I too, stand for Gender Equality. I am not a feminist but I do support equal pay and the elimination of sexism.
Many men were either raised with or developed an evil attitude toward women. It is rooted in the knowledge that they can get away with taking advantage of women and they like that.
Many women know that they are going to be faced with choices that sometimes don’t include good options. I see you have been there and done that and sometime chose practicality over principles. I see little shame in the choices about which you wrote. Some small shame but some paths are too hard to walk or are self destructive. Why be a martyr when you can achieve more by surviving to fight another day. Always taking the high road does not mean you achieve more for yourself or your cause. Best to pick your battles.
There will always be men like those and some of them might even respect Feminists more than the women they abuse but that does not mean they don’t seek out victims. These men might not even have enough self-respect to believe that they could succeed with strong women. Some of these evil men are just out for the gratification of domination and dominate the men working for them as well as the women just not sexually.
There are going to be those men who would rape you if they believed they could get away with it. They will pay you less, work you harder and treat you like dirt too.
We have come a bit of a way toward a better place but we are far from where we need to be. Don’t take this as a defense of “Boys will be Boys,” it is not it is a condemnation of those “Boys” but People will be People and if this was a Matriarchal Culture we might be saying “Girls will be Girls”. Power corrupts.