Quick Hit: Samhita on Men With Low Self Esteem

SamhitaOur own Samhita has a piece at GOOD about one of her dating dealbreakers: what she calls Men With Low Self Esteem.

By MWLSE, I don’t mean dudes who are a little bit insecure. We all get a little insecure from time to time. I mean men who are so bogged down by their warped vision of themselves that it haunts every aspect of their being.

n retrospect, I should have known I was dealing with a MWLSE. Instead, I swallowed his lines and tried to look at the positives, even if that meant making them up. He recognizes that I’m almost too incredible for him to handle. It’s about time someone figured that out, right?

At the time, I was busy running a major feminist website, keynoting multiple conferences, and penning my first book about dating, love, and feminism. At first, he was intrigued (“I’m so impressed with how successful you are”). But his feelings toward my work quickly devolved into insecurity (“you realize I’m a loser, right?”) and finally, passive-aggressive digs (“Why is it that I seem to be acutely aware of your success?”).

Despite the vigor with which he was waving his red flags, I put my professional feminism to work in locating a political justification for his behavior. Unfair standards of masculinity, I told myself, put undue pressure on men to be “men.” As a feminist, I recognized that when men don’t act man enough, their girlfriends, friends, and families can disapprove. The pressure can be devastating. And those unrealistic expectations of manhood are only exacerbated by a broken economy. How could I not be sympathetic?

Obscured by my righteous political justification was a far less feminist lining—the kind where he hurts me, and I let him.

Go check out the full article at GOOD. And don’t forget to pick up a copy of Samhita’s new book, “Outdated: Why Dating Is Ruining Your Love Life.”

Boston, MA

Jos Truitt is Executive Director of Development at Feministing. She joined the team in July 2009, became an Editor in August 2011, and Executive Director in September 2013. She writes about a range of topics including transgender issues, abortion access, and media representation. Jos first got involved with organizing when she led a walk out against the Iraq war at her high school, the Boston Arts Academy. She was introduced to the reproductive justice movement while at Hampshire College, where she organized the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program’s annual reproductive justice conference. She has worked on the National Abortion Federation’s hotline, was a Field Organizer at Choice USA, and has volunteered as a Pro-Choice Clinic Escort. Jos has written for publications including The Guardian, Bilerico, RH Reality Check, Metro Weekly, and the Columbia Journalism Review. She has spoken and trained at numerous national conferences and college campuses about trans issues, reproductive justice, blogging, feminism, and grassroots organizing. Jos completed her MFA in Printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute in Spring 2013. In her "spare time" she likes to bake and work on projects about mermaids.

Jos Truitt is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Development.

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  • http://cabaretic.blogspot.com nazza

    I’m glad you’ve identified what trips you up. I tend to be a sucker for Women With Low Self-Esteem, but it comes in so many different variations. I think one always has to work on oneself, because some of these attractions are so powerful, even if irrational.

  • http://feministing.com/members/loro/ Loro

    I couldn’t comment over at GOOD so I’ll do it here:

    Great article! I absolutely identify my dating problems with your own. I’ve always, when it comes to romantic interest, had this weird duality with my own security: I know I’m capable and smart, and that makes me cower when it comes to relationships because I instinctively feel I might be ‘too much’ for a guy (and at the same time not feminine enough). Completely irrational, but with real consequences.

    I think you will find someone who’s good for you, who respects you and who you respect back, if you keep on this track. The most important thing is to take oneself seriously. When my current partner asked me out I decided for once to be myself from the start – even if I came accross as ‘hard’ and non romantic. And what do you know, it worked! I have found a feminist man who is sure of himself and doesn’t give a toss about masculinity. And he listens.

    Good luck to you, and congratulations on the new book.