Social Question

bob_'s avatar

What are some advantages seldom noticed that women in American society have that men do not?

Asked by bob_ (19657points) March 13th, 2010

Inspired by this question.

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81 Answers

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

They get to read instructions without having their manhood questioned by doing so.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

-Women don’t need to shave their face everyday (hopefully).

-If a woman feels like crying, she can go ahead and cry, without being perceived as weak.

holden's avatar

They can carry purses without being labeled “queer.”

tripe's avatar

If you get a women pregnant and she doesn’t want it she can get rid of it but if you don’t want it bad luck.

P.S. Sorry wrote this fast, I may come back to reword it.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar


and if she doesn’t want the baby, but you do, you’re still out of luck.

DominicX's avatar

Gay men are much less accepted than lesbians. Two lesbians making out is “hot”; two gay guys making out is “disgusting”.

Men are pressured much more into being a “real man” than women are to being a “real woman”. Men have to be tough and aggressive and masculine and anything else is seen as negative. Additionally, women can like traditionally “masculine” things and not have it be a problem, but men who like traditionally “feminine” things are seen as “pussies”, “gay”, “effeminate”, etc.

Sometimes women are given special treatment when it comes to such things as “chivalry”. Though these are minor, it is still an advantage, such as not having to pay for dates.

Women are often the favored parent, especially when it comes to custody cases.

Sometimes it seems like men are profiled as all being potential rapists. I realize that rape is a serious problem, I just don’t think it’s fair to assume that every man might rape you. The vast majority of them would never do something like that.

@jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities I don’t have to shave my face either! Shit…does this mean I’m not a man? :(

Vunessuh's avatar

If you have a stay at home father/husband who cooks and cleans while the wife goes out and works, he is considered pussy-whipped and/or inferior.
Also tapping in on a conversation in the other thread, a female nurse is fine, but a male nurse is either one of three things: gay, weak, or stupid. I hate that shit. Whenever a male has a job that is usually assigned to females, his sexuality and how manly and intelligent he is is always questioned.

wilma's avatar

@DominicX , yes very good points.

Women, if they are not bad looking, can get a flat tire changed in a big hurry just by standing at the back of their car with the trunk open.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

@DominicX Nope, it just means you are lucky! I hate shaving so, so much.

KatawaGrey's avatar

If a man is not interested in sex, then something is wrong with him. However, if a woman is not interested in sex, then it’s okay, even considered normal.

In the same vein as what @DominicX said, a girl can hang out with a bunch of boys and she is looked on as scrappy and a tomboy. However, if a boy hangs out with a bunch of girls, he is weak and girly.

liminal's avatar

Maternity leave? (or has that changed?)

KatawaGrey's avatar

@liminal: I don’t know how it is in other fields or in other schools, but my old school system gave male teachers the same amount of paternity leave as female teachers got for maternity leave.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

They can generally start fights with any guy they want without having to worry about anything.

bob_'s avatar

Only the woman can be absolutely certain that her child is actually hers.

coogan's avatar

They can claim rape or sexual harassment and win whether true or not.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

They don’t typically have to struggle so hard to get a shred of visitation or custody of the children. And men typically must pay dearly to support their custody.

escapedone7's avatar

Men are going to be suspected of being perverts more often, even if they aren’t.

wundayatta's avatar

Women do better in school. They greatly outnumber men in graduate school. They are better students. They will be filling most leadership positions in this country within 50 years. They are not discriminated against in elementary school. They can sit quietly. They are better at empathy and non-violent problem solving. They are better at negotiating and bringing people together. They are better at making friends and gluing the community together.

lifeflame's avatar

When travelling, it’s easier to strike up a conversation with strangers because they perceive you harmless.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@coogan: Check your answer again. Rape cases are rarely taken seriously because of lack of evidence and often people can point to reasons why the victim was “asking for it.”

majorrich's avatar

They are pretty much the boss of any married man they see. The trained ones jump at every order.

laureth's avatar

A naked woman is seen as an invitation.
A naked man is seen as a threat.

JLeslie's avatar

@DominicX I disagree with some of your points. Although chivalry may advantage women in some ways, I think really it creates a balance. Like, the man may carry a heavy bag for me, but for him a 20 pound bag is nothing, for me it is much more of a burden, because an average man and an average women are not physically equal, the man is generally stronger without having done any extra exercise, just purely hormonal advantage of testosterone. Also, men might pay for dinner, but women paid for the makeup to look beautiful, more hair products, probably more expensive clothing, and generally they are paid less at work (although this is slowly evening out).

Many states do not favor the female parent in divorces, rather favoring 50/50 custody. Although, I admit I do not know exactly how many states favor what. I am going by the exerience of my friends only. It is true though, that most states, if the couple is not married when the child is born, favor the female parent. The state will obligate the father to pay child support, but not grant him any rights to see the baby unless he fights for it.

I agree with the rapist thing…not just that, but child molestors also. I was always taught to be wary of men who like to be around children. Teachers, clergy, boy scout leaders, etc. That anyone was suprised by the Catholic priests is a surprise to me. I’m sure it goes on in other religions also, not trying to pick on the Catholics.

@tripe @RealEyesRealizeRealLies you might be interested in this question I asked

Shae's avatar

Even a relatively unattractive women can get laid pretty much any day she wants.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I can wear what I want. I might get some murmurings from the olds if I wanted to go all kd lang or Annie Hall, but otherwise, no one would make a fuss. Men can’t walk around in a skirt if they want to in Western society, unless it’s a ceremonial thing, like a kilt or they’re someone special, like Eddie Izzard, and even he would have to be careful as to where he did so.

laureth's avatar

@Shae – possibly, but she will sometimes have to choose very low quality men to do it with.

Shae's avatar

@laureth I use to own a bar, you would be surprise what you’d see at closing time. lol

davidbetterman's avatar

They can use their pussy sex appeal to get what they want from men stupid enough to fall for that shit game.

gemiwing's avatar

Women can talk to other people’s children without parents freaking out. People don’t cross the street to stay ‘safe’ from a woman.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@coogan That is factually incorrect – it is incredibly difficult, given our justice system, for a woman to just ‘win’ whether the rape is real or not. Most rapes don’t get reported, of the ones that do, most don’t get the justice they need and most rapists get out.

davidbetterman's avatar

The woman should be darned glad the rapist(s) get out.

Sarcasm's avatar

I’ll be repeating many things from other people.
1) If a woman skips a day of shaving her legs, or a week, or a month, or a year, she can wear pants (not really a viable option in the summer, but you know..). If a man skips a day of shaving, he looks like a bum.
2) Men are always perceived as a threat (rape, violence, theft) to women, even though it’s a minuscule portion of our population that perpetrates these acts.
3) It is accepted.. hell, it’s EXPECTED for women to have their own sex toys. It’s embarrassing for a man to have a “pocket pussy” or other device. Trust me, the hand gets boring. You ladies have all sorts of awesome gizmos.
4) If women want it, they can go out and expect to get laid. If men want it, they can go out and hope to get laid.
5) It’s expected for men to pay for drinks, meals, events, whatever. If he wants to split 50/50, he is apparently the cheap one.
6) The recession, job losses, cutbacks, are hurting men harder. Last numbers I heard were 11% unemployment for men, 8% for women.
7) Men will do a LOT for women, due to the allure of boobies and a bat of the eyelashes.
8) There is so much effort put into causes like the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, for breast cancer. The only time anyone ever talks about testicular cancer is when someone mentions the Tour de France, and how Armstrong’s single ball is a champion. I never hear anyone talk about prostate cancer.
9) In the wake of the rape and murder of Chelsea King here in San Diego county, there are lots of places offering self-defense classes. Females only. My college also offers standard self-defense classes. For women.
10) Women tend to be favored in divorce cases and custody, heavily.
11) A man has no say in an abortion, and whether or not he wishes to be tethered to raising a child for 18 years, it all rests in the hands of the women.
12) Men tend to be dropping out of school more often, getting into low-paying dead-end jobs, while women seem to be taking over college. The only classes I’ve taken in which males outnumber females were my computer courses. Languages, science, philosophy, accounting, economics, cinematography, English, history, speech, sociology are all courses I’ve taken in college in which females outnumbered males. Yes. I count.
edit: 13)! I forgot! It’s unacceptable for me to wear a skirt. I like the breeze. :(

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@davidbetterman I don’t get what you mean by that.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@_bob This is a very good question. And it’s very relevant. Gender norms and expected roles hurt everyone. I put this on the other q as well. There are more unfair things, though and the expectation that men aren’t as good parents as women is one of the more hurtful ones, imo.

jealoustome's avatar

I’ve noticed something that is extremely shallow and superficial, but would bug the heck out of me if I was a guy. Men’s fashions are generally generic and boring and don’t seem to evolve as quickly as women’s. For instance, the current incantation of the necktie. Boring!
The only changes for the last fifty years seem to be thinner/wider, longer/shorter and some new prints. I’d be so bored if that was the only trendy variation in my everyday work attire. Same goes for suit jackets.

laureth's avatar

I find it interesting that some of the same things are seen as both advantages and disadvantages.

For instance, we have @jealoustome talking about how boring men’s fashions are, whereas here in the other thread, @wilma says that an advantage to manhood is “A dark suit and they have all the dress clothes they will usually need.”

There are good and bad to most things.

tinyfaery's avatar

Men are expected to do the dirty work, like taking out the trash. And men are expected to be able to open tightly-closed containers.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Men are assumed rapists – when one thinks about a woman running into a man’s bathroom, it’s all funny but if a man was to go into a woman’s bathroom, he’s a predator.

gorillapaws's avatar

I can’t tell a mom that her kid looks cute in his little league uniform without her thinking I’m going to try to molest him…

LuckyGuy's avatar

Women can wear makeup, foundation, lipstick, dyed hair, weaves, stuffed bras, fake fingernails, shaping underwear, ... and guys will still think they are hot.

escapedone7's avatar

There is another component to this though, and it has to do with looks. Some of these generalizations are more true for young hotties but may not be true for an elderly obese lady. I know many attractive women have never had to change a flat tire. A gorgeous woman can stand next to her flat tire looking pretty and 3 cars pull over to help at once. However, if she’s 300 pounds and looks like MiMi from the Jim Carrey show, she might need to start learning what a tire iron is for.

If you are cute and adorable, you can literally get away with murder. You get jobs just to sit and look pretty and greet people coming into museums and galleries. Men will trip over themselves sometimes for a beautiful woman. But, if a lady is really unattractive, they don’t get quite as many of these perks at all. So some of this is sexism and some of it is looks-ism.

I do confess to crying my way out of a ticket. I doubt men ever do that.

wilma's avatar

@escapedone7 you are so right. I know for a fact about the getting your tire changed, because I have been there, more than just a couple of times, but that was years ago. I didn’t even get the trunk open before a car with a helpful man had stopped.
What would happen now that I’m not so young, and a little bit cute, like I was?
Who stops to help a middle aged woman?

stevenb's avatar

@Wilma, I do. I always try to help anyone who needs a hand. I don’t know why. Maybe that is a part that I feel is expected of men and not women. How many women would stop and help an old man across the street, or carry the groceries, or change his tire?

wilma's avatar

@stevenb I would, in fact I did that just today!
I helped an older gentleman unload his grocery cart into his car and then took the cart back to the store for him.
That is a regular kind of thing that I would do, for a woman or a man.
A person with young children often needs this kind of help while out shopping too.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

Women can actually get points for acting stupid… from some guys.

Guys never get points for acting (or being) stupid.

Coloma's avatar


Manipulation of any kind, male or female….shame on you!

I am a female and I cannot stand other females that use tears, fake fragility, stupidity or good looks to manipulate, anyone, for anything, anytime! Very immature and duplicitious.

bob_'s avatar

Oh, hey, I got a good one, y’all:

Women are not required to register with the Selective Service System.

Sarcasm's avatar

@_bob I hated the day I signed away an agreement, under penalty of imprisonment and fine, that I’d join the military if the need arose. I wish I had more than one GA for you.

bob_'s avatar

@Sarcasm You can create a new account, you know.

Pandora's avatar

Many of the statements are true but I feel there is an unbalanced aspect to some of the states.

Yes a woman an cry rape and it not be true but most of the time it is and the bastard gets away with it.

Men also usually get paid more for the same job that a woman does.

Women cannot always cry without being judged. If she doen’t cry she is called a cold harded bitch and if she does cry then she is too emotional!

A woman can also be knocked up and if the guy splits your left taking care of the kid alone. Hell sometimes the guy says he wants a family and then splits on her and the kids and goes off to have a family with a younger girl. (Please no sad child support stories) You made them you pay for them.

If your a woman who is seen as compasionate you are passed over for promotion because you may be seen as a weak boss. Even if you are more productive than the man they choose.

Sexual harrassment in the job may be difficult to prove if the male in the job does it without witnesses. Then its your word against his. Next thing you know the job looks to relocate you to avoid any possible lawsuit. And if you win a lawsuit for sexual harrassment than there is a chance you may never find another job in your field.
Word always gets around and there will always be suspicion that you lied for the cash.

DominicX's avatar

@_bob I can’t believe I forgot that; I bitch about that all the time… :P

bob_'s avatar

@DominicX C’est la vie :P

escapedone7's avatar

Here is one that is very real and very serious. Sometimes men ARE abused, but they are treated much differently. If a man is hit in the head with a frying pan by his wife and gets stitches, doctors rarely ask him if he is being abused at home. Most abuse services, like a women’s safe shelter , are for women. Police are less likely to believe him. His peers may joke about him being pussy whipped.
The thing is abuse can and does happen both ways. It has only been a very few instances I knew of where a man was in a very abusive situation but it was real, and he was at a REAL disadvantage. Even defending himself could get him put in jail as the batterer. It can be a no win situation.

gorillapaws's avatar

The thing about rape is that just the accusation can be enough to ruin your life—even if you prove your innocence. My best friend was accused of raping a mentally retarded girl when he was in high-school. No one believed him including the school administration and the police until by some incredible stroke of luck, a random student found this girl’s journal that detailed lots of obviously false stories involving my friend (stories about him picking her up in a ferrari and taking her to prom etc.).

This same guy ended up having a psycho girlfriend years later who was pissed off one night because she wasn’t getting her way. She started hitting herself and trying to make it look like he beat her and then threatened to call the police—who were they going to believe after all? He was so terrified that he gave into her demands, but ultimately broke off the relationship.

Now if a guy really does rape a woman than he should get life in prison, and if he hits a woman than he should go to jail, but I’ve got to say that the power women have by merely threatening the accusation is pretty terrifying.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

While showering after a workout at the YMCA, women aren’t forced to witness Old Mister Geezer Scrotum keep dropping the soap amidst a crowd of naive younger men… over and over and over and over again.

“Hey whoops, help me up fellas!”

JLeslie's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies So you think women don’t see old ladies boobs down to their belly button?

Zen_Again's avatar

I get lost all the time and I’m not allowed to ask for directions.

JLeslie's avatar

@Zen_Again You are allowed. Who told you that you can’t ask for directions?

Zen_Again's avatar

Only women are allowed to ask for directions in American society.

JLeslie's avatar

@Zen_Again Are you in America? And, by the way, woman WANT men to ask directions. This is something you guys do to yourself.

KatawaGrey's avatar

Well, I am watching Star Wars Episode II right now and it got me to thinking. It is considered morally repugnant for a man to be with a woman who he watched grow up. However, it is less so if a woman is with a man she watched grow up.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@JLeslie: If a woman watches a little boy grow up and then dates him, there is less of a stigma on her than if a man dates a girl he watched grow up.

JLeslie's avatar

@KatawaGrey I disagree. Just my opinion.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@JLeslie: I don’t have any personal experience with this but from what I’ve seen in the media, this seems to be the commonly held belief. I still think there is a stigma attached, just not nearly as big a one.

RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

You two should get over the stigma, grow up… and get a room.


True… but Old Mrs. Knee Knockers isn’t grabbing for handles when her young assistants help her up from the soapy wet tiled shower stall.

JLeslie's avatar

@RealEyesRealizeRealLies Get a room? I am saying both are icky to me, both the male example and the female example.

Zen_Again's avatar

@JLeslie First – you know where I am – though it matters not. I’ve lived in the States and besides – it’s a question about western society. Second – I was being silly – but – if you read between the lines and dig a little deeper – there are certain stigmas and social “restraints” placed on both sexes – certain expectations. Though I was joking, I think there is a certain amount of truth in it, n’est ce pas? Do I have to use the tilde on you?

JLeslie's avatar

@Zen_Again Nah, I’m joking too. Just giving you a hard time. But, I do maintain men do it to themselves when it comes to directions, women do not see it as weak to stop and ask.

mattbrowne's avatar

They can be a first lady if their husbands are President.

If Sarah Palin becomes the next President (heaven forbid!) I don’t think Todd Palin would been seen as first gentleman.

Zen_Again's avatar

Hey Matt – can men ask for directions in Germany?

stevenb's avatar

Women can make a man want to know everything about them, with one little look.
and also try to move mountains to recieve a smile

bob_'s avatar

@Zen_Again I once had to ask for directions in Germany. I was drunk, and my German was not the best, but everyone was helpful.

nikipedia's avatar

This just came up at work the other day. My male coworker was horrified by how easily women got out of speeding tickets relative to himself.

bob_'s avatar

@nikipedia That does suck.

mattbrowne's avatar

@Zen_Again – Many men do this and ask for directions in Germany, but on average women do it more often and they are less embarrassed about it. Change is slow, but it’s going in the right direction.

Val123's avatar

@bob (Is that how you wound up in Mexico?)

Ansible1's avatar

A woman being violent towards a man is seen differently than a man being violent towards a woman.

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