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This isn't intended as a gender biased question, as both men and women can have strange hang ups when it comes to either sex.

I am curious about men who are threatened by strong women. By strong women, I mean intelligent, capable, financially independent, self assured and assertive.

By threatened I mean unduly intimidated, nervous or uneasy, which can result in a number of reactions.

What personality traits, background or pathology do men who are threatened by this type of woman, generally, have in common?

Are there any studies on this?

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A person of substance accepts everyone with Respect, an open-mind, and heart...Gender is not a factor! – user7023 Nov 5 '14 at 12:34
I think it's really important to know if the type of woman you are defining is also physically attractive. If she is, then such woman can be perceived as being "way out of one's league", thus eliciting a response similar to crossing a narrow bridge very high up - there's too much attention being paid to "not screwing it up", which disrupts normal thinking patterns – Alex Stone Nov 7 '14 at 1:50
up vote -3 down vote accepted

As your question is about those men who feel intimidated by a woman of power, Therefore, my answer addresses only them.

Therefore when I say such men, it does not include all men. It's just a stereotype. I don't intend to relate any particular trait with gender.

Capable woman herself is a challenge. A live, moving, living challenge. In the world of men, she is like a fairy who, when possessed, will set the hearts of friends and foes ablaze with envy. What more fantastical could a man ask for? But this comes with a price. The more is her aura, her substance, her mettle, more difficult it gets for man to attract her. Now let's talk about traits of men:-

Trait no. 1:- This trait in such men comes from being told since birth that a woman is an entity created to be wooed, to be won and to be possessed. The more a lady is of substance, difficult it gets to woo her. This leads to conflict of belief. Because it doesn't match up with that image of a woman (which according to a man is one vulnerable being) in man's imaginations. Therefore, this lack of supposed normal behavior leads to unease. Difficulty in accepting this aberrant behavior when takes over the senses of man, he starts considering it to be a threat.

Trait no. 2- Mostly, such men are desirous of being associated with women of substance. But not at the cost of their own egos that hang up in their hearts, dangling every time when a lady of strong character challenges them.


  1. to impress her
  2. having her gyrate to their tunes
  3. to make her go weak in her knees at the very sight

to name a few. All traits of a vulnerable woman, which a powerful woman finds difficult to imbibe in herself.

Trait no. 3:- In some cases, you must have come across some men who fall for a woman of power completely and find her company pleasant. Either, they are those who have managed to influence and impress such a woman and enjoy her attention every now and then. Or they are those who drop their own reservations about trying to impress her and get infatuated instead. Although those who yield themselves in front of such a woman seldom find her acceptability. There is whole new theory about that too.

Trait no. 4:- This has also been a common scenario that those who find it difficult to accept a woman's charisma and her charm, such men are throughout dual faced. Complex in a person exists in pairs. Such a man who faces inferiority complex in presence of a powerful woman would mostly consider himself superior to those working under him.

The following trait is linked to a woman and not with a man

Trait no. 5:- Power in a man comes with self assurance, sanity and confidence about himself. He is a matter of envy for same gender but the opposite sex accepts his powerful being and appreciates his stature and this gives him boost in his identity acknowledgement. But Woman lacks this leverage. By continual unacceptability that she faces in world of men, she can't be as self assured as a man. Neither the opposite nor the same sex can ever be at her side. Thus, the conflicts are both ways. She either becomes agnostic about love and care and sees everything with distrust and stands alone with her all pervading power or vulnerable enough to seek acceptance of those who are beneath her.

Lastly, A person of substance is the one who forgives, loves and accepts others for what they are. Envy, threat and lack of acceptability itself means that person is shallow and irrespective of the stature and esteem in the world, his/her inner being finds it difficult to accept him/her...

Position and Possessions of a person mean little when it comes to substance that a person holds in his/her heart.

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CogSci expects scientifically rooted questions/answers. Where do these traits come from? – Steven Jeuris Nov 5 '14 at 13:22
Reads more like feminist diatribe than any kind of objective, scientific statement. – Krishnaraj Rao Nov 4 '15 at 1:03

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