I do not lack understanding of what the term autonomic response means, as you said yourself it is…
Deborah Klayman
31

“I do believe men can “help themselves”, as I believe women can resist their urges. If I see an attractive man I don’t feel the need to cat-call or comment on his appearance, even though my baser urges may suggest I should.

We’re talking past each other, I think. Of course they can resist ACTING on those urges. We absolutely agree on that. What they can’t resist is HAVING those urges. And it’s HAVING THEM that can create the uncomfortable environment.

“How do you know what a man finds provocative?”

One never knows entirely, quite true. But we can safely say, I think that certain things (cleavage, tight blouses, hiphugging jeans and skirts, miniskirts, etc.) are universally provocative. A little common sense and consideration is all that’s required. There’s a million fashion choices out there that are apprpriate, and quite frankly, most of them are more comfortable, anyway.

is it appropriate for me to point out that being spoken to like I am a less capable and being asked to “make the tea” at a meeting where I am the only woman makes me anxious and stressed? Or should I accept that those belittling actions are also just part of the stereotypical role and we are just not there yet?

That is the million dollar question, isn’t it? I LIKE the people I work with, they are mostly men, and if I am in the office for a meeting, I often find myself offering to make a pot, I suppose because of that old “mothering” instinct. Now, if a man ASKS me to make a pot, and my “you’re being a jerk” radar goes up, I would probably tell him “sorry, that’s not in my job description” with a smile, but that situation hasn’t happened in a decade or more.

I actually think you and I agree more than we disagree, and I appreciate the discourse

Oh yes I agree with that too. It’s nice to have a reasonable chat about this issue, even if we don’t completely agree. So many on both sides are so extreme these days.