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Dear Men, 10 Things You Should Know About Being a Woman.

I took a poetry workshop with Kane Smego on Sunday.
{he’s amazing and you should google him right now.}

In the workshop he gave us the task of writing out three titles for a poem that includes the phrase “10 things you should know about being…”

We were supposed to fill in the rest with very specific descriptions of ourselves.
As I sat to write mine the next day, I found myself writing one much more general and it was more of a sincere list and less of a poem.
However, it feels like the one that should have been written and perhaps there will be more of these in the future.

Please note that this post is written with the understanding that everyone doesn’t feel this way all of the time. We all have our own degree of prejudice. It’s also written with a VERY CLEAR and sympathetic understanding of the struggles men face in relation to these stereotypes and stereotypes of their own.

For now…

Dear men, here are 10 things you should know about being a woman.

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1. You will forever have your worth determined by your beauty. 

Every compliment received on your intelligence or your strength of character will either be non-existent or it will be rare. When they aren’t rare they’re often meant as a back-handed compliment that really means you’re a bitch or that you aren’t pretty but you’re smart…

2. If you’re uninterested in dating, people will assume you’re bitter or jaded. 

There’s a weird misconception that any woman who isn’t eagerly chasing after men or hungering to have love in their life is somehow hurt or jaded by someone else. Maybe, just maybe, she enjoys being alone… Maybe, she doesn’t like having to answer her phone or tell anyone where she’s going that day…

Maybe she values experiences over hand holding…
Maybe, she hasn’t met anyone who’s exciting to her.

3. Women in the service industry put up with A LOT!

It’s not uncommon for men to stare into your eyes { or wherever else they’d like} while you’re ringing them up for their bagel or pouring their beer and say things like, “mmm you are so sexy, the things I would do to you” or “could you put your finger in that to sweeten it up?”  or even “What time do you get off? I’m going to be here until then.”
{note: these are all actual examples from the authors personal experience}

Not only would this be uncomfortable in general, but, it’s way worse because you’re at work. You have the added pressure of feeling like you can’t say anything rude to them and you’re trapped there forced to listen to their advances.

It also prevents the actual nice guys from approaching you at work because they’re terrified of looking like a creep.

{For the record nice guys: if you’re debating whether to say something or not, you’re already not a creep and it would be very difficult for you to seem like one. The creeps are easy to spot.}

4. You are told to never feel safe. 

I’m not sure to what degree it’s warranted and at what point it’s become paranoia. But, we’re told all the time to not go in dark alley’s alone and to be careful when we walk by ourselves at night. I’m not sure that men could understand the degree to which women feel vulnerable simply walking alone. Just walking…

5. Anything ‘not girly’ that you do will be attributed to a need to impress men. 

Do you like football? Do you skateboard? Play guitar?

It’s ok, you can tell us, who was the guy you dated that did these things or what guy are you trying to impress now?
There’s no possible way you could be interested in sports for the simple fact that sports are just really fun and interesting.

6. People just grab you all the time.

Seriously, I can remember being a high school girl and men just grabbing me in the grocery store. Pregnant women are touched by strangers on a daily basis and boys in school think it’s totally fine to grapple at you like you’re a stress relief ball.

7. It’s often assumed that you simply tolerate sex.
hmm…

Last I heard, orgasms go both ways. Well, at least they should.

8. People are surprised when you’re good at things.

Seriously, every time you do something impressive people will be SHOCKED. They will be overly complimentary and encouraging. In a way that they wouldn’t even think to be with a man.

With this in mind we praise men for being bold and aggressive while women who behave similarly are considered odd or even bitchy.

9. In general you can actively feel men deciding to what degree they are interested in penetrating you. 

and their behavior toward you is often a direct response to that decision…

10. You’re entire life you are told to tone yourself down. 

Don’t be too opinionated or they won’t like you.
Don’t be too emotional or you’ll seem crazy.
Don’t be too smart or they’ll forget you’re pretty.
Don’t be too pretty or other girls will hate you.
Don’t be too strong or you’ll seem like a dude.

and the list goes on and on.

I would love to hear if you have anything you’d add to the list.
Men, feel free to air out your grievances in the comments.
I’d also love to have a guys counterpart to this if anyone is interested in guest blogging!

 

with love and womanhood,

Sarajane.

Jordy Williams - September 17, 2014 - 3:46 pm

Nothing to grieve. I often judge to what degree I want to penetrate someone. My actions tend not to be swayed TOO much by that decision, however. Mainly because I am a human in 2014 and not a wolf or an ape or something.

Lindsay Lee - September 17, 2014 - 3:48 pm

All of this is the truth. And it’s dumb.

Briar DeHaven - September 17, 2014 - 3:51 pm

Woman, you’re knocking it out of the park with these truths!

Ali Wainright - September 17, 2014 - 5:58 pm

Thanks for writing!! I am going to repost this to my blog. This week, I personally especially relate to #8. I had to throw a guy out of the bar the other night for being a dim-wit drunk and my coworker was so surprised and impressed that I “handled it”. He would have never been surprised if any male, (at work or not) had sent this twerp walkin’. I for one, am not afraid of speaking my mind, and I am lucky that I work at a bar for this reason. I get away with saying a lot more in that position of power, than say, at a coffee shop. That being said, people do consider me “bitchy” on a frequent basis. Where’s the line? <3

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