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Men think women don’t understand these 9 things (so we asked women, are they right?)

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Emily Badiozzaman
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You know what: there are just some things women don’t experience in the same way as men. And vice versa. As a woman, I can tell you that we are grateful for the fact we do not have to reach into our pants to do a tactical pinch and roll to readjust/itch. Which was just one of the things that came up in a Reddit thread about the various things men wish women would understand. 

The thread covered everything from the predictable “I can’t read your mind” and fear boners (for real?!) to the stereotypes that men face.

They make for great reading, so in the spirit of providing some insight into the other side, I thought I’d respond to some of them:

That 15-year-old shirt, we do want to keep it. - Drak_is_Right

Ok, I didn’t really want to tell you this, but though we are anatomically different we are similar in grossness. And yes, a 15-year-old shirt has definitely got some gross shit in it no matter how many times it’s been washed. Think of the skin cells.

But we too have a shirt from 15 years ago. We keep it for Sofa Sundays and admire the hot sauce (swag) stain on it every time. We get it, you two have shared a lot together. The laughter, the tears, the sweat. It’s hard to let go of something you love. Just don’t wear it to my mum’s.

We don't really compliment each other unless we really mean it. So if a girl compliments us, we take it very seriously. A compliment from a girl really means a lot to us. - Rough_Cut

There’s so much to read into here. Do you need a hug? Why aren’t your friends nicer to you? If compliments are rare, does it make them more valuable? What if my compliments LOSE MEANING? What if you stop believing me? Am I having an existential crisis?

We also value compliments from you, our friends have to give them out so we kind of get this. But our compliments may be coming in subtler ways other than “hot damn boy, where’d you get them apples?!” Maybe listen out for them in different ways - “nice [insert item of clothing]” means you look good in it.

What it takes not to orgasm first. - wtfcrunch

Whatever you have to do, the appreciation is so real.

Men like to be pursued too. - xaqaria

There’s a fine balance to keep, and you know it well. One very keen text can turn the lights completely off, and not in the way you want. The same play goes in our court. It’s one thing striking up a conversation at the bar and texting you first, which I don’t think is particularly rare. How much pursuing are we talking? I draw the line at having to hunt you down.

Maybe you do understand, I don't know, but I hate walking behind a woman, especially at night - making eye contact with a woman I don't know, sitting next to a woman on public transit, and pretty much anything else that should be normal but could be construed as pervy. If I walk fast behind you, it's so I can pass you and prove I'm not following you. If I avoid eye-contact, it's not because I think you're gross. If I sit next to you, it's because that was the last or closest seat. – whenindoubtknititout

This is really sad when you think about it. But it’s also really sad that women have to fear, y’know, rape and murder, when they walk in the dark alone. No, not all men are dangerous, just like we aren’t raging hoebags because we’re wearing a short skirt. We all know this.

But trust us, if you catch our eye on the tube and we look away quickly it’s not because we think you’re going to stab us. Our thought process goes something like: “Oh God. Definitely going to think I’m a creep. Find an advert, FIND AN ADVERT TO READ. Oh look, a funny pun from Just Eat.”

Admittedly, when it’s dark and we sense you walking in silence within grabbing distance behind us, we may fashion a MacGyver knuckleduster out of the keys in our pocket. But to be fair, we don’t know if you’re a man or woman unless we turn around, and everyone has been trained to sense danger. Are you not calculating scenarios for the faux mugger you think is there too? A simple “sorry” (the excuse me kind) as you overtake us on the pavement will take the serial killer ideas out of our heads.

I CANNOT PAUSE MULTIPLAYER. – smallham1

OK, FINE.

The difference between a comfortable silence and "Oh Jesus, why doesn't he talk." - kamanitachi

Look, if we’re on a first date obviously you’re going to need to talk. There’s nothing more hive-inducing, rather-stick-a-fork-in-my-leg than having to pull the conversation out of you, no matter how shy (or totally confident in this case) you are. Similarly, don’t mull your answer over in comfortable silence if we’ve asked you a direct question. We are not in Interstellar, I know you can hear me.

Four years in, we’re probably good with our own thoughts in front of the TV on a Thursday too. There’s a time and a place.

The stigma concerning men and children, specifically girls. – Gondsman

We can empathise with this, but ultimately we can’t relate. Society doesn’t treat women as a threat to children, even though they often are. But society also doesn’t treat women as equal to men, so society has a lot to work on tbh. And though we’d like to solve the world’s problems, most of us are about as Trump-qualified to do so. The best we can all do is talk about it. We don’t need to be all kumbaya to hear you out, and we want to hear it.

I have literally no idea if you're flirting with me. - StezzerLolz

Honestly, neither do I. Cosmo told me to look at your crotch and then straight in your eyes but nothing seems to be happening.

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Emily Badiozzaman

Emily is a freelance writer for Shortlist.com. She covers breaking news, entertainment, style and lifestyle for the site. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found eating and drinking or thinking about food and drinking. Follow Emily on Twitter: @ebadiozzaman 

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