Everywhere we turn, someone tries to assign an unfair, sexist meaning to something we did or said. We’re stuck in these boxes in which society has placed us — being attractive means we’re stupid; liking romantic comedies means we’re vapid — and we can’t get out.
Until we start being viewed in more complex ways, women will forever be associated with a series of limiting stereotypes.
And, thanks to all of these stereotypes, men especially tend to misread a variety of our actions. Sometimes, the misinterpretations are entertaining; sometimes, they’re pretty hurtful.
Here is a (definitely non-exhaustive) list of those misinterpretations:
1. If we’re being nice, we’re flirting
Men have a tendency to think women who are simply having a polite conversation are romantically interested.
Men never want to miss the chance of getting “lucky” they always get the wrong vibes that we want sex from them.
2. If we’re being emotional, we’re crazy
No. The next time a man calls us “crazy” for merely expressing a feeling, we may actually go crazy.
We are emotional beings and cry to us is very natural, unlike men who think it’s childish.
3. If we’re confident and assertive
*sigh* do I have to over emphasis the fact that we filter in a lot of information. We always want the work done ASAP.
4. If we want to play/talk about video games, we’re just trying to impress you
I realize men think we’re trying to seem like “one of the guys” when we say we’re into need for speed or FIFA, but our cover would be blown about five seconds into the game when it becomes glaringly obvious we can’t play at all.
Why would we embarrass ourselves like that? If we say we want to play, we mean it — and we’ll probably kick your ass.
5. If we’re angry or upset, we’re PMSing
The fact that we go through a crazy time at “the end of the month” doesn’t mean we are angry all the time…maybe except for that “month”.
6. If we dress hot, we’re doing it for you.
We like to dress up to feel good about ourselves (I know, isn’t that nuts?)
We also do this thing where we dress up to impress other women. There’s nothing like a good drunken compliment from a girl in the bar bathroom at midnight to complete a night out.
7. If we say “I’m fine,” you should prepare for your death sentence
Sometimes, we really are doing fine, and we’re not trying to passive-aggressively communicate anger. I promise.
8. If we like “Fifty Shades of Grey,” we’re seriously into abusive, troubled men who want us to submit to them.
We’re more aware than everyone else in the world that “Fifty Shades” is a goddamn fantasy. It’s not supposed to be real.
We want nothing about that franchise to translate into real life. Christian Grey is not a man we’d want to date. We’re not actually enamored by the idea of being someone’s submissive at all times
9. If we don’t shave our legs, we’re over our relationship with you
Don’t worry; we still want to look good for you. We probably just forgot today.
10. If we’re a tomboy, we don’t have feminine interests
We may play sports with the guys a lot, but that doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy a “Sex and the City” marathon, or don’t like to wear skirts.
Don’t shame us for being a girl because, um, that’s what we are.
11. If we’re wearing makeup at the gym, we’re trying to avoid looking gross for you
Actually, we came to the gym right from work/school/somewhere else and didn’t care enough to wash our makeup off before hitting the treadmill. That’s, literally, it.
12. If we want you to pay for dinner, we’re high maintenance
No, we just like to be treated nicely once in awhile.
Hell, if a man takes me on a date, I’ll do his laundry. While I firmly believe chivalry is dead, I also believe we can all choose to adhere to gender norms without feeling like we’re limiting ourselves.
13. If we gossip about our friend, we’re being shady
We know men aren’t fluent in gossip like us, but not all gossip is bad.
Talking about our friend doesn’t mean we’re being deceitful; we’re just trying to sort sh*t out.
14. If we order a salad, we’re trying to watch our weight
Not necessarily. Sometimes, we’re just craving a salad. You’re not missing any hints to tell us how skinny we are.
By Janiana Wangari