Skip To Content
  • Bloom badge

15 Outdated "Social Rules" People Still Somehow Have For Women, As Shared By Women Themselves

Stop! telling! women! they'll! change! their! minds! about! kids!

It's literally 2022, and yet — as a woman — sometimes it can feel like we're still living waaay in the past. There are still so many outdated, unnecessary "social rules" we're expected to follow, from how we look to how we act, and even what we do with our lives.

Redditor u/rubbergloves44 asked, "What do you think is an outdated expectation as a woman?" A lot of very good, very important points were made. Here are 15 of the best responses:

1. "That all women want a relationship or to get married."

2. "That women are always competing with each other."

u/christine-fights

3. "That we shouldn't care about men's looks when dating, only their hearts or wallets."

"Looks aren't everything, but for some reason, women are expected to sacrifice their sexual attraction just to get a man."

u/ButterScotchMagic

4. "That we should be devoted to shitty husbands and continuing to stay with them regardless of how we're treated."

Suggested by: u/happysmize and u/bhnguyen20

5. "That we're always dressing for men. I see many people tell women that they should not dye or cut their hair, get tattoos, or dress a certain way because it's unappealing to men."

A woman with many tattoos on her arms and chest

6. "That we need to wear makeup to look presentable."

"Especially in professional settings, a lot of people have the notion that it is lazy for a woman to not have any makeup on. I wear makeup sometimes, and other times I don’t. I just think it’s an outdated expectation."

u/heyitsamess

7. "Taking care of a husband like he is an overgrown toddler incapable of doing anything for himself."

u/Stormallthetime

8. "Automatically assuming all women enjoy, want, and will have children."

u/Connie_Damico

"I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told I’ll change my mind about having kids. One man even said my 'hormones will change my mind' once I’m in my late 30s."

u/ChaunceTime

9. "That — even if we want kids — we want to give birth. It's one of the most painful things a person can go through."

A pregnant person holding their belly

10. "That women should do all the cooking, cleaning, and household chores."

u/m0rbidowl

"All that, even when we're working!"

u/km002d

11. "The expectation to provide free emotional labor for other people."

u/tc88

"It's mind-blowing how many guys expect you to be a free therapist to them."

u/m0rbidowl

12. "That we’re expected to take so much crap on a daily basis without complaining."

"I hate the expectation that women are docile. Sexual harassment? It’s just a compliment. Sexual assault? You had it coming; do you really want to ruin his life? Periods or any type of pain/illness? It's not that bad. The amount of mental labor we’re expected to do is exhausting, but we have to do it or nothing would get done. And then, men get offended and call us names when we assert ourselves or express any emotion other than happiness. Our boundaries are constantly trampled, and we’re supposed to just take it with a smile. It’s so frustrating!"

u/HRPunsNStuff

13. "That we need to shave, and that our vaginas should be smooth always."

Someone shaving their legs

14. "That we need to conduct ourselves in a quiet, polite manner."

"So many men view you differently when you're unapologetically yourself. I’m loud and stand up for myself when I need to, and men give me that ‘how dare you?' look. TBH, it just fills me with power."

u/Past-Outlandishness5

15. "I've always disliked how women were seen as the 'heart' of the family, responsible for keeping it all together."

"They want it to sound noble, but it sounds exhausting as hell and unfair. Like no one in a family can function without a woman doing the emotional labor. I have been a ~woman of chaos~ several times in my life, and I stand up for myself in ways that are sometimes not expected of me because of my gender. People assume I'll be a peacemaker because I am a woman. HAHA, no."

u/LetsBeReal24

Women of the BuzzFeed Community — are there any outdated expectations we missed? If so, let's talk about them in the comments below.

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.