Being a woman isn’t all free drinks and compliments — there are many undesirable, and, frankly, dangerous, things that come with the territory. It feels pretty ridiculous that I’m even typing that out, but the many variations of the “What do men not understand about being a woman?” threads that I see on Reddit on a regular basis prove that, unfortunately, there are many men out there who just don’t get it. So, once again, the women of Reddit once again find themselves explaining some things men don’t realize women deal with. For many, if not most, of the women who read these responses, I’d imagine none are exactly news.

If I sound tired, it’s because I am. Aside from the fact that I see this type of thread all the time, I (like, I’m sure, many women) am tired of insisting that, yes, we have to deal with the threat of harassment and people not taking us seriously and being objectified all the time. We’re not being overly sensitive. We’re not making it up. And just because men don’t experience, it doesn’t mean it isn’t real. That, my friends, is the very definition of male privilege.

So yeah. That’s what I have to say about all that. Let’s get into what the women of Reddit have to add — admittedly, with a lot more patience than I just displayed.

1. The Fear For Our Safety Is Real


The answer to that question is all the time. Literally, we are thinking about our personal safety all the time.

2. Sexual Harassment Starts Young


User CatsOnCocaine wrote in response, “I think I was ten when I first got harassed :\.” User Robinspeakeasy chimed in, “Unfortunately, you are not alone. I was 14 when I first remember being harassed, but my cousin was only 9.” It is incredibly disturbing that this is the society we live in.

3. The Lengths We’ll Go To In Order To Feel Safe


I mean, personally, I think avoiding dark alleys and abandoned buildings is a good attitude toward safety in general. But then again, I’m a woman, so what do I know?

4. Age Discrimination Isn’t Just For Hollywood


That’s so heartbreaking.

5. Pain Is A Normal Part Of Life


In other words, yes, every woman you know is basically a superhero.

6. Having Breasts Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up To Be


If you don’t have breasts, try running with some weights attached to your chest and then report back on how fun of an experience that was.

7. How Much Work It Takes To Look Like We Haven’t Put Any Effort Into Our Appearance


And that’s not even covering all the hair removal many of us go through. Don’t even get me started on all the beauty regimens.

8. The Obligatory Period Answer


Or when you stand up from sitting and you feel the rush of blood like Niagara Falls, or when you wake up in a pool of your own blood, or like a million other things I could list right now.

9. How Hard It Can Be To Be Taken Seriously


I can’t even begin to imagine how terrifying and frustrating this must have been.

10. There Really Is A Dark Side To Dating


That first line really hits home. “Literally trusting a stranger with your life.” It’s actually scary how spot-on that is.

By Sarah Levine