20 Outdated Expectations Women Still Have to Face in 2023

Having expectations of a person based purely on their gender is fast becoming a thing of the past. An online forum recently asked, “What do you think is an outdated expectation as a woman?” Here are the top 20 responses. 

Assuming all women want children

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This. Not in the cards for me.”

“I get irritated enough when this happens to me as a single queer woman. But for my married friends in relationships with men, it seems to be relentless: relatives, coworkers, and strangers. They all seem to think it’s reasonable to ask about it. It’s also so heartbreaking for the people who try and can’t or have lost babies. It boggles my mind that people think it’s okay to just casually ask about something so intensely personal.”

Being devoted to bad husbands

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When I left my ex-husband, my mom and my grandma tried to convince me to stay. They both are married to men that aren’t good to them and never left or plan on leaving. I am the happiest I have ever been and actually found my soulmate.”

Providing free emotional labor

Growing Up in a Household With Unstable Finances
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“It’s mind-blowing how many guys expect you to be a free therapist to them. Like, uh, I didn’t sign up for this.”

Heart-of-gold digger – sees their wife/girlfriend as a therapist ‘with benefits.'”

Taking care of immature husbands

They Should Do All The Cooking / Cleaning
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Yup. The guys that keep on acting like helpless toddlers towards their spouses are the same guys who complain about dead bedrooms.”

“This so much. The second I can no longer consider you my equal, my desire to get it on with you evaporates.”

Doing all the cooking and cleaning

Assume We Are Good at Cleaning and Cooking
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Yup, even when we’re working…”

“Some people want a 1950’s style housewife without doing any of the 1950’s husband things…”

Being the ‘peacemaker’

Prove To Me You’re Not Gay
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Being the ‘peacemaker’ in a situation, which usually includes men. I always disliked how women were seen as the ‘heart’ of the family, the one keeping it all together.”

This! So many men view you differently when you’re unapologetically yourself. I’m loud and stand up for myself when I need to, and men give you that ‘how dare you look,’ and it just fills me with power.”

Dressing for men

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I see many people tell women that they should not dye or cut their hair, not get tattoos, or wear certain fashions because it is unappealing to men. However, a lot of women nowadays (like me) dress for themselves and not for male pleasure.”

“When I was younger and first got my septum piercing, it was a perfect way to weed out dumb ass guys because if someone had the nerve to tell me it was unattractive and they didn’t like it, I was like .. okay, bye.”

Giving birth

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Yeah, I’m right there with you. Even just thinking about being pregnant and having something growing inside me terrifies me.”

And it is the only medical procedure where it is actively encouraged to not take any medication or painkillers.”

That all women want a relationship

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“I’ve been happily single for years and don’t want to be in a relationship. I don’t get why people assume that single women aren’t as happy as the ones in a relationship when it was proven that single women are the happiest population out there.”

“Especially since the life expectancy of a woman goes up when she’s single but goes down for a man that’s single.”

Not caring about a man’s looks

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To never care about a man’s looks, only his heart or wallet. Looks aren’t everything, but for some reason, women are expected to sacrifice their sexual attraction just to get a man.”

“I hate the double standard. Why do sitcoms have a chubby husband who, laugh track, does nothing?”

Wearing makeup to look presentable

Beauty Standards
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That they need to wear makeup to look presentable. I  think in a professional setting, a lot of people have the notion that it is lazy for a woman to not have ANY makeup on. Now I wear makeup sometimes, and sometimes I don’t. I just think it’s an outdated expectation that half of the population has never had.”

“It was literally in one of my old workplace contracts that women have to dress in nice fitting clothes and some kind of makeup. Ridiculous when most of the male management barely ironed their shirts.”

Being accommodating of other people’s behavior

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I stopped doing the smile and awkward laugh response to men who make inappropriate comments. I just stare them down, and sometimes they get awkward or apologize. I’d recommend it, and it feels great!”

Being the event and gift coordinator

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Being event coordinator, the sender of household thank you notes, purchasing holiday gifts…”

“This is such a good one! I’ve never been great at thinking of good presents, I can’t wrap them well at all either, I never remember thank you notes, and I sometimes feel like such a ‘bad’ woman!”

Being ‘ladylike’

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“Joke’s on them – if you’re a lady, then by default, everything you do is ladylike.”

Taking your partner’s name

Marriage Is A Partnership Of Equals
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The automatic assumption that a woman will take her husband’s last name upon marriage.”

“I cannot BELIEVE that not one of my friends has kept their own name. My partner and I may never get married, but if I have to, I’ll be damned if I lose my identity!”

Not getting adequate healthcare

Doctor
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That doctors STILL do not provide adequate health care for us. And the fact that we still don’t have autonomy of our bodies (in the US).”

“My young female gynecologist wanted to consult my husband on my hysterectomy and verify that he was okay with it. NOPE, NOPE, NOPE.”

Being expected to smile

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That we are expected to smile all the time to everyone for no reason at all. Men don’t do this, aren’t expected to, and don’t get approached unsolicited by strangers in public with advice to ‘smile more.'”

“Telling someone to ‘smile more’ is such a creepy thing to say to someone. Always hated that.”

That a woman is dispensable after a certain age

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And that men aGe LiKe FiNe wInE. If they take care of themselves, then yeah, maybe. But most of them don’t.”

“This reminds me – also that women are supposed to manage men’s health.”

That women are automatically better caregivers

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As a carer, I can confirm that the men on our team are just as good as most of and better than some of the women.”

“I think it just comes naturally for some, whether a woman or man.”

Accepting getting paid less 

Hard Work Is Not Fairly Rewarded
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Being ok with getting paid less than men for the same job.”

We have a winner!”

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