. I agree that a lot of this is a cultural reaction to feminism, male guilt and the desire to treat women as equals. We've swung to the opposite extreme where we've mistaken assertiveness with agression.
I think both men and women are coming from the perspective that they don't want to hurt the other person. Unfortunately, as you say, this well-intended action often reinforces the behavior. I think this is best summarized by EmmiG's comment (above): "For most females, it can be really hard to tell a guy who likes you to his face that you hate his guts. Most females try to show common courtesy while kind of making excuses, and a lot of guys mistake that for interest/friendliness so they will repeatedly approach a female and that's where a lot of the unfair 'stalker' rumors get started."