Great article! Interestingly, I observed the same as a hetero woman. An innocent look at a male, and he confidently asserts he has power over me. He is 100% certain I am being provocative, when in fact, I am simply scanning the room. I too used to avoid eye contact, to avoid confrontation with an overzealous male.
Then it dawned on me! I have no reason to fear eye contact. There are hungry people out there, and in my world, most of them are starving are older males. One look in their direction from a younger woman, and they jump on bait like a piranha. The difference is that I’m a straight woman, so to them I am viewed as fair game. I asked for it.
That same starving male would perceive your eye contact as provocation. However, most straight males have a fragile sense of masculinity, so a look from a gay male, threatens their ego and their entire being. You just shattered his crumbling manhood.
Once I learned that I did nothing wrong by making eye contact with the wrong person, I learned how to have fun with their insecurities. Basically, I learned how to skewer them. With a great sense of humor I rip their balls off with mere words. Now who’s a threat?