People Break Down The Womens' Issues That Are Often Overlooked
Women's issues are becoming a central part of our political conversations and activism as more (but never enough) women come into power. You may have heard issues such as patriarchy, glass ceilings and wage gaps, or misogyny. But what about women's health issues?
The World Health Organization shared news on the progress and the challenges of women's health over the past 25 years and said:
"Today, sexual and reproductive health conditions remain one of the leading causes of mortality and morbidity for women and girls. Violence against women and girls is the most frequent human rights abuse worldwide."
Even thought progress has been made towards equity and autonomy over women's bodies and sexual health, there's still so much more to do.
Redditor MINNESOTAKARMATRAIN_ asked:
"What are some women's issues that are overlooked?"
These painfully true stories are only a glimpse into the global issues that women face every day.
Birth control and the terrible side effects.
"How bad some of the negative effects hormonal birth control can be. I was losing my mind, but my doctor brushed it off saying I was just stressed. Got off it, and instantly felt so much better."
"I f*cking hate hormonal birth control. I've tried almost every type and they all magically mess me up in different ways. It seems to either makes me so nauseated and wrecks my GI system, it completely kills my sex drive, or it makes me suicidal. I really want my tubes tied but I'm super scared of surgery. I wish there were more non-hormonal options or more options for men. Plus every time I complained about the side effects it was 'Oh are you sure it's the BC, most people handle it just fine!' Please shut up."
"'Oh, you're just stressed.' That phrase! They told me this for months when I was complaining of abnormal, catatonic exhaustion. Finally a doctor thought to test my iron stores and B12 level and I had nearly none of either and was close to permanent nerve damage. Now whenever a doctor utters that phrase to me they get an instant middle finger."
"...just kidding, we also don't get the luxury of anger."
"I know exactly how you feel, it's so infuriating to be treated like you don't know your own body."
"Oral contraceptive birth control pills can cause depression and very often do."
"PMS and PMDD aren't taken seriously enough. The depression and anxiety of PMDD are debilitating."
"I'm so sorry but not surprised that so many of you deal with these issues. If you have PMDD, please join us at r/PMDD if only to have a sounding board for when you're feeling bad and wondering if you're crazy. You're not alone!"
"I really wish this were discussed more. I struggled with depression and anxiety for years throughout my early 20s. I stopped taking birth control and it just vanished. I almost couldn't believe the difference it made. Even my colleagues noticed how much my demeanor had improved. A lot of my friends have stopped taking it too with similar experiences- none of us feel the need to go back."
"Additionally, my friend struggled with migraines for years and no doctor ever suggested that BC could be the cause but she hasn't had one since she stopped taking them years ago. I don't know why nobody ever suggested it."
"I know the pill has been incredibly useful for women to have better control over their bodies and can be very helpful to some. I just wish they had talked through it more when prescribing. The only thing I was worried about was that I'd gain weight on them."
Doctor's refusing to go off of birth control.
"Getting off of any form of birth control is hard."
"This past week I had my normal yearly OBG check up. I mentioned I wanted my IUD out. (my normal doctor was out of the office so I had to see someone else). She refused to take my IUD out because I wasn't married and she insisted that my fiancé wouldn't want the chance of us getting pregnant."
Endometriosis and Period Shame.
"It took me 12 years to get a diagnosis and I'm still fighting for acceptable levels of care."
"'One day, you'll wake up and find a little bit of blood in your underpants. And that is the day you become a woman.'"
"Yeah no. I woke up to a scene from Godfather."
These Are The Worst Job Interviews Ever | George Takei’s Oh Myyy
"Man, I got mine before I was going to bed and had a panic attack thinking I was about to die crying in the bathroom. Aussie sex education is non-existent."
"When I started bleeding at 11, I thought it was because I was masturbating and it had made me ill (overheard the usual 'don't do that it'll make you go blind' which was said to my brother, because no one wants to acknowledge that young girls also go through sexual development...), and assumed I was now dying because of it. Didn't tell anyone because I was ashamed they'd know what I'd been doing."
"So I started throwing away my bloody knickers. My mum found them in the bin and asked why I was doing that, told her I was bleeding, she explained what a period was etc..."
"It's f*cked up to me that periods aren't explained to girls, why are we so scared of girls coming of age? Why are we pretending it doesn't happen? Can we just teach girls about their bodies?"'
Not given the autonomy and choice of sterilization.
"Not being able to get sterilized when you're 100000000% sure you don't want kids. PMS & cycle in general."
"35 year old woman: I don't want kids. I would like sterilization options."
"Doctor: What? You're too young to make that decision."
"15 year old: I'm pregnant because my idiot boyfriend didn't wear a condom. I'm keeping my baby."
"Doctor: Here is a literal grocery bag full of information on everything you'll need, as well as schedule doctors visits."
"Not just the U.S. either. My younger sister had two pregnancies, three children, and she nearly died in childbirth twice. She asked for a hysterectomy because she knew she couldn't cope with a third pregnancy, and every doctor told her "she was too young to make that decision, what if she wanted more kids, what if her husband wanted more kids", never mind the fact he walked out on her when he learnt she was pregnant with twins."
"She fought for two years and it was only because she dragged him in with her that a doctor finally consented to give her a hysterectomy. Not the fact that she nearly died during childbirth, not the fact that her pregnancies were difficult and she went into pre-term labour multiple times with both pregnancies, no she only got it because she dragged her deadbeat husband in to 'consent' to her getting a hysterectomy."
"This is in New Zealand... I haven't bothered fighting for a hysterectomy because I know they won't give me one despite the fact I know I'm not having kids - I have a genetic condition which is severely disabling and I'm not passing it on. So I abstain from sex until such time as I know I can't get pregnant, I'm not taking the risk that a condom will break, and I'm on so many meds that the doctors can't guarantee that birth control will be effective. I know other forms exist, but honestly I'd have to fight for that as well since the doctors refuse to accept that I'm not changing my mind."
Pelvic floor physical therapy.
"Pelvic floor physical therapy! It's life changing, and many women don't know their physical issues can be easily addressed."
"Also, incontinence is never normal. It's always a medical issue worthy of treatment."
"So friend is a midwife and she's the one who gave me the "incontinence is always a medical problem" quote. Her journey with pelvic floor physical therapy started after she was kicked in the hip by a horse in college."
"Nothing was broken or obviously torn, but she became incontinent over time afterward. She went to a pelvic floor PT and they fixed her up."
"That same PT later treated my coworker's weird sports injury. She had pain centered around her tailbone and it was really impacting her life. She'd had tests and seen multiple doctors, and they couldn't figure out what was wrong. I recommended she check out this PT and she was like "I'll try anything". She recovered after working with the PT, although they were never quite sure what was the cause. It was probably some deeper core instability — she was a heavy runner who neglected core work but then switched to an intense Pilates class. It probably overtaxed her body."
"ANYWAY, I hope you can ignore your embarrassment and get help. There's no reason to deal with this at any age, you might as well nip this in the bud now. Your pelvic floor is part of your general core and provides support and stabilization — allowing this problem to linger could end up causing back (or tailbone!) pain."
"Remember, a doctor is like a plumber or mechanic — they are hired by you to perform a service. And seeing your body is like scanning an email at the grocery store or accepting a meeting invite. It's not interesting, it's Tuesday and they're meeting a friend for lunch in 35 minutes. They don't care."
Those who deal with issues around birth control, autonomy, and being believe deserve their voices to be heard. It's beyond time we take these thousands of experiences seriously.
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There is so much to learn in the world, it's impossible for one person to know absolutely everything there is to know.
But there are certain things, like common phrases and idioms, that everyone seems to use that might be a little embarrassing to not understand until later in life.
Redditor Curious-2577 asked:
"What's something you learned 'embarrassingly late' in life?"
"My sister was in her fifties when she found out the meaning of, 'You have an addictive personality.'"
"She thought after all these years of therapy that it meant that people were addicted to her personality."
"We laughed hysterically when we talked about this (in a very sad way)."
"I thought that horses had toes until I was 22. I thought the hoof was a 'horseshoe' and the toes were tucked inside."
"How did I learn how wrong I was, you ask?"
"I was walking past a cavalry museum and saw a horse statue and loudly remarked, 'It must hurt so bad when they fold a horse’s toes to put them into the shoe!'"
"Dozens of horse enthusiasts turned and looked at me with wild bewilderment in their eyes."
"The saying is, in fact, 'Nip it in the bud' and not 'Nip it in the butt.'"
"A few months ago, two of my colleagues both handed in their notice at around the same time."
"I kept reading/hearing the sentence, 'They’re both moving on to pastures new’ being thrown about the office in the weeks leading up to them leaving, and I hadn’t heard this phrase before and thought that was the name of the rival company that they were going to, like, 'Pastures New.'"
"I thought it was weird that nobody was talking about how they were both leaving for the same company."
"I was in the car with one of the two people who were leaving and said, 'So where is it that you and X are going to be working? Is it...’"
"And just before I could embarrass myself and say ‘Pastures New,' they interrupted me and said they’re not going to the same place and asked me where I had heard that."
"I think at that moment, I realized I was stupid and didn’t mention it again."
"I think I was in college when I realized that Mario and Luigi are plumbers. I thought they just went and up down these tubes just because that was the theme of the game."
"That Bonsai are not a species of tree, but a way to grow them. Any tree can be a bonsai."
Houston, We Have a Problem
"Houston is not the name of the guy astronauts talk to."
"I learned that pork and beans are not called 'cowboy beans.' I was 18 and asked a grocery store clerk to help me find the 'cowboy beans.'"
"We were looking everywhere and I was getting frustrated because I know that every store carries these beans. After a while, I picked up a pork and beans can with a picture and said, 'See, they look just like this!'"
"He said, 'You mean pork and beans?'"
"Then I realized that my mom called them that so that I would eat them."
"The look of disappointment from that grocery store clerk haunts me to this day."
"Let me tell you about how I thought you were awarded a 'Pullet Surprise.'"
Rum and Coke
"Not too late in life, but I thought my parents were making 'Roman Cokes' until I went to college."
"Which, I think is a much better name for the drink (Rum and Coke) anyway."
Oh No, Not Acoma!
"That a coma was 'A' coma. Until I was probably 19 or so, I thought it was 'acoma.'"
"I thought you fell into acoma."
It Must Have Been a One-Way Trip
"My parents were divorced the whole time and my mom was not, in fact, taking a vacation, lmao (laughing my a** off)."
"I live near the Hospital for Joint Diseases… when I was a kid, I thought was a special hospital for people who had two or more different diseases at the same time."
"Moving cross-country, driving east to west, and crossing from Idaho to Oregon, I noticed huge fields with signs for the Ore-Ida Potato company."
"So I was in my early 20s when I figured out Ore-Ida wasn’t just a brand name but was because their potatoes came from Oregon and Idaho."
"When I was really young, my sister told me she threw her guts up. So I was really afraid of vomiting my entire insides up for years."
Some of these really had us laughing as we realized the revelations some of these Redditors were having.
But when we're really honest with ourselves, we probably didn't figure out some of these until later, too.
While starting a family and having children is a goal that many people have, some do not realize that it's not easy, fun, and loving one-hundred percent of the time. Rather, it's expensive, exhausting, and hard, though it might be worth it in the end.
With this in mind, people shared what they felt were the hardest hurdles of their parenting.
Redditor ApprehensiveShock655 asked:
"What's the worst part of having a child?"
Fear of Not Doing Enough
"The constant anxiety that you’re doing enough to shape them to make good choices, a good life, be a good person and for them to have the life they deserve."
Like the Energizer Bunny
"It's incessant. It never stops. You never get a day off."
"Going from having two days per week to relax and do whatever to literally never having a moment free from responsibility."
No Break In Sight
"I’ve always wanted kids and still do, but this is the only thing that has come close to giving me pause."
"Both my siblings have young kids and I cannot get over how CONSTANT it is."
"From the second the kids wake up to when they finally shut their eyes, it’s non-stop. Then they get maybe an hour or two to themselves, which is mostly spent tidying up, etc., before the nighttime stuff starts with the baby crying, the toddler coming into bed, nightmares, etc."
"It requires years of not getting a full night's rest. You can never just go out whenever you want. No sleeping in, even on weekends because someone has to be up with them at 6 AM."
"Raising human children is an insane task."
Mom's Body After Baby and Dad Bods
"The weight gain is the worst! During the pregnancy, I gained 35 pounds. My belly has stretch marks. My boobs are all saggy."
"And it’s not even fair because my wife only gained like 15."
The Meal Planning
"Coming up with three meals to eat per day EVERY DAY stresses me out so bad."
"This sounds like such a small thing, but it really wears on you over time. You can’t just make something for yourself or something you and your spouse feel like eating: You have to constantly be thinking about if the kid is hungry and what they might be willing to eat."
Keeping Them Safe
"When people ask me this I say, 'do you know those video games where you have to escort a character to a destination without them being attacked?' That's parenting. Those missions are a pain in the a**."
Seriously, Keep Them Safe
"Having to deal with their total lack of self-preservation. They are creative and come up with all kinds of ways to try and kill themselves. Keeping ahead of the game is exhausting."
"They’re just always there. On you, behind you, in front of you, just a little speed bump impeding every task."
Letting Them Live Their Life Their Way
"Having a kid is like having a little piece of your heart running around in the world. When they're sick or get disappointed or just feel sad, it's worse than having it happen to you."
"Yet at the same time, you need to let your kids work through those things to learn to handle them. If you give into the worry and try to shield them from everything, you risk creating harmful co-dependence."
"So it's a constant struggle. But worth it!"
What Is "Sleep" Again?
"I'm only nine years in, but so far, it's been the sleep deprivation. Hands down."
And What Are These "Sick Days" You Speak Of?
"Having to take care of a sick child when you are also sick. For me that has been the most challenging part so far."
Another Full-Time Job
"It's like taking a second job that lasts 18+ years with a 24/7 schedule with no holidays or sick days."
"…And no second paycheck. It's actually like YOU are paying your second salary instead of getting one."
"The loss of freedom. I can't just... go somewhere. Even with older kids, there's so much planning and thinking and getting ready."
"I miss being able to just decide to go somewhere, and go there."
The Time Flies
"The best advice I got was from an ancient hospital security guard in an elevator. 'The days are long, the years are short, cherish them while you can.'"
"The phrase I hate is, 'You don't know it, but one day you pick your kid up for the last time.'"
There are all kinds of troubles that come from being a parent, many of which people don't necessarily think about until they already have a baby in the house.
But reassuringly, many people in the subReddit pointed out that no matter how hard some of these hurdles are to get over, it's still worth it in the end, and it goes by far too fast.
Positive emotions are high among people in the blossoming phase of relationships.
Everything seems more romanticized for people in love due to the amorous joy in their hearts–which also influences their desire to frequently get it on under the sheets–or any other daring location in the heat of the moment.
But for those who've declared "'til death do us part," devoted couples may find that they are not always on the same wavelength sexually compared to when they first met.
Curious to hear how people keep their passion alive, Redditor Rude_Phone6841 asked:
"Married people, how do you initiate sex with your partner?"
When verbally articulating isn't enough...
Let The Book Dictate When
"There is a book called 'How to Subtly Tell Your Partner You Want More Sex.' If you sleep on the right side of the bed, you can casually open it up and your spouse will see the giant printed title on the front. Sometimes, I’ll just get the book out and leave it on his side of the bed. Once he was messing with me and acting like he was oblivious to my not-so-subtle hints, so I threw the book at him. The book is effective and hilarious."
"ETA: Sadly, we haven’t found the book since we moved. Fortunately, we’ve started communicating with our words instead. Words are just as effective."
Save The Date
"I send her an outlook calendar event and if she accepts, IT'S ON."
"You know when I’m down to my socks it’s time for business."
These couples find that verbal cues are best.
Now's The Time
"Honestly when we have the time one of us usually bluntly says 'let's go have sex right f'king now before we can't' and we go do it. Lol"
Option A Or B
"I have a 2 month old and a 2 year old. Some of the best sex we had was because I said 'after 2 year old goes down and if 2month decides to sleep do you want to meet in the basement' well she decided to sleep and damn that was good."
End Of Day Reward
"We just ask each other tbh. We’ll bring it up earlier in the day so we build up the anticipation with each other throughout the day, flirt with each other, gas each other up. All that. Then when it’s finally time at the end of the day, we usually fall asleep cause we’re so tired."
"But the cycle continues the next day!"
People continued offering their wisdom.
Afternoon Hanky Panky
"The trick is to initiate sex during the day. We are both too tired at the end. Plus hanging out all day after is somehow more rewarding."
"Same goes for dates. Have sex at the beginning the date, then go enjoy your time together without any pressure."
Kids In The Equation
"This literally happened today with my wife and me. We have two toddlers so we’re extra exhausted. Earlier today we had the sexy initiation of 'hey, we both showered today, want to have sex after the babies are asleep?' 'Sure.'"
"Then when the kids were asleep, and my wife and I were getting settled into bed, she asked if I still wanted to. I said if she wants to I’m down, but I’m pretty tired and would be fine without it. She said she was also tired and could do without it. So we kissed each other good night and she went to sleep. I’m just winding down on Reddit for a few minutes before I also fall asleep."
"I know this is boring. I didn’t write this to tell an exciting story. Just to share what married life is like for me and probably the large majority of married couples, especially parents of young kids."
Shadow Puppet Technique
"Use my phones torch to shine a shadow of my member up against the bedroom wall."
"Kinda like a bat signal of sorts."
"Turn off the lights and switch on the red lamp beside the bed."
"Walk by him while taking my top off. He follows me wherever I go and it's been 30 years and counting."
Every couple is different, and usually establishing a strong communication bond makes everything else in the relationship–including sexy time–falls in line effortlessly.
I knew a couple who made a game out of foreplay and agreed that whoever got home first from getting off work at the same time got to choose the sexual position that night.
They may no longer be together, but I remember them recalling how that technique was fun for them at the beginning stage and it took the pressure off of establishing when they were going to have sex.
Don't take get too anxious about it. It's just sex, and it's fun.
There are a number of things people partake in spite of the known possible ramifications they have on their health and safety.
Up to and including smoking, bungee-jumping, recreational drug use, or simply bike riding without a helmet.
Indeed, even though they know that doing any or all of these things could possibly lead to their death, they do it anyway.
Sadly, even though many people go out of their way to avoid doing these things for that very reason, that still doesn't mean they keep themselves completely out of danger.
Sadly, there are a surprisingly large number of things that lead to an even more surprising number of deaths each year.
Frighteningly, these are things that the majority of the world's population does on an almost daily basis.
"What causes death more than people realize?"
When In Doubt, Call Your Doctor!
"Your body will become septic, in which it essentially kills itself trying to kill off whatever infection one has."- cacarrizales
"Infections that are left untreated."- raptor-99
Tread Carefully. Seriously.
"On average around 17k people a year in the US die from injuries incurred after tripping and falling."- EdithWhartonsFarts
When In Doubt, Don't Drive.
"Driving while sleepy."- latchkey_adult
The Handrail Is There For A Reason.
"20 million severe injuries each year and at least 200,000 death from consequences of the fall."
"Both my grandparents died because of a fall."- OnTheGoodSideofLife
They Happen To The Best Of Us
"Especially among the elderly, a fall can create a cascade of events that results in death, even if it seems minor at first."-AdmiralBofa
Never Rush Chewing
"Statistically the most choked on food."- SpecSanders
Never Skip A Check-Up
"High Blood Pressure."
"It sneaks up on you and you don't know about it or don't care but it's the underlying cause of so many deaths."- Fear51
Never Underestimate The Importance Of Self Care
"Your body can only handle so much of it and it’s labeled the 'silent killer' for that reason."
"With your high blood pressure and the 5 hours of sleep a night because of the stress, It will creep up on you sooner than you think."- DroppedDonut
Don't Forget To Floss!
"Untreated dental problems."
"A cavity left untreated can lead to heart attacks and strokes."- Lastalmark
"Just regular old flu."
"Many people ignore it thinking it'll go away on its own."
"Globally the number per year is usually between 300k and 500k."
"In the US it can be anywhere from 12k to 50k per year."- PhreedomPhighter
Don't Feel Ashamed If You Need A Break
"I have two family friends pass from heart attacks associated to shoveling the snow."- JD054
There Are People Who Will Help You
"Alcoholism causing liver failure and it's on the rise in the USA."- Interesting_Drop8236
"Peruse your County ME’s records."
"The amount of people who die from alcohol is astounding."- hockenduke
Sometimes, It's Just Best To Mind Your Own Business
"You watch some Hollywood blockbusters and some MMA fights and you think you can do it too."
"I've seen stories of a guy minding his own business and gets rocked on the side of his head. It disconnected his spine and he was dead before he hit the ground."
"There was another story maybe a year ago of a scuffle where a guy was stabbed in the neck and bled out to the point of being unable to stand within 10 seconds."
"Stop f*cking around, it's not worth your life."- Choiceofart
We never know when our number is up or how we'll end our days.
However, with a little bit of care and good judgment, we can at least likely avoid falling victim to all of the above.