Skip To Content
  • Viral badge

Women Are Calling Out The Things Society Deems "Normal" For Them But Are Actually Very Messed Up

PSA: Stop calling women "girls."

Women are sharing the things that society has deemed "normal" for them but actually shouldn't be normal at all — and their responses are a must-read.

Oscar Wong / Getty Images

It all started when Reddit user u/saintsacrafice posted a question to the internet: "What is something that women experience and is seen as 'normal,' but is actually very wrong, and shouldn’t be as accepted as it is?"

Paramount

Here are some of the top-voted responses from users:

1. "Downplaying how horrible periods can be. I've seen so many men act like women are being babies on their period, and it's just enraging."

Photoalto / Getty Images

2. "The amount of sexual abuse and harassment that is rampant in our society. Most women I know started being harassed by men when they were elementary school students, and that is seen as normal."

theneon-moon

3. "The fear of expressing too much comfort around male friends who might see it as a sexual opportunity. Too many of us experience this."

Ripple935

4. "Women feeling 'expected' to have sex and having their pleasure be secondary. I experienced this a lot when I was younger and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Like, I thought if I was kissing a guy, 'Well, now I’m expected to have sex with him because he’s turned on. I guess I have to.' And also thinking that during sex, the end goal was really mostly about him. It wasn’t until I was older that I realized how flawed it was for me to think that way, and for men to have reinforced that thinking via their actions."

GreenMountain85

5. "The biggest one for me is the pleasure gap. If I came in the middle of sex, mid-thrust, and then just rolled over and went to sleep with a, 'Good work team!'...people would think that I was crazy. But it’s literally what men do every single day."

Justin Horrocks / Getty Images

jem1173

6. "Women being called 'girls.' Whether it is conscious or not, it implies a lack of maturity and, therefore, a lack of respect. Among countless other places I have heard this, I attempted to watch a season of The Bachelor, and I could not stand how often the women were called 'girls.' I couldn't bring myself to check out The Bachelorette, but I suspect the men are never called 'boys.'"

merrypoppin

7. "The way the medical community seems to approach childbirth. I've watched documentaries etc. (no kids myself) and what really struck me is how patronizing everyone was to these women who are going through perhaps the worst pain of their life, and how things like LITERALLY CUTTING THEIR GENITALS are seen as no big deal."

AirStoned

8. "Inappropriate behavior from men, especially from a young age. If a boy hits a little girl he 'just likes her.' That little boy grows up thinking there’s no repercussion for violence, and keeps hitting women. The cycle just goes on."

professional_joe

9. "I know way too many women who think it's normal to have to do most of the housework and childcare, plus the mental and emotional load of household management, even if they also have an outside job. Also to manage their husbands as if they are children who can't be expected to remember to make appointments or buy their own clothes or things for the children or holidays or take care of menial tasks without reminders and help."

Peter Muller / Getty Images

10. "People speaking over them, and/or the inherent brush-off that 'if a woman says it, it needs to be verified somehow.'”

elephantasmos

11. "Telling me to smile when I don't fucking want to. But when I was younger, I did out of discomfort."

[Redacted]

12. "I think getting an infant/very young girl's ears pierced should not be acceptable. Parents are ignoring their child's right to consent to things that happen to their body, and it's purely aesthetic. Strange to push beauty standards on babies, let alone one that involves literally putting a hole in their body that could last their whole life."

naughtyschool_girl

13. "Dressing little girls in a way that makes it difficult for them to move around. Your 4-year-old should not miss out on valuable play because she doesn't want to mess up her clothes or hair. Her appearance should be the last freaking thing on her mind. It makes me so angry to see little girls having to sit on the sidelines while their brothers and male cousins play rambunctiously because their parents put them in a dress and expensive shoes."

Momo Productions / Getty Images

14. "Getting hit on at 13 by grown-ass men."

monstiemama

15. "Women being expected to let men have sex with them, but also shaming any woman who shows a modicum of libido. It's almost like society wants women to have sex but hate it at the same time, and it's gross."

Chessebel

16. "Being expected to be nice when a man is overstepping your boundaries. As soon as we express any discomfort, we're made to feel like we should be nice to them. 'It was only banter.' 'Lighten up.' That sort of thing."

infamyinfamy

17. "Catcalling. It's gross and degrading."

Mixmike / Getty Images

18. "Men pushing boundaries without consent during sex. 'Accidentally' putting it in the wrong hole. Strangling. Hitting. Abusive misogynistic language. Pretty much every woman I know has had a man do these things out of nowhere towards her, and they are supposed to accept it because it's 'kinky' or something. And now it's literally 15-year-old girls who are dealing with this trauma because of porn normalizing it as something boys are supposed to do to women. It's completely disgusting."

OrangeyPanda

19. "Painful periods. They are NOT normal and doctors need to stop making it seem as if they are. It took until my thirties, when I had surgery for a painful ovarian cyst, before they discovered I had endometriosis (and a dead fallopian tube). She was the ONLY doctor to even suggest I could also have endometriosis, and that they would look while in surgery."

veggielovvvvvver

20. "Society values men's time more than women's. My husband and I both technically have flexibility in our work schedules, but guess who does all the doctor appointments etc. for the kids? Me. Because God forbid a man miss work in the middle of the day, or take a day off because his kid is sick. Every time he has done it, he gets shit from his higher-ups. Easier for me to just do it since everyone expects a mom to miss work sometimes."

nefariousmango

21. "That condescending and infuriatingly arrogant tone that some men take on when explaining something (be it a hobby, some interesting fact, or the fundamentals of this-and-that) when their listener is a women. I understand that this may simply be done to impress, rather than be irritating, but just knowing that they wouldn't dare talk this way to a male friend or colleague is...well, irritating."

Vm / Getty Images

22. "Doctors thinking of women primarily by their capacity for reproduction. Yes, doctor, I came in for this rash, but sure let’s answer your question on family planning and my birth control options."

Nephron8

23. "The fact that women die of reproductive cancers more often than men because our pain and symptoms aren't taken seriously. So many women lose their lives because their pain and suffering is considered normal, are told that what they're experiencing isn't bad because women are meant to experience pain and dysfunction."

TheThoughtfulLemon

24. "That people think they have the right to comment on how a woman looks or what she is wearing. There have been way too many times where someone feels they need to point out my 'physical flaws' just because. For example: acne, dark circles under my eyes, body/facial hair, paleness, etc."

mermaid_with_pants

25. "Spaghetti strap tank tops on a hot summer day being 'provocative'...And the high school dress code."

Gawrav / Getty Images

26. "Being polite to creepy men. There are so many things that can go wrong and I've read too many stories of women being killed for not taking a guy's number."

TheSilverCrystal

27. "The idea that a woman must drop all her male friends and cannot maintain contact with them once she enters into an exclusive, romantic relationship."

thekoconubian

28. "I love running, but I pretty much can’t train past 4:30 p.m. when it’s dark. It’s annoying but normal to me now. But for a man? Yep, run on your own at 5 p.m., no worries."

UnderstandingCheap57

29. "Pressure to have kids. Lectures and being guilted if you don't want to. The weird idea some people push that motherhood needs to be the center of our lives."

Westend61 / Getty Images

30. "Women having to come up with safe and clever ways to reject a man’s advances, instead of being able to give a simple 'no' and having it be respected."

makeshiftmarty

31. "The amount of money we have to pay for menstrual products. I remember being a poor university student having to use rolled up toilet paper because I couldn't afford pads or tampons, and menstrual cups were not a thing back then. $12 for a box of tampons doesn't seem like much, until you're living off ramen, and then it becomes a luxury."

livercookies

32. "Birth control! The hormones can literally turn you into another person, give you depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues, and we just have to accept that 65% of women are having their lives negatively affected on a regular basis, but they have no other choice if they don't want to become pregnant."

SnapDragon6

And finally...

33. "Absorbing men's dysfunction. He was abused? She'll talk him through the best therapy she can manage. He was never taught how to (insert normal life skill here)? She'll do it for him. He's too macho to take care of himself? She'll nag him until he does — and she better be a good sport and laugh as she's ridiculed for 'being a nag.'"

Peopleimages / Getty Images

You can read the full thread of responses on Reddit.

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