I always say “Gender may be a social construct, but it’s one that greatly affects our daily lives and interactions”. I try to believe that both genders are more similar than different but truth is we are not treated the same way or have the same experiences.
There are a number of things women deal within relationships that men have no idea about. Our partners try to treat us as equals and full human beings, but internalised misogyny plays a major role in our relationships. For example, most men claim to want a strong, independent woman but say they are too aggressive when they date them.
Throughout their lives, women are taught that the way to be desirable is to act “feminine” and make their partners feel “masculine”. This is a s3xist dating advice.
Here are some things women deal with in relationships that men may not understand.
1. Fear of being “Needy”
Another stereotype associated with women and other feminine-presenting people is that we’re emotionally and financially needy. We’re constantly battling people’s perception that we’re out to “tie down” our partners too soon, “whip” them, or be “gold diggers.” And we risk accusations of being needy for needing very basic things, like responses to texts or validation of our feelings. This can lead us to suppress our needs to avoid confirming a stereotype or upsetting our partners.
2. Pressure to get married and have kids
Weeks into a relationship, everyone is asking if you think you guys have something serious that will lead to marriage. “Do you think he’ll put a ring on it?” is another question used to impose expectations of marriage on women. Then, when we are married, we get warned about our “biological clocks” and badgered about when we’re having kids. Men may experience this, too, but they may not quite understand how premature and constant the questioning is for women.
3. Assumptions about our roles in relationships
Just as men are assumed to play a stereotypically masculine role, women in relationships with more masculine-presenting people are assumed to play the “feminine” role — i.e. dependent, more emotional, and naggy. Our partners’ friends may joke about how they’re going to be “in trouble” with us for staying out late. These behaviours project assumptions onto people rather than letting them go about their relationships their own way, and many are insulting to women.
4. Dismissal of our feelings
The common stereotype goes that women jump in quickly while men are slow to commit or say “I love you,” even though men are more often the first to say those words, according to a study. o, our feelings for our partners are often dismissed as signs of girlish infatuation. Over time, this leads us to discount our own feelings in relationships and the desires they lead to.
5. Fear of being too masculine
As I mentioned, the popular ideal of female attractiveness is tied up with being “ladylike” — i.e., submissive and small, physically and emotionally. So, if we act strong, assertive, or confident, we risk being deemed too masculine to be desirable. This is a shame because those qualities should be desirable in a partner, and they should be desirable to cultivate for our own sake. A healthy relationship is one where both people can be who they want to be.
This is another major s3xist thing women have to go through in relationships. Gaslighting is a form of emotional abuse in which the one doing it tries to get power over his or her victim by making them think they are crazy, out of sorts and “off. Women experience this when they are told that they’re not really thinking, feeling, or perceiving what they are. It’s very often used toward women due to the assumption that women are too sensitive and that especially when we call out s3xism, we’re overreacting.
It can also come up when our partners tell us we’re being too demanding by taking issue with their behaviour. This serves to invalidate our perspectives and make us feel we don’t have the right to speak up if something bothers us.