Women Are Sharing Experiences That Are Seen As “Normal” For Women But Shouldn’t Be Normalized, And It’s Sparking An Important Conversation

·11 min read

Women deal with a lot just because they're not men. In fact, some things are so normalized that they're pretty much universally relatable among women and accepted. But when you take a step back, you realize how ridiculously unacceptable it all actually is.

The District / Sarah Watson Productions / Universal Television / Via giphy.com

So, u/sainssacrafice decided to ask women, "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?"

And, let me tell you, women did not hold back. Here are several of their responses, and you'll probably relate to every single one:

1."Downplaying how horrible periods can be. I've seen so many men act like women are being babies on their period."

"It's just enraging." —u/OverallDisaster

2."The fear of expressing too much comfort around male friends who might see it as a sexual opportunity."

"Too many of us experience this 😒." —u/Ripple935

3."Downplaying our emotions because of periods. Anger or sadness can't possibly be because of a bad situation."

"It must be because sHe'S oN HeR pErIoD." —u/InnocenceMySister

Lionsgate Television / Via giphy.com

4."Feeling 'expected' to have sex and having their pleasure be secondary. Thinking that during sex, the end goal was really mostly about him."

"I experienced this a lot when I was younger, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. I thought if I was kissing a guy, 'Well, now I’m expected to have sex with him because he’s turned on. I guess I have to.'

It wasn’t until I was older that I realized how flawed it was for me to think that way and for men to have reinforced that thinking via their actions." —u/GreenMountain85

5."The way the medical community seems to approach childbirth. I've watched documentaries — I don't have kids myself — and what really struck me is how patronizing everyone was to these women who are going through perhaps the worst pain of their life, and how things like literally cutting their genitals are seen as no big deal."

"In what situation would you ever be able to cut a penis and shrug it off as nothing?! Madness." —u/AirStoned

6."Incontinence issues after childbirth. No, it’s not acceptable to pee when you sneeze."

"Pelvic floor physical therapy can fix that if your insurance will cover it. (It’s crazy expensive.) Your doctor will write you a script to go." —u/lulubalue

The District / Sarah Watson Productions / Universal Television / Via giphy.com

7."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." —u/professional_joe

8."I know way too many women who think it's normal to have to do most of the housework and childcare — plus carry the mental and emotional load of household management — even if they also have an outside job."

"They also think it's normal 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." —u/FranzLuciferdinand

9."Dressing little girls in a way that makes it difficult for them to move around. Your four-year-old daughter 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 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.

I hate the bullshit propaganda that little girls 'naturally' prefer playing quietly indoors and/or alone. Sure, it may be true for some little girls (just like it's also true for some little boys), but you cannot tell me that socialization doesn't play a massive role in what kind of play children 'naturally' prefer." —[deleted]

ITV Studios Global Entertainment / Debmar-Mercury / Lionsgate Television / Via giphy.com

10."People speaking over them, and/or the inherent 'brush off' that 'if a woman says it, it needs to be verified somehow.'"

u/elephantasmos

11."Being expected to let men have sex with them but also shaming any woman who also shows a modicum of libido."

"It's like society wants women to have sex but hates it at the same time. It's gross." —u/Chessebel

12."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."

"For instance, 'It was only banter, lighten up,' that sort of thing." —u/infamyinfamy

NBCUniversal Television Distribution / Via giphy.com

13."Getting hit on at 13 by grown-ass men."

u/Monstiemama

14."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 toward them, and they are supposed to accept it because it's 'kinky' or something."

"Now, it's literally 15-year-old girls who are dealing with this trauma because porn normalizes it as something boys are supposed to do to women. It's completely disgusting." —u/OrangeyPanda

15."That people think they have the right to comment on how a woman looks or what she is wearing — whether it be acne, dark circles under her eyes, body or facial hair, too pale, etc."

"There have been way too many times where someone feels they need to point out my 'physical flaws' just because." —u/mermaid_with_pants

Sony Pictures Television / Jerry Bruckheimer Television / 2.0 Entertainment / The Brandons / Green Eggs and Pam Productions / Via giphy.com

16."Being married and having children with men who are absent parents and household members, and it not being a point of contention — just accepted, expected, and accommodated."

u/Omniiglass

17."Spaghetti strap tanktops on a hot summer day being 'provocative'. And the high school dress code."

u/crazy4zoo

18."Women being called 'girls.' Whether it is conscious or not, it implies a lack of maturity and, therefore, lack of deserved respect."

"I have heard this among countless other places. I attempted to watch a season of The Bachelor, and I could not stand how often the women were called 'girls.'

I couldn't bring myself to check out The Bachelorette, but I suspect the men are never called 'boys.'" —u/merrypoppin

Conaco / Via giphy.com

19."Telling me to smile when I don't fucking want to."

"When I was younger, I did out of discomfort." —[deleted]

20."One thing that kills me is how men want us to accept the fact that they look or lust after other women — but don’t want us to put ourselves out there in order to prevent other men from looking or lusting over us."

"I feel like emotional cheating is a normal thing men do, but they wouldn’t dare date a girl who posts pictures of her body or 'checks out' other guys." —[deleted]

21."I love running, but I pretty much can’t train when it gets dark at 4:30 p.m."

"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 5 p.m., no worries." —u/UnderstandingCheap57

Button Poetry / Via giphy.com

22."The biggest one for me is the pleasure gap. If I came in the middle of sex and mid-thrust just rolled over and went to sleep with a 'Good work team!' — people would think that was crazy. But it’s literally what men do every single day."

"And those women who say, 'It’s okay if I don't orgasm, it’s about the intimacy!' That’s a load of BS. Orgasms feel amazing. Anyone would love to have them almost every time.

The intimacy thing is something women are socialized into. We believe that lie because we don’t expect pleasure. This isn’t to say intimacy isn’t important, but it’s truly insane that there’s a pleasure gap at all. It’s such a no-brainer that both partners should orgasm." —u/jem1173

23."I find it 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." —u/itsrachyrach

24."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."

u/Connie_Damico

Fremantle / Via giphy.com

25."Harassment — especially in certain workplaces. For example, my aunt once told me to expect to be flirted with, hit on, and harassed if I continued to work in kitchens and restaurants. She said it was 'just part of the territory,' and that I needed to just 'understand that that's the environment.'"

"Excuse me? No. I don't care what the environment is, women should not have to put up with harassment in the workplace." —u/landw497

26."High heels. Fuck high heels."

"What the fuck is that shit about even?!" —u/innerchillens

27."Being assertive gets labeled as bitchy or bossy. Men don’t get called bossy. Men don’t get called emotional either, but they are the emotional ones. You have to be on guard and make sure you say just the right thing when turning down any romantic gesture from a man so that you don’t hurt their feelings and send them into a rage."

"You're also expected to do everything — work full-time, cook, clean, service with a smile. I sound like I’m complaining, and, strangely, I'm not.

It is all normal because this is the world we live in, and it’s okay not to fit these norms. It only took me 40-something years. But I do not care anymore, other than when my safety is concerned. I’m tired." —u/luckystars143

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28."Being solely responsible for contraception that fucks with our bodies, emotions, and hormones. It’s seen as completely acceptable to have a woman bleed for more than six months straight as a form of birth control."

"Basically stopping her from having sex." —u/NightKnight11020511

29."Being told to cover up in your own home because men are in the house."

u/sultriess_sss

30."Not being listened to, even when asked for your direct input."

"I recently had a two-minute conversation with four of the men in my department (I'm the only woman there). I had three of them, in series, claim I was wrong about a different technical point, then immediately tell me the 'correct' answer — which was exactly what I had just told them.

I looked to the fourth man and asked him, 'Did that just happen?' He agreed. Lots of pouty faces that day for being called on it in front of the boss." —u/Arbiter_of_Balance

Thunderbird Films / Via giphy.com

31."Society valuing men's time more than women's. My husband and I both technically have flexibility in our work schedules, but guess who does all the doctor appointments for the kids? Me. Because God forbid a man miss work in the middle of the day or take a day off because his kid is sick."

"Every time he has done it, he gets shit from his higher-ups. It's easier for me to just do it since everyone expects a mom to miss work sometimes." —u/nefariousmango

32."The fact that women always want to lose weight or are perpetually dieting because they believe they're not 'thin enough.'"

"DOWN WITH DIET CULTURE!" —u/AffectionateTwist437

Would you agree with all of these? Tell us what you think — and what experience is normalized for women that totally shouldn't be — in the comments below!