Western society is finally getting around to valuing men and women equally. While men widely hold positions of power, it is often thought that women would adopt a less-risk focused, more nurturing approach to leadership. Hell, ask the government of Iceland how they value women. In response to the financial crisis, the existing government of men was voted out and the party that was composed of women was voted in.
When it comes to every day perceptions, men often create bizarrely unreal expectations of women, both of their physicality and of their emotions. For that reason, we have compiled a list of ways that men regularly and consistently put unrealistic expectations on women.
1. They want women to be kind and caring people – all the time.
One of the recent trends in feminism is to fight against the “smile” admonitions men give women. In it, women are fighting the unrealistic expectation that they have to portray an image of kindness at all times. This is not necessarily true. If men are entitled to fight and curse and generally indulge in their testosterone and anger, then women are also entitled to act whichever way they want. While women may be more predisposed to kindness, nothing gives men the right to try and control the emotions of strangers.
2. They enforce entirely unrealistic expectations of the female body.
Listen, I’m a guy, and I like the female figure as much as the next heterosexual guy; however, I’ve had to teach myself to realize that a woman’s body experiences the same turmoils as any one else’s. Sometimes they fart. Sometimes there’s excess hair. Sometimes a few things jiggle that previously did not jiggle. Whether it’s because of mass media or whatever else, men and society at large have been conditioned to think that women who experience these normal human issues are not good enough. The fact is that’s just not true.
3. They let women care for them when they cannot even care for themselves.
Most guys are slobs – plain and simple. However, where most guys lack in the cleanliness department, they often make up in the “let-my-girlfriend/wife/female best friend/Tinder date take-care-of-it” department. This unrealistic expectation concerns how women are not only asked to be clean and tidy themselves, but to also make up for their more slovenly counterparts by taking on more of the housework. This does not make sense. If we didn’t place undue burden on females to clean, in addition to work, and have fun, we might just find real equality in our lifetimes.
4. They let women make the decisions, only reacting after the fact.
Many men in long-term relationships eventually stop trying to please women, instead allowing her to go through all of the various options, only to jump on board later. This is another unrealistic expectation men have of women. Men expect women to make the plans, set everything up, and then we expect to just get in the car and drive, hoping that this act of assertiveness will make her happy. Go out of your way to plan something for her. It will be worth it.
5. They hardly let women have downtime or other hobbies.
As a guy, I watch an unfair amount of sports. Yesterday, I watched baseball, today I am watching hockey, Sunday I might watch football. As a society, we see this a socially acceptable in some way. However, once a woman starts getting obsessed with certain TV shows or other activities, her decisions are thought of as questionable. If I can talk about the Chicago Cubs baseball lineup all day, then she should be able to talk about Project Runway. At the moment, it doesn’t seem like that’s properly balanced.
Featured photo credit: Window Shopping/Jim Smith via flickr.com