I encourage women in particular to share their opinions here.
I often hear from my female classmates and family members how dismayed they are that no men are willing to ask them out or even approach them, and the few that do are mostly creeps and perverts.
When they discuss this among themselves, the overwhelming conclusion they reach is that men are just wimps and don't have confidence anymore.
Frankly, this is just a copout and is not the reason men are no longer willing to approach. I grow tired of having to do this, but I have had to explain it on many occasions.
The reason men won't approach women anymore is because they don't want to come across as creepy. Because men are expected by society to make the first move, a degree of assertive behaviour is needed from them to ask women out.
The problem is that nowadays, any kind of assertive behaviour by a man towards a woman is seen as morally abhorrent.
Unless a man is extremely good looking, and sometimes even if he is, any man who attempts to approach a woman will be viewed as a creep by default.
While it is extremely unlikely for a man to be falsely convicted of sexual harassment, or for harassment claims to involve any police or legal action at all, the mere accusation can be severely damaging to a man, especially if he is innocent.
But if this is so rare, why are so many men afraid of it, you might ask?
Mainly as a negative side effect of feminism and MeToo. Hold on a minute. Hear me out before you verbally try to kill me in comments...
I don't oppose female efforts for equality or exposing sexual harassment. I'm not a MGTOW member or an incel and I don't blame women for the problem of men not approaching.
However, I have to recognise that this is largely an unintended consequence of feminism. Men have increasingly been socially conditioned to feel guilty as a collective demographic for crimes like rape and sexual harassment. This is largely due to the sheer scale of the problem. 1 in 16 men are estimated to be sex offenders. That's a horrifying statistic. I confess openly that this statistic makes me feel guilty at the mere mention of it.
This guilt makes men fear they might say or do something inadvertently that might be misinterpreted as a deliberate attempt at sexual harassment.
A very good article on elevate (an organisation promoting gender equality in the workplace) covers this well: https://www.ellevatenetwork.com/articles/9666-dear-sir-don-t-let-metoo-make-you-afraid-of-me
This is more related to workplace behaviour, but the same principle applies.
Specifically, these 3 paragraphs:
Something troubling has been happening to me lately. Men appear to be afraid of me. A male superior at work asked, “Is it okay to say that?” after complimenting me on a new pair of “funky” boots. Another man apologized profusely after tapping my elbow. A male colleague called after a tense, but completely professional conversation to make sure that, “You are okay and don’t feel like I was rude.”
“Strangely, it’s men who aren’t doing anything wrong who are feeling needlessly nervous,” says Dr. Arin Reeves, a leading researcher in workplace leadership and president of employment advisory firm Nextions. “The men who are not nervous are probably the ones to worry about.”
We get why men are nervous. “We talk about what are wrong behaviors, but we never as a country, as a culture, talk about what the right behaviors are,” says Reeves. “Imagine if someone watched you eat for week, and pointed out all the stuff that was unhealthy, but never thought to tell you about what was healthy. You’d be nervous every time you picked up a fork.”
Because we constantly hear about these harassment cases and toxic behaviours around women, we are subconsciously being conditioned to think that everything we could say or do around a woman is toxic.
Hence, men have had their confidence shattered an we can't bring ourselves to approach women, if only because we want to respect their boundaries.
This has influenced my own behaviour.
I dare not talk to female classmates (all but 2 of my 20 or so classmates are female) about anything informal or non-class or non-assignment related.
I dare not come into any physical contact with a woman, even a handshake, unless she extends her hand first. Even then I feel guilty for touching her.
I always keep my hands in my pockets, behind my back, or otherwise as far away from women as possible at all times.
I don't know what the solution to all of this is, but it must be found soon, or the sexes will end up antagonising and hating each other even more.