Some things are literally impossible to explain. Sometimes there's no comparable word or a cultural barrier is in play. Sometimes there's no comparable body part.
Sometimes there's no comparable societal expectation or idea.
Yeah, if you haven't guessed by now, we're talking about the kinds of things that border on impossible for women to explain to men and have them gain a full understanding of it.
Things started with a simple question on Reddit:
And yeah, you're going to get some talk about periods - that's the obvious. But you might be shocked and maybe even a little enlightened to read where things go from there.
Starting With The ObviousGiphy
The feeling of your uterus shedding it's skin inside of you.
Best description I can give is to imagine something living inside of you, just between your genetalia and belly button, that is carving into you with a knife. Then also, you get bloated, you get acne, you get super emotional, and you still have to go to work.
Can we talk about tryna poop during all this???
When we say something feels good that means don't freaking change it. Don't go faster, don't try to add more, just keep it at the same.
As a dude, even if we understand it, we suddenly become hyperaware of everything we're doing so something gets messed up because we overthink it.
Unsolicited peen pics aren't a turn on.
I don't think most women admire them as much as men admire breasts. It's just not an attractive part of a male (not for me, anyway). They're very useful, but I'd rather see his face, his muscles, his legs, his butt...
But solicited ones are great, my husband has sent me one when he's been upstairs at home and I'm downstairs. Let's me know what's up (pun intended).
I used to think the whole unsolicited pic thing was hugely exaggerated because I couldn't imagine anyone I knew sending one and had never heard of anyone I know sending one.
Then one day I was talking to my younger sister about it, and we'd had a few drinks so she decided to name and shame some people who had sent her some. Some of whom I knew from back in school and was extremely surprised about.
Then it hit my that guys don't tell other guys that they send girls unsolicited dick pic cause it's embarrassing. But they're everywhere.
Messed Up Emotional Upbringings
- A lot of us have been raised to do most of the emotional labor around the house, which includes being privy to escalating situations by noticing even the most seemingly insignificant changes in people. This is part of why what men regard as "hints" that they never catch are very obvious signs to women. Also why a lot of us think our bfs are mad at us when they suddenly go quiet :/ at least that's how it was in my household...quiet usually meant someone was about to pop off.
- "Why do women say they're fine when they're not?" Because a lot of us have been raised to keep our needs to ourselves and to not be "needy" or "a nag".
Neither of the above are excuses for the situations that arise...just possible explanations...I really enjoy reading the threads like this that ask men for their input. Both of us are victims of messed up emotional upbringings.
Not How It Works
Having sex with numerous people doesn't loosen a damn vagina! And somehow a lot of men don't understand this
"So how many women have you been with?"
"Wow. Guess your manhood must be pretty bendy and limp by now, huh?"
The feeling of being always scared.
Scared at night
Scared in a 1-1 meeting with a male college who is angry
Scared of standing up against sexual harassment
Scared of being called a liar if you call somebody out on there sh!t or being told "it was just a joke"
Scared with tradies in your house when you're alone
Scared of the guy on the bus talking to you while staring at anything but your face
Scared on being in a taxi or Uber alone
Just the general feeling that it's never safe. I live in a safe suburb in a relatively safe city in a relatively safe country. Yet we are always on high alert.
Advice from early childhood into adulthood: Walk with a friend. Tell somebody where you are going. Carry your keys in between your fingers. Etc.
And that constant fear is so normalized, most of us don't recognize it as fear. Because we're taught that mature, responsible, smart women always fear for their safety. So there's almost a weird sense of security in that constant fear.
Oh, and also reminding other women to be afraid means you care, not that you're an alarmist psycho.
That we're just people, like you. We're not mysterious, soft creatures. We're not an endless fountain of emotional nurturing, in fact, many of us are just as bad at expressing our emotions or comforting people as you are.
We have hopes, dreams, interests, strengths and weaknesses. We don't all cry. We don't necessarily give a sh!t about clothes, or makeup, or decorating, or child-rearing. We aren't a monolith and we aren't all alike, we vary as individuals just like you.
We too sit around doing or thinking about dumb stuff. Yes, as a kid I also built weapons out of sticks, or tried to mix household chemicals together to make them explode, or all manner of things we only attribute to boys.
If you ask me what I'm thinking, there's a good chance it's some inane random bullshit about who would beat who in a fight, or what superpower I would hate to have.
We're just like you, in many ways.
Manage Your Life
We have absolutely zero desire to clean up after you or babysit your life like you're a toddler. You're grown. Clean up your crap. Manage your life. Pull your weight. Quit bitching about how much work it all is, and how it keeps you from doing the things you'd rather spend your time on—we know because we're fucking doing your share of it, and it's wasting OUR time that we would rather spend on other things.
This, plus, don't say "I'll help, just tell me what needs to be done."
You're grown. We shouldn't have to tell you to pull your weight around the house or manage your chores as if you're a child.
What it's like for your body to betray you constantly. It's hard to explain how my body doesn't feel like mine anymore but it bleeds and hurts and makes me emotional against my will. When I first learned this would be my reality for my entire adult life I felt a deep devastation and betrayal, which is a feeling I don't think most men have felt.
Being seen as attractive does not necessarily raise your sense of self-worth. It's an odd contradiction, as we're implicitly told to look attractive from a young age. So you'd think achieving that goal would make you very happy. And in ads beautiful people all live happy lives.
But to be looked at like a f*ckable object doesn't make me feel good about myself. I even tried posting on r/gonewild to see if it was just the public aspect of people staring, and felt just a slight feeling of shame from the well-intentioned comments. The way you look on the outside changes nothing about how you feel about yourself.
In fact, being regularly perceived as on the attractive side earns a lot of cold shoulders, dismissive attitudes, instant disapproval and snap-judgments by men and women alike. Over the years I've surmised it to be some form of "It's my turn to show this girl that looks don't get you everything."
Except it's multiple people, everywhere I go, my whole life. I'm afraid of women and have no girl friends. Men constantly ask me if I'm good at math. I can't look people in the eyes anymore.
The Name Game
Why I don't want to take someone else's name. My names MINE I like it and I want to keep it
This was something my ex husband could not wrap his head around, he took it as a personal insult when I double barrelled my name instead of just taking his, and when I suggested he also double barrell his name he openly laughed in my face.
That's The Point
You saying that you feel uncomfortable when we try and tell you about harassment that we've experienced is kinda of the point. We're uncomfortable too, and scared.
I've tried to tell a few of my guy friends about stuff that's happened to me and they've all asked me to end the conversation because it made them feel sick. They're good friends, they just can't handle it, and neither can the majority of others I've mentioned it to.
Some women are self conscious about the appearance of their genitals. Hearing men joke about "meat curtains" and making fun of it is crushing. I once had a guy in my friend group after saying how he could never sleep with a girl with large labia minora because they're ugly try to get me in bed. That was a hard turn down and he didn't know why. My vulva isn't pretty and tucked in like many women's are, and only after I hit the age of 25 did I realize that most people don't care. Maybe it is the people I chose to be in my life but I have never sat around with girls talking about small dicks or foreskin and how they're gross. Never once heard a small dick joke beyond a male making it. Why ruin your chances with 50% of women by telling them (inadvertently) that their genitals are gross? It hurts us too.
Good, But Not THAT Good
My two male roommates genuinely believe that penetration from the penis is one of the most godly, nut-worthy feelings on earth and they're always mad they won't be able to feel it but boy... are they wrong.
I'm not mad and stop telling me to calm the fuck down. Just because I express my self in a very straight forward, no nonsense way, does not mean I'm angry or mad. It just means that I'm not afraid to voice my opinions and thoughts and I couldn't care less if you judge me for what I have to say.
The amount of times I've been told to "calm down" or "why you acting so crazy" or "you don't need to be rude" is endless and honestly I'd be a fcking millionaire if I got paid a dollar every time a man said those things to me.
When I'm mad, I'll let you know and if you cannot handle me being blunt and honest to you, please don't get pissed off and start calling me names, or else I'll be forced to ask "maybe you need to calm down?"
The concept of emotional labor.
It's so hard to explain that I spend 3+ hours a day thinking about all the other moving parts in our lives, while my boyfriend is "stressed about work." Especially when I'm also the breadwinner in the relationship and the one in a much more senior position despite being a couple years younger.
And yet, he can't understand, that sometimes I just want him to do the laundry without me having to ask. He thinks I "should just ask" the asking is part of the labor.
That I have all sorts of different trains of thought choo-chooing through my mind at all times. My brain is a web browser with too many tabs open and I can't just close them. I must continually cycle through them until they are settled. Telling me to stop worrying about things will not magically stop the cycle.
Want, Not Need
Just because I don't act like I need you, doesn't mean I don't want you. I'm independent and my man communicated when we first got together that he felt a bit insecure because I didn't "need" him around.
We talked extensively, and I basically explained that because I had been single for so long, no, technically I didn't need him. At least not in the physical sense. I'd been doing everything myself for YEARS and I was just used to it. But I did need him emotionally, and more importantly, I WANTED him. And IMO, being wanted is so much better. What happens when someone who needs you, suddenly stops needing you? Then you have no further value to them. I crave him on every level, from friendship, to emotional, to physical. My body just naturally gravitates toward him.
Granted my man had some self-esteem issues from previous relationships, and we've been working together on that, but I've made more of an effort to ask for his help when something I need to do is difficult. I COULD do it, but I know he would appreciate me asking him for help.