Real Talk: Things People Need to Stop Telling Women
Being born female, I quickly learned that I was entitled to everyone’s opinion on how I should live. Ever since I was a young individual, I had people tell me what to like, who to admire, what to wear, and how to act. Everyone, from the ladies at church to boys on the school grounds, had something to say.
I no longer consider myself female, because nothing about being a girl really appealed to me. That didn’t stop me from learning how immensely aggravating it is to be a woman (or look like one) and hear what people have to say about your lifestyle.
It’s insane how many people think that it’s totally acceptable to go up to a stranger and tell them how to live their lives. Like, society as a whole needs to shut its claptrap when it deals with girls. There are WAY too many things people need to stop telling women on a daily basis.
I don’t know about you, but I detest seeing people demeaned and dehumanized because of their genders. Here are some of the ones that really grind my gears…
“You’ll change your mind on kids when you’re older.” Oh, hell no. Why is it that so many people assume they know random chicks better than girls know themselves? Why is it that people immediately assume that all women need to be moms?
Guess what—the choice to be childless is one that is done after years of thinking. Women who say they don’t want kids DO NOT WANT KIDS. They don’t want to be convinced. They know they don’t want to have kids, so don’t try to goad them into having unwanted children or assume they don’t know themselves.
“You don’t want to be known as a slut, do you?’ Ugh. Any kind of slut-shaming gets underneath my skin in ways I can’t even begin to explain. The human body is designed to have sex. If men have sex, they’re studs. If women have sex, it’s somehow wrong because it hurts men’s feely-feels.
Slut-shaming is never cool, regardless of who does it. When you shame someone’s sexuality, you’re shaming them for being human. You’re shaming them for one of their most basic body functions. That’s not healthy, nor is it an ethical thing to do. You don’t get to tell others what to do with their bodies, period.
“You should lose some weight/eat a sandwich.” Here’s a hint: women are worth more than just what their waistlines dictate. If you can’t respect a girl or accept her due to her weight, that says more about you, than it does about her.
By the way, the same can be said about hating on heavy or skinny men. All bodies are beautiful! We all need to embrace our own innate beauty, regardless of how much we weigh!
“Have you considered wearing [clothing item, makeup, or hairstyle] to be taken more seriously at work?” Looksism is never acceptable, regardless of gender. What a person wears or how a person keeps their hair does not dictate their competence in a field. Please stop policing women on their appearance, okay?
“A woman’s role in the world is…” No. Just no. Stop right now. No one has the right to tell anyone else what their role in the world is. What a person does with their life doesn’t concern you, nor is it your business.
Assuming you know a person’s life story because of their gender is not only stupid, it’s hurtful. People can’t be put in boxes, and when you assume you know what a girl should do based on their gender, you are boxing them in. Do you like being told what your role in life is? Probably not, so KNOCK IT OFF.
“Why can’t you just give him a chance? He’s such a nice guy!” I have never seen a man get pressured to date a girl he was not attracted to by his friends. If anything, men are pressured to go for the most traditionally hot girl they can find and have a quick fling with her.
Men are given a full pass at rejecting girls they don’t like. Girls, on the other hand, don’t get that luxury. When women reject men they are not attracted to, they are told they are being too picky and shallow. Sure, it may be shallow, but it’s better to be shallow than to be with someone you legitimately can’t get into.
“You know, I took you out to dinner and was nice to you. You kind of owe me.” No we don’t. Women don’t owe people anything for being a halfway decent human being. People need to stop making sex transactional in nature. Attraction doesn’t work like that.
If guys want to get a guarantee of getting laid, they should hire a sex worker. If they want to connect with someone, they should date. The two are generally exclusive.
“Be nice! Why are you so aggressive?” Here’s why women are so “aggressive” or “mouthy” these days: it’s because we’re tired of having to smile while people tell us what to do. Rather than tell us how to act, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate old, nonsensical values we place on genders.
At the end of the day, everyone wants to be appreciated and valued for who they are. This is true of men, women, and non-binary people like myself. Standing up for yourself doesn’t make you aggressive; it makes you assertive. Maybe it’s time we all start judging one another by the same standards, rather than this double standard everyone foists on people with vaginas. Don’t you think?
“You can’t be queer. I can make you love men.” If I had a dime for every time men said this to my lesbian friends, I’d be a very wealthy person. Shocking as it may be for men to hear, not all of life’s problems can be fixed by the almighty penis.
I don’t know what guys expect from girls when they try to convince them to sleep with them, regardless of sexual attraction. Like, are we supposed to fly towards them, vagina first, while screaming “NOTICE ME SEMPAI?!” In all reality, there’s no way this will bode well for anyone involved.
“You want me to have a job? Pay for your meal? What a gold digger…” Uh, yeah, you know what? Women have higher expenses than men, simply because they have periods and more expensive clothing. Women are also statistically charged more for trade skills like hair, car repair, and home repairs.
Asking a man to be employed is asking for a partner. We all have financial needs. Not everyone is willing to put up with a guy who does nothing but eat and sleep!
“Hey, can I talk to the man of the [house/business] instead?” You could if there is one, but we are more than capable of making decisions. In fact, half of all households ar are led by a female.
Most women live on their own these days, at least for some period of time. Assuming women can’t function without a man is a dumb move. Stop acting like we can’t manage a life on our own. Ugh.
“You have enough rights.” No, we don’t. We don’t have a right to our own bodies half the time. Abortion is being banned. Doctors hold the right to refuse birth control and sterilization despite women asking for it. We are paid a fraction of what men are paid, and are often shafted by the “Pink Tax.”
Women need to be given the same body autonomy, pay, and economic freedoms as men. Women (and every other gender) needs to be given the legal rights to live peacefully without a financial or physical penalty for being something other than male. Right now, men have more rights than women in most states. That’s not cool.
“Not all men are bad!/You’re bitter./You hate men.” Just a thought. We KNOW not all men are bad. But, there’s a systemic problem here that can’t be ignored. Rather than avoid blame, it’d be great if we could see more male allies who help keep shit behavior from guys in check.
Cover image via Highlands Ministries