Your husband has never been a woman. He has never dealt with being a woman in our society, and as such he lacks understanding of some things you and every other woman knows to be true. He does not understand the gender inequity you face. He can’t empathise with feeling threatened or scared in situations which pose no danger for him. He’s never been talked down to or ignored because he’s female. He’s never felt half naked while fully clothed just because he has breasts. He has never been seen as stupid or irrelevant simply because he has children. He does not understand the things you struggle with because you are not as strong or as tall as he is.
As a man, I have not experienced these things either, but as the paragraph above hopefully shows, I have learned they are real. I don’t have to fully grasp these things to believe they exist. I don’t have to experience them to be upset my wife and other women deal with them. I can see how wrong these things are even though they are never aimed at me.
The reason I “get it” is because I’ve listened to women. I’ve had female friends since high school, and I listened to what they said. As I heard similar things over, and over I accepted them as truth.
The more women talk about these things, the more men will get it. Yes, share these realities with your husband, but go further. Share them with your sons, and with your friends, and with anyone who will listen. Getting men to believe these things are true requires them hearing the truth from many women. You can’t change anyone, but you can be one of many voices for everyone around you. With enough voices, more men will “get it”.
He’s never been a woman, and he never will be, but you can help him better understand what it means to be a woman. With understanding comes empathy. Imagine what happens when understanding and empathy connect with a man’s natural desire to protect women!
~ Paul – I’m XY, and I hate seeing women belittled or mistreated!