July 20, 2020 | Maria Cruz

Women Share Hurtful Things That Men Do Without Realizing It 

In a lot of ways, men and women are fundamentally different creatures. With that in mind, men can sometimes do hurtful things that weigh on women, all without them realizing it. Here, women air some of their biggest pet peeves.


#1 Upsetting Questions

While it’s not the same as being asked if I’m “on my period,” I’m on anti-depressants. Every time I get angry at something, the question is always, "Have you been taking your meds?" That question is why I didn't want to tell anybody in my family about my depression. Apparently, every time I get angry at them, it has to do with my medication.


#2 Name Five Coaches

When men feel like they have to "test" women when they mention that they have interests that are typically considered masculine. I'm a huge (American) football fan and have been playing for almost a decade now. But sometimes when I tell men about it, they're all like, “Oh really? Name all of your team’s previous coaches" or something like that.


#3 Seeing a Unicorn

I recently had a chat with a guy from my gaming community who told me he once knew a girl who was a guild master in some game, like he was telling me about seeing a unicorn. I told him there was nothing unusual about that and I had also been a GM in several games before. He insisted it was rare and odd because "girls don't take games so seriously, they just play for the laughs.” I don't think I've still managed to convince him otherwise.


#4 A Man is Talking

People will call my organization with questions and there have been a couple of men who have called me with questions. They then keep interrupting while I’m answering. While I’m stuck doing a polite voice in that situation, there have been a few times when a phone call dragged on so long due to some guy not letting me answer the question that he called to ask. I’ve just raised my voice and kept talking when they tried to butt in. It’s the only thing that works.


#5 Small Talk

Many of my male friends, acquaintances, and even my dad like to talk to my husband about how his job is going, but rarely ask me about mine. I make nearly the same paycheck and have a fairly interesting job that I've worked hard to get. But, I think they think I'd rather talk about my social life, family, or hobbies before anything else. Its sad to not be questioned about something I spend all day doing.


#6 You’re So Cute

"You're so cute when you get angry." I had people tell me that a few times, including lovers and family members. They’ve always been men, for some reason. I’m a very tiny woman who looks 10 years younger than my actual age and this always gets to me. I only very rarely get really angry and when I do it's because something feels deeply, fundamentally wrong.

I'm not cute, I'm angry. I'm devastated and you're not listening, nor taking my feelings, the unacceptable situation, or logic into account. Whenever someone tells me that, I could cry at the injustice of it all. None of those who said it understood why I hated it. Now, I usually fake being unaffected and reply with, "Okay, we'll talk later when your brain works again." I then leave, but can never really forgive them for it.


#7 Every Few Seconds

I just recently noticed how my boyfriend interrupts me whenever I’m talking after every 20-30 seconds. I thought this was due to his ADHD, but then I noticed he will literally listen to any of his male roommates talk endlessly without his constant interjection. The thing is, I don’t think he does it purposely or maliciously, he apologizes and asks me to continue after his interruption. But I’m tired of repeating myself and losing my train of thought. Either that or pretending to forget what I was talking about just so I don’t have to go through the whole process again.


#8 Time On Your Hands

I’m studying something that could be classified as very feminine. My boyfriend is studying something that would be classified as male-dominated and sometimes when we’re arguing about how we need to clean and we just don’t have the time, he says that what he’s doing is much more difficult than what I’m doing. That’s really hurtful.


#9 Like a Game

It takes a lot to get me angry but anytime a guy tries to push me into doing something, it rubs me the wrong way. It could be something super innocent but if I say no and he keeps trying to pressure me into doing it, it shows that he has no respect for me or what I want. It also shows that he only cares about getting what he wants. Unfortunately, a lot of guys do it. It's like a game to them to see how far they can get.


#10 Put on a Happy Face

In my life, I've met a lot of guys who still don't get that "You should smile more" is an absolutely stupid thing to say. I don’t know how else to explain it to people. It makes women feel like we're meer decorations in men's lives and don't seem to understand that it's not our job to make men's days more pleasant.


#11 Tiny Woman Brain

I am very handy and love DIY. My husband couldn't care less about home improvement projects, landscaping, etc. So, most of the tools and equipment we own were purchased and are used by me. I hate it when men will assume I don't know how to use "my husband's tools" or that he should be the one fixing things. Like my tiny woman brain can't handle power tools or basic plumbing.


#12 Making Decisions

I grew up in the South and, even though I’m a man, I’ve witnessed bad habits numerous times and heard the gripes about it. If a woman is alone when making major purchases like cars or homes, they’ll get some version of the “Is your husband around to talk too?” Just very dismissive of a woman’s ability to make decisions on her own.


#13 Proven Completely Wrong

I was talking about Israel with someone and brought up that any Jewish person can move to Israel, but couldn't remember what it was called. He didn’t believe me, so I looked up the Law of Return, which allows any Jewish person with at least one Jewish grandparent or someone married to a Jewish person to move to Israel. As soon as I proved myself, he asked, "But do they have to be orthodox Jewish?" It felt like he asked a question I wouldn't be able to find the answer to easily so that he wouldn't be proven completely wrong at the moment.


#14 Little Fairy Maid

I hate when I've spent literally hours deep cleaning a room, have it super pretty and pristine, and then a guy will come in and it's like a twister ran through. Like, I want you to be comfortable, but it only takes a minute to just clean up after yourself. This wasn’t just one guy, either. My dad, my mom's boyfriends over the years, my husband, my friends, it's ridiculous. I feel like there's an expectation that I'll just come through and clean it all up again like a little fairy maid. I hate it.


#15 Big Girl

One of the biggest things I can’t stand is when men insist on referring to me as "girl," especially in a professional setting. No. That’s inappropriate and really annoying. I am a grown woman, not a child. But to be fair, there are some women that do this as well. I do correct anyone that refers to a grown woman as a "girl."


#16 Intimidated Fan

We’ve been season ticket holders at Newcastle United for 20 years and went with our grandmother before that. Her knowledge of every aspect of the game you could imagine is deep. I get teased by other guys that they would love to date my sister because they want a girlfriend who knows soccer like a guy. But whenever she talks about it, they can't accept that she knows so much and part of me thinks they’re intimidated.

I feel bad for her and other girls who are genuinely just massive sports fans. I feel like having a sister that is into sports made me more open-minded to girls having whatever interest they want and take their thoughts and opinions as seriously as I would if they were a guy. Once you accept that people of different orientations can be I to the same stuff as everyone else, it's so liberating.


#17 Gaming History

When I started studying IT, on the first day my class had an introduction round where we told a little about ourselves. When it was my turn, I mentioned that I like to play video games in my free time. A guy immediately asked me what I play. I said all kinds really, but that I had just gotten a Wii and had been mostly playing Mario Kart and some other games on it lately.

That made him chuckle and cast a glance towards the other guys in the class in an almost theatrical fashion while leaning back in his chair and crossing his arms, clearly very pleased with himself. I wasn't prepared to list my entire gaming history to defend my right to be a gamer, so I guess I failed his test with my casual answer. I just felt confused by his reaction.


#18 Turning a Blind Eye

I was a registered vet tech in cardiac specialty years ago. My boyfriend at the time went to school for EMT but kept failing the boards. We were all talking about dogs and my dad asked him a medical question about dogs. He gave a stupid answer that was incorrect and was accepted. I didn't even bother, I just walked away. I was so angry.


#19 Little Show-Off

I'm a huge fan of astronomy and one time, this guy overheard me saying it. He then said, "Really? What's the planet with the most moons?" At the time, Jupiter had the most moons and I said it was Jupiter. He claimed that I was wrong and wanted me to google it so we could be sure. Of course, I was right, and he said, "You're a little show-off, aren't you?" He then left. I just didn't understand why he had to question my statement. I still don't.


#20 Take a Joke

So many things bug me, but the worst is when they say you "can't take a joke" when you get mad about a joke about you or women in general. I do have a sense of humour but when every "joke" you make is at my expense in some way, it isn't funny. It's irritating and exhausting. Like, somehow you constantly insulting me and my entire gender is my problem because you laughed when you said it. So, I just "can't take a joke"? Get out of here with that.


#21 Open-Minded Date

One time, this guy I dated a few times wanted to show how open-minded he was by saying, "Just so you know, I'll never ask you for a threesome even though you're bi. If you want to, you can just tell me" or something like that. At the time I was like, “I hardly know you. We've never slept together and I've never really wanted a threesome.”


#22 Problem-Solving

If a man gets it wrong, it's because the task is complex. If a woman gets it wrong, it's because she's a woman. I study computer science and I like it because I have a logical and problem-solving mind. The number of times in which I asked a guy to help me break my code only to see his expression of pride and arrogance are countless. It upsets me. Plus, if I raise doubt about a task, I get patronized.


#23 You’re So Hot

Just how focused on physical traits some men seem to be. I'm including picking women apart, weighing them based on how appealing they are to men’s personal tastes, etc. I also hate being consistently complimented on nothing but how "hot" they find me. It’s generally flattering to be told you're attractive, sure, and a reminder here and there from your partner is key. But, if there's a guy you're getting to know and all they ever compliment you on is your body, it starts to feel insulting. I have a mind and a personality too. It feels like all they care about is how I look.


#24 You Must Be Mistaken

When men don’t believe the huge anecdotal evidence that every woman or even girl I know has about assault. I’ve told male friends about the (many) times I have been attacked in a club or crowd and they tell me that it can’t be true. Sorry, do you think I mistook having my private areas grabbed for something else?!


#25 Keep it To Yourself

Commenting on my body even though I didn't ask for input. While we're at that, please don't post comments like “nice butt” on styling subreddits, those pictures are strictly for typing a person's body and the communities should be kept safe. Just because my body is posted on the internet and you told me “hi” once, that doesn't give you a pass to talk about what I may or may not have. The purpose of posting is written in big letters right next to the r/.


#26 Just Don’t

I’ve had dudes try to talk me into relationships or dates. Like, really? Do you want to hang out with someone who ostensibly does not want to hang out with you? I’m not going to change my mind, no matter what the terrible Hollywood romcoms you’ve been watching tell you. It’s infuriating because now my boundaries are being crossed and you obviously don’t value my thoughts on the matter. It feels like I don’t know my own mind, heart and desires. As if your needs supersede my own. Just, don’t.


#27 Uncivilized Idiots

I recently visited my parents after two months because my mom needed help setting up a conference call with her colleagues. Everyone was cutting her off. Actually, everyone was cutting everyone off, but it was especially apparent with her and it was the first time I noticed it. I ended up "accidentally" calling them out by saying what uncivilized idiots they were all being near her microphone.


#28 Fake Gamer

Female gamer here. I play all sorts of games and I've been a gamer for more than 20 years. I've also worked in the gaming industry. But some men are still not taking me seriously. I run a YouTube channel and people requested a game collection video. I showed them a part of my collection and gave my opinion on the games. Very specific stuff, so it should've been obvious that I've played the games. But nope, people still called me a "fake gamer" and stuff like that because "women don't play video games" and "don't have collections like that.”


#29 Wrong Feelings

My least favorite thing that men do is when they won't just let me be upset about something they said. They have to try and gaslight me until I agree with them that they didn't do anything wrong. I just want to be allowed to have hurt feelings or feel unsafe when that's organically my response to the situation.


#30 High Five, Bro

When me and my friends are out and guys start touching us when we literally are just walking past them. Then they get high fives from their friends. I used to ignore it because it made me so uncomfortable, but now I’ve started punching guys who do this. They don't get high fives anymore when they hit the floor because a girl who’s 5´1 punched them out.


#31 Worried About Themselves

When I ask guys that I’m seeing to be honest with me if they have a change of mind about being in a relationship and they tell me that they will. They then either decide to ghost me or they act distant and weird until I pull it out of them. It’s hurtful that they don’t realize how it makes me feel. It’s like they don’t care about my feelings and are only worried about themselves and their ego.


#32 Better at That Stuff

That I’m expected to know how to do laundry, keep the apartment tidy and cook because I'm "better at it." Why am I better at it? Like, even when they know how to do these things themselves, they always assume that I want to do it because I like a tidy apartment? Then, when they’re asked to do it themselves, I get hit with the good old "Yes, but I'm a guy I'm not as good at this sort of stuff as you." In 2020.


#33 Only Men Can Do

When you try to do something that “only men can do,” so they take your courage away. One time, me and my friend were playing basketball at the gym and the boys decided to take the basketballs whenever we missed and shoot them into the hoop to show us that they were better. I started yelling at them and they still did it. They would also throw basketballs across the gym, aimed at the girls doing jump rope. Phys-ed teacher? Just playing a mini-game of football.


#34 A Hard Concept

I teach at the college level and students comment about my body all the time. Not even in an objectifying way, they just think that they can talk about my body in a way I know they don't do to men. They tell me how I should stand, what I should wear, etc. I point it out to them so it doesn't show up on my evaluations so much anymore. Women's bodies aren't for public consumption. It's a hard concept, apparently.


#35 Prove It

One night, a group of my colleagues and I went out to happy hour. We are all in research and all have our MDs, with a few MD-PhDs. I was the only female in the group. The place we were at had picnic tables lined up one next to the other for seating and it was really busy, so there were no clear demarcations of group separation.

One guy next to our group overheard us discussing work and was interested in our conversation. We didn’t mind him asking questions about our line of work. I wasn’t doing the talking, but he pointed at me and asked, “Are you a doctor, too?” I just nodded yes. “Yeah right. Prove it. What school? Show me proof.” Funny how he didn’t demand proof from the rest of my group that happened to all be male.


#36 Calling Him Out

My dad cuts off women all the time. I’m pretty sure he got away with cutting off other women his whole life and my mom is the more quiet type, so she won’t say anything. But not me. I’ve started noticing that he does this ever since my late teens. Now, whenever he does, I call him out and tell him he can’t cut people off and I’m speaking. He still cuts me off, but it’s happening less.


#37 Making an Effort

Every time my boyfriend and I go to a social event outside our usual friend group and get introduced to a man, he’ll ask my boyfriend about work and what he does. They never once ask me. Once, I pointed it out to him he started noticing it more and more. He then made an effort to include me in the conversation.


#38 Smile More

I work with an older guy (62) who has a bad habit. The first couple of times he said I should smile more, I just said “no.” The third time I said, “Don’t tell me what to do with my face.” The fourth time, I sat him down and explained why I, and likely most of the other women he’s been saying it to for six decades hate being told to smile.

The fifth time I heard him say it, he said it to one of our co-workers who was walking past him. I sternly said, “Don’t. Tell women. To smile.” He kind of laughed and said, “Sorry, I forgot.” The kicker? We work in a funeral home. There aren’t a lot of workplaces where it’s more inappropriate to say that kind of thing to people. The second time he said it to me, we were standing in a hospital morgue waiting for security to bring a body out.


#39 Major Ice Storm

We had several trees fall in our store parking lot, including one that blocked one of the entrances. Our manager told me he'd let me keep the chainsaw if I went to buy it and cut up the trees. It should have been the responsibility of the property owner, but it was after a major ice storm so that probably would have taken a while. The guy at Home Depot gave me trouble. Several people, including women, gave me trouble when I was using it. It was still worth it since I have a chainsaw even though I live in an apartment and have absolutely no use for it. Well, except for Halloween when I pull it out and rev it up.


#40 You Should Know That

When a member of his family does something that makes me upset, my partner will tell me, “You’ve been around them long enough you know how they are,” or invalidate me being upset in some way. On the other hand, he has complained about them excessively and for things that happened back to him back in his early teens.


#41 Sizing You Up 

Constantly voicing their thoughts on women's looks, positive and negative. I don't know why men do this. I don't think they realize it, but I don't need to hear every time you think a woman is ugly or attractive. It's hyper-analytical. I don't think men would be fond of it if women decided to join in on this.


#42 I Don’t Need Help

Honestly, it's not seen as a bad thing, but I hate when the men in my life have stood up for me in situations that I had under control. Then, they ended up making it worse. I get they want to help me and defend me, but at the same time, I should be able to defend myself first. If I need backup, I'll call you.


#43 Backhanded Compliments

Not even just men specifically, but when they give backhanded compliments that they don’t perceive as mean. Like, “You’re really pretty for a [insert race, ethnicity, etc]” or “You’re different. You’re not like the other [insert race] that I’ve met.” It’s not exclusive to men, women can do it too, but it’s just as hurtful.


#44 What’s the Point?

I have two Master Degrees and am very successful in my job, working for MNCs. Getting asked if I slept my way up the ladder is extremely hurtful and offensive. Another thing guys do, even just as friends and co-workers, is when a hot girl walks by and they say, Oh, look at those legs, nice butt, etc." I’m really not interested in your half chub there, buddy. What is even the point of this conversation?


#45 Crazy Women

Acting like a woman who is legitimately angry is just crazy. This is super degrading and has historically been used to do things like actually institutionalize perfectly rational women. See also: Using the b-word to describe women. It’s completely unnecessary sexism. God, just call me something else as opposed to topping off your insult with ignorance.


#46 Until Next Time

When men are together and there are no women around, it often becomes a back-patting circle of misogyny. They know it’s wrong because they only do it in the absence of women. It’s like women are some kind of “in” joke in which they’re the unwitting target. On disbanding, they all go back to their significant others and leave their locker-room banter behind. Until next time.


#47 All Small Things

My husband has a habit of pointing out the little flaws about everything. I like this game? Well, the fan base is super toxic. I dye my hair? Wow, it came out a slightly different color. I bake a cake? Well, it could have more icing. They’re all small things that shouldn’t matter. But I have severe anxiety and depression and basically just hate myself and everything I do. He knows this. He knows the things he says tears me down, but it’s “just how he is” and gets mad when I cry because it sucks.


#48 What I Want

Guys will only accept a platonic relationship with me once I tell them that I’m married. It’s obvious that my wants don't matter to them, they just don't want to step on the toes of a man. I should be able to stand on my own. What I want matters. My boundaries should be respected, regardless of my marital status.


#49 Fixing the Situation

This isn’t necessarily hurtful, but it’s still annoying. One thing I've found is that when I vent, I don't want a solution. I know what I need to do to fix the thing. I just want someone to show me empathy and validate how terrible the thing is. It makes me feel better and more able to do the thing I need to do to fix the situation myself.


#50 You Can’t Imagine

Telling us how to feel about a situation they can't imagine. "Catcalling is a compliment! I wish it happened to me!" (Never mind that if it did, you'd sock him. Male horniness is not flattering.) "What's to stop just anyone from getting a late-term termination as birth control?" (Cost and logistics, not to mention difficult emotions.)




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