Sunday 2 June 2019

Nerd Church - The World's Exhausting Expectations of Women

Who the hell is it that's making 'the Social norms' anyway?

Cos I think we all need to have a few words with them.

The World's Exhausting Expectations of Women with a woman asleep on a bed and her pug dog flopped in front of her

I mean, the amount of stuff we're expected to be and not be doesn't make any goddamn sense. The 'shoulds' and 'shouldn'ts' are ridiculous.

(In a broad sense, I mean - I'm sure there's stuff you actually should do, like eat and sleep and go to the loo, and stuff you shouldn't like arson, theft, murder, voting for Donald Trump, etc.

There's exceptions to most generalisations.)

Women, for example, get a raw effing deal.

Just looking at ads and articles aimed at women can sometimes be goddamned exhausting!

dividing line

I realise other genders have their own struggles.

And Women of Colour, disabled women, and trans women, for example, have specific problems and social expectations to contend with.

This post is meant to be a general meandering of the kinds of things women (ALL women) have to contend with, but is obviously primarily based on my own experiences as a Cisgender Queer White Welsh chick with various disabilities.)
dividing line

Like, if you listen to the undercurrents of the world at large, women should:

  • be pretty, but not proud of being pretty

  • wear make-up, but not too much make-up

  • be smart, but not 'too' smart

  • not speak against dudes - you're too shrill, whiny, or demanding if you do this

Doctor Who (Jodie Whittaker) - 'So annoying'
Via Giphy

  • never get angry, unless you wanna be a 'crazy ex,' 'evil mother-in-law' or point-blank b**ch

  • dress in pink frills which are both innocent and sexy but somehow not 'too' innocent, or 'too' sexy

  • be thin... but not too thin

  • be happy, unless you're single, when your sole objective becomes finding a man so that you don't 'die alone'

  • be attracted to any dude who finds you attractive

  • only be attracted to women if it's part of a male fantasy

  • 'appreciate' unwanted male attention - despite the fact that the word unwanted kinda says it all

  • be willing to drop everything for what the men in your life want

  • want children

  • expect men's careers to be more important than your own

Brie Larson as Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel in her plane making positive hand motion's better at flying than Carol Danvers, m'k?

Via Giphy

  • have bigger or smaller boobs, dependant on what you have already

  • take the primary role in childcare, whether it's what's best for you or not

  • pay more attention to male politicians, writers, journalists, entrepreneurs, etc. than any other gender

  • not show an interest in anything deemed to be 'male' including, but not limited to:
    • cars
    • sports
    • science
    • politics

  • show interest in anything deemed to be 'female' including, but not limited to:
    • hair and make-up
    • clothes and fashion
    • children

There's more, I could go on and on and on, but basically my point is this: NO-ONE meets all of those expectations.

Some of them (I'm thinking boobs and bodies here,) aren't designed to be meet-able.

And if you think that these sorts of expectations aren't out there... you're either very naïve, or you're a man.

Because things don't have to be said plainly to create an expectation.

They would be so much easier to deal with if they did.

Nope, instead it comes softly, and with stealth.

...The female main character who has no definition beyond wanting to get married and have children.

...The female character whose entire existence is based around the male lead.

...The constant images of the 'perfect' woman looking a particular way, acting a particular way, being a particular way.

...The gender pay gap.

...The removal in many places of women's, and other pregnant people's, right to have an abortion.

We need to accept that women are as varied as the human race - on account of women being people.

And our ideas of what a woman SHOULD be?

Well those ideas SHOULD go out the goddamn window.

What do you think?
What expectations would you add to the list?
If you're not a woman, what expectations are there of your gender?
Talk to me! 💋💬

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Last updated: 8th June 2019


  1. God I'm tired just reading this. It's almost no surprise I've got into feminist dystopic fiction lately.

  2. Ugh I feel this on every level, Cee. I especially relate to the “be thin, but not too thin” expectation. Obviously fat girls are held up to ridiculous standards to be thinner, but I relate in a different way. I am constantly told that I am too underweight, that I don’t eat
    enough. This has a lot to do with my anxiety that makes it very nerve wracking for me to eat in public, so I tend to not eat a lot. People commenting on how much a woman is eating/not eating is so annoying!!

    1. Like, there are some circumstances where it's ok to ask about what amount women are eating, their weight, etc. - but usually only close friends and family members, and only if they approach it from a place of love and concern, and actually goddamn listen to the answers given! (Tone and approach means so much!) Or, like, medical advice or whatever (even then, doctors can go beyond their boundaries.)

      Generally, though? Especially if you're not that close to the person, then back off, y'know? I get you with the Anxiety - I sometimes have eating issues related to Depression/Anxiety... there was a period where if I managed to finish a packet of crisps I actually celebrated! While the 'in public' thing has never bothered me, I can def. see where that would be difficult *hugs* <3

  3. Yes! Dudes kinda automatically think that you *must* be into them! Like, dude there's some days where I'm not into *anyone* and a lot more days where I'm not into men, let alone some random-a** dude I just met - maybe don't assume that just 'cos you're a bloke, I'm gonna fall at your feet! (And if I do, maybe help me up, cos I probably tripped over! Lol.)

    Thank you! XD <3

  4. This was such a good post. Yes, there's really no way to win with all of these conflicting expectations. I'm childfree myself, but my friends who have had kids have talked about all of the pressure others put on them to be the "perfect" mom....and yet the expectations of what that means are just as conflicted as the expectations for women in general.

    1. I can imagine - my mam was a stay-at-home-mum, not because she felt she had to be, but because that's what worked for my parents, and that was what they decided to do. People seemed to think she was somehow letting down feminism by staying at home to take care of us, and it's like, no - feminism is about having the *choice*! <3


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