Actually Molly, I’ve had decades of personal experience with the after effects of trauma. Personally, with close family members, one particular girlfriend, and several of the foster children I’ve parented. While I have no idea whether any of these women have a trauma history, I believe that for women, a lifetime of living in a made dominated culture produces some of the same hypersensitivity to injustice, and responses that men, generally oblivious to that lifetime history, cannot comprehend and might see as overblown. Before you blow a gasket, I’ve learned that people without some in depth knowledge of the subject react exactly the same way to the emotions of trauma victims. For example my mother experienced years of abuse as a child and didn’t seek treatment until she was well past thirty. Her responses to minor slights or injustice decades after the abuse appeared completely irrational to anyone who didn’t know her history. The clueless men in your life aren’t much different and yes, they need an education.
As I repeatedly said in multiple comments, none of that changes the reality that the emotional responses are real, nor does it excuse the boorish behavior of the men described. What I was attempting to point out is that boorish doesn’t equate dangerous, and feeling powerless is a long way from being powerless.
The women described in the original article met with all these men because they wanted something from them. They had a goal. The men also had a goal, clearly incompatible with the women’s. I suggested getting past the emotional reaction and concentrating on achieving the goal you set. Point out in no uncertain terms that you’re not interested in romance, redirect the conversation, but in that moment, absolutely do not allow yourself to be a victim. Walking away might feel good, but it also denies you any opportunity to achieve your own goal. I’m not at all suggesting go along to get along, just don’t lose sight of why you met him in the first place.
One of the best bits of wisdom I ever heard I found in a book on improving relationships with a partner. I find it universally applicable.
People treat you the way you teach them to treat you.
If you project confidence energy and yes power, you will find yourself victimized far less often. Saying that doesn’t change the very real fear pain and anger you feel, it just means you don’t have to let those emotions dictate your response to anyone else’s behavior.