The List of 5 Ridiculous Things a Man Has Told Me About Womanhood
Here’s to the glorious act of mansplaining
Women talk too much.
That’s what some men say these days, isn’t it? Women talk and talk and don’t know when to stop.
Well, as true as that may be sometimes, it can also just be a huge male moment of projecting without self-awareness. Contrary to popular belief, men can talk too much as well — especially when it comes to womanhood.
It seems that men, particularly men in power, always have something to say about women’s lives. How to lead our lives, how to look while doing so, how to act and how to obey the law (which can still be very immoral as the whole abortion situation in the USA suggests)… men apparently think they always know what’s best for us and will always take care of our fragile irrational minds with their strong sometimes-bordering-on-monstrously-cold intellect.
Now seriously. As much as I ridicule mansplaining, it’s actually a serious issue that apparently needs to be addressed over and over again because some men just don’t get it.
Yes, I understand men love to offer practical solutions when asked for advice — there’s nothing wrong with that, except maybe try to whip up some emotional support in the process as well.
However, practical men who sincerely want to help aren’t the problem here. Not at all. I’m actually quite fond of them. I wouldn’t be dating one if I wasn’t.
It’s the men who think they know everything there is to know about womanhood, even though they’ve never actually seen menstrual blood in real life because they’ve been shielding their eyes from that frightening sight at every opportunity.
It’s the men who have been always more than willing to explain to me my role in life as a woman, usually in a condescending tone.
It’s the men who have mocked me when they realised I was smarter than them.
To sum it up, it’s the men who have sexism for breakfast.
Without further ado, here are the 5 ridiculous things men have told me about womanhood throughout my life — sometimes multiple times. You know, just for good measure. Lessons are better when they’re constantly repeated.
What I learned from those lessons was to stop listening to men who make no sense.
“Women can’t drive”
I grew up in Czechia. Wanna know what the favourite phrase of Czech men is?
Yes, that’s right. “Women can’t drive.”
When another car on the road is too slow, it’s a damn woman. When a car does something wrong, it’s a woman who’s the driver. When a man’s own car runs out of fuel, he’s probably convinced it must somehow be women’s fault too.
My dad just loves to say, “Women shouldn’t be allowed to drive.”
“When I get a driving license, don’t expect me to pick you up from the pub,” I answer and receive a dissatisfied glare.
“I didn’t mean you.”
Oh, okay. That’s fine. The next time I say something nice about men, I’ll make sure to add, “I don’t mean you though. You’re not a man, dad. That’s the world we live in now. Sorry, I didn’t make the rules.”
According to Argionis & Associates, men are actually much more likely to drive intoxicated than women. They also speed more. Plus, they don’t wear seatbelts as often, which is a part of why they make for a higher percentage of casualties in car accidents.
I don’t know how about you, but it sounds like women might be safer drivers. Maybe those men who complain about them are just… jealous of their high-quality, organised and carefully developed driving skills?
Just an idea.
“You should marry a rich man”
My dad always used to say I should focus on my studies, work hard for my career and reap the rewards of my effort. He was good like that.
He also said I should marry a rich man. He wasn’t the only one — many men have told me I could find a rich man and be a happy wife in a big house and whatnot.
There is nothing wrong with marrying a rich man. It’s quite a nice benefit to marrying the person you love, if you ask me. But why do men never tell their sons to marry a rich woman? Why is it always girls who need to marry someone rich, someone who will save them from poverty and otherwise inevitable doom, someone who will set them up for life and they won’t even have to lift a finger?
I suppose it’s nice to marry a rich man (who loves you, is kind, and won’t ever hurt you). I’d prefer to become a rich woman through hard work and talent, though.
Then we can put our assets together and be a fierce independent duo free of social stereotypes.
A dream come true.
“Ironing clothes is a woman’s job”
What is it with men and house chores?
This whole trend is thankfully changing in the west now, however, Eastern Europe is still stuck in its old ways. To women’s dismay and men’s cheering.
Look, I know you fixed one shelf two years ago. I know you’ve promised to fix the sink and just haven’t gotten around to doing it yet. I know you go to work.
But she goes to work too. And unlike fixing one shelf, doing daily house chores actually takes a lot of time. Every. Single. Day.
If you think the two tasks are comparable, I’ll gladly take your toolbox and you can take over the dishes, the laundry, the mopping, the hoovering, the cooking…
Luckily for me, my boyfriend grew up in the UK and is a much better cook than me. He knows how to take care of his house, and we generally split our tasks.
Not every woman can say the same. Actually, my Czech friends usually think I made my boyfriend up when I tell them about him. They can’t believe he actually irons his own shirts. Speaking of ironing…
“Iron my shirts,” my dad told me when I was fifteen.
“You can iron them yourself. I was at school all day. You were home.”
“Ironing is a woman’s job!”
It’s safe to say I didn’t iron his shirts that day. They always made up the biggest chunk of laundry and took the longest to iron. If he wants to wear them, he can iron them himself. He had the least amount of work out of everyone in our household.
Ironing isn’t a job for one gender only. Does a woman have some special hidden limb that makes it so that ironing is easier for her? Some men would be inclined to say yes, I’m sure. They’re already confused about the female anatomy as it is.
Unfortunately, no. Women don’t have a special limb. Ironing requires no special skills. It just requires you to stand there, take the iron and get to work.
“You have to wear bras”
If there were no men in the world, bras probably wouldn’t be a thing.
I mean, who actually wants to wear a bra on daily basis? Who actually finds it more comfortable than going braless?
When I don’t wear a bra in public, my thoughts are:
1) Men will see my nipples.
2) Women will see my nipples and think about how I let everyone — especially men — see my nipples.
3) Men will see my nipples.
4) Men will judge my boobs based on my nipples.
5) Men will see my nipples.
It’s quite hard to get over the nipple part. The thing is, I wouldn’t actually care about men seeing the outline of my nipple if I wasn’t told I had to care. It would just be another part of my anatomy that the world can see when they dare to look, like knees or shoulders or a mole behind my ear.
It would be normal.
I mean, sometimes I can see the outline of men’s lower parts when they wear grey sweatpants and sit in a certain way. Not that I’m looking on purpose. It just so happens that sometimes I accidentally see something.
Am I the reason men stop wearing grey sweatpants, though?
No, I don’t think so. They can wear whatever they want. So let me free my nipple, too.
“Body hair makes you look disgusting”
Speaking of women’s bodies, shaving is a nightmare.
It’s not fun, it’s not relaxing, and it can cause a rash. Every time I shave, I have to bend in such weird angles that my blood goes to my head and I feel like I’ve just done the most exhausting gymnastics ever.
Many men have scolded my body hair throughout the years, and it really screwed me up early on. I had to go through all the horrible phases of self-hate to arrive at a place where I’m comfortable with the way I think of my body hair.
Just a few decades ago, women had body hair and didn’t shave. Men still wanted to have sex with them, right? They were still attracted to them, right? So why do they suddenly hate it so much?
Advertising can do a number on you if you’re not careful. Razor companies are making lots of money from women’s insecurities and men’s newfound love for bare skin that gets spiky incredibly fast.
Look, it’s our bodies. No matter if we have body hair or not, men will still want us because they love us. They can’t help themselves.
So why not abandon the shame and be more comfortable in our own bodies? Do what makes you happy and screw what men think.
They have body hair too. They conveniently seem to forget about that small fact.
The bottom line
To sum it up, some men are amazing and some men are less so. When a man is stuck in his sexist ways and keeps giving you lessons about womanhood and what a woman should be even though he’s not one, maybe try telling him that real men don’t lecture women on topics they know nothing about.
See what he’s got to say to that.
You’re a woman. Be fierce, be confident, be in love with your own body, be just the way you want to be.
A good man will appreciate you. He’ll also iron his own shirts.