gagnerocs38 asked women of Reddit: What is the hardest/scariest/most frustrating part of being a woman that most men don't realize?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
Women are allowed to not want kids.
Not being able to make decisions about my body because of potential future children.
I have Endo and even with my IUD (a godsend, btw) I'm still miserable and in pain all the time. I asked my doc about options and when I mentioned a hysterectomy I was immediately shut down because I haven't had any children. I want kids, but I'd prefer not being in immense pain every day.
While I'm 55 now, when I was 40, I walked into yet another gyno office, requesting sterilization. "Oh, you'll never find a doctor to do that to you, you've never had any children and you might change your mind!"
AT FORTY YEARS OLD, I STILL DON'T KNOW MY OWN MIND
Never did have any crotch fruit, F*CK ALL THOSE GYNOS that turned me down.
Yep. Bitter I am.
Sometimes emotion is just emotion.
Getting upset or annoyed about something and having it be put down to hormones and/or PMS.
And even when PMS is a factor, it's rarely if ever the sole reason for annoyance. It just lowers bullsh*t tolerance.
Exactly!!! I have a right to be upset right now. It's just that I'm feeling it at a 10 instead of a 5. But I tell you I'm upset, then I have a perfectly good reason.
Of course, there's also the actual PMS/hormonal emotional stuff where I feel really sad and hopeless and cry for no reason at that time of the month. So I'll worry about if my depression is back full-swing or if I'm just tired or my eating isn't right, etc etc. I'll do therapy and mediation, fix my schedule, or whatever else to get my emotions under control, because I know something is different. Nothing really helps, and I start to worry what else can I do. Then a week later, I find out I was just hormonal and nothing is actually really wrong with me. And now I'm bleeding for a week and get to manage that. That's usually annoying.
The risk of going out alone.
Self-imposed curfews and location restrictions, ie not going to certain parts of town alone, or going to a gas station after dark. One of my male friends laughed when I asked our group for someone to accompany me to the station after dark because he didn't understand.
Also sneezing while on your period. That sh*t sucks.
I was honestly completely oblivious of this. Until we had a houseparty with girls from our street. Once we wanted to go to the pubs, the girls all got their bikes. This was so strange to us, because we only live like a 5 minute walk from the city centre. In the 5 years I lived there, I never went by bike. They told us that they just didn't like that part of the city late at night and preferred to get home quickly. I've never even thought of that being a dangerous situation for someone.
Literally this. Men don't think about the situations they take for granted on a daily basis. Safety in numbers, avoiding dark places at night, calling or texting to make sure someone got home safe. Even going to the washroom at bars in groups is partly safety related.
So much the restroom thing. There's always memes and jokes about "why women go the restroom in groups." It's because we don't feel safe.
Women have to try twice as hard as men.
I'd say the hardest part is having to be a full-fledged expert in some areas in order to even prove yourself to be competent at the basic level, and still have people overlook me because I don't fit their idea of competence in whatever trade.
I've been becoming a jack of all trades. One of my specialties is small engine mechanics and I'm regularly helping people who break down on scooters and mopeds. My fiance is not a mechanic but he's okay at it and can do basic trouble shooting. People will regularly turn to him even after we've stated I'm the one with more knowledge. It's so frustrating.
Then there was the time somebody attempted to not pay me because they didn't want to pay a girl to do a man's job. I had to threaten to disassemble the vehicle and let him put it back together to prove he's a man if I didn't get paid.
It's not even just career talents. It's everything. If you say you're a comic book fan, men start to grill you on the most obscure shit. And if you can't quote every single issue of that obscure sh*t, you're obviously not a comic book fan.
Same goes for everything from video games to TV shows. It's exhausting.
How young many of us are when older men already sexually harass us.
I was cat called for the first time at 12, while walking through the local mall with my mom. That was the first time I saw my mom throw daggers at someone with her eyes.
Traditional gender roles that just won't die.
In some cultures, women are the ones who have to serve tea and food to guests who come to their home to visit. Doesn't matter if I'm busy studying in my locked room and my brothers are playing video games. I've been told I have to do it 'because I'm a woman.' I f*cking can't stand some of my Middle Eastern culture and traditions.
Or how when there is a family dinner all the women already did the cooking and the girls are expected to clean up.
Or when there's a big holiday dinner. Woman plans and preps for days, does all the shopping, takes care of the timing so everything is served at the same time, 12 different side dishes, the appetizers that are served through the day and all the desserts. Man stuffs a turkey and later carries it to the table and everyone thanks him and fusses over his work and completely ignores the woman's efforts.
This is the culture I was raised in. 'Sweet tea' culture.
Everyone drank sweet tea and the women brought it to the men. As well as served them dinner, cleaned up, and required their daughters to do the same.
F*ck. That. FOREVER.
I do not live that way now and I will never live like that again.
Being treated as lesser than men.
Being treated like I'm some stupid broad without two brain cells to rub together, or that my problems aren't real because I'm 'being overly dramatic' or I'm in a rage over menstruation. For example at work, I'm dealing with having my hours cut and days taken out of my schedule. I was very angry and upset about it for the first twenty minutes because it means I lose around 3 1/3 days of pay, which is a lot. The few guys around me told me to 'put on my big girl panties and get over it.' My boss, actually, for a whole day, kept coming up to me randomly and telling me to suck it up because my period couldn't last too much longer so I should feel better soon. Like, go f*ck yourself.
How f*cking rude! I really hope you can get out of there and find a new job. And when you do quit, do it in the most petty way possible.
Nice idea, but I can't. This job is the only thing keeping me off the streets, and they're the only ones in a year and a half to actually accept me into their workforce. Despite that, they probably want me to quit, they're already cutting my hours so that they don't have to make me full time. I'm trying, though.
Women don't feel safe in public.
This weekend I was talking with a girl friend who's saying that it took her 20 minutes to find a parking lot. And I was like, why don't you just park in "x" there's always free parking there, and she says she's scared of going there alone, it's quite illuminated there but a little far off from the bars/café but honestly I've never even considered not leaving my car there or associated woman could be afraid of parking there, realizing this kinda made sad that people have to go through this :/
Yeah, my boyfriend is one of those "park at the back of the lot, walking is healthier" people. If it's dark out or I don't trust the area, I'm parking as close to the doors as possible.
He has realized, though, that there's a pretty significant strength difference between us. He's only an inch taller and 20 lbs heavier than me, but with my hypermobile joints I'm pretty flimsy. I was having a really bad day, he tried to get all snuggly and flirty like we usually do, and I panicked.
I have a favorite antique store in my home town that I enjoy going to when I go home for a visit. It's in a busy downtown area and there is only metered street parking, or old parking garages. I usually park in the garages, but my anxiety goes way up when I have to walk from my car, down the narrow stairway, and out to the sidewalk. Once out on the street, you have to walk down an alley way to get to the shops.
I practically run to the antique store because there are so many nooks where someone can hide along the way. If someone did decide to jump out at me, I wouldn't stand a chance and those few minutes of feeling vulnerable are terrible.
Dress codes can get real creepy.
This might just be a personal pet peeve, but school uniforms through the years.
Middle school had skirts which were a nuisance because we were still at the age where we wanted to hang upside down on the monkey bars, but we could get in trouble if they could see your shorts underneath.
The high school had these pencil skirt things which were TERRIBLE. They had a slit in the back that went right up and if you moved wrong you'd just about flash everyone. They had to be past the knee - not on the knee, not above the knee - PAST the knee (note, these skirts move up as you walk.). I'd be fine with this, if their enforcement was fair. The boys always have shorts above the knee (but HOW am I meant to get an education with such distracting things like knees in the classroom?) but nobody ever bat an eye. I got stopped multiple times by this one deputy principle who disliked me. First time, my skirt was on the knee. Alright, fine. Let down the hem. Second time, my skirt was rolled at the top. I get that they don't want us pulling our skirts up all the way (sometimes people pulled their skirts up to the point where you could see their underwear, which obviously isn't appropriate for school) but those skirts were designed terribly. If I didn't roll my skirt, it wouldn't fit me around the waist and would as a consequence fall down all day - which if you ask me is more of a distraction than my oh so provocative knees.
Tl;dr: unfair dress codes and uniforms.
Imagine not being allowed to wear shorts.
And why can't girls wear shorts? If the school has such a problem with girls skirts not being the perfect length but they never have problems with the boys shorts then it's clearly the skirts themselves causing the distraction and interrupting education as girls get sent to the office for their skirts. Why not just let everyone wear shorts?
Because if not wear skirt how will know is female???
Or gasp if girls can wear shorts they might mistake a boy for a girl AND THAT WOULD BE GAY.
/s obviously. I'm so glad my school never went through with the threat of making us wear uniforms. If I had had to wear a skirt in school I would have been pissed. I like sweatpants.
Not being taken seriously as a customer.
Buying a car. The times I tried to buy a new truck/car were terrible. A couple of salesmen totally ignored me, one didn't let me drive the car I wanted, another told me I didn't really need a truck, I was lied too about price and equipment, a car mechanic told me it was normal for the odometer to not be functioning in a new car ... Buying a car sucks so much that I haven't owned one in 5 years.
Also finding a bra that looks nice, is confortable and doesn't cost a fortune.
When I bought my last car the salesman spent 2 hours trying to sell it to my partner even after being told that it was me buying it.
I took my Jeep in once to get something done or fixed and when the mechanic came out, he was looking directly at my boyfriend and not me, speaking directly to him. Even though my name is written on the keys and is clearly a woman's name.
After the guys long spiel about what was wrong, he asked a question which I answered. He basically pretended he didn't hear me and looks back at my boyfriend. Boyfriend lazily says "Oh, what? Sorry. I wasnt listening. It's not my vehicle."
Women are entrepreneurs too.
I'm not sure if this one is just specific to me or if other women share this problem.
I'm a bartender and manager at a craft brewery. Very frequently, male customers, that I'm literally standing right in front of waiting to serve, will look right past me and order from the first male bartender they can. Now I am rather short, 5'0 to be exact. Are they just not seeing me, or do they honestly think my male coworker can somehow pour them a far more superior beer?
I run my own pub. It's mine, I'm the licensee, general manager, the lot. I have a male team leader who is mid 20s and wears his own clothes, the rest of my staff where uniform. I'm 38.
The sheer amount of men who refer to him as my manager is insane. Like, I'm not capable of being the boss because I'm female.
This is scary stuff.
Gender bias in the medical system - having an illness that is not believed. Friend of mine had tuberculosis for years and doctors told her she was probably just an emotional new mum.
I never had to take regular medication until I was almost 30. The doctor asked me if I was planning on starting a family soon, I said "absolutely not." The medication made me get depressed, which had never ever happened to me before and I only recognized what it was from seeing descriptions of it on Reddit. I told him and he put me on something else. Got rid of the depression, but made me extremely anxious and that time I didn't recognize it because I thought it was logical to be paranoid now due to life circumstances. Over a year later, I told a different doctor I wanted to come off both of those horrible medications due to the mental side effects (and some physical ones). He said "oh yeah, you got placed on those because they're the safest to take when you're pregnant. No problem, I see you didn't have kids, here's how to get off of them." I just about saw red...
tldr: I had to spend over a year of my life absolutely miserable and taking unnecessary medication because some doctor didn't believe me when I said I wasn't planning on having kids anytime soon.
Oh my God, THIS. I have horrible mood swings during the sugar pills week of my birth control because of hormone withdrawals, and it negatively affects my PTSD. My doctor was really hesitant to change it. After I pressed her repeatedly she told me it was because it could make it hard for me to get pregnant. I have no plans to have biological children ever, but she didn't even ask, just assumed that I would want to get pregnant soon. FFS.
Well, no wonder.
When I was in my local Argos queuing to get served and when I eventually did the guy who was serving me said: "What's wrong with you? You have a face like a wet weekend." I could hardly speak I was so taken aback.
Resting bastard/bitch face is a huge pain in the ass for sufferers. I'm not angry this is just my face!
Women are smart, sane, and successful.
Being talked down to and treated like I don't have an ounce of rationality in my head.
Recently was alone in the bar with a friend of my boyfriend when I quoted the movie "The Room." I said the line "maybe is vampires?" to something my boyfriend's friend had said, and the dude just told me I was parroting my boyfriend and had never seen the movie myself.
Edit for clarity and context. That line is from a video ABOUT the room we were talking about. Not The Disaster Artist, which I have never seen but apparently also has that line as I have learned from some confused commenters, but a Youtube video by Carl Smallwood. We were discussing Carl Smallwood videos when I referenced the maybe is vampire line. He then said I had never seen The Room after I did the bit from the YouTuber who was talking about The Room who apparently also slipped in lines from The Disaster Artist, I had no idea that line came from The Disaster Artist.