Women Explain Which Rarely Taught Things All Girls Should Know
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It doesn't take a genius to know that women and girls don't get taught everything we need to know at school or by our parents. A lot of us are out here just doing the best we can with what we've got and figuring it out along the way.

Many don't fully understand our own bodies, aren't fully comfortable with the politics of the workforce, and bless your heart if you're in a metropolitan area and nobody has taught you the official (and unofficial) rules of public transportation.


Don't stress. The sisterhood has your back.

Reddit user ej1273 asked:

"Women of Reddit, what’s something every girl should know but is rarely taught?"

Let's get our learning on, shall we?

Menopause?

Tv Land Crying GIF by Teachers on TV LandGiphy

"Still waiting for someone to teach me about menopause."

- megablocklego

"Honestly don't know much about it either, but I do know this: If you start menopause and your period suddenly comes back, go see a doctor IMMEDIATELY."

- carinavet

"Going through it now."

"No one told me about the insomnia. The hot flashes drench my head. Oh and brain fog is real."

- tulipz10

"And no one seems to mention that it’s not a few months or maybe a year… I’ve been dealing with it for 4+ years."

"Absolutely ridiculous. I would like to speak to menopause’s manager!"

- megggie

Pockets

"Honestly, sewing and altering clothes- not for gendered reasons, but because our clothes often times fit irregularly."

"A size 12 in one brand will fit completely differently from a size 12 in a different brand."

"Also, you can learn to sew larger pockets into your pants."

- plvmeria

"Say no more. You had me at pockets."

- spamari

Discharge Discourse

"Your vaginal discharge is slightly acidic to help kill off bacteria."

"This is why your underwear may gradually get 'bleach' stains and little holes forming in the gusset."

- tinyspacewolves

"It causes light spots on dark fabric and dark spots on light fabric. Somehow, it knows."

- nameunconnected

"I get vaginal discharge every time my period is about to arrive."

"My ex thought I was unhygienic and went on Reddit about it. It hurt a lot knowing that I, at that time, was in love with him. Glad it’s over."

- craycrayanon

"It is COMPLETELY normal to have discharge."

"I was taught you should have no discharge. Ever. It made me feel disgusting every time I felt my undies get moist."

"I was reading today that some girls have harmed themselves over this because they think it means they are no longer clean or are impure."

"I make sure in all my sex Ed classes with high school girls to stress this fact."

- ShutterbugOwl

"I had no idea as a young teen that discharge was normal."

"So I assumed my underwear should be bone dry and spotless and something must be wrong with me that it wasn’t. This was likely connected to my then-recent discovery of masturbation, which I understood was a terrible sin and a disgusting thing for me to be doing."

"I saw an ad for Monistat that referred to discharge, and I decided I must have a yeast infection."

"So, being probably 12 years old, I shoplifted some home treatment because I assumed if I tried to buy it they’d tell my mom and she’d know why."

"And that’s how a total lack of decent sex ed led me to commit crimes and self-medicate imaginary yeast infections for a couple years."

- okschooner

Negotiation

Pay Me Stephen Colbert GIF by The Late Show With Stephen ColbertGiphy

"How to negotiate a pay raise, higher salary, etc. Too many of us (girls and boys) are not taught how to advocate for ourselves and know our worth to employers."

- Pepperspray24

"THIS."

"Last time I was offered a promotion at a corporate job they were all 'oh boy! And you’ll get a $2 an hour raise!' ”

"I said I’d call them back shortly. Did the math. With the amount of commissions I got on top of my hourly they’d have to give me a $3 a raise just to match my average pay, not to mention the raise needed to cover my new responsibilities."

"I called back and told them as much, and said I’d take a $6 per hour raise to start and if the store numbers went up in the first month by 10% I’d take another $2 after 30 days, and we could renegotiate after 90 days of the promotion, depending on store numbers."

"They said they couldn’t do that, so I said I’d stay in my current position."

"They called back within five minutes and agreed. I said I’d wait on the paperwork confirming it and wouldn’t ya know it? It worked."

- ShinyTinker

A Second Opinion

"If a doctor quickly dismisses your extreme menstrual pain (or any type of pain for that matter) as being ‘normal’ or that you’re too ‘sensitive’, try to seek a second opinion."

"My ‘normal’ pain turned out to be endometriosis."

- BranwenTheRiveter

"My mom told me to suck it up, everyone hurts during their period. She thought taking ibuprofen kept my body from learning how to deal with discomfort."

"No, mom. It was stage 4 endometriosis. It was so bad my internal organs were fused together."

- reluctantsub

"Way back in dinosaur times, a doctor told my sister that period pain is God's punishment for women committing Original Sin, and there was nothing he could do to help her."

- NeutralFrog

Houseplants

"Thousands of companies exist with the sole purpose of making you feel insecure about some bullsh*t non-issue, then selling you a made-up 'solution'."

"Don't give these people your money. Acquire more houseplants instead."

- Articulated

"This here is solid gold."

"My houseplants make me so much happier than trying to conform to random bullsh*t standards for women ever did."

- Foxclaws42

A Plan, Not A Man

"Financial planning."

"You can’t and shouldn’t depend on Prince Charming to rescue you."

- macaronsforeveryone

"My grandma told me 'You don’t need a man to take care of you. You also don’t need a man you have to take care of.' ”

- erishilton

"As a Father to a daughter, I really tried to encourage my daughter to be financially independent and smart with her money."

- nadvargas

Lumps Aren't Always Cancer

"Lumps in your breasts are not always cancer!"

"Of course get them checked out, but it is COMMON to find cysts in your breasts! Some people also have naturally fibrous and kind of lumpy feeling breast tissue."

"Source: found a lump in my breast, freaked out, searched Google, freaked out more, stewed for months, booked an appointment with my Obgyn only for him to tell me 'yeah its a cyst, stop messing with it. It's common.' "

"Don't do that to yourself. Don't freak out. Don't stew for months."

- Jenyweny09

"It bothers me tons that there is no treatment other than 'live with it' as they become very painful."

"However, I really want to stress here, if you do find lumps in your breasts, go have them checked immediately, but don't freak out about it. It could be something, it could be nothing."

- yourMomDoesTricks

A Watering Can

"Lactating women do not have just one stream of breast milk that comes out of the middle part of the areola."

- Egg_Cellent

"Yup. It all looks a bit more like a watering can. You have multiple ducts where milk is released."

"Adding on to this, people need to understand a bit lore about the basics of human lactation. How it works, what is normal/abnormal, and where to reach out for help, and to do so the second you have questions."

"Lactation issues are much easier to correct the sooner you get help."

- nursepineapple

"I thought this when my son was born."

"He was four weeks premature and I was crying after the birth because my nipples didn’t have their hole yet. I was convinced it was because he was early and I wouldn’t be able to breast feed."

- ComprehensiveFlan638

"What the F!!!! I am 35, no kids (yet) and you are telling me my nipple turns into a WATERING CAN!!!???"

- holdingpotato

Do You Even Lift?

"Weightlifting and strength training is good for you, and more women should lift."

- kschin1

"No one accidentally wins Mr. Universe. The heavy weights aren't going to turn you into a hulk. You're not going to look 'manly' by accident."

- heili

"ADHD lady who loves weight lifting. Can confirm."

"Your brain goes quiet and you have such a sense of accomplishment being able to lift something you never thought was possible."

- infiniteambivalence

"It also won’t make you 'bulky'."

"It’s damn hard to build actual muscle, women don’t build muscle as quickly or as naturally as men do. For a woman to build a large amount of muscle takes time and precision with diet and progressive load training."

- RunRenee

"Exactly!! As a guy I’ve never understood this, women are something like 4 times more likely to develop osteoporosis or something because of bone density."

"So literally women have very good reason to lift more."

- GeneralKenobi4321

Now that you've heard from the lovely ladies of Reddit, it's your turn to talk.

What is something you think younger women and girls need to know as they grow up?

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