Our 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.