What Only Women Know That Men Don’t
Looking through numerous articles and opinions about women and men the ideas of both genders about their differences vary significantly.
We decided that we don’t want to discuss the obvious (periods, childbirth etc) but rather clear up some misconceptions and share our own personal experiences where they apply.
While we can not speak for every single woman and man on the planet, we would like to add our own thoughts to the conversation and let you know some things only women know that men don’t.
How to console an upset female friend.
First things first, there is no such thing as one solution for everything. Every person is different and every problem needs to be handled accordingly. Women talk to each other about their feelings more often than men do, so their female friends are more likely to know about a situation as it develops and be prepared to react when something happens. They are also likely to have dealt with similar problems in the past so that they now know how to respond. For example, seeing your ex requires getting drinks, problems at work would take a nice dinner along with the chance to bitch about your colleagues and getting into an argument with someone would need takeout and a good movie with your friends at home. Some women will prefer chocolate as comfort food, others ice cream, I personally like prawn crisps or cheesy chips. Women are just people. Ask them what they need and remember it for next time. Not everything works for every situation but you will slowly learn what helps each one.
Why the right outfit is important.
The argument that women have too many clothes seems to pop up all the time. Let’s not even talk about how countless publications devote pages upon pages tearing people’s outfits apart and celebrities are judged on their clothes rather than their achievements. Women are very much aware of being judged on what they wear, looking professional, looking their age, looking put together, looking dressed up but not too much and so on. The pressure is very real and most of us try to make sure there are no faults to be found in our style wherever we go. However, to stop the hypocrisy here, men do care about their outfits too. You won’t find bankers or lawyers with sweatpants and tshirts; they will be wearing suits and well ironed shirts. Just like a nice suit is what they wear to be taken seriously, a fashionable outfit is what we wear to be taken seriously. Is it right? Well, that’s a whole other discussion, but for now just accept that caring about what we wear it’s not a women only thing.
Surprises are great but tell us what the dress code is in advance.
Talking about outfits, since we make a lot of effort to wear the right one, it is very important to know what out plans are. Men seen to think women like surprises no matter what they may be, but there are limits. No woman wants to show up dressed in a dress and heels to be taken paintballing the same way a man would not wear his most expensive suit in that situation either. The same way, showing up in jeans and trainers and not being let in the fancy restaurant you had a reservation for is equally no fun at all. Be sensible and understand when surprises have their limits and what information you need to disclose in advance to make sure everyone has a good time.
Products ‘for women’ are purposefully more expensive.
We are not crazy for spending lots of money on beauty and skincare products. Products labeled ‘for women’ are more expensive to start with according to research, because you know, there is a gender pay gap and people who are in charge of pricing think we are stupid and will buy anything if it’s pink. I’m not being cynical, just read the article we’ve linked above. So yeah maybe sometimes we get a few extra products but even if we bought the exact same products men use, they would still cost us more. And anyway, when people say our skin is super soft, it’s not magic, it’s that body cream men are too manly to use.
We can be just as lazy as men.
Men do have the reputation of being lazy and disgusting and needing a woman to clean up after them. While that is definitely not true for all men, many of whom can be incredibly clean and tidy on their own, it is also not true for the women who are presented as naturally gifted in cleaning up and being tidy. Despite the fact that most of us only show our best selves to other people, we do have our off days. You know, these days when we just want to stay in pyjamas and a dressing gown, order pizza and eat crisps in bed watching Netflix, put our hair up, not shave our legs and definitely not do those dishes from last night until at least 5 episodes later. Sure we will post a perfect looking photo of a home cooked meal and selfies when we are freshly showered, shaved, with perfect hair and makeup but trust me, our lazy days in look nothing like that. AND THAT’S OK! Let’s accept none of us is perfect and we all deserve a break from time to time.
We don’t care about the toilet seat’s position, just its cleanliness.
We don’t get why this is a persistent stereotype. If the seat is up we will put it down, if the lid is closed we will open it. This is not such a huge deal. The only problem is if men pee on the seat, or the floor or the wall or anything that is not the inside of the toilet. And yes this happens and when it happens guess who has to clean it… Well, if you’re in my house whoever did it and they will also not be allowed to pee here again until they learn some manners. The point is, it is not our place to teach full grown men how to use the bathroom or to clean up after them. Learn how to be clean an tidy and everything will be fine.
Not all compliments are the same.
Women get a lot of compliments on their appearance and are expected to be grateful and happy every time someone says something positive to them, as if they owe it to the compliment giver. The thing is, not all compliments are the same. Telling a beautiful woman that she is beautiful is something she’s heard before and does not mean that much to her any more. She looks beautiful all the time, she most likely has not done something particular to look like that other than living her life as usual. A compliment along the lines of ‘your makeup skills are great’ or ‘I love your fashion sense and how you style your outfits’ is a much more meaningful comment, because while you are still complimenting how a woman looks you show that you appreciate the effort she put into it and the time it has taken her to put together an outfit or learn how to do her makeup that way. This applies in other situations too and in our opinion not just to women. When a person is passionate about something, complimenting their dedication and their achievements is a lot more meaningful to them than just giving them vague compliments.
We have to live with street harassment.
And on the topic of compliments, yelling ‘compliments’ in the street is not good. We don’t know if the group of 10 men blocking our path on our way home saying we look pretty or asking why we are not smiling and talking to them is going to attack us. That’s not because we are paranoid, that is because this kind of thing happens and we are aware we are not strong enough to fight them off or fast enough to outrun them. When a man follows you for an hour around a supermarket to tell you he has been following you with his car around the neighbourhood too and he thinks you are pretty your reaction is not feeling flattered, it’s feeling terrified. Needless to say I stopped going to that supermarket after this happened. So yeah, when a guy yells at me from his car that I look hot I now have to stop and check how long that car has been following me and potentially write down the plate number, text it to a friend and tell her to call the police if I don’t text her later that I’m safe back home.
Makeup takes long because it’s like any normal painting.
Finally, let’s address the whole makeup and getting ready issue. I’m not talking about why do makeup at all, this should not even be a debate. We don’t ask men why they shave or do elaborate beards and put gel on their hair even though it makes it disgusting to touch afterwards. The owner of the face and head decides what goes on it. In any case, what you need to understand about makeup is that essentially we are using paintbrushes to paint a whole new face with contours and highlights and shadows. I remember doing that on canvas during art class as a student and it taking a good 40 minutes. The fact that the canvas is now our face doesn’t make the process faster, we still have to go through all the steps. This is something we’ve accepted and are prepared to do every day while men can sleep an extra 20 minutes (or spend it trimming their beards instead). Just understand there is no point in complaining about it and let us know what time you want us to be at a place so that we can start getting ready on time.
The point we are trying to get across is that yes, there are things that only women know that men generally don’t, but a lot of those could easily be explained and understood if we all sit down and talk like grown ups instead of claiming we come from different planets and leave it there. Next time you thing your male or female friends are doing something that doesn’t make sense, just sit down and ask them why. People wish to communicate, explain how they think and feel and get along. Nobody wants to be upset, get harassed or feel the pressure of being judged all the time so let’s all try to be open minded and caring.
In the meantime, if you feel like talking to some women and asking their opinion about something or just having a chat, you can get Shello, our women only chat and social app and meet some female friends who share your interests.