If you need reassurance that you are not alone in these experiences, do read on. This is a list of universal hard truths that will make any woman weep and laugh in solidarity.
No Pockets Full of Sunshine
Dear designers of women’s clothes, what is the purpose of fake pockets? Is it inducing blinding rage? Because it’s working! And what are we supposed to fit into pockets that are an entire two centimeters deep? Your soul? Pockets are wonderful. Pockets are necessary. Pockets are for everyone!
We shop for skinny jeans in the men’s section just to find one with actual pockets. Or redefine human dexterity while holding a purse, a phone, lip gloss, a child, and sunglasses with one hand. Give us pockets, for the love of God.
Shaving is an art, and some parts of the female body need careful maneuvering. If you thought working around the ankles was tricky, say hello to the knees! You can spend a good hour in the shower diligently shaving your kneecaps, but some bit of hair always remains.
Maybe you no longer have the outer layer of your skin and also lost considerable blood, but the hair manages to stay put. Do knee caps expand their surface area while in the shower? The sorcery!
Most women have probably never looked at sneezing the same way after puberty. Sneezing can be dreadful — not because we may catch cold or debilitating pneumonia. We're convinced that a powerful sneeze unexpectedly triggers the uterus. It’s the equivalent of a vigorous smack on a ketchup bottle before the contents spill forth. Don’t be surprised if you see a woman bolting to the bathroom after sneezing.
She’s not rushing for tissues but checking to see if she got her period. She could have sworn she felt it. As for sneezing while on your period? That’s a separate thesis altogether!
Applying eyeliner is a tricky business. It’s all about symmetry. The first eye looks perfect, but the second wing starts badly. It’s all downhill from there. You make a mistake and fix it. But now the first eye looks off. So, you try and fix that.
Maybe you end up sneezing or stabbing yourself in the eye while at it. On and on, the cycle repeats. The result? A set of beautiful panda eyes nobody wanted.
Trying to Find the Right Clothes
We’re sick of flimsy jerseys for winters, see-through dresses, or shirts with glitter. We want our jeans hugging the right places — not ones that constrict tighter than boas. And do not get us started on crop tops. What if we want the entire top? We do, FYI, but we end up paying for half a garment that is probably see-through and needs an extra layer underneath.
Is there a universe where women’s clothes are functional and look good? Beam us there immediately!
My Old Friend PMS
Is it fatigue, anxiety, or am I just getting old? No — it’s PMS. We all know it’s a thing yet somehow we never see it coming! Work days seem much longer. People seem more annoying than ever.
And what is up with all the emotions – from intense love to wanting to rip off someone’s head? As things slowly descend into madness, something tells you to check the calendar. Ah, of course. It was PMS all along.
Dress to Impress
We don’t know which one is worse, dirty stares and obscene comments from men or cutting condescension from women. If you wear anything with a hint of skin, men consider it an open invitation. The women whisper and pass withering looks. Did you dare to repeat an outfit, or maybe wear something that's just so 2007? You can be sure it’s the hot topic of discussion in group chats.
The silver lining? With age comes tremendous zen. Most women eventually wise up and know when they have had it with conforming, which is when the best years of their lives truly begin.
A Balancing Act
Women often get labeled the b-word for confidently expressing their opinions and thoughts. They are “too much” when they know what they want and are not afraid to tell you. These same traits we deem leadership qualities when attributed to men. Blatant hypocrisy? Of course.
And it stems from archaic notions of how women should behave. Everyone loves a strong woman — but only in theory, you see. Confident women in real life seem to perplex the average person. Unsurprisingly, the attacks eventually boil down to shaming and uninspired name-calling.
What Is My Body Even Doing?
Periods every month suck, big time. But nobody warned us about everything that happens in between, at least when we were younger. You know, that interim phase between ovulation and menstruation when our bodies have a life of their own? It was all slightly troubling as teenagers.
Many panic attacks, self-esteem crises, and ruined underwear later, we grew up and learned that it is (more often than not) totally normal.
You know what that means. Some of us slip pads or tampons into our skirts or pants. Clothes with deep pockets are lifesavers, but they seem to be extinct. So, we make do with quickly stuffing pads around the waist.
Some of the more skilled magicians among us will quietly slip tampons up their sleeves or into their bras. Geniuses. The next time you make fun of a girl for taking her entire backpack to the bathroom — please don’t.
Bigger Isn't Always Better
Ah. Big breasts. A blessing or a curse? The jury is still out on that one. Some days the twins are a blessing. On others, they can be the source of unbelievable agony. Seriously, it can get difficult to breathe.
They sweat in the summer and hurt when we run. They inadvertently brush up against other people. Have you ever tried adjusting wayward twins? In public? With nobody the wiser? Never a dull day.
The things women do to be hairless! Hot wax strips, violently torn from flesh. A pincer, plucking every individual hair from the eyebrow. A thin thread, grating continually against the upper lip. The bottom line is: beauty is what you make it to be. If you genuinely feel better after removing hair — go for it. At least the pain is of your own making!
But if the pressure comes from regressive beauty ideals — pause a moment. Take a close look at those red splotches on your face and ask yourself — how is this fun, and why do I do it willingly?
Friendships With Men Are Hard
To be or not to be friends with a guy. Sure, we may start as friends. But sometimes, the guy you value as a friend is just hoping he can eventually move out of the friend zone.
We're not talking about women who purposely lead men on. We acknowledge they exist. But most times, women are just being polite. It doesn’t mean they want anything more. We’ve had many a male friend ice us out the minute relations were off the table. It was never on the table.
We see how tall girls can be intimidating to men. After all, physical dominance is the source of alpha male energy. Still, it’s all fun and games when it’s just the guys. But things get weird with a tall woman in the mix.
Some men feel a desperate need to assert their dominance in other ways. It usually involves disparaging comments about her height — the thing they lack. Accept that she’s taller than you, or make her feel better about it. Believe us, she’s been through hell because of her height.
Let It Dry First
Painting nails is mad difficult. Something or someone will interrupt and ruin everything. So, you ensure to prepare beforehand. Find a comfy spot away from kids or pets. Assemble your apparatus. Paint.
You blissfully ignore phone calls and minor kitchen emergencies for the task at hand. You perfect the art of painting flawlessly with your non-dominant hands. And just when you think you are in the clear, nature calls.
The Price of One Item
Shopping for clothes is painful. It’s not as simple as picking up a pretty dress. Before buying anything, we mentally scan our existing wardrobe for matching items. Do I have the right shoes, bags, and belts? What kind of jewelry would look best with this? And the biggest one of all — do I have the right bra for this?
Depending on the dress, this could mean anything — from strapless and halter neck bras to pasties! It’s exhausting and ultimately ends up costing a bomb.
When 'No Side Affects' Is a Luxury
The world is messed-up when women must choose between birth control or paying rent. The responsibility of birth control falls entirely on women. FYI, rubbers are cheaper. Plus, they don’t destroy your body the way some contraceptives do. Everyone thinks contraceptives are affordable, but this could not be farther from the truth. High costs force many women to stop altogether.
Alternatively, they resort to less effective methods, and the side effects are a doozy. At this rate, saying no repeatedly might be the best form of birth control.
Safe to say, our relationships with bras transformed after 2020. It also took staying at home for many months for us to realize how much underwire bras suck. For years, women everywhere have forced themselves into this instrument of torture. Why? If you want your girls to look lifted and rounded — underwire bras! At least, that’s what pop culture wanted you to think.
Forget a damaged wire poking into your skin or painful welts on the side. The revolution could not have come at a better time! Many women are now going bra-less or prioritizing comfort, not how bras make them look.
The Harsh Reality
Not wearing headphones seems the wiser option. Better bored while running than risk harassment on the streets. It’s why we can never enjoy our playlists. We run only in broad daylight. We text our location to friends and family. We text again to tell everyone we got home safe.
We may wear baggy clothes not to attract attention. And we almost always clutch our keys to use as sharp weapons — just in case.
When People Don't Take You Seriously
Getting passed over for promotions or better raises is a struggle most women face. It’s even harder when you’re petite. Many workplaces tend to recognize talent through a skewed lens — typically masculine. We love our women if they look and behave like men. Unless you exude Lara Croft vibes, the chances of your opinion counting are little to nothing in most workplaces.
Prepare to fade into the background. It's a curse that also applies to traditionally “feminine-looking” women — the soft-spoken ones who rock colors other than black.
Do people even know what abrasive means? Sandpaper is abrasive. Nails running across a blackboard are abrasive. Making derogatory comments about women at work? That’s abrasive. Stop calling women abrasive for doing their jobs.
A woman is “aggressive” if she’s direct. She’s not leadership material because she’s “delicate.” There’s no winning, and the shaming is intense either way. Many women find it incredibly difficult to navigate these spaces — especially women who are in leadership positions.
Who Said Women Only Drink Cocktails?
Are you a woman who likes her scotch or whiskey neat? Congratulations! You’ve just attained cool gal status — someone who does not drink like a woman. Brace yourself for overwhelming male approval — maybe even a couple of fist-bumps and high-fives. They say you’re not like other girls. The ones who order sweet and fruity drinks like Cosmos or Daquiris.
Really? Thanks, but no thanks for the backhanded compliment. Scotch neat is excellent, yes. We would now like to enjoy it in peace.
Have Long Hair, Just Not There!
Hair removal is one of the primary yardsticks that shape gender dynamics and ideas of “femininity.” Society is obsessed with women’s hair. Long flowing hair on the head is feminine. Hair anywhere else is apparently just gross.
Women have hair — period. Body hair, chin hair, and toe hair, too. Come closer, and you may even find a hint of a mustache. We’re born this way. It’s natural. Everyone (women included), please move on.
Sure, we are all human and can often be terrible to each other. But who among us has not encountered the terrible wrath of mean girls? Some mean girls, sadly, do not grow up. They go straight from ‘cool’ lunch tables to Sunday brunches – judging, ridiculing, and excluding other women.
Research suggests meanness is a woman’s way of getting ahead and gaining approval. It's the proverbial pecking order where there is only room for a privileged few. We really can be our own worst enemies.
The story of our lives. Dressed in shorts or sweats, we feel a hundred eyes on our bodies. Many women prefer ignoring the incessant catcalling or staring. Walking away seems wiser for our safety. And public transport? What a joke. Forget about reading a book or sitting with ease. We must stay hyper-alert for creeps waiting to get handsy or ‘accidentally’ brushing up against us.
Some people scoff at women-only spaces, like train cars. Many women need it for safety and to enjoy the commute in peace.
My Face Is Just Resting
Has anyone told you you would be “so much prettier” if you smiled? It’s not breaking news that the world likes regulating women’s bodies. Our uterus and body hair are familiar battlegrounds. Let us add smiling to the never-ending list. It stems from the notion that women must always be accessible and agreeable. Slapping a grin on our faces is seemingly the way there.
Unsmiling women, on the other hand? It's not enough to be polite and civil, we must be rays of blinding sunshine 24 x 7.
Not All Women Are Sensitive
Feeling emotional is part of the human experience – man or woman. Still, the art of sensitivity falls disproportionately on women as traditional caregivers. It is the same universe that stigmatizes sensitive or emotional men. Many women do not fit the mold of the all-loving, ever-accommodating woman.
Yes, we may be decent people. But many of us do not know how (or feel inclined) to put in the extra emotional labor all the time. Plus, being sensitive to other people’s emotions often comes at the expense of our own needs.
Thinking About Safety 24/7
Ask a man what he does before stepping out alone. He probably has little input. But every woman has a checklist to survive public spaces. Streets and parks are inaccessible to us after dark. Drinking alone at a bar? Fend off unwanted advances and never lose sight of your drink. Walking by yourself? Walk in the opposite direction of traffic. A night of clubbing? Stay with your friends and go to the bathroom in groups.
Despite women shattering all kinds of glass ceilings, it is exhausting how public spaces remain gendered even in the 21st century.
Feeling the Stress
Shopping is stressful unless you are among the lucky few who can shop off the rack. Retailers carry numerous sizes which are never standard. Are these garment measurements? Body measurements? Nobody seems to know. Many women have garments in varying sizes depending on the make and brand.
What is the worst part about shopping? The process of trying on clothes in the store. We queue up for miles to try on things you may or may not end up buying. The dressing rooms are so stuffy that you end up super-sweaty and anxious.
Good Luck, Bra
If you are anything above a C cup, prepare to wear boring black, white, or beige bras – forever! The bras in question are never cute. "Bras" might be overstating it since they look like after-thoughts. It’s a joke you cannot afford to laugh at just in case those terrible-quality straps fall off.
Also, forget about food and rent for a month. A good, long-lasting bra is at least $85. What does one do? We are proud owners of several sports bras instead.
Man-splaining or unsolicited advice — the curious case of ‘Correctyle Dysfunction.’ Every woman has encountered a gracious man who tells her not to worry her pretty little head. He then proceeds to tell her how everything she knows is wrong.
Men without degrees will explain science to women physicists. The same men claim to know much more about women’s rights than women. Have you ever had someone explain your Ph.D. thesis to you? It has happened.
Being a Handy-Woman
So what if you are the handiest woman in the room? Guys will never trust you to do traditionally male things. Many of them will effectively lose their minds. Men cannot trust us to check the oil, fix a tire, or get a jump on the car.
They tense up involuntarily when we drive and feel the urge to take over, even when we are doing a perfectly fine job. It’s a hundred times worse when you are young or petite-looking.
Why Women Have to Wear More
Imagine a world where it’s hot outside, and women can just take their shirts off! Men do it all the time, and we’re envious. Women, on the other hand?
We're having a hot girl summer, alright – but it is not what you think it is. Tank tops are breezy but skimpy - even a hint of extra skin invites glares from men and women alike! You either wear a bra or an extra layer for more coverage. Either way, we end up sweating buckets.
Red and White
A healthy diet and regular exercise are imperative to menstrual health. But do you know what else can summon the flow? Sleeping on white sheets — and they are usually freshly laundered. Something about light-colored sheets tricking our uteruses into believing it’s party time.
We drift off unsuspectingly, only to wake up in the land of the rising sun. It’s the same when you wear fancy underwear or plan a vacation.
Damned if You Do, Damned if You Don't
There is no winning this one. Whether you choose to wear makeup or not. Contrary to popular perception, women do not dress up or apply makeup for men, but usually for approval from other women.
Men seem unable to tell the difference between a “natural look” and “no makeup" anyway! They may notice obvious signs like bright red lipstick or blue eye shadow. If a woman looks “sick,” she is probably not wearing any makeup.
Write for the Job
It does not matter if you are the most competent person in the room. In classrooms or boardrooms, they always try and pin traditionally-female roles on women. These roles include party planning, decoration, and taking notes, among other things.
Secretary stuff and women things beneath the average man, who will assume a leadership role despite his incompetence. What if we told you we are party-planning magicians AND incredible leaders? It's not a myth, and you can be like us too!
Nice Girls Finish Last
Guys tell us it sucks to have their motives questioned all the time. We get it, but after being burnt too many times, caution goes a long way. Male bosses want to meet up to discuss career options? It is never only about career options.
Guy friends who insist on helping you move? What's the catch? Things never end well for us, either way. Men accuse you of leading them on or say you “misread” the situation by assuming they are into you.
Long Hair = A Long Time to Get Ready
Girls with long hair. Have you lost count of how often people complain, cry, and whine about us taking long showers?
It takes time to shampoo, lather, rinse, and condition two feet of hair. We dare you — try getting long hair squeaky clean in under ten minutes. It is a process, and if hair tangles in between, God help us.
Fantastic. My tattoo will look fantastic in a wedding dress — if I even want to get married, that is. Imagine planning your life choices around a day in the distant future — an event that may or may not happen.
We live in the 21st century, and nobody plans their wedding at age 15 anymore. Plus, the ladies we know are perfectly content with good coffee, equal pay, and potential life partners who appreciate the good things in life — like tattoos.
Going Against the Stream
It may not sound like a big problem. How bad could it be because women are sitting down, right? Since it obviously goes directly into the bowl, we cannot possibly create a terrible mess, right? Wrong!
A good bathroom day depends on how you sit and how strong the force is. If you have a little stream and your sitting position is off, it will go anywhere. We have no control where.
A Hairy Situation
Men buying shampoo: “This one says shampoo on the bottle. That’ll do!” Women, on the other hand? We are forever on a quest for the holy grail of shampoo, conditioner/hair mask, serum, and hairspray.
Among the lucky ones who find the perfect combination? One of these products will get discontinued — guaranteed! No, we have no interest in shipping the same products from Mexico. The struggle is real.
Can We Have Some Space Please?
There is a term for it, too — manspreading. Chances are we have all come across that guy who takes up more space than he needs to in public. Some men are jerks, while others have no awareness. It is subconscious body language from being raised to feel entitled to spaces. On the other hand, social conditioning tells women to shrink themselves to accommodate others.
Both genders replicate similar patterns across spaces — professional, intellectual, social, political, and personal.
No Such Thing as Perfect
Men need their women to look like models — but not too thin, with curves in all the right places. Women must have fabulous hair, perfect teeth, and smell amazing. If a woman has strange-looking feet, toes, or belly buttons — run like the wind. Of course, she must be hairless and immaculate at all times — total dealbreakers.
Oh! Big heads and broad shoulders are absolute no-nos. The male checklist is endless. As women, here is our only question to you. What do you bring to the table?
This one is not a woman-centric struggle as much as a husband problem. Who among us has not been called a “nagging” wife for asking men to pull their weight around the house? Men will throw fits about this. Why? Because they already “work” all day.
What do you think we do all day? There is nothing more aggravating. People have zero respect for the effort that goes into managing a house.
Short Hair Don't Care
We must have missed the memo. What does a pixie cut have to do with who you are attracted to? Are they saying women with short hair look like lesbians? What do lesbians look like, enlighten us.
The number of guys who get offended by women with short hair is unbelievable. And these are no strangers but usually guys we know. You hear comments about how your hair looks better longer. Thank you. But I keep my hair short or long because I like it — not for you!
No Such Thing as a Floozy
The world is uncomfortable with women who may have similar moral codes to men. It is completely alright for men to have multiple partners. But a woman taking charge of her sensual life? That's a complete no-no. We cannot have that.
So, we proceed to call her names and shame her. What is worse? It is women who indulge in most of the shaming! Women who have too much agency are threats to men and women alike.
The Pink Tax may not be official, but we know it exists. Products for women like tampons, razors, contraceptives, and shampoos are more expensive. Every month is a losing financial battle as we continue spending large chunks of our money on pricey essentials.
We think it is absurd how women need to pay top dollar for menstrual products. Governments should be handing them out for free. It is time companies stop making profits off of our bodies.
Women Pay More
Women’s haircuts are way more expensive than men's. A truth so unconditionally accepted that it is a travesty. We have long hair, after all. We also curl, blow dry, straighten, and color our hair. All of that time and effort equals more money — or does it?
The fact is that women with short hair still pay more than men with long hair looking for elaborate cuts. Salons everywhere have gender-based pricing, and the rates are never in our favor.
Why do men do this? We are genuinely baffled. Not only is it disrespectful, but do they really think this is the best way to get a woman’s attention? It will not elicit a positive response from any woman on the planet.
Or do they do it just because they can? The “air kisses,” catcalling, and screaming obscenities from cars — in what world does anyone think it acceptable to behave this way?
Tick Tock on the Clock
The only clock ticking is probably counting seconds until a well-deserved punch descends on said commenter. It's a horribly insensitive thing to say. The proverbial clock that regularly features as dinner table conversation?
Women who want children are intimately familiar with it. We assure you. Perhaps they haven’t found the right person or are having trouble conceiving. Many women don’t even want children. It really is nobody else’s business.