It’s true that some men leave you with no options because they are inherently corrupt or power-hungry or brutal. The same can be said for some women (although, I believe, far fewer).
And assertiveness is often taken for aggression by such people, whether women or men are attempting to be assertive. Frankly, there’s nothing “grey” about this. It is as simple as night and day. Some people are this way, brutal and power-hungry. It is a fact of life. You either learn to accept dealing with such people (assuming you must) or you turn away from them (assuming you can).
You worked in the fossil fuel industry for a few years. Certainly you’ve encountered such people. I worked in sales and the banking industry for a few years. I ran into them. And that’s one very big reason why I left. It hurt, economically, for a while, but it was the best decision I ever made.
"Some people are not worth your time."
And we are both now free to do as we please. Hooray!!!