22. It’s hard not to cry
“Uncontrollable tears. Many men like to think that women cry simply to be manipulative and to be let off easier. Sure, some women might do this, but when I cry, I guarantee I’m trying my hardest not to. When I get very stressed or angry or overwhelmed, my reaction is to cry. And no matter how hard I try, I can’t stop it. And it sucks.”
23. Being judged solely on your looks
“How much what we look like matters. I constantly hear guys complain about women taking too long to get ready in the morning and such—you are constantly being judged for what you look like, even to the smallest details, and then you’re mocked for being paranoid about it. I didn’t shave my legs last night. I had to wear something that would cover them—but my new tights kept falling down, and I couldn’t keep stopping to pull them up. Looking for another pair of knee socks, but those wouldn’t work. Not with those shoes. Wouldn’t look right, people would stare. I’m not perfect until I look like a model. ‘Nobody cares.’ Trust me, they do care. I can feel people looking at me every time I leave the house. I need to look right. But it’s not good enough. Never good enough. I could just throw on something—but then I get told I’m ‘not putting enough effort in.’ I got told that once while in hospital, by the girl I was sharing a room with. Excuse me for not putting makeup on every morning during my stay in hospital as a result of a mental breakdown.”
24. The constant safety measures we have to take
“Every time my friends and I talk about all the safety measures we take on a daily basis, the guys in the discussion seem genuinely shocked. Things like:
• Determining if it’s going to be dark by the time you leave a store, and parking accordingly (close to the door, in a well-lit area, someplace with lots of foot traffic, etc.).
• Planning bus routes based on what stops are going to be more populated at nighttime. Getting off before your stop to get away from someone who is being creepy or aggressive. Staying on past your stop to avoid getting off alone with someone who is being creepy or aggressive.
• Carrying something like an umbrella if you’re going to be walking alone. This is one that several of us do because we each read the same article that said rapists have said they’re less likely to attack someone carrying something they can use to protect themselves from a distance.
• Watching your drink be made, keeping it in your hand at all times, and throwing it out if you leave it at all unguarded.
• Walking with keys between your fingers, 911 dialed and your finger hovering over the call button.
• Letting friends know when you’re going out with someone new, where you plan on going, and when to expect a text from you so someone will know sooner rather than later if something bad happens.
These are just a few things off the top of my head. I’m sure men do things like this to keep themselves safe, too, but the guys in my life have all been truly surprised by how much of our energy is spent on ‘don’t get raped and murdered’ tactics.”
25. The constant sexual harassment
“That we aren’t making up the harassment. I’m not particularly attractive, but I’ve had guys hitting on me and harassing me since I was 12. So, of course I’m going to walk a little faster when I’m alone in the dark. No one likes when a guy sticks their hand up your skirt or says you probably taste good or says you should smile more. And the fact that men won’t take your word for it when you turn them down. You have to escalate. No, I don’t want to go out. No, I won’t go out because I have a boyfriend. No, I wont; see my boyfriend over there? And then they only stop harassing when your SO comes up and tells them to back off. Can’t take a woman’s word. But will take her man’s. Also! The fact that the woman will always be the one judged by others if the house is messy or the dishes aren’t done. I work all day. My chromosomes don’t magically make me like cleaning, but for some reason, it’s the woman’s fault.”
26. Being a masculine girl sucks
“If you’re not feminine, it’s very hard to fit in, especially if you don’t like sports. I hate sports and can be extremely masculine at times. Most women ignore me or don’t spend a lot of time with me. The only other masculine women seem to be into sports. I’m a nerd. I don’t do sports. Romantically, guys ignore me since I’m not feminine and their idealized version of a women (society really sucks in regard to that). Platonically, guys ignore me because it’s weird to hang out with a girl that much like a bro. Also, most people automatically assume I’m a lesbian. I’m not a lesbian. I swear to god. I’m too shy to do anything about it, too. It’s a rough life.”
27. Being judged for your looks and not your personal qualities
“Women may have implicit support from society, but this may not be what we want. We might want respect. We might want power. We might be strong, intelligent individuals with leadership qualities who want to have these qualities recognized. We might not be attractive enough to be admired and supported. We might be very attractive and not recognized for our personal qualities.
A man’s personal development is given the stamp of approval by society. A man who is successful in being strong and independent is looked up to by his peers and desired by women. He has the power to change himself. When he becomes strong, his value increases. He gains access to higher value women.
A woman, however, does not have this power. She is given a face and a physique and this will determine her value for the rest of her life. She may develop a whole plethora of personal qualities, but these mean nothing in the face of how attractive she is or isn’t. She can never gain access to more desirable sexual/romantic partners, or hold ‘real’ status herself. Whereas men may rise to the top or fall to the bottom (and I totally recognize that more men lie at the bottom extremities of society—prison, addiction, suicide etc.), a woman’s position is more or less static and there is little they can do to change it regardless of how hard she desires or aspires.
When women complain about how difficult it is for a woman, I believe it is frustration at their lack of ability to change anything. They desire the same responsibility and sense of agency that men have. They want to have control over their own destiny the same way men do. They want to be held responsible for their successes and failures, like men are. But they don’t and can’t. They are utterly powerless in this sense.”