass me. It just made so annoyed because like I said I knew to be constantly sexualised wasn't fun but no one even bothered, and when I was mentioned it was snide remarks and knowing looks. I knew they were making fun of me but I didn't know what the inside joke was and once again my aversion grew, but at the same time I wanted attention I wanted to be noticed, I wanted to be catcalled? Like all my friends had stories about being catcalled and I was actually devastated because I thought I was too ugly to even get that. I didn't realise that it was gross and awful and not something you should ever wish in yourself. In fact, it's almost insulting to women everywhere that I ever thought that

My whole life I was the ugly friend and like I said I surrounded myself with women and even the boys I was friends with were mostly gay so it was like I don't know I felt more comfortable around them, but even now my uni course is very very female orientated so it's like am bubble wrapping myself. I don't really push myself in situations where I face my fear, but do I want to?

Then I realized why I was scared of men.

My self-esteem was fragile enough to be destroyed by an off-hand remark by a man.

In my mind, I thought if I ran from them then it could never happen. It was either hiding or seeking approval. I knew seeking approval didn't work because my Dad is still gone, the boys still bullied me and inside jokes were still made about me. So the next best thing is to bury the source of your problem and go about your life, but at what cost? In the real world, this will be debilitating and I need to face my fear, but honestly even now leaving me alone with your boyfriend, a guy friend whatever, will make me sick. I wish had some good guy friends as I grew up. I think that may have offset some of my anxiety. On my Instagram polls, most people who were surrounded by boys when they were younger also were more likely to vote they weren't scared of men.

Although I have figured my personal issue it does not erase the fact many women are scared of other men, like doesn't that tell us a lot.? Why has that become normal and somewhat ignored? Like so many people are scared of an entire gender??? That is not normal and somehow I feel like we are being gaslighted by this one gender because I don't think they get it??????? Okay but seriously like when does it become their problem? Even those of us who don't have Daddy issues or any like any "real" reasons are scared of men. Personally, we shouldn't let them off the hook because despite the fact that some people voted that they weren't scared of men did still vote that a lone man approaching was suspicious whereas the majority voted a woman doing the same was harmless. So it does make you think, doesn't it?

I am sorry it wasn't as deep as every trauma that women have endured and I think mine is a very mild version of something some women face every day. I just wanted to explain how it felt to be scared of men, and what it meant to me! Thank you for everyone who participated on the poll and spoke to me about their experiences. Please do go check out Fran's and Nzinga-Ain's blog they are both lovely gals with so much wisdom to share!

That is all for! Bye for now!

Emmay xx

Whatever version I am of myself I will learn to be more confident 

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