An AskReddit thread wants to know: “What's something all grown women should know about men?” Hundreds of people have chimed in with their two cents, explaining what they think women need know about the opposite sex. The major takeaway? Don’t buy into gender stereotypes. They’re often wrong.
To be honest, I’m always sort of wary of lists like this because they can tend to essentialize both genders, falling back on stereotypes that declare all women to be the same and all men to be the same. They often also assume that men and women exist on opposite ends of the universe, incapable of understanding anything about the other. Of course, the truth is that there’s a lot of diversity among men and among women, and, at the same time, men and women have a lot more in common with each other then many classic rom-coms would seem to suggest.
That said, we live in a culture that likes to define people according to certain conventions. We are taught from an early age that women are supposed to behave one way and men, another, and those lessons can be difficult to shake as we get older. One thing that a number of redditors in this thread attempt to do is break up some of those stereotypes, to point out that most men don’t actually conform to cultural demands that they be stoic, unemotional, and independent at all times. Because they are people, and people are more complex than that.
Here are a few things that redditors think women should know about men:
1. Everybody likes being the little spoon sometimes.
Cuddles for everyone!
2. Guys like compliments, too.
Don’t be afraid to say something nice!
3. Erections aren’t always about you.
As this redditor points out, there are a bunch of different things — including a whole biological process — involved with men’s erections. They are not necessarily a reflection of a guy’s sexual partner.
4. Guys are insecure, too.
Men and boys are often conditioned to always be stoic, but that’s not realistic. Everyone feels insecure or anxious at least some of the time.
5. “Hidden meanings” aren’t really a thing.
One shouldn’t generalize about all men — some are certainly more straightforward than others — but a number of redditors emphasized that women shouldn’t assume that their words have “hidden meanings” or that their silences mean anything particularly unusual.
6. "Pain still hurts."
This one is disturbing. If you are an adult, you should know that it's not OK to hit people — regardless of gender — full stop.
7. Not all men are the same.
A couple of different redditors pointed out what should probably be the key message from this Reddit thread: Not all men are the same (just as not all women are the same). Even Reddit threads like this one should be taken with a grain of salt — because what is true from one guy simply isn’t true for another. Humanity is a rich tapestry, y’all!