Sometimes being a woman is a lot harder than it looks. And if you’ve ever tried to explain this to men, you are mostly met with disbelief and denial. They think they can do anything better than us, but the truth is there are simply a few things that women go through that men will just never understand or even be able to handle.
Here are some of them:
1. Professional dress is a game of, “I want to be both feminine and respected.”
The organizational workplace from communication style to dress was designed for men and so as a woman, you have to walk a fine line in how you present yourself. Of course the industry you’re in matters. It’s very apparent that women have to think and re-think professional dress more than men.
I once went running later than I usually do. (This was when Chicago was still warm enough to run outside.) And I realized that I would get really apprehensive when I heard footsteps behind me. Never mind that it’s a running trail that’s well lit. But as a woman, you have to be conscientious about your surroundings all the time. All the time.
3. How friendly you are.
If women had a dollar for the amount of times someone made a comment about our demeanor, we’d probably be able to end the wage gap. Women have to be polite in particular ways to be considered feminine. On the other hand, sometimes being too polite will get you all sorts of unwelcome attention. Hard to win this battle.
If you ask men and women the definition of “crazy” for the opposite sex, you’re going to get different responses. Men will likely tell you about a woman who texts or argues too much. Women will likely tell you about a situation where she feared for her safety and well-being.
5. It’s definitely true that both sexes feel society’s brunt and often unrealistic expectations for beauty and appearance.
But the extent to which women have to take care of every aspect of their body (in comparison to men) is borderline ridiculous. From worrying about pedicures to whether your eyebrows are on point, the upkeep for woman takes more time and effort in ways men don’t understand.
A lot of guys think that, “they wouldn’t mind if a woman catcalled them,” as if contextualized in a society in which women have been historically disadvantaged, that would mean the same thing. Being catcalled is not a compliment. At best, it will make you roll your eyes, at worst, you might have to remove yourself from the situation entirely.
As a woman who writes online, I can say from personal experience that men do not experience backlash in the same way women do even when they are focusing on the same subjects. Oftentimes rather than attack the person’s words or content, women face personal attacks.
8. Women still have to worry about how to currently or potentially balance their ambitions with family life.
This is true even if you aren’t married or don’t have kids (but may want to at a later time). Even though men are becoming more aware of this situation, the reality is even as a young woman, it will cross your mind the potential sacrifices you might have to make if you’re planning for an ambitious career and a family. We’ve come a long way but we can do better society!
Oh and then there’s cramps.