36 Women Reveal Why Life Sucks When You’re A Woman

Illustration by Daniella Urdinlaiz.
Illustration by Daniella Urdinlaiz.
Found on AskReddit.

1. Our humanity is secondary to our fuckability.

“Knowing that whenever you meet a man, you are first and foremost a set of holes that he might want to put his penis in. It’s gotten better now that I’m older, in my mid-thirties, with two kids and mom-bod. That expectation and the constant sizing-up has gone down quite a bit, and it’s honestly a relief. It’s fucking terrifying knowing that your humanity is secondary to your fuckability.”

2. Being polite to douchebags as a survival tool.

“Being polite to douchebags as a survival tool.”

3. We have to be on the constant lookout for danger.

“I would say being conditioned to constantly be on the lookout for danger. It doesn’t matter if it’s 1pm or 1am, it becomes second nature to always know who is walking behind you. You’re constantly on the lookout for potential rapists and attackers, always watching who handles your drink. It’s exhausting and frustrating to grow up being told you can’t do certain things at certain times of day because you have a vagina so it just isn’t safe.”

4. We are constantly harassed.

“Being constantly harassed. Random dudes messaging me on social media offering sex just out of the blue. Business clients trying to get my personal contacts, finding me on Facebook. Couch trying to convince me I need ‘personal’ sessions which meant me staying after the hours in empty class with him, which I declined, of course. Etc, etc. And I am not even pretty! I can only imagine what pretty girls go through.”

5. If we’re even slightly annoyed, people make period jokes.

“Men making period jokes if a girl is even slightly annoyed. Chances are she is and by you pointing it out or saying it will most likely annoy her more. Also being sexualized at 12 when your walking down the street and men are wolf whistling at you.”

6. We alone experience the pain of childbirth.

“Well, I just gave birth this past Tuesday, so I’ll say that was pretty hard/painful.”

7. We’re not all emotional ticking time bombs.

“We’re not all emotional ticking time bombs. So trying to provoke a woman to get angry so she can be laughed at and declared ‘PMSing.’ No, if a woman pestered a guy like that, they’d get equally pissed off.”

8. We’re always ‘on show.’

“Being commented on, shouted at, whistled at, watched, catcalled. Always being ‘on show.’ Men have no idea what’s that and how constantly you are always under the watchful gaze.

Also my period. I suffer from horrendous period pains unlike anything else I can compare it to. I wish my boyfriend (although very sympathetic) could understand what it feels like.”

10. Realizing that half of your male ‘friends’ only want to fuck you.

“Losing male friends every time you get in a relationship, because it turns out half your male friends are only your friends in the chance they might get laid.”

11. Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.

“Margaret Atwood summed it up: Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.”

12. Women have to invest so much more time into their appearance just to appear ‘professional.’

“The expectation of wearing makeup to look professional. If you were to wear a professional outfit, say, a pantsuit or a nice dress, it appears incomplete without makeup or hair done. Natural curly hair is also viewed as unprofessional. Women have to invest so much more time into their appearance just to appear ‘professional.’”

13. Breastfeeding sucks—imagine a tiny little leech that scratches and bites your nether regions.

“Breastfeeding sucks. It forces us to be the default parent at all times. Imagine a tiny little leech that scratches and bites your nether regions. Plus we’re forced to change our lives to encompass a tiny human’s schedule. Just once I’d like to stay up past 8 or not have to give up 3 hours of good sleep because the baby will expect a midnight snack right at 12. I’d also love a nice hard drink or to partake in more than one cup of coffee. Not to mention it kills our sex drive by literally drying up everything. Then there’s the itchiness as they fill back up and God forbid mastitis which feels like someone lit a basketball on fire and then threw it at your chest repeatedly.”

14. I hate standing up for my rights, only to be shouted down by anti-feminists.

“The hardest thing about being a woman is standing up for my own rights and equality, only to be shot down by anti-feminists who seem to only be concerned with men not being able to hit women.”

15. Dudes are WHINY if you don’t wanna fuck them.

“Well, ‘boys will be boys’ always pissed me off. Motherfucker, you will be held responsible for your actions like everybody else.

Also—dudes are WHINY if you don’t wanna fuck them, dare to have any complaints regarding sexism and misogyny, and in general don’t exist to serve them. And it can go on and on, just this constant whining. Bitch, I’m not your mother and I don’t care to be.”

16. It is ridiculous how girls are quick to slut-shame each other.

“How we can’t simply like things or have hobbies. Everything a girl into has some kind of stereotype/label attached to it. For instance, I’m very into gaming but I also love doing my makeup. I often have guys that act like I can’t be into both because in their experience pretty girls don’t play games and girls that actually know something about gaming are ugly. Hell, I’ve had guys on Tinder try to tell me that I say I’m into gaming just to make myself seem more attractive. Then they’ll ask me obscure and convoluted questions about gaming because if I don’t know the answers then obviously I’m not a true gamer. Even my boyfriend, the understanding man that he is, will have a tendency to shit on the games I play or the way that I play them. He’ll say stuff like, ‘Well I’ve been doing this for such a long time…,’ so have I? It’s nuts how our interests get invalidated all the time.

Also, the ingrained sexism in women as well. I’ve had my fair share of sexual partners and it is ridiculous how girls are quick to slut-shame each other. Or girls that hate on me because I wear makeup. It’s not a competition, ladies. I find myself having more male friends because I cannot rely on having any good sister relationships because of the ingrained sexism.”

17. We are ruled by emotions.

“Being ruled by emotions. It sucks being on a constant emotional roller coaster. I think the fact that women feel so deeply is awesome, but it gets to be so overwhelming. I hate driving down the road crying because I spotted a dead deer. I don’t want to get angry at my boyfriend because he didn’t wipe the counter after doing the dishes. But for whatever reason—hormones, a bad day, the wind blowing in the right direction—my emotions just completely surge to the surface and it’s incredibly difficult to maintain my composure.”

18. Boys are allowed to be boys, but girls aren’t allowed to step out of line.

“Maybe not the hardest, but something that’s tough is being held to a higher standard of responsibility than men, especially when young. Boys are allowed to be boys, but if a girl steps out of line people come down much more harshly.”

19. It’s exhausting to take extra precautions because 99% of men can physically overtake the average woman.

“How unsettling and exhausting it is to have to take extra precautions because 99% of men can probably physically overtake the average woman. Things men never have to think about like being able to walk alone without being harassed, how rejecting someone’s offer for a drink at a bar might make them angry and follow you outside, thinking oh shit it’s too windy outside tonight to be able to use my pepper spray so I don’t have any sort of protection now except keeping my keys in my hand.”

20. Men don’t realize that we dress up for ourselves, not for them.

“A lot of us dress up or try to look nice for ourselves. Sure, there are times when I dress up for my SO, or if I want dudes to take notice, but it’s not the default reason for me taking the time to look good.

After talking to some guy friends, a lot of them say the only reason for them dressing up is for the ladies, or for the women in their lives.

It was an interesting conversation.

Just keep it in mind when you see a well-dressed women. It goes hand in hand with cat calling and why a lot of us don’t see it as a compliment. The argument ‘Why would you dress that way if you didn’t want dudes to notice you?’ is flawed. I wore this dress because I thought I looked nice and I wore it because I thought it flattered my body and it made ME feel good about MYSELF.”

21. We’re bombarded with conflicting messages.

“I hate the conflicting messages we’re bombarded with, and how we’re supposed to balance it all. Be pretty and feminine, because that’s what a woman should be, but don’t complain if you’re not taken seriously at work because you’re wearing a dress. Your worth is judged on your looks, and you’ll be treated like crap if you’re not pretty but treated like a bimbo if you are.

Go into STEM, because that’s the new frontier for feminism, and you can’t complain about lower wages if you’re not working in STEM, but you also can’t complain about sexism because you knew it was a male-dominated industry.

Don’t run outside at night; that’s how you get attacked. Don’t complain about men ogling you if you go to the gym because you know what gyms are like. Don’t eat small amounts of food because men like women with a healthy appetite and nobody wants a fussy eater, but don’t get fat because fat girls are losers.

Watch out and be on your guard, because it’s your fault if you get attacked and you should have walked a different way or worn something different. But how dare you treat me like that? I’m a good guy, you don’t have to take reasonable precautions with me!”

22. Mothers are expected to do more than fathers.

“The expectation that I, as a mother, have a greater parental responsibility.

Allow me to give a few examples. First, if being a parent comes up in any work environment, my ability to ‘balance’ work and home is a topic of conversation. ALWAYS. I have witnessed the promotion of men over more qualified women of child-bearing age because of concerns about work/life balance. I wish I could say this was once or twice, but I have dozens and dozens of examples to pick from. I have been flat-out asked about my reproductive plans during interviews. My husband has never had conversations that resemble this at all. Second,if I am ever somewhere without my child, I am asked where my kid is. She’s at home—with her father! When there is a school issue, I’m always called first. I was actually called during work hours because I didn’t attend a school event in ‘honor’ of Mother’s Day. My husband did not receive a call when he couldn’t make it to the fathers day event at the same school.

This is equally a slight against my husband, because he is often left out of interactions that involve our child when there is an equal chance that he would be the one who would be involved with planning and executing stuff for our child. He once called out of work because our child was ill, and he was directly asked where her mother was. He was just as offended as I was (I married well!). He gets looked at strangely for sitting next to a playground that he is at with our child!

In public, when I have our child, I am expected to handle everything with perfection. I have watched my husband in public with our child, and people ohh and aww and fall all over themselves to help him out because the idea that he could “parent” is just unimaginable. Someone once offered to push a shopping cart to the car for him because he was holding our then 2-year-old while she was crying. That has never happened to me…in fact, I’ve seen people roll their eyes at mothers holding crying two-year-olds for not ‘dealing’ with it.

Mothers are treated very differently than fathers, and it’s unfair to both, just in different ways.”

23. We are more likely to get screwed over by mechanics.

“We are assumed to know nothing about cars, and therefore more likely to get screwed over by mechanics.”

24. We are under intense pressure to be sexually attractive.

“I think for me, the hardest part is the intense pressure to be sexually attractive, and almost always having the way I look weigh more heavily than my intellect or character regarding others’ opinion of my worth.

I have noticed that my weight and level of physical attractiveness matter far more to others than any other aspect of who I am. How ‘fuckable’ I am generally determines how worthy people feel I am of being treated with kindness and respect; as a reasonably bright and ambitious woman, I feel profoundly degraded and insulted by that. This is not only true in almost every romantic situation, but also in the workforce, platonic friendships, and the public sphere.”

25. Having any kind of strong opinion gets us labeled as bitchy.

“If I am direct, firm, and clear with my opinion (basically any behavior that would earn a man respect for being strong and straightforward)—I’m labelled ‘aggressive,’ ‘bitchy,’ or ‘mean’—even by other women.

I’ve heard many men complain that women play games, then get offended and assume we’re ‘hysterical’ when we don’t.”

26. Men are assumed to be competent until they prove that they aren’t; women are assumed to be incompetent until they prove that they are.

“Men are assumed to be competent until they prove that they aren’t; women are assumed to be incompetent until they prove that they are. It’s really tough to get past that barrier in a lot of places, especially the workforce or in fields that are not traditionally ‘feminine.’

Being afraid just to exist out in the world is another thing. There is just this constant undercurrent of fear that we all have, especially at night, especially alone. The feeling of vulnerability is just so hard to explain to someone who has never experienced it.”

27. Men don’t respect (or even understand) our vaginal health.

“That he needs to respect my vaginal health. I had a guy finger me once after handling raw meat without washing his hands. (I wasn’t aware of this until I contracted a horrible UTI and asked him.) I was in immense pain with the worst UTI I’ve ever had, and we went camping the next day. I begged for us to not go, but he decided we were going to go no matter what. We were gone for 4 days and I was in so much pain I couldn’t walk or stand. We get home and I end up in the ER because I can’t even move. He complains that we have to sit for 4 hours. Doctor asks how it got so bad; I just sat quietly and shrugged.

Men, respect your lady’s palace. They are temperamental and gentle. And yes, I ended it with him.”

28. The expectation to look good when you get older is incredible.

“I’m a 43-year-old woman. The expectation of looking good for my age is incredible. If I don’t look at least 5 years younger, it’s like I failed something. ‘Yeah, but this actress or that model looks so good and she’s your age.’ If I had a team of skin/hair/makeup specialists and was working full time on myself I would look great, too.”

29. The fact that you actually have to CONVINCE a sexual partner to wear a condom.

“The fact that you actually have to CONVINCE a sexual partner to wear a condom. No, your dick isn’t too big for a condom, sorry. I don’t want to risk getting pregnant, or risk getting whatever nasty infections of the stankpuss you put your dick in before me. If a girl is willing to let you fuck her, respect her wishes and her vagina.”

30. The wage gap.

“Being paid £5000 a year less than the male members of my department who are junior to me. Initially I thought that it couldn’t possibly be based solely on gender, these men must be bringing something more to the table/have previous experience or skills. Turns out that in most departments where I work this is the case, women with Ph.D.s and previous experience are being paid much less than their male counterparts without experience or significant higher education. After speaking to both male and female colleagues we have worked out that our boss negotiates salary with all the men but offers a salary to the women when hiring. At least I know that I have to firmly negotiate with my next boss when I choose to move on.”

31. More than anything else, we’re expected to be beautiful.

“That ‘beautiful’ is the number-one thing I can be. I can hone any skill to perfection. I can be funny, smart, a good writer, good at my job—any number of things, but what is really the most significant thing about me is how ‘beautiful’ I am. Things that are marketed to women are all about beauty. Even marketing campaigns that try to subvert conventional beauty standards, like the whole Dove campaign that ‘every woman is beautiful,’ still perpetuate the idea that beautiful is the most important thing for women to be.”

32. We are extremely physically vulnerable when pregnant.

“How incredibly vulnerable a woman is when pregnant. That is the time most abuse begins, and at the same time you’re less physically able to fight back. The usual fears of being attacked or raped are still present, but you’re aware that you are increasingly physically limited. And men don’t have psychos stalking them in order to cut the baby from their womb.”

33. Everything we do is preceded by the fact that we’re women.

“Having virtually everything one does be preceded by the fact you’re a woman. Example: You’re not a programmer, you’re a female programmer. Certain women find benefits in accepting this sort of labeling, but it exists whether you like it or not. My gender has nothing to do with the quality of my work. It actually has very little to do with anything.

Also, being comparable to other women – but this is something I feel is experienced by everyone in varying degrees. What another woman does/says to you has nothing to do with me; I shouldn’t have to answer for it. Women are humans and humans are different from one another. Everyone just relax.”

34. Any legitimate opinions we have are dismissed as ‘being emotional.’

“Legitimate opinions, annoyances and concerns are dismissed as ‘being emotional’. Yet when men get angry or moody no one questions it.”

35. Being intelligent does not make you a ball-buster.

“That intelligence does not make you a bitch, know-it-all, or ball-buster. I understand it is all about how you present yourself, but it is often assumed that a woman in a strong/powerful position got there by being vicious.”

36. Everything about us is defined by our bodies.

“The hardest thing about being a woman is how everyone relates everything to your body. For instance, if I’m interviewing for a job as a woman of childbearing age, the first thing the interviewer sees isn’t someone applying for the job who may or may not have the right skills for it. They see someone who could potentially get pregnant and want time off, or someone who might get married and want time off, or someone who might go to the doctor more often than a man. Someone who might want more benefits and wont want to be standing in those heels as long as a man would be in his shoes. So, you always have to sort of bullshit people.” Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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