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16 Toxic Societal Expectations That Stifle Women’s True Potential

The perpetuation of traditional gender roles and societal expectations has fostered a narrow and often harmful view of women, often objectifying them and limiting their opportunities.

A netizen recently asked, “What is the most toxic expectation you have/had of women?” And the responses ahead were crazy!

They’re The Source Of Emotional Comfort 

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“That women were the source of emotional comfort. Women didn’t really want sexual intimacy; they only ‘offered it’ to men if we were nice/kind/attractive enough.”

Romance Happens Magically When You Befriend A Woman 

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“I was one of those sad and sadly too common wretches thinking that if I just befriend a woman then romance will magically happen even if I never actually make it clear that’s what I want. Thank god I got past that.” 

Women Must Look After Us Like Our ‘Moms’

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“My toxic expectation was expecting a woman to take care of me like my mom always did as a child. I know it’s unhealthy, and could even be considered misogynistic these days, but in my younger days, I thought a relationship meant that I’d have a woman to clean up after me and take care of everything, etc.

Feels weird even typing this out now, but that’s the best way I can explain it. I’ve grown up now and have been married for several years, so of course I know life isn’t that way, and a relationship should be balanced and equal for both partners. But as a dumb early 20’s guy, that was my toxic expectation.”

Women Must Be Bubbly & Chirpy All The Time 

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“In high school, the girl who was voted most attractive was super quiet except with her close friends. I used to think she was sort of this stuck-up ice queen.

As an adult, I realize that she was probably just introverted and I likely wouldn’t have had similar thoughts if she had been a guy. I think society puts a lot more pressure on women to be bubbly.” 

Men Need To Provide For Women

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“Not exactly what expectation I had of women, but what I BELIEVED I was expected to provide for the woman. This is something that affected me in other areas of life, but basically, I believed I had to be some kind of Ultra-Person, that I HAD to solve (not help, but solve) any and every single problem they had, or improve every single thing I thought needed.

So if sometimes they just wanted to be left alone, or just someone who listened, I would feel like they didn’t let me do my role, and that left me empty, like I was nothing. Or if I gave them ideas, they followed, and it didn’t work out for them.

Part of me thought ‘Well then you just have done something wrong because to me that works, but it’s fine, I’ll help you again.’ I felt like I was nobody if I couldn’t do everything.” 

They Make Men Full & Complete 

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“To make me whole and complete and to cure my depression and self-loathing with love. While external love is a key ingredient, it was never going to give me something I didn’t already have. 

Sounds simple enough, and I still hate hearing it in fallacious terms, e.g. “You can’t love someone fully if you don’t love yourself” because that isn’t remotely the extent or important part of that insight. 

The illusion cracked with failed relationships and friendships, but never enough to fully strip me of excuses. It took losing a great love to make me choose to make some final pushes on things I had been untangling for a long time.

For me it was this particular loss was so abject that it made me realize I understood everything in theory, the path was well plotted, and now it was time to choose to *be* better than cycles and old scars.  I love women and people, and myself, too much to be ‘SadGuy’ ever again.”

Women Aren’t Independent

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“Women aren’t independent… I was a nerd in high school and didn’t date until college.

In all the relationships I got in, there was so much “us” time and want to do everything together… not that I minded but it was just the reality of the situation. 

Then I met someone who was super independent…it was so different than anything I had ever experienced. I messed it up cause of some lingering effects from previous relationships I hadn’t dealt with…. but seeing the way she lived her life was really eye-opening cause I had never experienced that. 

I often wonder what could have been if I was in the right head space at that time… she was pretty awesome.” 

Women Should Look A Certain Way 

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“The expectation for a woman to look the way I want her to. In short, I made my last ex really insecure and questioned her appearance by telling her that I wouldn’t be accepting of her if she decided to cut her hair short like a buzz cut short.

She was already dealing with depression and low self-esteem and me not being accepting of something as dumb as her appearance was the last straw.

Made me feel horrible for hurting someone who meant a lot to me. Learned my lesson the hard way and have been working on being more accepting since.” 

Women Are Supposed To Be Stay-At-Home Wives

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“When I was like 8/9 I actually wanted my wife to be a stay-at-home wife, cook, clean, take care of the kids, all that jazz. To be honest, though, I also believed I’d be the husband who makes all the money and takes care of them just by giving money to my wife and kids. My mom talked me out of it then and there though.” 

Women Must Cook Well

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“To be able to cook. I grew up in a place where the smell of delicious food filled the air every time I got home especially when I went to work (helping out but got paid), so it’s instilled into me that the best thing to come home to is a homemade dinner.” 

Women Are Angels

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“Women aren’t angels, goddesses, or anything other than people and like all people, some of them are awesome, and some seemingly crawled out of the darkest depths of hell.” 

Women Are Physically Inferior To Men

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“That women are physically inferior to men. Carrying a kid for 9 months and pushing it through your hips is insanity. How on earth does anyone under like 40 do that?

I whine about doing chores but I can give up at any time during the day, I can’t imagine dealing with a kid in you for months without being ABLE to quit.

Can’t sleep it off, can’t take a break from it. I won’t ever know an equivalent. It’s like working without a break for almost a year, and EVERYONE exists because of this.” 

Women Are Manipulative, Abusive, And Nasty

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“I’m not sure if it’s because I’m gay or because of the environment I grew up in but I had very different expectations of women than what I’ve read here.

When I was younger I expected that all women were manipulative, abusive and nasty. Growing up I realized that all character traits show up in all demographics, you can find people that are mean and people that are nice in every gender, skin tone, sexual orientation, religion, fandom and any other way you can think of to subgroup people and that no one owes anyone anything in this world, not even their cruelty or kindness.” 

Women Are Our Therapists

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“That having a girlfriend was a way to make me whole and they could be treated as a therapist. That relationships were meant to complete me, not compliment me.

Had to learn the hard way that relying on a girl to keep me emotionally sane is selfish and that I should work on myself before getting into a relationship.” 

Emotional Reciprocity

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“Emotional reciprocity/ syncing. That if you feel love/attraction she should(if not must) feel the same for you. 

And that if something makes you feel a certain way, if she is in love with you, then she should feel the same and if that does not happen it’s because she doesn’t love you enough.”

Women Must Have A Certain Body Type

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“When I was younger I expected women to have a certain body type. I realized some years ago that these expectations were unreasonable.

I learned a lot about myself, and I’ve met a wonderful woman. Who has recently become my wife, and coincidentally enough, she wants her body to look a certain way too. Funny how that works out.” 

12 Cities in the U.S. That Are a Total Nightmare to Live In (or Visit)

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Looking to relocate? Here are 12 cities in the US where you might want to avoid setting up roots. These cities are plagued by problems like high crime rates, poor infrastructure, and a lack of affordable housing. Read here.

15 Things We All Need to Stop Buying. It’s Total Waste Of Money

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To save money, reduce clutter, and help the environment, here are 15 things we can all stop buying

15 “Non-Religious” Cults That Almost Feel Religious. Are You Guilty Of Being A Part Of Any?

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So many fads are turning into some “divine” stuff people follow with an “almost religious” devotion. Here are 15 non-religious cults that feel like religious ones.

15 Physical Traits That Might Make You Less Dateable

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Physical attraction is an essential factor in many romantic relationships. However, it’s important to remember that everyone has different preferences. Read here. 

The Exodus: Why People Are Leaving Religion in Droves

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Religion is a personal and complex topic, and there are many reasons why someone might turn their back on it. Read why people are leaving religion.

This article was originally published on Mrs. Daaku Studio.