Few things in our society ever get questioned. We get caught in its cogwheels in such a way that we don’t realize that our expectations, attitudes, and ideas about how things should be get distorted.
And when it comes to women, unwanted things and unpleasant experiences they have to go through are often so normalized, nobody makes a big deal out of it. You stop for a sec and wonder ‘how on earth did this happen?’
This exact discussion was sparked when one redditor asked women on Ask Reddit “What is something that women experience and is seen as 'normal' but is actually very wrong, and shouldn’t be as accepted as it is?” As you can imagine, women had a lot to say in that department and the responses started flowing in. Let’s see some of the most eye-opening ones right below.
Being expected to be nice when a man is overstepping your boundaries. As soon as we express any discomfort we're made to feel we should be nice to them. Eg: it was only banter, lighten up, that sort of thing.
Downplaying how horrible periods can be. I've seen so many men act like women are being babies on their period and it's just enraging.
The word no.
When a guy says no it's not usually questioned, they don't have to go into a long detailing as to why.
When a woman says no to pretty much anything they're either asked or they feel compelled to have to explain why their answer is no.
No is a complete sentence.
Dressing little girls in a way that makes it difficult for them to move around. Your 4-year-old should not miss out on valuable play because she doesn't want to mess up her clothes or hair. Her appearance should be the last freaking thing on her mind. It makes me so angry to see little girls having to sit on the sidelines while their brothers and male cousins play rambunctiously because their parents put them in a dress and expensive shoes.
Pressure to have kids. Lectures and being guilted if you don't want to. The weird idea some people push that motherhood needs to be the center of our lives.
Medical discrimination. Not believing woman’s pain or symptoms or saying they are completely related to your monthly cycle/hormones.
And thinking of woman primarily by their reproductive capacity. Yes, doctor I came in for this rash but sure let’s answer your question on family planning and my birth control options.
I know way too many women who think it's normal to have to do most of the housework and childcare, plus the mental and emotional load of household management, even if they also have an outside job. Also to manage their husbands as if they are children who can't be expected to remember to make appointments or buy their own clothes or things for the children or holidays or take care of menial tasks without reminders and help.
"When a boy is mean to you, that means he likes you..."
JUST NO!!! Anyone that truly loves you will not hurt you mentally, physically, or verbally. EVER!!! They tell you this when you're young to prepare your for a dirtbag husband in the future and some women never get the common sense to see that it's actually a bully!
Being expected to let men have sex with them but also shaming any woman who also shows a modicum of Libido. It's almost like society wants women to have sex but hate it at the same time and it's gross
In public spaces, when men put their hands on you so they can pass by. It's common in clubs and bars, but happens elsewhere, too. Funny thing is, a guy can't get past you without putting his hands on your waist. But, he can navigate a wall of men totally touch free. So creepy and intrusive
Spaghetti strap tanktops on a hot summer day being "provocative".... And the high school dress code
I find it a bit insulting when you see a picture of a woman who is really pretty and you find out that she’s a top scientist or engineer or a doctor, something very prestigious, and a person says “ Wow, She’s pretty, I wasn’t expecting that!” What, like are smart people usually butt ugly? pretty girls can’t be smart? Wtf! I feel like that’s really common and needs to end.
The amount of sexual abuse and harassment that is rampant in our society. Most women I know started being harassed by men when they were elementary school students, and that is seen as normal.
My 14 year old daughter pointed out today how often my dad interrupts me. I hadn’t even noticed. She said, “yeah - all the men in our family interrupt and talk over you except dad.”
The fear of expressing too much comfort around male friends who might see it as a sexual opportunity. Too many of us experience this
Men hitting on you after you’ve made it clear you’re not interested but stopping immediately if they find out you have a boyfriend, so you must “belong” to another man.
Men pushing boundaries without consent during sex. "Accidentally" putting it in the wrong hole. Strangling. Hitting. Abusive misogynistic language. Pretty much every woman I know has had a man do these things out of nowhere towards them and they are supposed to accept it because it's "kinky" or something. And now it's literally 15 years old girls who are dealing with this trauma because of p*rn normalizing it as something boys are supposed to do to women, its completely disgusting
As a child boys pulling your skirt up.
Periods like they are something we should be ashamed of and not talk about.
When talking a rape, women are told things they should not do and things are directed at they are to blame for anything and everything that happens.
Being talked over.
You either talk too much or not enough.
Being sexualized at any age. Looking at you beauty pageants.
When you prove a man wrong, somehow you are villain because you hurt his pride.
Not getting the help from doctors that we need to survive. A woman in my country died from cancer that was related to her undiagnosed endometriosis, but for years doctors just thought they were 'bad periods'.
Being firm often leads to a woman being branded as demanding.
Women having to come up with safe and clever ways to reject a man’s advances instead of being able to give a simple no and have it being respected.
The expectation that women should wear makeup to be seen as professionals.
Aging isn’t allowed. It is the norm for men to grow older and look it but women are constantly pressured to look young.
The fact that women die of reproductive cancers more often than men because our pain and symptoms aren't taken seriously. So many health women lose their lives because their pain and suffering is considered normal, are told that what they're experiencing isn't bad because women are meant to experience pain and dysfunction.
Being with giant manbabies who do not know how to act like adults.
Ladies it is not normal to be with someone who argues with you, never cleans up after himself and expects you to do all of the housework.
Not being able to walk down the street at night with headphones on without carrying your keys as a weapon.
Telling me to smile when I don't f**king want to. But when I was younger I did out of discomfort.
One thing I have dreaded since beginning. Like it was the first thing that caught my eye as a sign of normalised discrimination, was.. Whenever a guest arrived at my place. I or my sister was supposed to make tea or prepare some snacks. But my brothers played outside. I hated it so much.
The amount of money we have to pay for menstrual products. I remember being a poor university student having to use rolled up toilet paper because I couldn't afford pads or tampons, and menstrual cups were not a thing back then. $12 for a box of tampons doesn't seem like much, until you're living off KD, ramen, and rice, then it becomes a luxury.
Birth control. Side effects and horrible horrible possible risks
Inappropriate behavior from men, especially from a young age. If a boy hits a little girl he “just likes her”. That little boy grows up thinking there’s no repercussion for violence, and keeps hitting women. The cycle just goes on.
That people think they have the right to comment on how a woman looks or what she is wearing. There have been way too many times where someone feels they need to point out my 'physical flaws' just because. For example: acne, dark circles under my eyes, body/facial hair, paleness, etc.
I mean, the complete double standards we have for women as mothers as opposed to fathers. There’s a lot to be said but for example, we tell moms it’s normal to sacrifice damn near you’re whole entire body/career/hobbies/life for the kids but men are somehow not held to the same standard? Idk if I’m explaining well, I’m a tired mom.
The constant picking apart of womens appearance by basically everyone and holding women to insane beauty standards (extensions, false lashes, makeup, drawn on eyebrows, contouring tricks to change your face, dye your hair, dress sexy, don't dress too sexy, wax your privates, dye your hair, stay in shape, have a big butt, tiny waist, push up bras, get fake nails, on and on and freakin on)
Being polite to creepy men. There are so many things that can go wrong and I've read too many stories of women being killed for not taking a guy's number
People speaking over them, and/or the inherent ‘brush off’ that “if a woman says it it needs to be verified somehow.”
The way pregnancy is treated like an illness. I feel like if men had to go through childbirth there would be more medical advancements in the field. Also, women’s childbirth injuries are often never treated seriously because the child is prioritized. Many never fully recover.
I’m in the UK, I love running but I pretty much can’t train past a few months as when my fiancé is home at 4:30pm it’s dark, I can’t run on our old railway path when it’s dark! It’s annoying but normal to me now, but for a man? Yep run on your own at 5pm no worries
Note: this post originally had 107 images. It’s been shortened to the top 40 images based on user votes.