Twenty five reasons women are given to like being women.

Every International Women’s Day, messages and forwards give women reasons why they should be glad they were born women. I  googled and found these common ones. Many of the reasons have to do with how women look and dress, and with how much they can give up.

Not linking and no offense is intended to anybody.

Updated to addMany of the points of view I have disagreed with came from this post. I understand that sometimes we have points of views that are not the same and I hope this post is seen as only a discussion, the idea is not to hurt or offend.

I just want to discuss, why is it felt that women need reasons to like or be proud of being women? If these reasons were not there then would they not like being themselves?
Also, is it felt that they would have liked it less or more if they were men?

Which ones of these would you say should make women glad to be women?

1.  Women can carry a life within themselves. Or women ‘have a special gift of motherhood’.

If a woman can’t or doesn’t want to be a mother, should she stop being proud of being a woman?

There’s so much talk of motherhood – one hears very little (almost nothing) about accepting that motherhood does change women’s bodies but women are to expected to look like they did not carry a life within themselves.  Looking like ‘do bachchon ki amma‘ is not really seen as a compliment.

Also makes it look like parenting as fathers is a less joyful experience.

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2.   Women have the power to turn heads wherever they go, even the ugliest!

i. Even the ugliest? Stresses on how women are classified by their looks, ugly, pretty, plain, hot, dowdy etc. Objectifies them.

ii. Why is managing to turn heads seen as a power? (Does it empower women, unless that’s what they do for a living etc.)

iii. This becomes the biggest reason for women not being able to step out of their homes in many parts of the world, also becomes an excuse to protect and restrict.

3.   Women can wear prettier clothes! Salwar kurta, skirts, sari, lehenga, gowns and trousers.

In India mostly they can only wear what they are permitted to wear – modesty, fashion or the need to fit-in, take precedence over comfort and practicality.

4.  Women can wear pants, men can’t wear skirts.

Maybe because men don’t need to. Men’s clothing is more evolved, generally more practical – weather appropriate, easier movements, roomier pockets, comfortable shoes, less embellishment to take care of.

Skirts, saris, corsets, dupattas and high heels seem to be preferred for looking a certain way (feminine, ladylike, trendy etc) than for comfort.

5. Little girls can get away with mischief, boys get blamed. (As in, girls break a window pane, boys get blamed)

Three points:

i. How was good girls and bad boys stereotype created? Many Indian girls are not allowed to play games that would make them get darker, or take them away from helping their mothers with housework.

ii. Too high a cost to pay for being seen as innocent when one is not. Bad ethics too.

iii. ‘Boys will be boys’ eventually works to confuse boys and later men, by conveying that they may do as they please, because they can’t help it.

6.   Where there is a cleavage there is a way.

Cleavage as a shortcut? There is a possibility of other cleavages around, leading to competition and then it won’t remain a shortcut. There is also the risk of the other party not keeping their end of the generally unwritten bargain. Unwritten bargains can lead to exploitative situations.

Also unethical, because those who are better qualified may not have a cleavage.

7.  Girl Talk.

Sounds like women do have the social advantage here, but men do have friends and men talk too…

8. I like being a girl because all I have to do is swish my hips, flip my hair and pout and lo I am entertained by buffoons (men).

If the attention is offensive then it should not be in this list. And this could change when there are enough women in public spaces, freely moving about their daily lives, interacting with men.

If the attention was inoffensive, why call them buffoons?

9.  A pretty smile can make us move ahead in supermarket queues and get unknown men to carry our groceries. Gal power!

I think being able to smile for small favors might work for men, women, senior citizens and children, anybody who is seen as charming.

10. Looking good is a gal’s right. /I love that we as women, are the beautiful sex.

Are women really better looking than men? Thin women or fat women; fair women, dark women; tall women or short women? If they are, then how does it improve the quality of lives they live? Does the need to look good restrict their lives and choices in some ways, how they eat, sleep, dress, move, have fun, marry, socialize etc?

11. Only women can wear high heels!

This is like saying only little girls in China had their feet bound, or only men can shave. Not healthy, restricts movement. Wearing should be a free choice, not an expectation.

12. Roomy bags!

Very convenient no doubt. But men do have pockets and brief cases.

13.  I can always go up to men in a bus, sitting in the so called “ladies seats” and pull them out, but they cannot do the same to me even if I am sitting in the non-ladies seat which must be the “men’s seat”.

Would it not have been more fun to be a woman if women could sit on any vacant seat like everybody else, without fearing sexual harassment?

14.  God created chocolate to soothe the female taste bud.

Chocolates can be enjoyed even as men and children.

15.  Gals can cuddle a kitten/teddy bear without being commented upon.

Kitten or a soft toy should be fine to hug by anybody, but it’s true that women are more able to express certain kinds of feelings, like sadness, insecurity, happiness in a restrained manner, affection (within limits) etc.

16.  Women can afford to cry in public letting out the pent up feelings, men can’t!

Sadly this is true, but thankfully this is changing.

17.  Gold is a woman’s toy.

Gold is a good investment but real estate which has traditionally been men’s investment seems to provide excellent returns, is more difficult to steal and also becomes a shelter. Many women who have plenty of gold do not have a house of their own.

18.  I being a girl have the power to melt the toughest and the strongest willed men and give them goose bumps and sleepless nights.

Not true. How do we see violent crimes against girls then?

19.  Girls will always be daddy’s li’l princess at no matter what age.

Doesn’t apply to a huge number of girls. Some are not lil princesses and some are not even allowed to be born, some are killed, neglected, abused etc

20. Weddings are fun for women – clothes, jewelry, attention!  Men are just props.

There was a time one needed weddings as an excuse to feast, shop, dress and celebrate, today it has become a reason for so much misery.

One can have parties and functions anytime, with the amount of money that is spent on weddings, massive events can be organised and enjoyed without the organizers (brides parents) being forced to take loans etc.

In India bridegrooms receive gifts, cars, cash, dowry, attention, ‘importance’ – how are they mere props? They even have more say than the bride in who they are marrying.

21.  I can live through countless hormone changes, blink back my tears and still manage to smile to make my loved ones happy.

I hope if hormone changes are causing problems, then solutions are sought, support is got and tears are not blinked away too often.

And if there is a real reason to cry then  it is not pretended away as ‘hormonal changes’.

22. I am born to multitask.

Multitasking has no gender. It’s only good if it helps you live a better quality of life, it’s unfortunate if it makes you take on more than you can handle.

23.  I am the epitome of care, affection and sacrifice: a woman.

That’s a generalization and an unfair expectation.

It’s possible for both men and women to be caring, and if a woman is not an epitome of care and sacrifice, she is still a woman.

24. Women are generally not under pressure to be aggressive, and to prove they are physically stronger than anybody else around.

Men are under social pressure to act aggressive and to prove their physical strength, also to sometimes show they know better than other men. They can hurt themselves – even seriously harm themselves trying to do this.

25. Women have the power to save the family, tradition, society and culture.

And they are honor killed or honor-forced to sacrifice and save all of the above.

What other reasons have you seen women being given to like being women?

120 thoughts on “Twenty five reasons women are given to like being women.

  1. Tough question IHM. Why do I like being a woman … all the above reasons, and more. But perhaps I like being ME more than being female, and that would still stand if I were a man

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  2. Interesting post. I think it is pointless for people to say they are “proud” of being something. Being a woman, being gay, being Indian, etc. because they haven’t really done anything about it. They just are, and that’s it. It’s not an achievement. I don’t think I like anything specific about being a woman in general. I am just happy with myself, and while being a woman is part of me, I may have made the same choices in life had I been a man. International Women’s Day has become a farce with all these pink advertisements and telling women to be proud of themselves. It ought to be a day when we go back, make a list of things to be done for feminism, take a look at the women in Afghanistan, pledge to help them, and so on instead of sharing those silly poems on Facebook that depict women as some kind of superwoman.

    Me – Exactly what I feel.

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    • And while I am still ranting about it, how many of you receive those messages saying: Put up your status of being in Rio de Janeiro or Timbuktu with a banana or pineapple based on the colour of your underwear? How is that supposed to promote cancer awareness. I don’t mind people playing games, but I utterly dislike if they add something as serious as breast cancer awareness to make it seem less silly. I even once shared links with my friends, telling them if they are interested in spreading awareness on breast cancer, this is a better way. But no one really noticed. They were too busy putting up their statuses claiming they were in Peru eating litchis!

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    • And this!

      “Oh you ask…do I work? Uh yes I work 24 hours a day.. I am a mom! I am an alarm clock, a cook, a maid, a teacher, a nanny, a nurse, a taxi, a handyman, a security officer, a photographer, a counsellor, a jungle jim and a comforter. I don’t get holidays, sick pay or days off. I work through the day and night to shower care and concern . Post this if you are a proud mother!

      I mean what the F is this? Whatever happened to the father? And while SAHM are welcome to it if it suits, why make this huge fuss and show such sacrifice? This is just going to be thrown in the face of the kids when they grow older.

      Sorry for the ranting, but the stuff on my FB feeds is getting bad to worse!

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      • You are so right Fem! The amount of nonsense doing the rounds of fb really does put me off big time–enough to sometimes make me want to delete my account. The stuff ranges from frivolous to maddeningly patronising to downright misogynistic. I keep getting into long-drawn arguments over many such feeds😦

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      • hahaha… you just listed all those annoying posts I so hate on FB!! I completely agree with you…. regarding cancer awareness, they all will share crap like ‘you have milliion wishes, cancer patient has only one to live. share to spread awarenes.’ ? awareness about ..what? Is there any social stigma attached to cancer? any misconceptions you are helping to dispel by that? I once shared on FB an excellent infographic which listed preventable causes of cancer with rate of incidence in men/women. This was not shared at all.. what happened to awareness junkies?

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      • Talking of FB, it is full of crappiest posts and what disturbs is the number of ‘likes’ they get! And they are such emotionally manipulative posts and they condition people in the worst way. Wanna see one such disgusting post? here we go:

        A boy and a girl loved
        each other but their parents refused for their marriage.
        They decided to go for court marriage.
        When the girl had to
        sign,
        she saw a poster hanging on the wall which forced her to change her decision.
        ..
        ..
        ..
        ..
        ..
        The poster had a picture of a baby
        girl and the caption written under it was,
        “ISI LIYE BETI PAIDA KARNE SE DARTA THA”
        this small caption had a big meaning.
        So never ditch ur parents b’coz if u can’t be faithful to ur parents who loved u, cared for u, brought
        u up for so many yrs,
        how can u be faithful to the man who has
        just been with u for a few months or yrs…(sic)

        I even blogged about it

        http://shilpasharmaonline.blogspot.in/2012/02/emotional-atyachar.html

        The effect these posts have on people is massive, I know how I used to believe such crap a couple of years ago. Thank God, I am changing.🙂

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      • Say Cheese,

        I saw this one recently:

        When a woman gets pregnant she feel great
        That’s moment is something special in her life
        She gets more n more love from her inlaws n hubby
        It’s a very special moment of her life

        When she give birth to child
        She cares her baby
        When baby cry
        when baby is hungry
        When baby crawl
        When baby grow up
        When baby gets mature

        In every part
        When baby need someone then
        There is mom who care her baby ‘n love

        But when baby gets young ‘n mature den they forget their mom
        ‘n they want privacy
        ‘n for it they hurt their mom much

        They forget that in any difficulty their mother is always with them, forever ‘n ever

        ‘n how a mom manage her family
        When in night baby didn’t sleep den whole night
        she is awake to take care her baby

        there is only mom who care always take care of her babies
        without thinking about herself day n night
        She don’t care ‘coz she loves only her child

        But for some privacy child forget her ‘n hurt mom..

        What’s it mean? That a person should not crave some kind of privacy just because the mother tended to them when they were kids? That there is no scope for drawing lines in a relationship because your mother supports you? I seriously want to kick the poster up her butt and tell her to get a life of her own. Arrrrghhhhhhh!!!!

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      • @Fem: wow, they wrote one huge pile of bullcrap because a child wanted a little bit of privacy!

        //But when baby gets young ‘n mature den they forget their mom
        ‘n they want privacy
        ‘n for it they hurt their mom much
        They forget that in any difficulty their mother is always with them, forever ‘n ever

        ‘n how a mom manage her family
        When in night baby didn’t sleep den whole night
        she is awake to take care her baby

        there is only mom who care always take care of her babies
        without thinking about herself day n night
        She don’t care ‘coz she loves only her child

        But for some privacy child forget her ‘n hurt mom..//

        This must be a Hisaabi mummy.
        “The Hisaabi Mummy : Maine tere liye itna kiya, badle mein kya mila?”
        Source of hisaabi mummy thingie: http://phoenixritu.com/to-all-you-mommy-bloggers-out-there/

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      • Have you guys also noticed that these chain messages generally tend to butcher the English language?
        Luckily, not very many people post these kinds of messages on my feed, but I have read a few, and they are very gender stereotypic. They don’t seem to realize that they are harmful stereotypes that are presented as ‘positive’ qualities.

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      • There are so many of that crap on FB –
        I am girl and I blah blah, post this if you smiled at least once on reading this and proud to be a female…
        Brother is the best friend…..
        Sisters…..dads… moms… Indians….
        Cousins are first friend….
        And lame lame things

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      • I haven’t seen the above on FB, but I have seen other annoying stuff! This one is annoying for Women’s Day, because it kinda, sorta equates women to being moms. What happens if you are not/cannot/do not want to be a mom ? I wouldn’t post it, but would not find it annoying if this were a post for Mom’s Day. And yes, a similar one for Father’s Day would be nice too.

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    • Completely agree.

      We don’t choose our gender, so why treat it like an achievement?

      I suspect most people do not place their gender above their self-identity.

      They’re happy to be THEMSELVES.

      By this logic, men ought to write newspaper articles about how proud they are to be born male.🙂

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  3. This kind of ‘gal power’ we can do without!

    International Women’s Day feels like a sop – ‘give them one day. At least.’

    When will we go past gender to really looking past appearance?!

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  4. This is a rather joyless post! As far as pleasures go, there’s no dearth of dampeners. “I love chocolate” — “Oh but what about the carcinogenic additives” — and “Romance novels are fun to read” — ‘They will rot your brain’ — blah blah blah. While I think it’s insulting and embarrassing that showing cleavage to get your way and so on are part of the women’s advantage list, others are not so offensive. Unless you really try hard to give them a miserable twist as this author has done. Personally, I’m not ‘proud’ of being a woman, but I am aware of certain advantages that I have, along with the considerable disadvantages. So what if roomy, aesthetically pleasing bags are among the joys? And trust me, no indian man would ever have the choices available to him to proudly proclaim himself an ‘indian homemaker’.

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    • That’s the whole point here…that men are shut out from all these ‘pleasures’. That qualities, ‘privileges’, roles, comforts, tastes and quirks are assigned on the basis of gender.

      Joyless and miserable post? It’s the truth.

      I was just speaking to a friend…and she was saying women are given so many cushions (what you call ‘pleasures’)…they make our lives ‘comfortable’ and ‘easy’…but they do nothing to empower and strengthen us.

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      • The pleasure of homemaking is in the mere CHOICE of it. I, for example, work (and bloody hard at that) but I know I can give it all up and sit at home, maids toiling in the kitchen, since my husband earns enough for us both. He, however, can’t give up his job and sit at home because the expectations made of his gender would immediately make his life miserable. I’m grateful that I could leave the workforce and live in relative peace should I want to. ‘Class’ and money are obviously part of the equation so that’s something else to be grateful for but so is the fact that I am a woman.

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      • @Bellejarre–but don’t you think these ‘advantages’ are exactly what put women at a huge disadvantage?

        Why do you think companies are more likely to promote men than women? Because of this kind of attitude. They’re worried that a woman may simply leave her post at any time because she feels she’s entitled to not work anymore as her husband makes more than enough $.

        Don’t you think this kind of attitude also puts men at a high level of stress at all times? Imagine having to provide for your family at all times? Never being able to take a break? Never having the reassurance that if something were to happen to you, there’s no way your wife would be able to earn as much as you because she hasn’t built up her work experience?

        Being a homemaker is definitely a choice–but for both, men and women. I think it’s unfair to both, men and women, to conclude that being able to make that choice is only for women.

        As for your point that ‘society’ would look down on a man who stays home…well, I’m going to use Elanor Roosevelt’s words here. ‘No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.’

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      • What’s not discussed very openly either is the financial risk most women put themselves in, by having this ‘choice’ (most of which involves a lot of brainwashing that it’s a real choice)…relative peace, maybe, in the short-term, but long-term dependency and helplessness and a one-down position. By having this ‘choice’ women keep compromising, sacrificing, withdrawing…and so yes, that reduces the choice for men too, to be able to quit work and sit ‘in peace’ at home.

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      • To BelleJarre, nice handle by the way.

        I assume that you’re referring to The Bell Jar.:)

        I don’t get why you framed the freedom to stay home as a solely female prerogative.

        In an ideal society, paid and unpaid work ought to be equally valued and less gender-defined.

        Oftentime, this “choice” becomes a double-edged sword.

        Women are expected to “give up” successful careers because they have the “luxury” of this so-called choice.

        Financial independence bequeaths unimaginable choices and freedom to women.

        I’d still be stuck in a bad marriage were I not working.

        This is the one thing that I am truly grateful for — my financial freedom.

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      • Exactly.

        Women are told that they are the “pampered sex” but it’s an illusion isn’t it?

        Those “cushions” don’t exist for most women — they toil on farms, in factories, on construction sites.

        Their lives are full of deprivation, back-breaking labour, financial and physical insecurity.

        Tell a village woman that women are “the frailer sex” and she’ll roar with laughter.🙂

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      • The thing is, I agree with all of you. It’s all unfair. Any advantage/disadvantage on the basis of what you’re born with and born into is unfair. But what can you do? Sometimes you thank your lucky stars, sometimes you curse your luck. This is not limited to gender.

        What I do find ironic here, though, is how all of you are saying that homemakers are ‘brainwashed’ and in a position of weakness, when so many blogs endorsed on this particular site talk about what a choice it is (along with justifications about homemaking being work etc).

        I work because I don’t want to be dependent. My husband does as much housework as i do because I make him. It is not my responsibility alone. Yet so many women have such ‘high standards’ when it comes to neatness and so on, martyring themselves to the process. I wonder why many men don’t care so much. Looks like I’m digressing…

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        • The problem, Bellejarre, is with the stereotyping. Maybe what I visualise here is the Utopian ideal, but shouldn’t both men AND women not be forced to act in a way that is prescribed to be the right thing on account of their gender. That is like penalising them due to the accident of birth. A woman/man should feel equally comfortable examing her/his choices and acting on what seems best for them. For a couple, it shouldn’t matter that the woman earns while the man looks after the family or vice-versa, and who is anyone else to comment upon that, or pressurise them to conform…after all, the family is a joint responsibility, isn’t it?

          Unfortunately, that is just the ideal. Reality is something quite different. Social conditioning, especially on the basis of gender, does not allow us that very basic human right- of being a human being first.

          You say “My husband does as much housework as i do because I make him.” Isn’t that the crux of the problem? Why should coercion need be used? Shouldn’t a husband feel the need to share housework just because the house belongs to both, and maybe, just maybe, his wife would love to be pampered a bit? Mind you, NOT as a perk of womanhood, but because she may be tired/ bored of doing the same work day in and day out? OK, say he is tired after HIS day at office- maybe he could take some pressure off her on weekends. Just a little bit?

          Again- what I am saying here is utopian, and I am just as guilty as the next woman in giving in to the gender stereotypes I have been conditioned to, just so that I do not upset the apple cart. And therein lies the problem.

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      • @Biwo/Kay in India: I think we all agree on what constitutes an ‘ideal society’. But I’m talking about the status quo and how we engage with it. Of course men *should* have the freedom to stay at home. And women *should* be trained to be able to and desire to provide for themselves. But that’s not how it is, is it?

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      • Bellejarre,

        That’s a good point. Most of my female friends grumble that their husbands don’t pick up after them. I tell them to leave things as it is until they begin to do their share, because sooner or later, they are bound to require their socks, or shirts or whatever. The response inevitably is “I cannot live with that mess.” How is it that their husbands can?! Do we also bring up our women to be neat, and men to be comfortable being slobs? For the record, I’m a slob😀

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      • Bellejarre…yes, that’s the way it is. But the first step towards change is recognising what’s unfair. And then changing the attitude towards it. Staying at home is not peaceful. And cursing luck doesn’t change anything. It’s painful and bloody hard to change status quo, it’s stressful, challenging and dangerous even…but sitting around saying ‘whattodo, it’s my fate and his fate’ doesn’t help.

        IMO, it IS brainwashing. There’s implicit approval of women staying home. Just saying staying at home is peaceful seems to imply women should avoid the stress of going out, and going out to work. Never any discussion of how she can protect herself financially. Frankly, every woman should be capable of being a single mother earning for her family at par with her current and desired quality of life, should anything happen, even if she’s married to the richest guy providing her with lots of cushy choices.

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      • @Bellejarre–none of us have stated ‘that homemakers are ‘brainwashed’ and in a position of weakness.’ In fact, I’ve written that being a homemaker is a choice for both men and women.

        I’m not talking about an ‘ideal’ society either (I don’t believe there is any such thing as an ideal society). Even in Canada (which is far more liberal and equal that the US), women are more likely to be homemakers than men. What I am stating is that without promoting the idea that men ALSO have the right to be homemakers/ secondary earners, it will NEVER happen. One can’t say ‘well, I’m not in an ideal society so it doesn’t apply to me.’

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      • Replying to BelleJarre @ 1.54 pm:
        I don’t quite follow that logic.

        Yes, the status quo exerts a powerful influence on our daily lives. Yes, the ideal and the practical are very different.

        However, all of us are change agents in our own right.

        If the Suffragettes had given in to the status quo, women would not have fought so hard for the vote.

        If Rosa Parks had given up her seat that day, the civil rights movement would have lost a powerful symbol.

        If Obama had given in to the status quo, we’d still be dealing with George W.

        Individual actions MATTER — they act as lightening rods and trigger cataclysmic changes.

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      • Ok, I’d love it if there were no differences between men and women, but you know, they exist. And these differences aren’t always so terrible, really. How many of you women then, have eschewed things like lipstick and earrings and other pretty but inconvenient trappings of femininity. And if you you’ve expressed outage at this women’s day drivel, why haven’t you chucked it all away? And femininity and feminism are not enemies, you know. Heard of postfeminism? There’s so much divisiveness between women about the right way to be or think. It’s almost a different kind of oppression. It’s just as stupid to hold a deterministic view of gender differences as it is to hold a reductionist one where none exist.

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      • uncomfortableintrovert,

        I guess you have never seen a man wearing earrings. Believe me, they exist. Nothing wrong in it, and that’s not the kind of thing we are talking against.

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    • @ fem, really. You’ve misunderstood what I’m saying completely. I’m talking about gender norms (to which there are exceptions). The way some of you are going on, it’s a crime to take joy in wearing a pretty sari and high heels, since it reinforces oppressive stereotypes of what women should be. It’s all so 70s, radical feminism in theory, but probably not lived. Anyway, my point is that there are different branches of feminist thought. Some of us actually celebrate expressions of our femininity (socially constructed it may be but we can still appropriate it and even use it subversively). I hate those facebook posts and chain letters because they’re irritatingly written, but I don’t disagree with all their concepts.

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      • Replying to both your comments together.

        If I know anything about the people who post here often, I can bet that our take on gender issues is not based on theoretical, academic feminism.

        It’s an understanding derived from life experiences and common sense.

        Most of us don’t carry Andrea Dworkin books in our manly belt bags.🙂

        So most of us don’t care to categorise our positions as being second wave, third wave, sex-positive or post-feminist.

        You are railing against pigeon-holing people, yet you are guilty of it yourself.

        How did you conclude that we think that wearing saris and high heels is criminal?

        That our beliefs are “not lived”?

        I think you’re not responding to what we have actually said.

        You are responding to what YOU THIINK we have said. No more straw men please.🙂

        Also, do you really think Indian society is post-feminist?

        I’d also like to know how femininity can be used subversively in India.

        I know how it is done in the West.

        Stripping is EMPOWERING. Pornography is EMPOWERING! Well, if you say so!🙂

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      • Not at all. You have misunderstood me completely. I totally enjoy wearing beautiful dresses, and shoes, though I am not a fan of high heels. We are here taking issue with the expectations of family/society to force these expectations on people. There may just be some women who may not take pleasure in wearing dangling earrings, but that does not make them less of a woman or less of a person. Also, if you notice the FB posts I have taken issue with above, they include:

        1) A serious cancer awareness campaign being reduced to stating the colour of your underwear. It serves no purpose and is immensely annoying to people whose family has suffered from breast cancer and / or infertility.

        2) A post going around of women being proud mothers and not getting enough sleep. Where is the father in this? My issue is not about mothers being happy being mothers, but to the total exclusion of fathers in the posting of such messages.

        3) A post where just because a child claims to need some privacy, the mother is hurt so badly. Is this even right? Is letting your parents sit on top of your head 24/7 the only way to return maternal love?

        Where has women being pretty or not pretty or desire to look good even come into this?! These are serious issues I have raised, and was not talking about frivolous issues of how individual women must or must not feel about their own looks!

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  5. For all the advocates that celebrate it with so much pomp and ceremony, if you need one day in 365 as International Women’s Day, then does that imply 364 days are Men’s days ?

    We dont need a day to celebrate anything. Every day should be a celebration – of women, of men, of love, of LIFE

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  6. It’s seemingly-innocent lists like this that continue to propagate and reinforce gender stereotypes that help nobody. And we just accept them, and ‘like’ them, or forward them, without really thinking of the underlying message that it sends.

    Sure, there are lots of things I like about being a woman, just like there are a lot of things I like about being a human being, or about being young, etc. I don’t see why I need a special day (and the efforts of card companies) to celebrate my womanhood.

    Like

  7. A lot of these reasons are exactly why women get screwed over half the time. For example, depicting a woman as the epitome of love, sacrifice, care (and whatever else) does nothing except to demean those who do not fit this stereotype.

    I’m proud of being a person who defies stereotypes like these and leads a happy life. I don’t have to look pretty, be the symbol of sacrifice, always blink back my tears, or save any kind of ancient traditions that put me at a disadvantage. Thank you very much!

    Like

  8. 18. “I being a girl have the power to melt the toughest and the strongest willed men and give them goose bumps and sleepless nights.”

    Well if that’s really true then I’d like to march up to Bill Gates, swish my hips, flash my disarming smile, and walk away with his billions.

    Who on earth can write (and believe in) crap like Reason number 18?

    Like

  9. What we need is a world where women at the very least have the right to be born and the right to live, as equal as anybody else.
    All the above reasons sound fairly lame- you are born whatever gender you happen to be, and make the best of it!
    While I love wearing beautiful sarees, I do know that my father and my husband have taken great pleasure in buying beautiful sarees for the women in their life, often alone, while touring. An eye for beauty is definitely not the sole prerogative of any gender.

    Like

  10. I love being a woman – because thats just being ME! I am born that way and thankfully my parents loved me for ME – rather than get into gender biases and have me killed even before I was born – so yeah! Im proud of being ME! – with all the positives and the negatives…

    Do I need any other reason?

    Like

  11. Seriously, who ever wrote this list obviously has never had a baby. I love my kids more than life itself, but 9 months of puking and sometimes worrying if all that puking was gonna make the kid pop out of the wrong end still gives me nightmares whenever I think about it.

    If only we could find a way to make it work, I will be more than happy to let men have this gift.

    Like

  12. /22. I am born to multitask./
    Good for you. I cannot multitask to save my life.

    /23. I am the epitome of care, affection and sacrifice: a woman./
    Reminds me of that infamous star-plus anthem.
    Well,good luck to you. I am not, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    /21. I can live through countless hormone changes, blink back my tears and still manage to smile to make my loved ones happy./
    I am appalled at the kind of message this point wants to send.

    These points would have been laughable if they’d not been so pathetic.

    Like

    • Point 21 is actually harmful because many, people buy into the myth of the “tyag aur pyaar ki devi” (the epitome of love and sacrifice).

      Many women are so busy being the epitome of “love and sacrifice” that they forget to be themselves.

      Like

  13. They can get away with putting false accusation too.. A woman can say I was harassed by the in- laws and everyone beleives.
    They can add names of people who are ot even present on the same CONTINENT and get them harassed.

    THe gifts or dowry can be gotten back while demanding for morw lossess..
    And if I go by the comments I have had on my latest post it is vey common for all the above to happen.

    Like

    • What’s your evidence for claiming the above? Do you have some statistical proof? Going by comments is no way to judge this. There is no way of proving that an unseen internet commenter is telling the truth.

      What about men falsely accusing their wives of affairs just to get rid of them? Why not talk about that?

      Like

  14. I feel it should not be liking being a woman or a man,it should be liking being what I am.One can’t choose being a woman or man but enjoying being what one is in our hands.

    ‘special gift of motherhood’……yes ,only woman can nurture a new life in womb and deliver it to the world but then the motherhood can’t be felt like a gift in all the circumstances.Imagine the mental trauma of the girl pregnant as an after effect of rape.Even if the family is supportive,even if the society becomes receptive will she be able to enjoy being a mother?
    ‘variety of choices to dress up’………….that too one enjoys when not done out of any compulsion or forced upon.
    ‘can shed tears in public’…..That too does not hold good in all the cases.A woman working in any office,how so ever mentally ,emotionally disturb she might be,I don’t think she starts shedding tears midst the staff very easily.
    Enjoy being a person is certainly a better option than liking being a woman

    Like

    • The motherhood thing gets to me as well. Even if you don’t look at a scenario as drastic as rape–what if a woman does NOT want children (be it at that particular time or ever). What if a married/unmarried woman gets pregnant and does not want to carry the pregnancy to term? Is she less of a ‘woman’ because she’s going to opt for an abortion for personal reasons?

      Also–I find it interesting that a country with such a skew in male/female ratio, due to female feticide and infanticide, would put motherhood on such a pedestal. Because technically, you’re only ‘celebrating’ motherhood if you give birth to a male child.

      Like

      • Im sure when the original poster wrote about motherhood being a gift she was talking about just the joy of carrying a tiny life inside her..and not about rape. And why must one always look at the worst case scenario?? I could make an innocent statement like..”I am happy to be a human being instead of a dog on the street because I have a house to live in”..and if one wanted, one could pick that apart by saying “what about those who live in houses that are not safe? or houses that are too small”…And honestly when I was pregnant with my little girl, there was no greater joy than feeling her kick insde me..something that my husband was so envious about..that he could not experience that. Yes the labor pain was something that only I had to experience but that was something that I had signed up for when I decided to have a baby. Looks to me that when one is looking to find fault in something, one can only see the negative aspect

        Like

        • Sonia there is nothing positive about trivializing and reinforcing stereotypes. These trivial looking issues, like say women and motherhood are deep rooted, traditionally Indian women are expected to have children as soon as they get married. Anybody who has lived in India would know how they are pressurized if they fail to be mothers within a year or so of getting married.

          Also what about women who are not able to be mothers, should they not be proud of being women?

          //Yes the labor pain was something that only I had to experience but that was something that I had signed up for when I decided to have a baby.// What would be the reactions if a woman chooses not to have children because she doesn’t want labour pain?

          Like

      • Right…when abortion is forced upon her..she is pressurized to abort the foetus then her womanhood is not questioned rather she is expected to submit but one’s it is her own decision her womanhood is questioned.

        Like

  15. Point is that at all times Humans want to feel good. They act, speak, feel, blame it on someone else, fight, assert, boss, etc..everything that is applicable is only done to make themselves feel good at all times. Always. And if you can’t feel good then you look for avenues to make yourself feel good – eat spicy food, splurge on shopping, do a good turn, social service, etc !! The basic need for any human is to “feel good” at all times.

    And in the women case, since the society doesn’t provide better methods for her to feel good, they end up finding their feel good factor from becoming one or more of the list of items you have put up there. And I can bet if Men had their way (or was possible) they would as much use this same set of things to make them feel good too.

    Stereo-types of course abound. But as an honest observer or being aware of myself, I have seen myself feeling good of ice-cream, chocolates, spicy food, gadgets, etc!

    In the first post- Sandhya rightly sums up – Women buy into all this!

    (How I wish my mom or so many women were not that epitome of love & sacrifice they are being forced into being (without their realizing) so that they could feel good about their present moment / circumstances. )

    Like

  16. I don’t know why we have to show that we are happy with the way we are by putting out things in bullet points. Sometimes it feels we are massagin egos and trying to satisfy ourselves.
    Why do we stress so much on the fact that we are women & they are men. Why can’t we be happy the way we are and thank God for blessing us with whatever we have irrespective of the gender. I dunno why we complicate things.

    Like

  17. Loved the header picture, BTW, IHM! It is a snapshot of Tejaswee’s essay in hindi that speaks about the advantage of becoming a writer over and above becoming a doctor- either for animals or humans. Struck home!

    Like

  18. Good Post IHM. All those points clearly show many women are brainwashed by Patriarchy. Most of the points are what men want women to believe and say. Such women can always be easily ccontrolled.
    I think what women should do on International Women’s day is to take over some part of the City at night by goeing there in big numbers. May be you can have a Car or 2 wheeler Rally.

    Like

  19. The last point takes the cake: Women have the power to save the family, tradition, society and culture.
    I find that the sickest of them all. I can’t imagine the number of women who believe this absolute balderdash, that this is their duty alone.. Everyone has the power and DUTY to save family, society and culture, equally. It is not as if the society or family or even culture would shrivel up and die if men try to save it.

    I like being a woman because I was born one.

    Like

  20. Are these reasons to be glad for being a woman? Reading this list (I read the list and not your response. In office, don’t have much time but can’t resist commenting) I was thinking these are the reasons I don’t want to be a woman.

    I am supposed to look pretty while wearing uncomfortable clothes and shoes, work double shift at work and home, go through labour pain never mind the monthly pain and mess, my hardwork and intelligence being discounted at work because somehow the promotions I get has something to do with the fact that I am a woman (a man’s promotions are always seen as fair and just but woman, God forbid, can never be capable enough), be sexually harassed at work and on the street and then be blamed for being a victim! And God forbid I show a trace of tears in my eyes due to all the injustice and frustration, I will be accused of using the “water-power” to gain sympathy. And who are these girls who can make man, that too strangers, carry their bags. My classmates carried my bags once during a field trip because I was sick and they mentioned that fact to any strangers we met for next three years, portraying me like someone who make them do all my work because I am a girl: just because they carried my empty field-bag for few hours!

    I really wish at times that I was a guy. Life would have been so much easier…

    Like

  21. This list is soooo trivial. Some points (cleavage, smile flashing) are so cringe inducing. And “i’m proud to be a woman because I can wear high heels” – Really?

    Like

    • Me too!

      Every time I see an excited bride-to-be, I think of a lamb about to be slaughtered.🙂

      My pet hate is a show called Sabyasachi’s Brides on NDTV Lifestyle.

      Women getting lip implants and Botox so they can be beautiful brides. Yikes!🙂

      Like

      • Fem, Just curious, how do you feel every ritual humiliates women. I never thought of it from that aspect. I just find them boring long and unnecessary

        Like

      • I’m curious to know. I find the rituals inane & painful. And lot more pressure on the bride because of her make up, dress, etc (north Indian weddings), but wondering is it really humiliating too? Never thought of that, and I can’t think of a reason!

        Like

      • SOS and Anil,

        Don’t you think kanyadaan, that central point of every Hindu wedding, is very humiliating? What is it if not a stark objectification of women, and one sanctioned by the scriptures to boot? A ritual where the girl is ‘given’ away, like cattle, along with the clothes and the gold jewellery she is wearing ( the mantras actually mean this, I kid you not)?

        And what about the ‘gifts’ the girl’s side is obliged to ply the groom’s side with?
        What is it, if not a public acknowledgement of the inferior status of the girl’s family and a sign of deference to the infinitely superior status of the groom’s family? Is there anything more humiliating than your family having to bend over
        backwards to please the groom and his family?

        Like

        • OK Ok ok. I never thought the statement was intended that way. I was more seeing in terms of actual processes during marriage – as in something the bride has to especially go through and the boy doesn’t (except ofcourse when the game is over- the bride ends up leaving her own house for always).

          You make important point. From that perspective than the whole wedding thing is one-sided totally!! It sucks to the core! What part of friendly or relevant from the bride-groom side. None. You lose your daughter of the house, and you still have to comply with thousand things. What an unfair world.

          Like

      • Now, my brain is kicked🙂 I see also the sister-in-law (saali, bride sister) putting the shoes on the groom after that shoe theft ritual!

        One of the thing that has to stop (and it took a very FIERCE me to stop at my in-laws house [ I told them if you mean that I m like a son- then treat like a “son” & not a son-in-law .. the perennial “ji” is still used with my name😦 ] ) the special (near God) treatment of the son-in-law (jawai) !!! It is atrociously sick!! And it happens pre-post-during the marriage!

        Like

      • sos,

        Let me just take one example. The kanyadaan is the most regressive example of it. It is really horrifying custom, and I will kill myself in cold blood than go through it. And I mean it. It would make me feel like a slave. It is highly disgusting to think that someone would “give me away” to someone else. I don’t think anyone has that right, nor would I be willing to give anyone that right as long as I draw in breath, and am in my senses. It is the most humiliating parade of all.

        Apart from that, the custom of bride being “taken” to the groom’s house for being welcomed. I am sorry, but I would be personally humiliated if I was asked to go to other people’s houses, when I have my own. Doesn’t my house count for anything?! In Tamil weddings, there is the Kasi Yatra, which is basically the girl’s parents convincing the chap to take their daughter as his wife. What crap! Every single ritual seems to be designed this way.

        Like

      • Hmm, you have a point. I never analysed it that way, coz I so hate weddings, I rarely attend them or pay attention if I do.
        – Kasi yatra – yeah, the bride’s dad as always has to beg, but can it be viewed as singing praises of his daughter. But true, it looks as if the guy condescended and agreed to marry her.
        – Kanya daan – yeah that’s stupid, like we are not choosing to marry, our parents decided to give us away.
        – gifts and how nice the bride’s family has to be and be very careful of not pissing off the guy’s side – I truly hate that and it is not over after the wedding. has to go on like forever?
        – Washing the groom’s feet. It is there, but don’t they was the couple’s feet also after making them sit on the swing? Not so sure actually.
        – I hate the fact that you can’t even pee in that 9 yards madisarai and you are sweating ilke hell with clothes and garlands..

        Like

  22. I find all this very demeaning to men. For eg: a girl can be daddy’s princess. Why cant a boy be daddy’s little prince. What is wrong with that?
    epitome of care affection and sacrifice? Why do people think men are not capable of having those emotions?
    And I have a serious problem with No.24. Why is being aggressive or physically strong for no reason seen as an expectation from men? And under circumstances, why can’t women be strong and aggressive. I can find posts on archives of this very blog proving instances. the latest I can think of is the woman who stopped a theft from taking place.

    Like

    • “Why cant a boy be daddy’s little prince. What is wrong with that?”

      Nothing. The fact is they are too. So its utterly foolish talking about girls being daddy’s princess. The popular ads, literature, movies only reinforce these silly ideas lapped up eagerly by easily impressionable minds. A daughter is as much a princess to mothers and a son is as much a prince to father too, especially those fathers and mothers who don’t feel they have to conform to such silly concepts.

      Like

  23. I would rather be a man that a woman (bring on the downvotes😛 ), because the kind of world I grew up in, being a woman had zero value and zero advantages.
    By the way, if you believe in evolution, I read a theory somewhere on the internet that females have evolved from males, and that the clitoris is a remnant of the penis (please don’t find the naming of body parts offensive) Wow, if that’s true then all this gender discrimination is mind boggling.

    Like

    • Pardon me, but where on earth have you heard that females evolved from males?

      Do you know that the X chromosome is slowly driving the Y chromosome to extinction?

      The X chromosome has thousands of genes on it and the Y only a handful.

      The Y chromosome has slowly shed genes to protect itself from the X.

      So men have a lot to thank their mothers for (whom they get the X chromosome from).🙂

      Mammals evolved dimorphism (two sexes) and sexual selection so they could reproduce (and transmit genes) efficiently.

      Humans evolved from primates who probably evolved from another mammalian species.

      So sexual dimorphism has been with our species from the very beginning.

      Like

      • Actually a new study has found that the Y chromosome is no longer decaying, and all the talk about men going extinct is not true after all. So you may need to update your knowledge.

        Like I said, it was just a theory that I read, and it’s not been proved, hence it’s called a ‘theory’. However, female hyenas (which are mammals) have a structure in their bodies like a urethra, and the pup has to pass through it at birth. About 10% of female hyenas die during childbirth because of lack of space. So maybe that is one of the supports for the theory.

        Like

      • Replying to Bijaya and PGW.

        Thanks for pointing that out.

        I was not aware of that. My knowledge of the subject is based on Matt Ridley’s books and occassionally, the Scientific American.🙂

        If possible, can either of you link to these new studies? I like to stay updated.

        Like

  24. It is difficult to believe that so many people share such drivel! I find it hard to believe that people actually believe and ‘ilke’ them too !
    It is because of the sort of glorification done in pt 1, that women who can’t or wont have children are either pitied(sometimes discriminated against) or maligned.
    It is because of the sort of stereotyping done in pt 6, pt8, pt 9 that people believe that women get things(promotions, etc) at the workplace using their ‘womanly charms’. Why would any woman be proud of such silly things?

    Most of these so called advantages are more disadvantages because they draw away from a woman’s ability and tends to focus on her gender, which in most situations are just not relevant!

    Like

  25. In general “lists” turn me off like anything. Be it “list of things that women are given to like being women” or “list of things one must do before one turns 30” or the “10 things every woman must have”. !! And even though I given a damn to such lists, they really waste few seconds of my time where I stop and think: Gee! I dont do/have half these things. Is something the matter with me?!
    And though I am back to loving myself just the way I am, for a few moments I do end up questioning myself and my choices based on these expectations and these lists.
    And yes, I do not need any particular reason to like being myself. I do not think I am blessed to be born a woman neither do I feel proud of this fact! I am just a minuscule human being in this whole wide universe, just trying to find meaning of life! I think the day we realise how insignificant we (all humans) all are, in the bigger scheme of things, we will stop making these lists portraying ourselves as superwomen/supermen and pampered little beings!

    Like

    • So very true.

      I wish all of us looked up at the night sky every day, at all the stars and planets dotting the sky.

      The vast expanse of the universe is truly humbling.

      All my struggles and insecurities pale into insignificance when I look up at the twinkling night sky.

      It’a a daily reminder to stay grounded and humble. To know that my time here is limited and precious.

      Like

  26. As a woman, am I allowed to make mistakes, get angry, trip sometimes, make a complete fool of myself, dress up the way I want to and feel beautiful from inside despite the rest of world calling me ‘ugly’, love my family and yet be perfectly capable of taking time out for myself to do my own thing without being made to feel guilty for doing so, command respect for being me? If so then I love being a woman, also a human, not a devi or goddess!

    Like

  27. This is a cringe worthy list. It’s a reflection of locking people into gendered cages.

    So women should be proud of being women because of their looks, their reproductive function, prevalence of benevolent sexism and their ability to live their life in accordance with patriarchal rules and double standards?

    This whole list seems to me the very reason why some of the women in my life sometimes wish they were born as men.

    To the question of why women should like being women, I remember one incident. One of my aunts once asked my sister if she was glad she was born a woman. To this my sister replied, “I don’t feel proud for belonging to a certain sex. I am proud to be a human. I get the choice to define my freedom, to create my meaning and for this I am glad.”

    Like

  28. Dear pallavispoojary, Linked your post. I had clearly mentioned – ‘Not linking and no offense is intended to anybody.’ because I did not want to offend, but it seems ended up doing that anyway. I understand that sometimes we have points of views that are not the same and I still hope you see the post as only a discussion, the idea was not to hurt or offend you. IHM

    Like

  29. Ouch.

    “I like being a girl because all I have to do is swish my hips, flip my hair and pout and lo I am entertained by buffoons (men).”

    Ugh. Ram Sene and other folks move aside, we brand ourselves as ‘buffoon entertainers’.

    Indoctrination and social conditioning at its worst. Grown, educated women objectifying themselves, and in a celebratory way no less. Sigh.

    Like

  30. Pingback: What would you have done? | The Life and Times of an Indian Homemaker

  31. I just feel Pallavi is being immature and will someone teach her workplace ethics? She is insulting herself and her bosses and her co-workers when she emphasizes on cleavage.

    Insulting herself: So, does she mean she is unable to win a promotion by her rightful work and performance and thus resorting to other means? that’s an insult to herself and to all women as the post is general.

    Insulting to her bosses: Some men may drool, but not every male boss is captivated by a cleavage. I can assure, if I were a boss, and some lady tried playing mind games, It is likely that she gets a polite note about inappropriate behaviour from me.

    Insulting to other men: Why? because you seem to think although we may out perform you in work, you can outsmart us by virtue of cleavage.

    I also know many men who hug pillows when they sleep. We do not post FB profile pictures showing us hugging pillows, that’s all!

    All men are not fools to be fooled into carrying grocery bags for a woman just because she smiled. We help if there is a genuine need like it’s too heavy for you, an old lady etc. That gentlemanly courtesy extends to all people, men women and children.

    I am a man and I enjoy Chocolates.

    Motherhood…. A man is also needed for conception, and a man’s job does not end after deposition of his sperm in his wife’s womb. It starts there, if he is a good husband. it’s not about motherhood or fatherhood, it’s about parenthood.

    Dress? men are happy and confident with our own outfits and we do not need to copy costumes from the other gender. We have no point to prove, nor do we need to make heads turn.

    No one is more special than the other – men and women. We are special in our own ways. We need to be able to, on a one to one basis, a case to case basis, find a way to co-exist with the persons of the opposite gender around us, and be happy with each other.

    We are allies, not adversaries. This message is for both men and women who read this. We need mutual respect, mutual admiration, mutual understanding of our differences, acknowledgements and adjustments to accommodate each other and love. Expecting one person to always adjust is wrong and unacceptable.

    Like

    • //We need to be able to, on a one to one basis, a case to case basis, find a way to co-exist with the persons of the opposite gender around us, and be happy with each other.//

      Well said. Which is why it is perfectly reasonable, as once immortalized on this blog by one Mr.Shrawan Kumar, to not object when the husband cleans the baby’s bums. It does not imply lack of respect to the husband, rather it implies being “allies” as you rightly point out. More power to thoughts like yours.

      Like

  32. Loveeed what BD wrote: especially this section

    I just feel Pallavi is being immature and will someone teach her workplace ethics? She is insulting herself and her bosses and her co-workers when she emphasizes on cleavage.

    Insulting herself: So, does she mean she is unable to win a promotion by her rightful work and performance and thus resorting to other means? that’s an insult to herself and to all women as the post is general.

    Insulting to her bosses: Some men may drool, but not every male boss is captivated by a cleavage. I can assure, if I were a boss, and some lady tried playing mind games, It is likely that she gets a polite note about inappropriate behaviour from me.

    Insulting to other men: Why? because you seem to think although we may out perform you in work, you can outsmart us by virtue of cleavage.

    Like

  33. The funny thing is, all through the list she counts how privileged she is, how she is taken care of in each and every moment of life and how guys have it so bad and in the last point declares herself to be epitome of sacrifice. In what sense may I ask? For withholding the chocolates so that you retain a form to charm the boys?

    Like

  34. I went to the the blog in question and read the *real list.

    Reason 14. I can afford to cry in public without being called a weakling. Letting out the pent up feelings and stress with no fear of reprisal is a boon to enjoy, a boon which guys lose as they grow up from boys to men.

    Perhaps the blogger does not realise that women can cry without being called weak because, they ARE thought to be weak.

    Like

  35. First time commenter here IHM, but have been a silent follower for many years (love your blog and it has taught me so much) – This list makes my blood boil.
    Not only is it overwhelmingly insulting to women but also to men whom she considers to be “buffoons”. I could rant about each point in her list that she considers an “advantage” but others before me have articulated my anger/ire/disgust so well.
    But one point that really makes my head spin is #24 (makes me so angry which apparently is something I should not fee due to me gender!!). Here is a link to an article I read recently that articulates why this is most certainly not an advantage: http://www.nerve.com/love-sex/true-stories/true-stories-hell-hath-no-fury
    Important to realise that – the ability to experience the full spectrum of human emotions; and being a woman or a man are not mutually exclusive.

    Like

  36. i found this post very interesting. much like another one i read a little while back. the one thing i absoulutly do not agree with is when you say. men can not wear skirts. and that “mens” clothes are more commfy. i think its kind of common sence that the male body. is perfect for wearing a skirt. also thing we can all agree that statment about mens clothes being more weather aproprit. is complely faulse. men normaly wear t shirt during summer. us lady’s get to wear tank tops, halter tops, tube tops, dresses…. so yoiu tell me what you think would be more cumffy… sorry about all the miss spellings im kind of in a hurry and to lazy to fix lol. im not trying to be a downer i just think that was a very wrong. the post i read before witch i know you stole this from another post. was worded better. your makeing it sound like men are a joke and to be laughed at. and also if a man wear to do any of these likes like have feelings then.. there must be something wrong with him. not to metion what you make us women look like. we do not all think the way you do. and your makeing us look bad.. thanx

    Like

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