13 Women Discuss the Hard Things About Being a Woman That Men Don’t Realize

1940s womenAussiejeff via Flickr

It’s easy for men to think that women’s lives are pretty much exactly the same as theirs, expect, that it’s true. While women and men should be treated as equals, the lives of women are harder than the lives of men in certain ways. That doesn’t mean that men’s lives are easy, but they don’t face some of the same challenges women do.

Reddit user gagnerocs38 asked, “Women of Reddit, what is the hardest/scariest/most frustrating part of being a woman that most men don’t realize?” The answers reveal that many women really are not treated equally by their male peers, and men probably don’t even realize it. Scroll down for some eye-opening examples of why it’s difficult to be a woman.

  1. People Not Believing You’re Really an Expert

    Reddit user Cursethewind wrote:

    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.

  2. Not Feeling Safe After Dark

    doonytargaryen added:

    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.

  3. “Getting Catcalled”

    Socialbutterfinger explained:

    1. Getting catcalled, but 2. specifically what happens if you ignore it or even try to just fake a smile and wave while hurrying away. How it turns from unwanted “positive” commentary on your body to insults and threats. It’s humiliating at best and terrifying at worst. And 3. When you try to talk about it and men are like “nah I’d never do that, so therefore it doesn’t happen and you should be nicer to these randos who are ‘complimenting’ you in the street.”

  4. Walking Home

    Dandii_ added:

    My sister will call me when she walks home from work (she finishes late). Every time she calls I realise how vulnerable she is at the moment. It’s terrifying and I don’t stop worrying until she confirms she’s home and safe

  5. Being Sexualized at a Young Age

    Guys often don’t know how early being sexualized starts for us. There have to be a lot of pedophiles around. Most of the women I know have been hit on by adult men as early as 11, 12, 13 or even younger. And then they ask why women feel unsafe…

  6. Cultural Traditions

    Anonymous_llamaa wrote:

    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’.

  7. Car Shopping

    sonia72quebec answered:

    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.

  8. School Uniforms for Girls vs Boys

    cloud_brick added:

    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.

  9. “Medical Bias”

    Another Reddit user shared:

    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.

  10. How People Talk to You

    Corgi_with_stilts added:

    Being talked down to and treated like I don’t have an ounce of rationality in my head.

  11. “Creeps”

    flabinella wrote:

    Getting your fun night out with your friends spoiled by annoying creeps hitting on you.

  12. Birth Control

    randi487 shared:

    Being on birth control has so many side effects and can make you feel horrible but were expected to be on it if you’re sexual active

  13. Being Told It’s PMS When You’re Upset

    Silver_Tonge64 answered:

    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.