There are some things that men will just ‘never’ understand—that’s how some women feel. And they shared these things in a thread on the r/AskReddit subreddit. User u/Top_Run4841’s question inspired them to open up about the unique issues that women face, from handling sexism at work and having to face stalkers to dealing with periods and more.
Scroll down to read about the most important women’s issues, according to the internet, dear Pandas. Upvote the posts that you think need to be seen by everyone, and let us know in the comments what you personally think that men will never get about women, ever.
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Previously, human rights advocate Elizabeth Arif-Fear explained to Bored Panda that the most obvious marker of gender inequality is the gender pay gap that exists in the workplace. According to her, this is “a gross violation of women’s rights.”
How the safety of where we go is always there. Like, I would love to go camping alone somewhere… would I? Nope. Leaving a store at night, we have to be on guard. Walking the dog at night or through woods alone? Always on guard.
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That even though we might be “prettier if we smiled”, we literally can’t do that even if we want to, because smiling is interpreted by too many men as a sexual invitation. Men are drawn to smiling women like sharks to a bleeding baby seal.
Please, just let me laugh at my comedy podcast in peace, I implore you all.
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Having guys assume that smiling, talking, or otherwise showing basic human decency to them means we’re flirting.
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Arif-Fear feels that, in the West, the talents of female employees are definitely recognized. However, there are still obstacles that they face. Obstacles that need to be torn down.
“Discrimination includes women being denied work, in preference for men due to maternity leave allowances. Due to the imbalance between caring for children and housework among male/female partnerships—which is still prevalent across the globe—women are left juggling a high amount of childcare and work which places extra demands on women,” she pointed out.
What an absolute annoyance having your period is. Everything about it is horrible.
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Laughing, coughing or sneezing – and promptly giving birth to a red jellyfish.
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That turning us on needs to happen waaaay before you even get our clothes off.
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The human rights advocate believes that employers could help solve some of those issues by allowing flexible schedules so that parents can drop their kids off at school in the mornings. But even that, in her opinion, isn’t enough.
“Practical barriers add an extra burden onto women. Beyond childcare, women in leadership is an area that is evolving but there is still a massive glass ceiling. We need more women in leadership positions,” she said.
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How much effing free labor we are expected to do for everyone, at home, at work, and everywhere. Planning, preparing and cleaning up from office birthday parties, holiday meals, weddings, funerals, etc. etc. Being the “default parent” who knows the family schedule, the pediatrician’s number, whether we need more peanut butter and eggs. Always running scripts in the back of your mind to make sure you’re not being TOO friendly to your male coworkers/boss/a stranger so you’re not giving anyone the “wrong idea,” but also being friendly enough to not bruise a man’s ego. Being a woman is a full time job that we aren’t paid for and it’s f**king exhausting. InB4 “I’m a dad and I know my kid’s doctor’s number, my wife doesn’t do anything” Good for you, you’re an outlier and get a cookie.
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The excitement of pockets in our clothes. Actual, helpful pockets.
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They will probably never understand the things we do out of fear. Also, when a fart rolls up to the front of your vag lips.
One extremely frustrating issue that women face is the fact that many of their clothes either don’t have pockets at all or the pockets are non-functional. However, this issue might be a practical one, not a political one.
Sewing and design expert Roxanne explained to Bored Panda during a previous interview that it’s normal to want pockets for their functionality.
“I think women love pockets for the functionality. We don’t always want to carry things in our hands, especially our phones. When I wear a dress with pockets, my hands naturally gravitate toward the pocket. I’m not sure why. It’s just comfortable,” she said.
How young being preyed on by men starts. I was first ogled and cat called by men when I was 9 and was groped when I was 11. At a public library. While playing runescape.
This is not to say this doesn’t happen a.t all to boys. It just happens to girls at a far higher rate
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How exhausting/depressing it is seeing so many sexual overpowerment scenes on TV and Film.
It’s like they are trying to inform us of how vulnerable we are to sexual assault, when we are fully aware and live with that knowledge on a daily basis.
How draining the constant misogyny is.
“I think a lot of women’s clothing lack pockets for one simple reason: women have curves. When there is an opening at a stress point, such as at the hips, the fabric will naturally flare out. This is particularly evident in form-fitting clothing,” Roxanne suggested that the lack of pockets in women’s clothing has barely anything to do with political or social reasons.
“There are several ways to solve the problem: redesign the garment with a looser fit, secure the fabric with a zipper or button closure, relocate the pocket, or, here’s the big one… redesign the pocket shape,” the expert said.
How your issues are never taken seriously and are always either chalked up to your period or a moral failing.
I first started getting symptoms of Celiac disease when I was fourteen. I was diagnosed at 21. I spent seven years getting told my constellation of horror show symptoms was just my period.
I was diagnosed with autism at 26. I spent my entire life being told I was a s**tty person because I didn’t understand socialization like other women. Every faux pas was just viewed as intentional malice on my part, and treated about as harshly as you’d expect.
You know. Little stuff like that.
Having your opinions taken less seriously because of your voice. I am trans and recently got surgery to feminize my voice. It has been wild seeing the difference in how people react to me online. My game knowledge is doubted, and my competency is always open for debate.
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Feeling sad and tired for no reason, because my body is starting to produce less serotonin before my period. I get so sad and I can’t do anything to feel happy for like 2-3 days a month.
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“Shaping the opening into a slant or curve will allow the opening to wrap around the curve without resulting in bulging, excess fabric. This pocket style does change the original look of the garment, so the designer would ultimately decide if it works with their vision. I recently drafted a curved pocket pattern for a form-fitting dress, demonstrating that it is possible!”
“I don’t think there is any political or social reason for the shortage of pockets. Most designers are trying to appeal to the desires of their target demographic, in this case, usually a slimming silhouette that doesn’t draw attention to areas many of us want to minimize.”
The social expectation to wear makeup all the time. We’re literally told that our FACES are socially unacceptable unless coated in intricate and expensive layers of artificial substances. How screwed up is that?
That many women live in constant fear of getting pregnant and having to give birth in the future. All the scenes in movies, all the info about death risk of pregnancy and diseases and stuff connected to it.
That many women are scared of picking a wrong partner because we know that we’ll most times end up alone with children if anything goes wrong.
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The many and subtle ways the world around us tells us we’re never beautiful enough.
High quality toilet paper is deeply important to women because we use it every single time we pee or poop and extra when we’re on our period.
How sometimes you can never feel successful in your career because you’ll always be accused of sleeping your way to the top, or being a difficult woman. Never on merit.
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Men will never understand what it feels like to be sexually assaulted, impregnated, and then told they can’t abort the fetus.
I feel like you don’t get to have a problem with abortion if you can’t experience it. Goodness it makes me so livid when I hear a man, talk about protecting the fetus moreso than protecting the woman carrying said fetus
How much society influences how we behave — from being polite when men creep on us to working a full-time job and still doing the majority of the work at home.
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How your brain gets re-wired by pregnancy. And I don’t just mean the “I’ll kill anyone who tries to hurt my little bologna loaf.” I mean how some foods you loved now taste like c**p. And others you only tolerated taste like heaven. How some smells are now more intense or slightly off from before pregnancy. That you can’t remember how to drive a stick shift (true story, ground the gears for at least a month) but can put together some complicated as s**t storage unit with no instructions and nothing but a pair of pliers and a nail file, while 8 1/2 mos pregnant.That you can spy a poisonous plant from 50 yards away but can’t find the orange behind your water glass. And that if/when you get pregnant again everything will get re/wired in a different way.
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Why we are terrified of y’all as strangers whenever we go out alone. I’ve tried to explain it to some and always get “well all guys aren’t the same” THATS NOT THE POINT.
Holding my [chest] means nothing s*xual. Sometimes I do it instinctively. It’s comfortable and warm.
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When you’re on your period, and stand up and feel the gush.
What it’s like to live in a society that favours men in most things.
Look at the comments here. As soon as women try to say that they aren’t treated the same at school or work etc then men say it’s not true. But how would they know? The vast majority have never had to experience inequality because they are a man.
We say we’re scared of walking at night but then we get gaslit from men who say that crimes against men are higher. Men are rarely targeted because of their sex, women are targeted because they are a woman all the time. Look at the news for example, hundreds and hundreds of women getting attacked and murdered in the street by men. Ask yourself how often that happens the other way round? Where women stalk men in the street and come behind them and beat them to death? Or pull them into alleyways and sexually assault them?
The vast majority of men haven’t had to think about what they’re wearing to try and improve their safety, or walk with their keys in their knuckles because you’re on alert from a random attack walking to your car. Or how unsafe you feel when you have to get a plumber or electrician to your home and you live alone.
All of these are real issues for women that men deny despite the majority of them never experiencing sex based crimes, and definitely not in the numbers women do.
And of course men’s issues are equally important. But if you only bring them up in response to a women bringing up issues about women’s rights then you’re doing it to deny what she’s saying about her own experiences. There’s a reason why women protest in the street and have womens marches to advocate for basic human rights. I’ve never seen a male protest to highlight gender based inequality for men.
Just like men, we can have what are deemed “negative emotions” (fear, anger, etc), that doesn’t mean we’re being hysterical, dramatic, annoying or whatever else invalidates feelings.
The universal scare. It might just be sweat or discharge… but it could be blood too. And you’re not able to make a quick getaway to the nearest bathroom to check.
The sensation of menstruation itself Not just the symptoms. It’s almost indescribable. Like someone ripping a scab off of your insides or dispensing warm soup from your nethers.
How much of our behavior is influenced by fear that a man will physically harm us. By 18, I stopped smiling at men 25 and up in passing because too many took it as sexual interest. At 23 I stopped jogging near streets or apartment buildings because the cat calls were too aggressive. And at 31 I cut a married, super religious, father figure from my life because he couldn’t keep his eyes off of my body and started talking to me like a mistress. Right now no man I’ve had any sort of relationship with knows where I live and I feel safer than ever before.
Bras hurt. Sometimes the wire breaks free and attempts to impale the [chest].
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How little I care about a man’s opinion on my hair, clothing, or makeup. I am not dressing for you. I do not care if you think red lipstick is too much.
Also just how often guys touch you without permission.
That we really can’t stand unsolicited d**k pics so Please for the love of god stop sending them. They take a conversation from 0 to and “ya lost me” real quick
How exhausting it is to see your gender constantly objectified. Middle aged and older women are practically absent from media.
Every girl has different symptoms in her period so stop assuming things. I don’t get mood swings, cramps nor cravings, but I do have other symptoms like back pain or oily skin.
The feeling of taking off your bra after a long day.
How terrible it feels to pull a dry tampon out.
In corporate culture:
being mentored by men is more difficult without the comraderie that men share. Male leaders see themselves in young men.
women need to assert professional boundaries CONSTANTLY.
the connection between beauty and perceived ability. Ugly fat men are very common in leadership. Ugly fat women, however…
working in compsci is off-putting because many compsci dudes only interact with women in romantic contexts, and find it difficult to treat them as fledged colleagues.
How we’re expected to be extroverts — to smile and coddle everyone’s feelings. I constantly used to catch myself indulging men in “conversations” that were really just them showing off. They would never do that for me, but I was socialized to be a polite, attentive audience to stroke a man’s ego. Needless to say I do not do this any more.
When purchasing something new or expensive such as a vehicle as a young woman, being accused of using “daddy’s money”.
That “good men” and “bad men” are often impossible to tell apart. We’ve all had the experience of a man we thought we could trust turning out to be terrifying, and we learned from that. So no, we don’t think that all men are predators, but we do know that many of the bad ones are very, very good at appearing to be good ones, and we have no choice but to behave in ways that protect ourselves.
As a girl you are talked to about how strangers want to touch you before you get the sex talk. At that point it’s too late because you’ve already been violated and feel like your body is dirty but you are just a kid…. You don’t learn that your body is actually your own until you are much older.
Going to the bathroom in groups because we feel safer, can do a period leak/outfit check, and have someone to talk s**t with while we wait in line.
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Having your words minimized. Telling symptoms to a doctor, they ask when my last period was or if I’m pregnant. If they can’t figure out what’s wrong with me, it’s hormones, and loads of young women have similar unexplainable symptoms.
Idea at work? Tell it to the boss, they think it’s stupid. A male coworker says it louder, and he’s employee of the month.
Tell your partner you’re not in the mood for sex? It becomes a negotiation.
Tell your kids to do something, they ignore you and just say mom’s being boring again.
Tell your parents about sexual harassment, they say you just need to grow a thicker skin, and it isn’t nearly as bad as it was in their day.
Telling a guy friend about period pains, he immediately tries to one up it by talking about skinning his knee or getting kicked in the balls.
Not all of these have happened to me personally, but they have happened to my friends and sisters. It’s definitely a common occurrence.
How a woman’s body changes after giving birth (losing their hair, etc).
Menstrual pain and child birth.
I know you can describe it to us, but it’s one of those things that I don’t think can be truly comprehended
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During the 2016 election, I had a coworker look up at our TV mid shift at Hillary Clinton giving a speech. She shook her head and said a “Women can never be qualified enough to be leaders, they’re too emotional.”
She was covered in bruises and sporting a black eye that her boyfriend had given her the night before.
A woman who has been systematically beaten and abused by the men around her had enough empathy to give men the benefit of doubt regarding leadership, but most men cringe at the word ‘feminism’ because it uses ‘fem’ as its etymological root and most men will never be able to see past that.
The fact that you have to take a “compliment”. If a friend, colleague etc says something inappropriate it’s just easier to accept it / laugh it off because if you make a scene you’re the party pooper / sensitive / can’t take a joke person.
To be fair it is changing though
My male friends are always like ‘everyone should travel solo across Europe at least once in their life’… like no thank you I don’t want to disappear.
A lack of sex drive has nothing to do with a male partner. We have a whole heap of hormones that can cause it, and it doesn’t mean we don’t love you.
The constant sexualization of women like when bending over to get something you drop, they get stared at, but when men bend over no one cares
That until you guys come together and force real change to happen, women will continue to perceive all of you as a threat and will act accordingly and you have no right to complain when we do.
We would rather be friends with other women than have catfights.
Even though we love our partners, it can be exhausting to be your only emotional outlet. Women spread their support network across different people.
In my experience, post partum depression takes the crown.
Almost all of the time, you’re always going to be considered second rate compared to a man whether at home or work.
No matter how more educated you are, no matter how much more you’ve worked, no matter how much you’ve achieved, a man’s opinion is listened to more.
The assumption that everyone knows exactly what I want without me telling them.
The discomfort and anxiety, of needing to bring my vehicle to a garage and the worry that we’re being ripped off, because we’re women and supposedly easy targets for that kind of shit.
Peeing on the toilet a little and feeling it flow up your buttcrack.
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The sacrifice she will make to carry a child, birth a child, feed and care for that child. And not to mention the monthly cycle she has to endure for majority of her life.
Dealing with excruciating pain from breastfeeding. The constant engorgement is ungodly. And my baby couldn’t latch correctly, so I would always be in extreme pain — blisters, cracking, bleeding nipples.
Feeling something hard or pointy stab your boob when someone hugs you. Our breasts are so sensitive.
plucking the black hairs that randomly emerge on my boobs. or having to try on several different bra’s because of the difference in breast shape each bra has. or maybe the awkwardness of having to ask strangers for a tampon because your 3 seconds away from everyone knowing you’re on your period.
Men are always super weird about hot flashes.