20 Things Men Don’t (But Should) Understand About Being A Woman

Three women exercising
Unsplash / Bruce Mars

Found on Ask Reddit


Birth control is not for everyone. It can bring on depression and in my case, a depo provera shot sent me into the worst bout of bipolar i’ve ever had. It lasted months and took almost a year to recover from.

— annijack1978


Being alone with a way older man can be misconstrued as being in a romantic or sexual relationship with them.

Happens to me with my stepdad when we’re out in public. We get certain stares sometimes, even when in the car on the way home.

— Qkddxksthsuseks


We cannot control our periods. At all. They don’t feel like peeing and aren’t anything like going to the bathroom. No amount of clenching stops it from happening. So you can’t just tell a woman to ‘hold it’ if she says she needs to go to the bathroom to check on it. When periods happen can sort of be controlled by birth control, but for a lot of women that doesn’t work or has too many side-effects to be worth it. Some women lose their periods entirely when they have an IUD, some don’t. Same with the pill, patch, etc. Every woman is different.

As for how a period feels, it feels like when you risk everything on a shart because you know you’re not going to be able to stop it anyway. It just comes out, unless you have something in there to stop it. Certain things like standing up after laying down, etc. make more well, you know, gravity and all. 1+1= crab walk to the bathroom.

If women could control our periods, rest assured we would. The large majority of us would opt to either never have them, or only have them at times convenient to us. (Yeaah uuh period, if you could come around today from maybe 6-8pm when I’m home doing nothing and then just go away that’d be fantastic, thanks. We’ll schedule more time later.)

I know most men know that women can’t control when they get their period. I just think a lot of them don’t realize it’s not like peeing. There is no amount of clenching, gritting our teeth, or crossing our legs that stops it from happening. A lot of us can’t even delay the inevitable in the 5 foot trek from our bedrooms to the bathroom and end up swearing in despair at another lost pair of underwear.

— beepborpimajorp


PPF Period Poker Face. I could be giving a presentation, working a full day, leading a team meeting etcetera, and I just might be shedding the lining of my uterus at that very moment. I might be feeling sharp ,stabbing pains or experiencing a sudden onset cramp, but you could never tell by looking at me. Maybe I take a small pause when walking, maybe I am a tiny bit slower getting up, but the PPF is strong with this one. Also, most people know this, but don’t joke about periods making women “irrational” or say things like, “Whoa! Someone is on their period, haha!”

— hungry_as_hell


That pee doesn’t come out of the “vagina hole”.

— rebel_nature


When you are young and female with a male manager, you’re paranoid everyone thinks you’re banging your boss.

Also, if you are female and a manager at a male-dominated company, people think you slept with someone to get the job.

— goodgirlwinniefoster


Big boobs are not always a blessing. Yes they’re fun but as a woman in her 20’s, I have the back pain of an 80 year old. Also bras are expensive as fuck and once you get above a C or a D you lose out on so many of the pretty choices. I literally had to drive 3 and a half hours to find a bra that fits well and makes me feel good about my body. I paid over $50 for it.

— poole-y


We’re not deliberately trying to make you feel bad when we get nervous being alone with you if we don’t know you, and more especially if it’s in a place or situation in which no one would hear if we screamed. It just happens; it’s not something under our conscious control.

— finnhorse


All the stereotypically “great” things about being a woman only applies if you’re an attractive woman. If you’re an ugly woman, your life is SHIT.

— eraser_dust


Imagine you’re 10 minutes into a meeting at work when you unexpectedly cum in your pants. It happened out of nowhere and now your boxers/briefs are drenched. Your inner thigh gets some of the action too.

Imagine this recurring 8-10 times a day for 3-4 days.

Welcome to world of ovulation, my friend.

— kttypo


Honestly, how easy/common it is to literally feel like prey around men. Not all men, and not all the time, but still far too fucking often. In some situations you just feel like you literally have to be on guard constantly and protect yourself. It’s better to be consistently on edge and look out for yourself than it is to be trusting and risk being taken advantage of.

— Qwurtt


It’s very far from the majority, but I don’t think guys realize just how many creepy men are out there. You can be having an interesting, normal conversation with an older stranger, and suddenly he’s touching your leg. A friendly guy your age can suddenly get angry when you don’t reciprocate his interest. It can make you wary of everybody, at least for a while after an incident happens.

Why the hell do some 60 y.o. men think 20 y.o. women will be interested in them? Were they interested in 60 year old women when they were 20?

I mean, I’m sure there are some creepy women out there, I guess. But there’s not an almost guaranteed physical power imbalance at play.

— zipperjuice


There is always all this talk about being “awful with the opposite sex”. We have no idea what we are doing half the time either… Our only advantage (and its a big one!) is that it is socially acceptable to wait until the guy makes the first move. That removes a ridiculous amount of pressure. I feel for y’all.

— no_ducks


There is a code among drunk girls that we are never explicitly taught but we all know: we take care of each other. Every time I’ve asked a random girl I don’t know in a bar to watch my drink, she has agreed with no questions. One time I stayed with a girl I’d just met for over an hour because she was drunk, she was trying to find a way home, and a creepy guy was pressuring her to get in his car. If a girl is alone and sloppy drunk in the girls’ bathroom, other girls check in and offer to find her friends for her. We live in a society where we’re taught to scream “fire” instead of “rape” when you’re being assaulted in an alley because no one will come for you if they know it’s rape. So we look out for each other.

— GloriouslyGlittery


When you say “just tell us if there’s a problem” or “just tell a guy you’re not interested”, you may not realize we have definitely tried that in the past, and dealt with the four hours afterward being called all sorts of variations on a bitch, while we presented receipts in minute detail of “here’s why your behavior makes me uncomfortable”, to no avail. Most of the time it’s a lot easier, and honestly a lot safer, to say everything’s fine until we find an opportunity to leave or hope the problem goes away.

Best way you can help is if you see a guy bothering a girl, to intervene and get him to go away. They’ll listen to you more than they’ll listen to us. Or if your gut is telling you there’s a problem, do some self-reflection.

— thewidowgorey


I guess just how much emotional labor we often do. It used to be “the man makes the money, the woman takes care of the man” and frankly, I never have a problem with this as a concept, just as the ONLY concept. These days, a lot of women have joined the work force, alleviating some of the male breadwinning, and that’s great for both parties, but the change from men being the breadwinners has come faster that the change from women being caretakers, and so a lot of times, women find themselves brought up to take care of their partners, but then end up working as well, and men don’t always have an upbringing that teaches them the give/take of emotional labor. It goes a long way when male partners do a bit more of this lifting. You have no idea how much we appreciate it.

— kharmatika


Oftentimes, male is considered to be the default gender and female the “other.” As if the average human is male. “There are no girls on the internet”– a joke, but honestly, everyone does tend to be assumed to be male. Every intelligent comment, every funny remark is attributed to some guy out there unless explicitly stated otherwise.

If a movie has four male leads and one female, that’s just a movie for everyone. Reverse the genders and suddenly everyone thinks of it as a movie for women.

— forinfopurposes


I want to point out the difference between compliments and congratulations. Yes, the terms are largely interchangeable and many situations definitely blend into both categories, but just hear me out.

Compliments are nice things you say to people about something they can’t really control. “Hey gorgeous! Nice ass!” I have limited control over how my ass is. Yes, I can work out; but it’s mostly genetics. “You have gorgeous eyes.” Thanks, but I didn’t exactly get to pick them out. “Nice shirt.” This is one that could fall into either category, but in my experience, fashion sense and money to buy good clothing are both dependent on a lot of factors beyond the control of that person.

Congratulations are nice things you say to people about things they can control. “Nice work on the presentation today.” “Congrats on your promotion.” “Thanks for cooking dinner/cleaning the house.” “Thanks for helping out with the kids.”

I think most women hear a lot of the former and most men hear a lot of the latter. Both are equally important, and both go a long way in making people feel good about themselves.

As a woman, I hear a lot of the former and hence compliments annoy me or frankly creep me out. And I think men don’t hear them that often and hence think of compliments as a welcome thing. It might be a welcome thing to you, but for most women it’s not. What I would actually welcome is congratulating me on my achievements.

Let’s try and bridge the gaps, people.

— AP7497


The amount of effort it takes to get ready. I can’t speak for all women, but I seriously WISH I could shower, get dressed, and go to work in under 10 minutes. Even on my “lazy” days, my hair is going up but it has to look a mild form of decent, and I HAVE to wash, tone and moisturize my face or my skin will hate me. After which, I will scare children if I don’t put concealer on under my eyes because I have two black eyes. Then get dressed, which should seem easy because there’s so much variety in women’s clothing. WRONG. It actually makes it more difficult because I can’t be dressed too nice if my face isnt made up, but I can’t look like I’m chillin on my couch. I wish I had 10 collared shirts and 10 pairs of slacks which I could interchange and be set for life. I’m envious of the ability to go to the gym on your lunch break, shower at the gym, and go back to work, AND have time to eat.

— DoubleDVa


Can’t speak for everyone but,

I don’t want you to treat me like a woman.

I don’t want you to treat me like a man.

I want you to treat me like a person.

— ashley419 Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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