43 Things Men Just Don’t Understand About Being A Woman In This Society

@bubblegumwhore / Twenty20.com
@bubblegumwhore / Twenty20.com
Found on AskReddit.

1. It’s goddamn exhausting being nice all the time.

“Just how goddamn exhausting being nice all the time is.”


2. Just because we’re being friendly doesn’t mean we’re flirting.

“How often men confuse my being friendly with flirting. Which often leads to inappropriate questions or suggestions, both IRL and online. Is it so rare for men to be treated with common courtesy that they no longer recognize it?”


3. Even though we’re the majority, it’s still a man’s world.

“That despite women being literally the majority in society, things associated with women get cordoned off by society into their own little niche (and often belittled). For example, media focused on women’s lives and narratives is treated as specifically for women, but media focused on men’s lives and narratives speaks to a ~universal human experience~”


4. It’s difficult to be taken seriously in a room full of men.

“Being in a room full of men trying to be taken seriously is actually quite a daunting experience…”


5. Just because we’re quiet and aren’t smiling doesn’t mean we’re angry bitches.

“People think that just because I’m quiet or don’t smile I’m a bitch or angry.”


6. The world is more dangerous for women.

“I want to walk my dog past 6pm, but no that’s dangerous. I want to backpack Europe, but no that’s too dangerous. I want to go back to when I was a kid and didn’t know about this shit. I want to go back before the first guy started creeping on me, before an old dude tried to get into my car cause I was alone, before my friends told me what had happened to them. I just don’t want to have to always be worrying about this shit.”


7. We don’t always want to talk about our feelings.

“I don’t always want to talk about my feelings, but people expect me to. If I’m crying, being asked about it usually makes it worse; just let me cry and calm down. If I want to tell you, I will.”


8. We’re dismissed as crazy merely for expressing our feelings.

“I can’t speak for all women, but I think we’re so often inundated with depictions of women as crazy/irrational/petty, that we’re constantly second-guessing whether our emotions are valid. I read a lot of awful things on the ‘Men of Reddit’ version of this thread, and it’s heartbreaking that having a penis means you don’t ‘get’ to have feelings. But, as a woman, I don’t feel like I ‘get’ to trust mine…I don’t know if my emotional reactions will be validated, or if I’ll be told to ‘calm down,’ ‘you’re overreacting,’ ‘you’re too sensitive,’ or some other version of that. I never feel comfortable expressing my emotions, because I’m afraid of being dismissed.”


9. Sometimes ‘gentlemen’ aren’t so gentle when they’re alone with you.

“There are men in the world who assault/harass/bully women when no other men are present, but act like perfectly decent fellows when other men are present. (I wouldn’t think this would be surprising, but I keep encountering men who are genuinely surprised when they learn it.)”


10. Being online exposes us to constant sexual harassment.

“As soon as someone finds our my gender online, be it through forums, gaming or what the fuck ever, I will get pm’d about it. Some are straight to the point—dick pic. I don’t know your name but I now know the angle of your dangle, fantastic.

Some start out normal enough, but soon it turns to sexual stuff. Some want Skype, or messenger, or WhatsApp after a few messages. In games people sometimes want to help me, cause I can’t possibly do stuff on my own. Or they want to give me stuff, but only if I’ll be their online girlfriend.”


11. There’s a reason we often feel nervous around strange men at night.

“The reason that I often feel nervous around strange men at night is because I have been given reason to be. No, I don’t mean my mother told me never to talk to strange men or to always be aware. I mean strange men have followed me, harassed me, taken pictures of me, etc. in all sorts of different environments. I’m not saying a simple, ‘hey beautiful,’ either. The most extreme case happened when someone yelled something very obscene at me, I ignored them and walked to my car, and looked in my rearview to see them approaching. I booked it out of there. It’s not all men who do stuff like this, and even the ones who do probably aren’t aiming to physically cause harm. But it’s enough to put you on edge in all situations, and enough to make you on edge. You don’t know if one day it could turn out to be someone whose intentions are to bring you bodily harm.”


12. We’re not allowed to be cold and tough like men are.

“You know how the men’s thread is lots of posts about how men can be really emotional and want affection and stuff? It goes in the other direction, too. Women can be cold and tough, but we’re told that we can’t be because then we’re aloof bitches. We have to craft a warm exterior to make other people comfortable, and extend massive emotional labor in our relationships with other people, particularly those with men.

I am not a warm person. I don’t like to talk about my feelings with people or be touched. Affection and being strongly emotional are draining for me. A good part of my energy day-to-day goes into appearing friendly, smiling, and accepting of touch like hugs from people I don’t necessarily care for. And while I don’t mind being emotional support for the people I do care about, please don’t expect me to always want to pour out my soul anytime you ask me what’s been going on or what’s on my mind. 99% of the time I am not thinking about feelings or anything serious at all. I would love to dick around and just have a stupid ass conversation about whether the people in the movie should be dressed like dinosaurs or not.

I honestly feel like a monster a lot of the time for not being a very emotional being.”


13. Sexual assault starts young.

“Just how many women have been sexually assaulted and/or been on the receiving end of unwanted aggressive sexual attention. Additionally, it’s horrifying how young we are when it starts. I think I was 9 when it began and was the worst when I was in middle and high school.”


14. Everyone pressures us to have kids.

“The fact that I am pressured and expected to have children by everyone. I am not a maternal person. I wasn’t able to keep a flower in a pot alive and all it took was water and sun. What makes you think I can nourish a child? It has been made very clear that my reproductive rights mean nothing. You would be hard-pressed to find a doctor that would give you a hysterectomy or tubal ligation before the age of 30. I don’t want to hear, ‘you’ll regret it later’ or ‘I’m sure you’ll change your mind.’ If someone doesn’t want kids, they don’t want them, end of story.”


15. Doctors don’t take us seriously.

“I have had to take my husband with me to more than one doctor in order to be taken seriously. They ignore any issue of pain. I was suffering bad PPD after my youngest daughter in the form of anxiety. I couldn’t sleep, barely ate, and was a zombie. The doctor didn’t want to put me on an antidepressant because I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed. I was so tired I couldn’t put a thought together and my husband looked at the doctor and told them this was not normal, I needed help, and the best thing for me and our kids was to have a healthy mom. Yes, I married an awesome man. Yesterday was our anniversary, 14 years together, eight of them married. It is frustrating that my experiences are marginalized and then my husband says the same thing as me and is taken seriously.”


16. We don’t get free stuff and special treatment as often as you think.

“We don’t get free stuff and special treatment as often as it is portrayed. I have never seen girls just skip the queue at a club or just get given free stuff other than when guys offer to buy a girl a drink to flirt but it’s really, really rare. Whenever I see people lamenting how much special treatment girls get, I’m like, ‘Where do you live, ‘cos I want in?’ Also the lack of functional pockets in our clothing is an abomination.”


17. People try to talk us out of getting a career.

“How often people try to talk you out of getting a career. Even when I was young and I told people that I wanted to be a doctor, I would often get looks of pity followed by a ‘that’s what I wanted to be until I got married. Just you wait and it will happen to you, too.’ It’s always other women who tell me this. Never the men.”


18. If we’re not bubbly and happy all the time, we’re considered bitches.

“The amount of time that men expect us to be happy. If you’re not bubbly, enthusiastic, happy, and 110% not a downer to be around, then you’re a bitch and you’ll certainly get comments on it. The number of times some of my male coworkers and visitors chastise me for having the audacity to not smile every single moment of my shift is obnoxious.

If you’re even slightly overweight people seem to think that giving you any attention is a favor. Even if they’re being an asshole.

Not being interested in having kids must mean that you’re broken or hate children. People act as if you’ve kicked their puppy or that you’re not worthwhile if you don’t want kids. Having your value as a person dependent on your ability to pop out kids. I’ve been literally told by an ex that I wasn’t a true woman because I can’t and don’t want kids.”


19. Men treat us as if we’re stupid.

“We really do have men explain everything to us. All the time. I once had a man who explained to me how my period worked. He wasn’t a gynecologist or anything and he obviously wasn’t me but he still felt completely comfortable telling me that my period didn’t happen the way I know damn well it does happen. That is an extreme example of course but every day men explain the most obvious, basic shit to me and other women, and I honestly have no idea what the thought process is there. That is the one thing I would love to have a man explain.”


20. Men act as if they’re entitled to our bodies.

“How entitled some men act towards us. I’ve been called a bitch, cunt, whore, etc. just because I wouldn’t talk to men at bars. I’ve had this happen at the grocery store FFS!

Just because I want to enjoy my surroundings / shop / whatever the shit I’m doing, and NOT involve a strange person doesn’t mean I deserve to be harassed.

I had one guy follow me to my car after I turned him down, then proceed to block me in and throw rocks at my car until a cop came and stopped him. The cop (male, btw) just shrugged and said, what are you going to do, boys will be boys.

I was harassed at a bar once by some dude who would not take no for an answer. Complained to the bartender and was told, what did I expect wearing a top like that?”


21. We become sexualized way too early.

“That we become sexualized way too early and it’s not a good thing. I tell my husband my stories about when I was 13 and had a teacher feel me up to ‘check for breast cancer’ when I didn’t even have breasts (or cancer). I was stalked multiple times when I was a teenager alone. Police had to get involved. I’ve been offered multiple ‘modeling jobs’ that were definitely not modeling jobs (no actual agency/company, meet the guy in his basement type thing). Also that pretty much every woman I know has been sexually assaulted except my mom. Most have been raped.”


22. We have to censor ourselves while talking to men.

“For me, I feel as if I’m censoring myself when I talk to men. Especially at work. I can’t correct anyone when they are wrong or be too vocal about anything; I once corrected a coworker halfway through a project, was ignored, same correction was brought up by a male coworker five minutes later, immediately fixed (I’m sure everyone will say this is a coincidence but this just happens time and time and time again). I can’t say that anything offends me or upsets me. I can’t be frustrated. I can never raise my voice or so help me god…I can’t be too nice to men I’m not interested in or I’m leading them on. So then I’m distant but still have to be pleasant and smiley or I’m a bitch. I can’t say anything gross or complain about anything that would out me as a human being. I have to act like the things the men I work with say are super interesting when they’re usually not, laugh at unfunny jokes, and laugh off inappropriate come-ons. I also always assume that I will be called a ‘feminazi’ the rare times I do vent about things like this in front of men and that my personal experiences will be invalidated….I should really get a different job.”


23. We aren’t taken seriously.

“Not being taken seriously is probably the part I hate most about being a woman.

I’m 32, 5’3, look younger than I am (get asked for ID all the time), long blonde hair. I have a management position at the company I work for and I’m responsible for 190 people in 3 different countries.

However…whenever there’s a business meeting I never feel like others take me seriously when they first meet me. They always direct questions to my male colleague (I’m his boss) and sort of ignore me. This has turned me into somewhat of the ‘office bitch’ as I have to be very direct in meetings like these; being too nice just gets you ignored. My colleagues that know me for a while are fine with me as they know I’m knowledgeable and good at my job, I never have a problem with any of them and they never ‘skip’ me. It’s just people from outside, men in power suits.

Same goes for any time anyone ever asks me about my job, I start explaining and they just don’t seem to believe I hold such a high position and have a decent income. As soon as I mention the phrase Customer Service, they assume I’m a Call Center Employee and I have to explain over and over that I’m actually the one managing the entire department with 190 people, they still just seem to ignore that fact and trail off toward something else.”


24. Because men make everything sexual, we involuntarily build walls.

“Most women (of course there are some fringe individuals) understand that in talking about a negative quality, it is not all men. However, many women, like myself, have been in numerous situations where men have stepped over the line in basic conversation.

A lot of men complain, rightfully so, that when they compliment a woman, they get upset when before their even finished the woman will say, ‘I have a boyfriend!’ or ‘Not interested!’

It’s not you, it’s just after having way too many instances with creeps turning just a basic smile, or ‘how are you today?’ into something sexual, you kind of involuntarily build walls.”


25. How often we need to protect each other from men’s advances.

“That those times you’re pissed off at me for ‘cockblocking’ you while you’re trying to chat up my friend, it’s not because I’m oblivious or a man-hating bitch, it’s because she has basically lit the beacons of Gondor and is calling for aid. With one exchanged look, she communicated that she does NOT want to be left alone with you, and I am doing her a solid. The look of a woman who wants to get away from the guy who’s talking to her is so universal, I have performed this favor for total strangers, running up and saying, ‘Oh my GOD! I can’t believe you’re here, it’s been so long, what have you been up to?’ and received a fervently whispered ‘Thank you!!’”


26. We get ignored in corporate environments.

“In a corporate environment, and usually in a meeting, a woman will propose an idea and it’s ignored. But a man in the same meeting can propose the same idea and it is listened to and often adopted. Source: I am a senior manager in a global bank and I play my male colleagues like a fiddle to get the job done.”


27. Sometimes we just want to have sex and couldn’t care less about a relationship.

“I feel like it would surprise a fair amount of men how much some of us actually want nothing more from you than having fun/sex. I actually am not trying to ‘lock you down’ into a relationship or tell you what to do—and I sure as hell don’t want you to tell me what to do, either. We are capable of separating emotions from sex and just because I text you and ask you to hang out after we bang doesn’t mean I’m clinging to you. I just would like to bone again sometime in the near future.”


28. Shouting at us out of car windows doesn’t make us want to shag you.

“This shouldn’t be surprising, but I can only assume that to a certain sort of man, it must be: Being shouted at by random blokes across the street or out of car windows doesn’t make us want to shag you. It just makes you look a bit derpy. Half the time we don’t even hear what you’re saying. It’s just a slightly aggressive ‘BLEHMEHBUH.’”


29. If you are average-looking or worse, you don’t exist.

“That all the advantages that men think women have in only apply to pretty women. If you are average or below you are invisible, you don’t exist.”


30. I believe that men don’t know what it is to step out of your home every single day and be constantly vigilant.

“While I respect that men struggle with unique insecurities regarding their body images, their relationships with women and children, and their own personal sense of self-worth, I don’t feel these are on par with the fear women experience daily regarding their sexual and physical security, along with the overall safety of their very lives.

I believe that men don’t know what it is to step out of your home every single day and be constantly vigilant—not for your valuables or for your bodily wholeness—but for sexual violation and perhaps torture or murder.”


31. If I am angry, I’m ‘too emotional’; if I feel unsafe, I’m ‘paranoid’; if I am articulate, I’m ‘bitchy’ and a ‘know-it-all.’

“I do not get to be a real person with thoughts and ideas that are just as valid as others’, or to be engaged sincerely in my arguments, but instead am questioned in my judgment or sanity whenever I share an experience or opinion. If I am angry, I’m ‘too emotional’; if I feel unsafe, I’m ‘paranoid’; if I am articulate, I’m ‘bitchy’ and a ‘know-it-all.’ My needs and wants must always take backseat to someone else, and if I ask for it to be any other way, I’m wrong and selfish.

Despite all the claims to be ‘humanists’ and to want ‘gender invisibility,’ people still treat me first as a ‘female’ rather than as a human being by weighing everything I say or do through a gendered lens first. I would love for my gender to be invisible more of the time so I could just take a break from all the bullshit and enjoy being a person for a change.”


32. The fear of rejection and how it means you are worthless.

“The fear of rejection and how it means you are worthless.

I know men all deal with it and think it’s shitty how they are largely expected to do all the approaching by society. I read on here all the time how awesome it is when a woman approaches a man and how the man will say yes because they actually know this time that you’re interested but that’s not totally true. I feel this scenario men play out in their heads only exists for pretty women or the women you are already interested in. Just like the creepy things that happen in romcoms are only OK cos the guy is handsome.

Let me tell you what I perceive as a reason why woman don’t approach men more. Women have grown up in a society telling us that men will do anything for sex, they will cross continents, do dangerous shit to show off, all in the hopes of getting sex. Men will fuck everything and anything we are told.…

So when I approach you and get rejected, it (even for just a second) carries the implication that actually, I am below this level of ‘everything and anything’ I am too ugly/boring/fat to even consider for this ‘uncontrollable’ need to be with a woman. Then, depending on my self confidence, I may even expect you and your friends will be joking about that fat ugly girl who was interested in you, perpetuating my idea that I am worthless because I am not sexually appealing.

And yet, I know men aren’t animals, I have male friends and they are awesome and not just chasing sex but there is a lot of societal conditioning to overcome. As much as men deal with rejection, at least it is just considered a normal part of the expected ‘game’ where women ‘grant’ sex and men are hungry animals.

A woman being rejected doesn’t fit the rules of the game, so what happened? She is probably going to assume there’s something wrong with her.

TLDR women don’t commonly make approaches because rejection means feeling like we are not up to acceptable fuckable standard, which is a super low standard.”


33. Men live in a world where they are not constantly thinking about physical safety. We do.

“Men live in a world where they are not constantly thinking about physical safety. We do.

Some things you find normal we find extremely creepy.

No means no. Please do not stalk a girl thinking you can change her mind.

While I truly believe there are men that are abused (sexually and otherwise) most victims of DV are women, hence most shelters are for women. Resources in the government are limited as it is now, so please do not wait for anything to get available and just leave an abusive situation. I know, life is not fair.

And lastly,

Any person that slashes tires or breaks thing is a violent person even if this person is a cute girl. Please do not think that a woman that exhibits violence like that is harmless because she is a girl. Women kill, too.”


34. We always have to worry that guy friends will want to fuck us.

Always having that lingering worry that a new male acquaintance wants to get with you. There’s been more than one case where I started talking to guys due to mutual friends, assumed they were so friendly because they were just nice people, and after one or two conversations thought ‘Wow, he’s a nice person to talk to. Yay, potential new friend!’ but then they dropped a fucking bridge on me by asking me out. Keep in mind this relies a lot on context, these were also guys I barely knew which made it kinda weird.

Guys aren’t the only ones who can be awkward around the opposite sex. I spent most of my adolescent and teenage years with almost all of my friends being other girls or gay men (not a deliberate choice on my part, it just kind of happens when you’re friends with people in the theater department). It was almost jarring in college when I had significantly more (predominantly straight) male friends. It was almost like being exposed to a new culture in a way.

Women don’t always wear makeup because they think they look ugly without it or because they’re pressured by society, the patriarchy, whatever. Makeup can be actually be really fun. I feel good about my appearance with or without makeup and makeup allows me to put a little artistic creativity in my day-to-day life. Think about that really sharp suit jacket, or watch, or belt that gives you a little spring in your step when your wear it; that’s what red lipstick, a sharp eyeliner wing, etc. does for me and many other girls.”


35. Being ugly is a bitch.

“Being ugly is a bitch. Society tells guys constantly that if you’re ugly or dorky then some hot girl will still someday see you for who you are. Maybe you need to buy a new outfit and learn how to talk to women, but that’s it. Girls are sometimes told the same thing (like in The Princess Diaries, etc.) but that process ALWAYS involves a makeover to make the girl more socially acceptable and palatable. Like, I’ve been waiting my whole life for someone to come around and tweeze my eyebrows and throw some lipstick on me, but that doesn’t fix actual ugly, and I can’t think of a single example in modern media of a woman just being appreciated for the content of her character.”


36. We have to agonize about every fucking bite that goes in our mouths.

“Nobody has talked about the part where you have to agonize about every fucking bite that goes in your mouth because (1) women are expected to get smaller and smaller until they disappear and (2) eating just about anything is naughty or bad and something you shouldn’t do. Shit is exhausting. And yet I still buy in because of the horrific punishment heaped on women who dare not to be hungry all the goddamn time.”


37. How absolutely disgusting we can be when we are with our girlfriends.

“How absolutely disgusting we can be when we are with our girlfriends. Like really vulgar. I don’t know if at this point it is surprising, but yeah. When my friends and I get together we become filthy individuals. I’ve had guys be kind of surprised about that many times.

Also, how non-visual we are. They’d probably hate the fact that we do not get aroused by naked male bodies in general, but by specific people. At least in my case. I’m sure a man appreciates nudes more than we appreciate dick pics. Dick pics are not arousing or sexy to most of us unless it’s our man’s. Maybe understanding that will make them stop sending so many random dick pics? Idk.

Sexual harassment is not flattering in any way, shape, or form. It’s scary.

They’d probably also be surprised about our instinctual fear of them. Now, I’m not saying we are all afraid or terrified of men but, when a man approaches me when I’m on my own, I immediately get nervous and defensive.”


38. We have to be constantly vigilant while in public.

“The constant vigilance when in public. Subconsciously assessing the body language and demeanor of every passing man or group of men for the threat of danger. Having a self-defense/safety plan for something as simple as catching the bus at night. Adjusting your own body language to avoid drawing attention to yourself. The relief when there’s another woman nearby, and the guilty relief when she’s more attractive than you so you’re less likely to be the target of casual sexual harassment. Etc. etc.”


39. We are hornier and less sensitive than men.

“I think we can have higher sex drives than most men and are actually less sensitive. The more I go along in life the more I realize men’s horrible behavior is because they are way more fragile and sensitive than women. They cope by being aggressive and shitty.”


40. We get very lonely and isolated, too.

“We get very lonely and isolated, too. Some women don’t have emotional support systems that women are ‘expected’ to have.”


41. So many things…

“• Wear make-up… But just enough that you ‘look good’…If you use too much, it’s ‘not natural’ or you’re trying too hard.
• It’s nearly impossible for you to be perceived as funny or having a good sense of humor. Even if you use the exact same jokes as a man that got an entire room to laugh, to unsuspecting people.
• If you show emotion, you’re too emotional and too womanly to understand leadership positions. But if you don’t, you’re a ‘coldhearted b*tch.’
• You have to be assertive enough in your career pursuits to advance. But if you EVER step over the ever-moving line, you’re a ‘b*tch’.
• You want to be recognized for your ideas and accomplishments in primarily male occupations, yet you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. If you talk over the men and interject with your own ideas, you’re a bitch. If you sit back and wait to be invited into a conversation, you never will be.
• You’re supposed to be interested enough in being sexy to be interesting. But if you step over that line, you’re a sl*t.
• You’re supposed to ‘be there for your man’—which, these days, often entails pursuing a career to shoulder at least part of the financial burden. If not, the majority of it. And yet you still have to be ‘in your womanly place’ which means you’re still expected to cook, clean, have and raise children, make appointments, etc.”


42. How painful it is to be the side chick.

“How hard it is to be the side chick. Now, I know it’s wrong and I should move on but I keep hoping you will love me more than her because I love you. I keep hoping you will sleep next to me in bed at night more often and I cry when I know you two are cuddled up in bed all warm and cozy in the rain. It hurts when you tell me she’s younger/prettier/petite/tighter/skinnier/childless virgin/same race as you. It hurts so bad but you’re my best and only friend and the 4th guy in a row to leave me hanging on the sidelines. You kill my trust in people with your lies; you break my heart and kill my self-worth. You get mad when I try to find someone who will spend time with me and pick fights when we spend time together so you can leave and hang out with her. It hurts when you are texting her when I’m giving you head and it hurts when you are thinking of her when you cum. It hurts that I’m not allowed to text you but she calls you nonstop when you are here. It hurts that you want to have babies with her and I’m just here to fill up the time when she’s busy. It hurts that you buy her things and expect me to pay. It hurts that when all of us got an STD because you’re a slut that you got mad at me because she got it even though I’m the one that the STD turned to cancer. It hurts that when I tell you it hurts you tell me too fucking bad shut up and deal with it. It hurts that I let you sleep in my bed and I’ve never been invited into your home or been around your friends. It hurts that I don’t exist in your life and you walk far away from me when I take you places and pay for you because someone might see us together. I hurts when you wont have sex with me because you’re saving your load for her. It hurts because sometimes you kiss me like you love me and hug me tight and tell me you’ll always be there for me but then you don’t answer my texts for weeks because you are having a great time with her. It hurts because I am here waiting for you to call me even though I know I’m better off alone. 7 years alone. I guess I should just be used to it by now. I sleep with my cat every night instead but she died yesterday and I’m so fucking alone.”


43. Sometimes we don’t understand why we are crying, either.

“Sometimes we don’t understand why we are crying, either.”

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