Throughout history, women have been treated as less-than by men. Up until the early 20th century, if a woman was not submissive, quiet, and subservient, they were diagnosed by doctors with “female hysteria”.
Today, with the rise of Andrew Tate-types and alpha male podcasts, men are often so misinformed about women that it’s actually dangerous. So, from the perspective of a woman, here are 10 things that men should know about women.
- Just Listen
Especially if whatever she’s talking about has nothing to do with you. Don’t try to play devil’s advocate or offer advice. Listening to her ensures that she feels heard, validated, and supported, and that you are taking her feelings seriously. When one of these kinds of conversations happens, ask if she’d like a solution, or for you to just listen.
- It’s Not About How Much Money You Make
Yes, women want to be able to have a roof over their heads and put food on the table. But they can afford those things themselves. Women are looking for deeper connections, someone who respects them, and has a high level of emotional maturity. A sense of humour also helps.
If someone’s mad, telling them to relax is belittling and dismissive and shows that you’re not taking what they’re saying seriously. Yes, it’s easier to have a conversation with someone when they’re calm. But both of you need to pay attention to your emotions and you both need to find a way to de-escalate emotionally before you resolve your conflict.
- She’s Not Your Mother
Women don’t like it when they have to be in charge of all of the planning and everyday goings on in a relationship. Calendars, electronic reminders, and other forms of note-taking exist. She shouldn’t be constantly reminding you of things. She also shouldn’t have to walk you through every task that needs to be done or inform you that the house is in a mess. You also live there; domestic tasks are equally your responsibility.
- We Have Different Interests
Someone’s interests or hobbies should not be assumed based on their gender. Just like there are men who enjoy shopping and watching rom coms, there are women who would much rather play sports, video games, read a book, or make some art.
When a woman asks you what’s on your mind, it’s because she cares about you. So, women appreciate men who are more open to discussing their feelings, concerns, successes, and interests. Find ways to communicate with each other that makes you both happy, and show the same amount of interest in her that she does about you.
The beauty industry, entertainment industry, and social expectations have all conditioned women to believe that they are abundantly flawed and will never be beautiful or good enough. Of course, catcalling and coming onto a woman when she doesn’t reciprocate your feelings is not appreciated. But when you are in a relationship, complement her, reassure her, and be sincere when you speak to and about her.
- “I’m Fine”
It is often claimed that women say one thing when they mean another. Now, if she’s doing this to test you or play games, you may want to re-think your relationship. Most times however, it’s because she has been socialized to minimize herself as much as possible (see diagnostic criteria for “female hysteria”). If she seems “not fine”, try asking whether she needs a hug, your ear, or some space instead.
Women want to feel respected and loved in a relationship. This means listening to her, supporting her in both her work and her hobbies, not treating her as inferior, or assuming that someone has to be “in charge” in the relationship. Your relationship is not a competition but rather an equal partnership.
- We Are Individuals
We’re not mysterious and impossible to understand, or part of some weird hivemind. We’re all individuals just like you. Yes, we are socialized to act differently than men. But how you approach a situation with a woman needs to be without judgment or preconceived notions, or assuming that every woman is the same.
Lauren Schwartz | Staff Writer