BY CARMEN RIBECCA
Internet articles about the differences between men and women are about as plentiful now as memes and cat videos. And they almost always hinge on broad stereotypes — like “girls are too needy” or “guys are so aggressive” — which, while sometimes funny, certainly don’t apply to everyone of those respective genders. So instead, we wanted to take a lighter look at certain things that ladies have undeniably been known to do, and that a lot of men will never understand. Hang on to your tiny dog stuffed into a purse, because these are some things girls do that guys just don’t get.
Going to the bathroom together
We’re starting off with a big one, because this is something so different about guys and girls, it has to be chromosomal. Not only do guys not want to talk to each other while using the bathroom, they will go to great distances to not be stuck in that middle urinal when the two on the outside are occupied. (Sorry, sink. You might be taking one for the team)
Girls, on the other hand, will duck into the bathroom for a myriad of reasons that have nothing to do with relieving oneself. Anything from idle gossip to reapplying makeup to just needing an excuse to get away from an awkward or boring conversation can send a pair, trio, or even quad of women hightailing it for the john. And that’s totally fine, it’s just not something guys are ever going to do.
But just so this seems balanced, ladies, did you know that guys almost always spit into the urinal as they’re doing their business? It’s an almost uncontrollable impulse that researchers at Boise State (via New York Magazine) attribute to being territorial. That has to be just as perplexing to women as the bathroom being used as a social recess is to men.
Watching sad or depressing movies
When it comes to movie preferences, there is no denying that some girls would much rather curl up with a bottle of wine and a box of tissues for a Nicholas Sparks movie than to strap on the 3-D glasses for the latest superhero blockbuster. But for a lot of guys, there’s something about crying over the tragic deaths of fictional people, or being forced to reckon with traumatic historical events as told through an Oscar-worthy dramatization that doesn’t sound like a fun Friday night.
And perhaps women would argue that it’s just as much of an evening killer to watch their man get a big charge out of rooting for a dude flying around in his fake robot suit and punching fake aliens out of the sky for two hours. The most science-y explanation we could find to explain the female preference for sappy cinema comes from clinical psychologist Dr. Bart Rossi, who spoke with Complex about why teenage girls, in particular, are attracted to “dark romances.”
Though Rossi did say that women and “younger folks may be drawn to these movies because they can emotionally relate to them,” he also said that sad films offer a broader appeal to anyone looking for a deeper cinematic experience. Watching tear-jerker death scenes and sad breakups “brings up a lot of emotion and depth” said Rossi. “What is the meaning of life? What are we all about?” That kind of deep conversation isn’t usually sparked by, say, the death of Optimus Prime in a Transformers movie — and most guys are perfectly fine with that. The point is, movie preferences are subjective and that’s why Netflix invented user profiles. Problem solved.
Lower back tattoos
Ah yes, the 90s craze that sparked a million morning-after regrets and even got an epic burn in Wedding Crashers when Vince Vaughn’s character said of one, “Tattoo on the lower back? Might as well be a bullseye.” That crude connotation perfectly encapsulates the unfair speculation that if a woman has some ink on her lower lumbar, that must mean she gets around. But outside of that obviously unfounded stereotype, we can say that the trend of women getting lower back tattoos has definitely waned in the decades since its peak popularity.
Maybe it’s because it was often combined with the hip-hugger-jeans-and-thong trend, creating the unintended effect of appearing like a masked creature crawling up one’s backside when viewed at first glance. Or maybe it was the realization that over time (and through the ageing process), that thing is going to look like a pale green birth mark spreading across the top of one’s butt. But remember, ladies who’ve chosen and regretted this ill-advised ink, there’s always laser removal. Plus, if a guy ever tries to give you crap about this, go ahead and point to his tribal armband and ask if it came free with a Crazy Town CD. Shuts them right up.
Fitness crazes like Zumba and Doga
For guys, working out is typically divided into two neat categories: strength training and cardio. For women, the fitness options are endless. There’s spin class, pilates, yoga, aerobics, dance, and so much more that it strays into categories that most men can’t even wrap their heads around. One example is Zumba, one of the many dancercise crazes to sweep the world of fitness over the years. And don’t get us wrong, there are definitely dudes who are into Zumba. But for most men, the idea of taking a Samba class is already a nightmare, so the thought of adding a high enough intensity component, and doing it for an extended period of time with the goal of burning a decent amount of calories — forget it.
Then there’s Doga. Huh? Oh, that would be yoga with dogs. Yes, this is an actual thing where people (generally women) bring their dogs to yoga and actually make their canine counterparts do poses as well. Apparently it’s a great way to bond with your pooch, as well as provide them with some good stretching and relaxation, which is great. But we guarantee that most guys, no matter how close they are with their furry best friends, are never going to say, “Sorry guys, I can’t make it to the game. Spot and I have doga this afternoon.”
Quick-fix diets and cleanses
As is the case with exercise crazes, guys don’t really partake in many dieting trends. If a guy wants to lose weight, he generally goes the traditional method of cutting calories and increasing his workouts. Of course that’s a huge generalization and there are plenty of men who do Atkins, paleo, keto, and whatever other diet craze Dr. Oz is pushing that week, but you need only look to the marketing for quick fix diets and cleanses to see that they know they’re going to sell this stuff to more women than men. Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, and Jenny Craig all famously tend to use female celebrity spokespeople. And, sure, there was Jared from Subway, but that guy was basically still saying, “Okay, I’ll diet, but I’m still eating hoagies all day.”
And those cleanses? Guys are not living for days at a time on nothing but lemon-water mixed with cayenne pepper and maple syrup. Even if that kind of thing was medically advisable and/or effective — Newsflash: cleanses and detoxes are neither — guys aren’t willing to trade hours on the toilet to drop a few pounds. If beauty is pain, than guys are totally content being ugly and comfortable.
Duck face, for the uninitiated, is when someone, who is generally taking a mirror selfie, purses their lips just before snapping the pic. Tilted head and slightly tucked chin are optional, but also almost always included. Guys are not doing this. Are they guilty of the shirtless “check out these abs” mirror selfie? 100%. But duck face is owned by women. The idea of a guy doing duck face is so ridiculous that Ben Stiller even used it for the basis of “Blue Steel,” Derek Zoolander’s trademark pout in the 2001 spoof of the fashion industry.
But women still did duck face long after Zoolander, and we think the Kardashians are to blame. Historically speaking, duck face was around long before the rise of reality TV’s First Family, but the fascination with them coupled with rise of the selfie helped cement the practice into permanence. Kim Kardashian, in particular, even published her own book of selfies, ingeniously titled Selfish, which contains no less than 352 examples of the popular facial distortion. Men are definitely not taking their social cues from Kim Kardashian, either, which makes this a double whammy when it comes to dudes not donning the duck face.
Never being satisfied with the first picture
It’s impossible to overstate how much guys dislike posing for pictures, particularly when out in public. We’re not sure if it has more to do with not wanting to draw attention to themselves, or just the general hassle of having to do anything, but stopping to take a photo generally ranks as high as yard work or visiting in-laws on a guy’s list of things he wants to do.
And it’s never just one photo. In the history of women having their picture taken, we can confidently say that, when given the opportunity, they have always gone for a re-take. Then another. Then another, until any man in the photo was so annoyed he is pictured rolling his eyes so hard he looks like he’s having a seizure next to the woman’s finally perfect hair, eyes, teeth, and chin. Everything we just stated is 100% factual.
Hanging out with girlfriends they don’t really like
The idea of the frenemy — generally speaking, a woman who is part of a peer group who secretly despises her, but politely keeps her around — is a perplexing concept to men. If there is a member of a predominantly male friend group who isn’t particularly liked, he doesn’t last long. He’s either mercilessly bullied out of the group, or simply ignored. Most guys are direct in that way, for better or worse, but a lot of girls play the passive aggressive cat-and-mouse game with their frenemies.
Elisa Schappell, author of Blueprints For Building Better Girls, told Forbes that she attributes this to the deep, emotionally-connected relationships that women tend to forge with each other, leading to the revelation of intimacies about one another, which then sometimes get used to attack each other. Wow. That is some diabolical Regina George stuff right there. Suddenly, guys belching in each other’s faces and affectionately beating the crap out of each other doesn’t seem so bad.
Here’s somthing that men and women mutually despise: baby talk
“Baby talk” is when a grown adult heightens the pitch of his or her voice and intentionally mispronounces words in attempt to be cute. And we would guess that the only people who find this acceptable are those who engage in it. Both men and women who use intelligent vocabulary and natural speaking voices recoil in horror at even the thought of a 30-year-old woman tilting her head and squeaking, “Pweeease!” in order to get something she wants.
And when couples do it, forget about it. Hearing a pair of love-up paramours cooing pet names at each other is enough to make everyone else within earshot reach for the nearest barf bag. Ugh. But wait, it gets worse. According to a study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships (via NBC News), forms of baby talk are actually a sign of a healthy relationship, which means that irritating couple who are always awkwardly touching each other’s faces aren’t secretly miserable like we all hoped.
So okay, fine, baby talk may be great for romance, but it is undeniably annoying to both men and women alike. And if there’s going to be a foundation upon which the sexes built some commonality, we sincerely hope it is the mutual disdain for “Mr. and Mrs. Pookie-pants.”