We live in a world that puts women under a microscope. Every single person in the world is unique, which means that every woman is as well. The problem is, we seem to sometimes put women into a mold and add pressures for them to oftentimes be like they’re not. We hold women up to unrealistic beauty standards and bash them when they try and even mention this reality. The truth is, even though we’re putting women in this strange society that seems to hold them back in some aspects, women can be part of the problem too. All of the things our society does that creates these unrealistic expectations and unsafe environments for women are things that women themselves are guilty of being a part of.
In order to break these old standards, it’s important for all people to do what they can to create a better and more livable society. But a good place for a woman to start to try and change the world is by looking at her own behavior. A lot of things on the list are things that all sorts of people practice. However, the things mentioned below are traits common among women. Although men are definitely guilty of partaking in some of the behavior mentioned, it’s most important for women to notice these things and stop doing them in order to create a better world for ourselves and the women in our lives. So here are 15 things that women seriously need to stop doing.
15. Wearing Things You Don’t Like
If you have ever hung around women in a formal or professional setting, at one point or another you have probably heard one of them mention how uncomfortable their tight dress or high heels are. Women feel as though they need to wear these things in order to impress certain people or fit a certain ideal. While some women love wearing these types of clothing, which is completely ok, some women only wear certain things because they think they should.
This goes beyond just tight dresses and high heels. It is also true for certain women who feel the need to wear uncomfortable tights or bulky sweaters to hide “problem areas” of their bodies that they are not comfortable showing. The most important thing, however, is not to look good, but to be comfortable in what you’re wearing! They say beauty = pain but does it really have to be?
14. Holding On To Guilt
Women tend to feel pretty guilty about just about everything. Whether it’s guilt for how many sexual partners they’ve had, or how many cookies they ate, women need to stop feeling so guilty about the choices they make. It’s perfectly OK for women to be promiscuous, but often time, we’re made to feel guilty about our sexual pasts. It’s perfectly fine for women to indulge in sweets every once in a while, but if we eat too many sugary snacks before bed, we suddenly feel guilty and ashamed about our bodies and our health. Many people, in general, seem to carry guilt about things they shouldn’t, but women are viewed through a higher lens so they often have more things they feel the need to feel guilty about. We all should just do what we want. As long as we’re not hurting ourselves or each other, guilt can be a useless emotion!
13. Hanging Around People You Don’t Like
Ever heard of the term “Frenemy?” It’s a term to describe a person that you pretend to be friends with but in reality are actually pretty competitive around. The term is pretty common among groups of women, and for some reason, it’s acceptable for us to be friends with people we don’t like. But in reality, women really need to stop wasting their time around people who don’t make them happy! If someone bothers you, you don’t owe them your time or emotions. But for many women, they fear to lose certain friends or be seen to be avoiding certain people out of the fear that they won’t be liked as much. If you don’t like your boyfriend’s friends, you don’t have to hang out with them. You don’t have to stop him from spending time with his friends, but it’s still OK to choose to stay home when they all go out. If you don’t enjoy being around your coworkers, you don’t have to have a drink with them after work! The most important thing is making sure you’re happy and not waste your time on people you don’t like.
12. Lying About What You Like
Women use the term “guilty pleasure” for a lot of things that they might actually enjoy. They use it when describing pop stars, reality TV shows, and pretty much everything else. This is a damaging term, however. If you like something, you shouldn’t be afraid to say so. Women especially feel the need to pretend they don’t like things or like certain things out of fear of being either too girly or not girly enough, as if either of those are such terrible things. Along with pretending they don’t like certain things women also sometimes pretend to like things they don’t actually care about. This is harmful in that you’re creating an identity for yourself that you don’t actually want to be a part of. It’s OK to not care about certain bands, sports teams, and movies, and it’s also OK to love boy bands, makeup, or anything that might make you feel like less of a woman.
11. Making Themselves Unhappy For A Man
Too many times women find themselves unhappy in a relationship. Don’t get me wrong, plenty of men also find themselves in toxic relationships, but women seem to be guiltier of changing their identity to please a man. Sometimes women don’t want to be the “housewife” archetype and be the person to clean and cook. But if they don’t, they might be seen as lazy or a bad mom/wife. This is also the case for beauty standards. There have been plenty of women who talk about hating shaving their legs but do it out of fear that men won’t like them. Some women feel the need to wear their hair certain ways or dress in a certain style because we’ve been told all of our lives that “no one will want to marry you if you do this or that.” We need to just do whatever we want and be ourselves because if one man can’t handle you for who you truly are, there’s another one out there who will.
10. Trying To Please Everyone
Women also feel the need to be people pleasers and oftentimes put their own happiness second to their family, friends, and coworkers. Women are expected to be certain types of people, but oftentimes, those traits contradict themselves. If a woman does not have sex she is a prude, but if she does she is a slut. It seems that sometimes women just can’t win. We’re so obsessed with pleasing other people to appease our insecurities perpetuated by society and the media that oftentimes we end up losing our own identities. We worry about what our mothers, fathers, boyfriends, husbands, peers, and coworkers think about us, but there is no possible way that we’ll ever be able to make all those people around us happy. The best thing to do is to just stay true to who we are as people and never forget to make sure that we’re happy first.
9. Pretending Like Everything Is “Fine”
One thing that women definitely fear being called is “crazy.” Boyfriends call their girlfriends crazy if they get upset about something, and coworkers call their bosses crazy if they have an issue within the company. In order to avoid this label, women sometimes silence themselves. In order to avoid a fight, we’ll sometimes just say that we’re fine when in reality an issue that’s hurting us will never be spoken of to avoid people thinking we’re “too emotional.” Whether other people agree with it or not, your emotions are valued and deserve to be heard. Too often women try to play the cool girl archetype when they’re secretly upset about other things. Sometimes maybe people are irrational about certain issues, but the only way to solve a problem is to actually talk it out. It’s OK to feel emotions and have opinions that other people might not like, and the truly crazy person is the one who dismantles any negative emotion you try to tell them about.
8. Letting People Talk Over You
Women get talked over constantly. It happens in group settings with friends, it happens in the office, and it even happens within romantic relationships. At one time in our society, women weren’t really expected to talk or be able to carry a conversation. If a woman was seen reading too much she risked being sent to a psychiatric facility. Luckily, times have changed and women are closer to maintaining equality every day. But unfortunately, women also are often seen losing their voice to a much louder man. Men, if you’re reading this, it’s important to recognize when this happens and help give the women an opportunity to voice their opinion. Women fear to be too loud or interrupting so they’re not seen as a loud mouth or “shrill,” so often times they remain silent. But women are just as intelligent as men and it’s important for us to teach our daughters as well as ourselves this.
7. Being Afraid To Ask For More
This kind of plays into the last one, but aside from getting talked over, women are also afraid to ask for more. We’re afraid to ask for more food, more money from our bosses, and more sex from our partners. All of these stem from us being told at one point or another that women don’t necessarily deserve or desire these things. If a girl asks for another slice of pizza, she’s fat or unhealthy. If a woman asks for a raise, she’s greedy and undeserving. If a woman asks for more sex, she’s a whore. All of these things and more are very real desires women have and deserve to have. But out of fear of what our peers might think of us, women remain silent and pretend everything is fine so as not to get judged for their desires. But this is something that has to end, as it is ok for women to want more!
6. Faking The Big-O
This might be one of the most important items on the list. We live in a society where women aren’t really supposed to want sex. It’s a joke on sitcoms that women don’t like sex and their husbands are constantly chasing after them. It’s also a myth that it’s just harder for women to orgasm, or that it doesn’t happen as often as it does for men. This is completely false, however. We’re just never really taught that women actually want to enjoy sex. When a woman fakes an orgasm with her husband, she’s just letting him know that she likes what he’s doing, so he’ll continue to do it for the rest of their marriage, resulting in an unhappy matrimony. When girls have sex and fake orgasms with random hook ups or people they don’t plan on marrying, they’re just telling those guys that they’re good at what they’re doing, leading that guy to go on to have more disappointing sex. If your man isn’t willing to find something that works in order to ensure you’re both having an equally good time, there are plenty of people out there who know exactly what they’re doing.
5. Apologize For Existing
Women apologize for pretty much everything. They apologize if they don’t shave their legs but still decided to wear a dress. They apologize if they didn’t wear enough makeup. They apologize for things that aren’t even their fault! There is actual research that shows that women use the word “sorry” more commonly than men. Being polite is definitely important, and sometimes a sorry can show that you’re sympathetic towards a situation. But when women do it to the extent that they do, they can create many more problems than they solve. Saying sorry like this makes those around them start to believe that the situation is actually that person’s fault. This plays into our desire to constantly please people out of the fear of being labeled as something that we are not. There are plenty of other ways to show support, but constantly apologizing is only setting us back.
4. Compare Yourself To Other People
Woman are extremely guilty of constantly comparing themselves to other women. Magazines are terrible at perpetuating this idea. There’s always a section about “who wore it better,” and users are actually even able to vote on this! Social media has also skewed our perception of ourselves compared to our peers. People only post on Facebook about the good things in their life. We see a girl who constantly posts pictures of her and her boyfriend that she’s in love with, and we wonder what’s wrong with us that we can’t find a relationship like that. The truth is, though, that that same girl who posts all those positive images online probably has their fair share of bad moments too. But no one ever posts about when they have a fight or argument with their loved ones. That is, depending on the types of people you are social media friends with.
3. Be Afraid Of Being Alone
Women seem to fear to be alone and being independent much more than men do. They often stay in sour relationships and surround themselves with people they don’t like all because they don’t want to be alone. Is this because women are taught to hate themselves so much that they feel uncomfortable alone? Or is it because we put so much pressure on women to find a man to marry and bear his children? Maybe a combination of both, or neither, but either way, there seems to be a reason that women are scared of being alone. We’re also constantly obsessed with finding a husband or life partner that we forget to make sure our own goals and dreams are being met. One day, someone will come along who might fill the empty part of your heart, but in the meantime, it’s important to focus on education and staying healthy, and not about trying to search for your life partner.
2. Judge Other Women
Just like comparing yourself to other people, judging other women is toxic as well. We have enough pressure from society to be a perfect person that we definitely don’t need other women to add to the hate! When a plus-size model wears a bikini, everyone comments on how disgusting she is and how she’s promoting unhealthy body standards. No one says that about plus-size male actors that you see on every TV sitcom. When a woman has a baby, she is judged on pretty much every aspect of her life involving the child, but no one ever shames men for how they father! Every woman is different, and judging each other for the things they do and don’t do only makes everyone’s lives miserable. We need a little less of, “Gross, what is she wearing,” and a little more of, “she’s gorgeous just the way she is!” Cheesy, but true.
1. Say Mean Things To Yourself
This goes for men and women. We need to stop being so hard on ourselves. What’s even worse than judging other people is judging yourself. Would you say the things you say to yourself in the mirror to your best friend? It’s proven that we perceive ourselves half as beautiful as the world sees us, all because of the horrible things we say to ourselves. But if you end up showing that you actually like who you are, you’re attacked for being egotistical and narcissistic. That’s not true, though- it’s totally OK to like the person you are. It makes pretty much everything a lot easier. Nothing good has ever come from someone telling themselves that they’re worthless. Oftentimes too, once you start tearing yourself apart, you’ll stop tearing other people apart as well. Self-love leads to love all around. Just like RuPaul always says, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell do you expect somebody else to?”