I had an occasion to see the man that I like participate in a professional situation recently and he did not appear to be shy - easy to blush, perhaps. However, I was told he is afraid of woman. I asked the woman who told me what about the women he works with and she said he is fine with them because he knows them after working with them a couple of years now. She told me he is OK when he knows them.
I suppose that's my answer - get to know him first, but it is hard to do when I have little contact with him as it is.
I think there's a difference in diagnosis here - shyness or fear - or is there?
I think there is a difference between fear and shyness, although there is an inherant amount of fear and anxiety in shy people. It would be interesting to know why the man you are talking about fears women. It could be something that has happened in his past. As you say, the best way of getting round that is to build slowly.
Positive website for people who are shy and/or are interested in self-help.
I would say that shyness is a reaction to anxiety. And, anxiety is a reaction to fear. Basically, shyness is a fear of rejection. That might be Buddhism saying this--in Buddhism, all the "bad stuff" derives from fear.
As far as "fear of women", I've heard that a few times myself. I don't think I'm much more afraid of women than of men, though. There is the sexual thing adding some tension, though. Both if I'm attracted to a woman and if I'm not. Also, shy people often have not picked up as many of the usual social skills. Including things like flirting habits.
As far as the professional thing goes, it seems like that is the case for a lot of computer geeks(I am one). They tend to know a lot about their job, so they are comfortable doing presentations or talking about their work. But, they know nothing about dating (or social situations) so are nervous in them.