Twitter Thread Nails What Men Really Mean When They Say A Woman Is 'Intimidating'

by Cassandra Stone
Originally Published: 
Image via Twitter/Candice Frederick

This Twitter thread will make you look at being ‘intimidating’ as a badge of honor

Have you ever been referred to as “intimidating” by a man? Whether it’s by a male co-worker or a potential romantic interest, plenty of women have been described as such by their male counterparts. It has a negative, almost scary connotation to it — one that invokes shame.

A recent Twitter experiment that quickly went viral perfectly highlights the misogyny behind the whole “intimidating” thing. Turns out plenty of women can relate to this sexist phenomenon, and we’re not here for it anymore.

Writer Candice Frederick took her curiosity about The “I” Word to Twitter, and the results — while not at all surprising — are worth a read just the same.

It didn’t take long for this experiment to take off. The re-tweets speak for themselves.

When men use words like “intimidating” or “aggressive” or phrases like “too much” — it’s very thinly veiled misogyny. What they’re doing when they describe intelligent, confident women this way is they’re trying to make us feel like we’re not worthy of being smart and self-assured. They’re turning their insecurities around and projecting them onto us.

Ah yes, assertive. Forgot about that one. It’s like Aggressive Lite, a favorite of unconfident men who want to make us feel bad about not being like them, but don’t want to directly insult us. I’ve racked up plenty of “assertives” in my day.

This is absolutely a Man Problem because women don’t do this. We don’t constantly shame men for being “too” smart or accomplished. Also, let’s go ahead and unpack “ballsy” while we’re here — it’s another way we add a negative vibe to an act done by a woman that men are normally applauded for.

The entire thread says a lot about how women are valued by men, and how they think we should be contributing to society. I can’t even begin to recall all the times I’ve been described this way by men in my life — romantic partners, colleagues, friends, and relatives have used terms like these as slander against me when my behavior didn’t warrant it.

And I hope I’m not being too aggresive when I say it’s fucking bullshit.

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