As a 20-year-old male, there are a lot of things I take for granted that other people in society simply can’t. With regard to my personal safety, there are very few places I can’t go or things I can’t do. I don’t need a gun or other weapon on me in order to feel secure. If a stranger flirts with me and there aren’t many people around, I don’t have to question whether I am safe.
So, I decided to put together a list of statements from women on what they feel men take for granted in day-to-day life. I created a post on the Liberal America fan page to ask, and have compiled some of the answers here. I am not directly quoting users; the complete list of comments with original statements and sources can be found at the link above. There are a few common themes: personal safety, objectification, equal pay and rights, being taken advantage of by businesses, and then little things, like peeing standing up. Here’s the list of what men take for granted according to our fans:
1)?A man can work late and then go to his car in the parking garage without his heart racing and blood pressure rising.
2) Go topless in public.
3)?Sleeping with all the windows open on a hot night. Walking to your car alone late at night. Walking anywhere alone late at night. Peeing outside as needed.
4)?Get respect/fair treatment at a car dealership/mechanic.
5)?Having sex without risk of pregnancy.
6)?Be nice and smile at men without them thinking it is sexual interest.
7)?When men speak their minds at work they are “assertive” – a woman can be the same way and she’s a “ball buster” or a “bitch.”
8)?Men never have to apologize for expressing their opinions. I’ve heard so many women preface statements with, “I’m sorry, but…” I’m guilty of it myself. I’ve never once heard a man say it.
9)?I always feel – and I think studies prove – that when I deal with mechanics, plumbers, etc I may be charged more because they can get away with it. That is always in the back of my mind.
10) Walk in public without smiling. We’re constantly told, “Smile! It can’t be that bad!” “Oh, honey, you’d look so much better with a smile!” Etc.
11)?Go to a crowded bar and NOT be groped at least once.
12)?When a man acts as a leader and a boss, he’s strong and powerful. When a woman does the same, she’s a domineering bitch.
13) I can’t take a walk around the block to calm down at night after an argument with my boyfriend, but he can.
I have to feel afraid going almost anywhere alone after a certain hour. I know it seems silly, but there’s a certain freedom in being able to buy milk at 2 AM if I have to without being touched by a stranger in a nearly empty store. That’s another thing: men don’t get threateningly touched without permission by women because we think they’re good looking.
14)?Having the right to choose what they do with their bodies and not have government/insurance companies and their bosses decide their rights.
15)?Being able to say no to advances without being called names like stuck up or prude.
16)?When I have a legal, medical or technical issue I want resolved, it’s assumed I won’t understand. My IQ is 140. I think I’ve got that covered. In fact, I’m better than my husband with all 3 of these issues, yet they usually want to discuss this with the man of the house.
17)?1. Go hiking or walking alone in certain places, even in the daytime . 2. Worry about what you’re wearing, for fear of unwanted looks from men.
18)? Be sexually adventurous without reprisal. Why is the man amazing and the woman he’s doing it with a slut? It’s not nearly as fun alone!
19)?Worrying about people being offended about me feeding my child in public because there are no private areas that aren’t toilet seats for breast feeding women.
20)?Men can go gray and people think it’s still sexy, women go gray and people say they look old.
21) Be treated like a first class citizen – equal respect, equal pay, equal opportunities.
22)?They get drugs pertaining to sex such as viagra covered without question.
23)? Being able to walk to your car after work in the dark without being scared that someone will attack you.
24) I hate the way I’m treated when I go to make a large purchase, like a car or a major household renovation. It’s aggravating that it’s assumed you either a) can’t make a decision without a man or b) have to “ask” your husband to spend a large amount of money.
25)?I agree with most all of the above and want to add this- having clothes with pockets that are actually big enough to hold something. Trite, I guess, but really annoying.
26)?The only thing it seems we can’t do that men take for granted is get respect and equal treatment from our lawmakers.
27)?How about equal pay for women for doing the same job as a man?! Pay for women compared to a male only increased a penny a decade for a whopping 3 cents!
28)?Being called a slut for wanting my insurance company to cover a medically necessary IUD.
29)?Go for a run without getting honked at!
30)? I can’t safely go for a ride on a bike trail, or a hike on a forest path, and feel safe. I can’t go for a swim in a river or lake by myself.
31)?Women can’t age without being made to feel without worth.
32) They get to be single with no one questioning why. If a man doesn’t want married he’s just a bachelor. If a woman’s single everyone talks around her or relatives “worry about” her because she isn’t chasing a ring. I guess no one believes we can be truly happy without a man to “complete” us.
33)?Being polite without people thinking i’m flirting with them and not having my cleavage/figure/attractiveness thoroughly inspected and deemed worthy of attention before listening to anything i have to say.
34)?Letting a repair person come into your house without being on the phone with some one to make sure you’re safe, or checking and double checking to make sure the company background checks employees.
35)?Women cannot have sex without anxiety over getting pregnant. And women cannot always count on the father of her baby to be there.
36)?Women have to be hyper vigilant any time they are alone anywhere – particularly at night. We are expected to defend every choice we ever make, whether it is deciding to have children, work, marry, stay single. We’re judged by many solely on our appearance and are considered no longer of value after a certain age. We’re expected to be “put together” at all times and then are accused of being phony or vain. We’re generally judged first by our appearance, and our accomplishments are suspect if we have the slightest amount of good looks – because we probably slept our to success. We’re called weak and when we’re strong we’re unladylike.
37)?I can DO anything I want to do. However, our culture continues to under-value women in general. What I love about being in my 50’s- I’m being taken more seriously than when I was younger. But I still make less money than male counterparts and my haircuts are 3? the cost of my husband’s.
There were a handful of commenters who insisted women are able to do anything men are, and while that is true on paper, it seldom lives up to reality. Yes, a woman can buy a weapon and equalize force — but that doesn’t negate she now must carry a weapon to feel safe, which is not true for most men. Personal feelings of safety obviously vary according to individual as well. For example, here is one comment I felt should be included:
Tyler is failing to grasp the basic inequality represented by the?need?for a weapon — and he isn’t alone. Men take their safety for granted. I’m not saying that we are magically going to change this — in all honesty I don’t see a solution for women’s safety that doesn’t include massive social reform in other areas — but this is an article about recognizing what men take for granted, not about solving the core problems with cause.
There were also commenters that apparently set about to demonstrate exactly the type of attitudes that are the problem:
“Men will be men” is a pathetic excuse. Don’t shout catcalls at strangers. If you see someone you are interested, it’s pretty easy to tell by body language if they’re okay with you approaching or speaking to them, unless you have a social disorder. Willfully ignoring those signals is wrong.
This guy apparently had several things to say (comments are lifted from multiple threads):
I’ll leave comments on Stephen up to you — except for this. “Women have men for protection.” From what? Bears? No — other men.
What do you think? Do men take these things for granted, or is society more equal than it seems? Let us know — or of anything you think we missed — in the comments!
Let us know your thoughts on the Liberal America Facebook page.
I’m a millennial with an attitude, and I’m tired of a left wing that has stopped being willing to rise up and fight for the rights of the people. In my short career, I’ve published hundreds of articles on many topics. You can follow me on Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or?Instagram.