10 things men need to know about what it’s like to be a woman

Reddit is serving up some truth

A thread has been building over on r/AskReddit with women letting men know all the things that come with being a woman they might not yet have been made aware of. We’ve listed some of our favourites below, and if you want to read the rest of the thread (you should), you’ll find it here.

1. Periods are weird

snarkledoo expresses the fear:

Trust us when we tell you, periods don’t involve nearly as much frolicking, pastel clothing, or smiling as sanitary product adverts would have you believe. But of course you knew that because if you were fooled by sanitary adverts, you’d also think period blood was blue. The reality is, the uterus is not a reptilian alien that bleeds blue every month, and no matter how good your sanitary products are, no matter how much that towel is as secure as a nappy or that tampon is better than a bottle cork, periods are an intensely uncomfortable time of paranoia and irritation.

2. We have bodily functions

Giantgorilladick has enlightened their partner:

Hold onto your hats, folks, or we might burp them off. Women have bodily functions and we’re not ashamed of them. Actually, sometimes we take incredible pride in the especially disgusting ones.

3. We don’t appreciate our uterus being treated like Schrödinger’s Box for babies

ninabrujakai feels scrutinised:

Just because we are biologically able to have babies doesn’t mean that we want to, have immediate plans to, or ever intend to at all. Accept it.

4. We’re not leading you on

Lunasolaris points this out:

It’s incredibly frustrating when you constantly have to police your behaviour to make sure that you’re not being unfriendly enough to be labelled a bitch, but aren’t being so friendly that everything you do is being misconstrued as an attempt to flirt. The line between the two is imperceptibly thin so sometimes we try to shut down any romantic intentions quickly by declaring that we’re in a relationship. But lyfeaquatic points out we even have to be careful there; announce it too quickly and we’re conceited, but don’t do it quickly enough and we’re lying or leading you on. We’re not leading you on, we’re trying to ensure our safety.

5. We’re sick of Catch 22 bullshit

afrodisiacs is rightly frustrated:

This poster has it down exactly. Women must act with, as Alastor Moody might say, “CONSTANT VIGILANCE!” Whether you want to accept it or not, the reality is being a woman is dangerous and we are at risk of being subjected to verbal and physical harassment regularly. So don’t try to make us feel ridiculous about taking extra precautions because we have to, or we’ll be told we didn’t take enough. When it comes to protecting yourself, there’s a real sense that you can’t do right.

6. Our smiles don’t appear by verbal command

Like maddiegonebonkers13, our faces reserve the right to a holiday:

It’s a tale as old as time; a woman is walking along the street minding her own business when a random stranger pops up in her face to tell her to “smile!” We can’t even begin to tell you everything that’s wrong with this; there are essays on it. Suffice it to say we don’t have to smile if we don’t want to, our faces aren’t here to please you, and if you tell a woman to smile please don’t be surprised if her middle finger extends upwards rather than the corners of her lips.

7. We don’t immediately recover after giving birth

Preach, SweepTheStardust:

Pushing a human being out of your vagina does, believe it or not, leave a woman in need of some recovery time. And a C-section isn’t any easier. There are so many things happening to a woman’s body before, during, and after giving birth that maternity leave isn’t a luxury it’s a health necessity.

8. We don’t live for your dick pics

-Protease is breaking this down for you:

We have covered our feelings on the dick pic and the psychology behind it before. We’d really rather texting you didn’t feel like a game of Pop-Up Pirate, with every message we send increasing the chance of an unwanted head popping up to ruin our fun.

9. Being in a relationship doesn’t revoke our individual identity

We feel your rage, closetklepto:

A heterosexual relationship is not a Highlander situation; when a man and a woman enter a partnership, they don’t become one entity represented by the masculine figure. They exist as two separate people who make their own decisions and live their own lives. Recognise that.

Further comments by Whitefox00 and Chucklestein say this problem is particularly noticeable in car salesrooms. If men want to know how frustrating this feels, Green700 has a suggestion for you: “Any guy who wants to know what this is like. Go to a wedding expo with your SO. See how little you matter in the eyes of some people even when it’s supposed to be a joint decision.”

10. The beauty standards are punishing

DrunkVulcan has some thoughts about modern beauty standards:

The pressure placed on women to meet society’s beauty standards is astounding, and sometimes we wonder if you even see the hypocrisy of them, too. Often the most effort goes into achieving a look that makes you look like you’ve made the least effort because heaven forbid you look like you’re affected by the pressures being thrown at you from every media source. That natural look? That took 3 different eyeshadows and a lot of concealer. And then people have the audacity to mock us when we take a long time to get ready to try and meet the ridiculous standards they perpetuate. Ugh.

If you want to read more things you need to know about being a woman or some more intensely relatable content, you can keep reading the Reddit thread here.

Main Image © iStock/wernerimages