What every woman should have. What every woman should know. Do you?

Joy wrote:

Hello IHM,

Perhaps you could share this on your blog, I don’t know the source of this image so I cannot give credits to anyone. It was a forwarded image to me by my Sister-in-law, she reckons I have done and known everything listed in this image. Which is infact very true


How many have you done or known from this list?

Found on lessonslearnedinlife.com

I traced it back to here –Β What every woman should have, what every woman should know – Written by Pamela Redmond Satran

Β Related Posts:

I shared a version of it in 2010 –Β EVERY WOMAN SHOULD.


33 thoughts on “What every woman should have. What every woman should know. Do you?

  1. Here is why I don’t like this meme.
    (a) Apparently I should have a ‘perfect dress’ if my dreamboat (who in some odd way is at the same level as my employer – what the fuhrk?) wants to meet me. To me a perfect dress would mean something I feel great in, something that basically hides my body image issues – but wait a minute – am I not also supposed to somehow ‘know’ that I can’t alter my body (calves, hips, etc.)? Then basically what they’re saying is – know that you can’t change your body, but hide it with the perfect dress? Fuhrk me twice on Sundays.I don’t even understand the rationale behind this.
    (b) I don’t have eight matching plates or the recipe for a perfect meal either. I’m a great cook, but I hate having to cook. If I want my guests feel honored (and that’s not my responsibility alone), I have great conversations with them and generally make them feel at home.
    (c) I don’t understand why a woman ‘should’ have a black lace bra. I don’t have one. Lace isn’t my thing. *shudder* Should I be worried? In my defense, I did buy a sexy blue denim bra once but my pervert landlord stole it. I wrote about it here: https://anawnimiss.wordpress.com/2014/03/11/of-scary-monsters-and-nice-fights/
    (d) What’s with the I-bought-this-furniture bit? I just don’t get it!

    Is it just me, or does it sound like someone is trying real hard to create new stereotypes for women by trying to balance manly stuff (like screwdrivers and drills) and womanly stuff (dressing up in sexy lingerie, having the perfect dress, matching plates, furniture, recipes, etc.)?

    Because except for the black lace bra, I think a man also needs to have and know all this, if at all eight matching plates and wine glasses and screwdrivers are ‘should have’ items. (Unless the man likes to wear black lace bras – in which case I would give him a hi-five and laugh loudly while pointing at the creator of this meme.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Stealing bra thingy? So its not uncommon! It happened in my last PG and I thought some girls stole them because the only the pretty ones were gone. Then the guy (no older than 17 max) got caught and I thought probably to gift his mom/sis/gf. Then my friends told me its a kind of perversion. I still thought its quite quite rare.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ha ha.. You actually thought the guy was stealing bras to give them to his mom or sister? That’s way worse than using them himself!
        On the bright side, at least he had a good taste in lingerie! πŸ˜‰


    • Ha ha…was going to comment but I think you’ve summed it all up here.

      Personally, I have always felt super excluded by most of these “girls & women” posts which focus on relationships,lingerie and home furnishings.

      I am extremely small breasted, so dont really need a bra. This whole “oh my body is changing, now boys look at me differently” phase never happened for me. I have a dull,boring past with a complete absence of romantic relationships.
      I spend a maximum of 15 minutes shopping for clothes (including time spent at the billing counter). I own two pairs of sneakers and one pair of chappals.
      As I am super introverted, I would never have more than 2 people over for dinner at a time.
      Whenever I cook meals(generally for myself) I eat in disposable plates because I HATE washing vessels.

      Do any of these things really make me less of a woman?
      Am I less female because I can still pass off as 14 even though I am close to 30?
      Because I find better fitting clothes at the 7-14 boys section?Because my “juicy past” stories are about wierd accidents & funny travel episodes?
      Because I dont wear heels or obssess over clothes?

      Liked by 3 people

      • I don’t really fit a stereotype either. Initially I tried very hard to fit the mold, but now I’m done trying. If someone thinks I don’t match the idea of a woman in their head, it’s really their problem. I think that I am (and you are) a woman despite what people think. The problem is not that we are different – the problem is that they are all the same.


      • Absolutely. Exhausting and mind numbing, sometimes. I don’t want to be a stereotype that questions a stereotype that questions another stereotype. Just not worth the time or the energy!


    • Lace bras itch & itchy ain’t sexy.
      Other than that I think it’s best not to get caught up in all the whimsical ‘things’ recommended on the list.
      The gist of the message is-
      YOU & ONLY YOU are responsible for your happiness.


    • Very nicely put anawnimiss, but I have not think from the man’s perspective at all while sending this to IHM. The person who sent it to me was also thinking just about me. This comes from a person who knew me for nearly a decade and seen me from being a person who could not choose her own Jewelry or clothing for her wedding or not even her future husband. Even after marriage I needed my husband’s permission to buy a 200Β£ bicycle even though I was earning my own money. I am glad my husband was really mean to me and hurt me that much that I had to call it quits and live on my own. Today I am the person who is described in the above picture. I have not acknowledged it myself until she sent it to me. I reckon every girl should lead an independent life. Do all the manly things herself to give her equal share in a relationship. Now I feel that I am an equal too and I am less dependent on my partner. Today, I can totally think things through from a man’s side before I make a collective decision as a couple.

      I hope you understand what I meant to explain. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

        • I understand exactly what you mean, Joy. The person who sent it to you meant to send it as a means of appreciation for the way you’ve handled your life so far, and how independent you are. I get that, and share her appreciation for you. You’re a strong woman, and I can see that.

          No offense meant to you or to the lady who shared this with you.
          My disconnect is with the creator of this meme, and the whole concept of stereotypes, which is what I was referring to in my original comment.


    • Anawinimiss : Black lace bra symbolises woman wanting or desiring to have sex…most of the times. So I dont think it was wrong to say that in this post. And a perfect dress to go out instanly when you dont have to ponder over what you wanna wear on your great date. Nothing wrong in that either. How many times it had happened with most of our girls when we feel confused on what to wear when going on date.
      Also, eight plates and wines glasses to treat guests is general thing abroad.
      I recently bought plates, pitcher and wine glasses for christmas party at my home….I bought them because Now I dont want to treat my guests with paper-plates and paper-cups like I used to when I was newly married and didnt have much of stuff. I bought them because now I feel settled and wanna grow.

      We can’t afford to have cooks or maids abroad.So I and my husband cook for our guests. The meme was created by someone who was born and brought up abroad.


      • I’ll be honest. I read your response twice, trying to make sure that I completely understood what you’re saying before I agree or disagree.

        My stand is still the same. I think that stereotypes (black lace = sexy, womanly interests = furniture and cutlery, women who can use tools = empowered, good cutlery = guests being honored) are completely pointless and it does not matter where the person who created this meme is based.

        Here’s a point-by-point response to what you said.
        1. Regardless of where she lives, no woman should have to wear a black lace bra (or a denim bra or a sports bra) to signify that she wants sex. I can wear a sports bra or no bra or just a bathrobe or dirty pajamas and tell my husband that I want to have sex and he will understand. I do not feel the need to wear a lace bra to suggest that I want sex. I can simply say it.

        2. I really don’t think that the perfect dress is what you would wear when you don’t want to worry about what to wear (I’d probably wear jeans and a tee in situations like these). The “perfect dress” is, in fact, something you would wear when you actually are being very careful about how you portray yourself to a date or meeting with a prospective employer. By its very definition the “perfect dress” hides all your bodily “flaws” and accentuate your curves. (My idea of a perfect dress is something that takes attention away from my small boobs and on to my slightly muscular shoulders and flat abs.) So someone who claims that women “need the perfect dress” and then goes on to say that they should not have body image issues is kinda contradicting him/herself and does not inspire a lot of confidence in me.

        3. Eight plates and wine glasses aren’t an alien concept in India – my point is simply that a woman doesn’t “need to have” these to make her guests feel special. I’d be happier eating with you in paper plates and plastic glasses as long as we get along and you treat me with respect.


        • Dear Anawnimiss,

          You are taking the debate to whole new level. This meme is nothing that stereotypes women. You are actualy debating for no reason. Feminism doesn’t mean objecting everything that comes our way. There are certain norms that every region or country follows that do not stereotypes them. Like Western women prefer to have fine cutlery at their house, like japanese women wear fine clothes to receive their guests at their house even on smaller ocassions, like Indians treat their guests as God, like men abroad prefer to open the door for ladies…like men prefer to suit-up for work everyday, like women here prefers to dress up like super-models for work everyday, like women wear short skirts even in -15. That doesn’t stereotype them. Nothing is stereotypical as long as its harmless and do not objectify any gender.

          You can receive guests with paper cups, thats fine…but if someone want to receieve guests with fine cutlery, nothing wrong in that either. It just a norm and cultural shift that should be respected and should not be treated as stereotyping.


        • If you disagree, that’s really okay, because this is a discussion and not a debate – people don’t “win” or “lose” here, they only gain perspective.

          And my perspective is this:
          (1) Women who wear lace bras & LBDs and still own tool boxes and other “manly” items is the latest fad and a whole new stereotype that a lot of women feel compelled to adapt to. I know quite a few women who go out of their way to claim they are “not that girly” or “tomboyish” as though being “girly” is bad. There’s nothing wrong with a lace bra or eight matching plates – it’s just wrong to say all women need these things, because some of them don’t. This has stereotype written all over it.

          (2) All stereotypes are harmful, whether or not they objectify people. It is harmful when a young girl feels the need to be either a “girly girl” or a “tomboy”. It shifts a human being’s focus from simply “being” to “becoming” – which can be very damaging to someone’s personality.

          (3) I see nothing wrong with someone wanting to dress like a supermodel. I do, too. But when someone says – oh, women need to feel like greek goddesses, I will rail and rant against that because this is a stereotype, much like saying “Punjabis are flashy” and “Bengali men are sissies” and “men should open the doors for their ladies”. (I never did understand how women are “their ladies but that’s besides the point.)

          Also, as an aside, this sentence just stuck out in your comment for me: “You are actualy debating for no reason.”

          You don’t know that, so please refrain from making personal comments. Like I said, this is not a debate that one can “win” or “lose”.


      • @ FS, everything you term as part of a culture (lacy bra, wine glasses, etc.) are probably so. And people can wear these bras and use these wine glasses if they want to. The key phrase is “want to”. People shouldn’t “have to”. That is basically the point anawnimiss is making – she is basically objecting to “ALL women SHOULD have these things”. When you buy wine glasses WILLINGLY to entertain your guests, you are not adhering to a stereotype. When you buy them because you think it’s expected of you to be considered a gracious woman, then you are adhering to a stereotype. This is the distinction anawnimiss is referring to.

        Liked by 1 person

    • I see your point Anawnimiss. I think that the intent of this meme is good – but it couches it in some stereotypical terms and cliches – someone who can handle a drill and owns a lace bra for example. Makes me groan a little bit, but I can’t completely dismiss the message.

      The problem with the cliched wording is that it creates ANOTHER false standard for women which can be interpreted literally, and looked upto by some. You don’t own a drill? No lace bra? No lbd? No juicy past? – you fail the true woman test.

      The drill and the bra might be symbolic, but if this were about true empowerment, I’d like to think that the author would tie all this to internal parameters instead of external accoutrements.

      Close, but no cigar.

      Liked by 2 people

        • Why Debate is seen as negative thing? Debate has been part of school curriculums as well. Like Atal Bihari Vajpayee used to say ” iss baat pe behes honi chaiye”. Behes is Debate. Nothing wrong in debating.
          Like I said , meme is nothing that stereotypes women….it was just created by a woman who was born and brought up abroad and have different mind-set and different way to live life. Wearing sexy lace bra from Victoria Secret for special date with a beautiful dress is as same as Indians wear heavy ethnic jewellary and saree on weddings.

          Not to drag it further, I don’t think it was stereotypical in any way.
          Also there was no personal comment. If you felt that I made a personal comment, then apologies.


        • Just realized I didn’t answer the ‘why is debate bad’ question that FS asked.
          I’m not saying debates are bad. I’m saying this is not a debate.

          When I think debate, I get the mental image of a battering ram. Debates are combative – and the whole point of being in a debate is to prove you’re right, which I do not think is the point of the several interactions with people I’ve had in the blogging universe.

          A discussion, on the other hand, is softer and more open. It’s not I’m-right-and-you-wrong, it’s let’s-figure-this-out. Discussions thrive on healthy dialogue – suspending judgment and listening to other people’s perspective, becoming aware of one’s own assumptions and mental blocks, rationalizing, and then agreeing or disagreeing.

          But then again, maybe I’m being too literal.


      • It makes me think of Jennifer Beal in Flashdance. Factory worker by day, exotic dancer by night.

        I love the film, but found it ironic that the person who performed the signature dance sequence in the movie is actually a male dancer.

        To me, such incidents only prove that femininity is entirely socially constructed.

        If a man can pass off as a sexy woman with the right clothes and mannerisms, then perhaps we women should not blame ourselves for not being “feminine enough”

        Liked by 2 people

        • Agreed.

          When you say, “Black lace bra symbolises woman wanting or desiring to have sex”, you’re subscribing to a stereotype. It’s different when you say “When I want to have sex, I wear a black lace bra and prance around in front of my guy”. Then you’re just being kinky.


  2. Why only a woman?
    Why not a man?
    Change all instances of “she” into “he” and “her” to “him”, make a few alterations, and we men could benefit too.

    I own more than what’s listed.
    I know more than what’s listed.

    I need (and have) four things not listed above.
    A smart phone, a laptop, a tablet and an internet connection.

    I need something to do, always, something to keep me occupied. I am lucky in this respect.
    I must have some place not yet visited in the past.
    I am lucky here too. The world is vast. There will always be some place or the other that I have not seen and which is possible for me to visit.

    I must not expect my body to cope with what it could 30 years ago. But I must have reasonably good health and not suffer pain continuously.
    I must have mental alertness right up to my last day on this earth. I can live with and accept physical weakness but not dementia.

    God has been kind to me so far and I hope I continue to enjoy his blessings for the few more years I expect to live.

    Thanks for something to mentally chew over this morning, after being obsessed with cats for the past two days.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I saw this a few years ago when I was still in my twenties. I remember being very impressed by this list because it seemed so yin/yang. Look at me! I’m an awesome woman who can do anything!

    After a decade of memes I realize that it’s all the same bullshit packaged differently. The general.theme ia this: Be as feminist as you like, little woman but don’t lose your lacy bra in your quest for power tools. Then you won’t be a woman anymore.

    I’m a stereotypical girly girl who loves shoes, clothes, lingerie, you name it. But that doesn’t mean every single person with mismatched chromosomes needs to be the same! I love what Tina Fey said in her book. She said this In the context of parenting but it applies everywhere. When someone says you really *should* do something, you can safety disregard it. They’re just pushing an agenda…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree with all the points about a Woman Should Know but not with Have.

    Means whats the importance of lacy bra, why i need furniture and why it is a must have, why matching plates all my plates are in different size in different design,why a perfect dress to impress a date or manager i will have it to look good which makes me feel good, i dress for myself, and why meal is always on my side, and i have to be recognized for being best cook and i am average cook, and juicy past means this was completely out my understanding.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The good things in this message (having a friend you can talk to, control over your destiny, enough money to be independent, a healthy body image, a mature way of dealing with relationships, knowing one’s strengths and limitations) apply to men too. After all, can’t men ave heart break? Can’t men have money problems? Can’t men worry about how they look and how they are judged?
    The irrelevant things in this message (lacy bra, wine glasses, perfect dress, drill) are irrelevant to both men and women. Wear what you like/want. If you are not handy, call the handyman. If you like to entertain with elegant wine glasses, do so. If paper cups is your style, then so be it. Just be sure to recycle πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

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