Male Pleasure & Female Pain

I was gathering links for my Friday list, and came across this article. It’s written by Lili Loofbourow (who I don’t think I’ve read before), and it’s titled, “The female price of male pleasure.” I highly recommend it as a must read. In fact, I wish it were required reading. As I read it, I was surprised to find myself weeping. The amount of pain we as a culture inflict on women as a matter of course, and with basically zero acknowledgement, is simply stunning. I feel like I want to quote the whole piece, but I’ll just give you a few highlights:

PubMed has almost five times as many clinical trials on male sexual pleasure as it has on female sexual pain. And why? Because we live in a culture that sees female pain as normal and male pleasure as a right.”

“The old implied social bargain between women and men (which Andrew Sullivan calls “natural”) is that one side will endure a great deal of discomfort and pain for the other’s pleasure and delight. And we’ve all agreed to act like that’s normal, and just how the world works.”

“I wish we lived in a world that encouraged women to attend to their bodies’ pain signals instead of powering through like endurance champs. It would be grand if women (and men) were taught to consider a woman’s pain abnormal; better still if we understood a woman’s discomfort to be reason enough to cut a man’s pleasure short.”

The article is further commentary on the Aziz Ansari and “Grace” story (your comments are gold!). And it’s also a response to Andrew Sullivan’s article about the #MeToo movement going too far. It really gets to the heart of what is so troubling about people blowing off Grace’s story as simply being a woman unfairly complaining about “bad sex.”

It has me trying to grapple with how I’ve seen male pleasure being prized above preventing female pain in my own life.

If you get a chance to read the article, I’d love your thoughts. Did it resonate with you? Do you agree that women have been trained and taught to ignore or endure physical pain? Did it make you worry that you’ve trained your daughters to be this way without even knowing it? (Raising my hand.)

Lastly, I think it’s pretty remarkable that in our 24 hour news cycle, where major stories disappear within hours, there are still excellent think pieces being written about the Aziz Ansari story. It brought up (and continues to bring up) some really important ideas that I’m glad we’re discussing.

68 thoughts on “Male Pleasure & Female Pain”

    1. The saddest thing is that women are especially at risk for HIV infection during anal sex. For some reason, this information has not been publicly distributed; thousands are contracting this lifelong disease. Here are the most recent numbers from the Centers for Disease Control; please note that the risk of HIV infection during anal sex is GREATER than even needle sharing drug use.

      And 72% have pain? I don’t know personally but I’m guessing that number is on the low side. Please warn your friends and daughters: this is NOT something to do!

      Estimated Per-Act Probability of Acquiring HIV from an Infected Source, by Exposure Act*
      Type of Exposure Risk per 10,000 Exposures

      Parenteral
      Blood Transfusion 9,250
      Needle-Sharing During Injection Drug Use 63
      Percutaneous (Needle-Stick) 23
      Sexual
      Receptive Anal Intercourse 138
      Insertive Anal Intercourse 11
      Receptive Penile-Vaginal Intercourse 8
      Insertive Penile-Vaginal Intercourse 4
      Receptive Oral Intercourse Low
      Insertive Oral Intercourse Low
      Other^
      Biting Negligible
      Spitting Negligible
      Throwing Body Fluids (Including Semen or Saliva) Negligible
      Sharing Sex Toys Negligible
      * Factors that may increase the risk of HIV transmission include sexually transmitted diseases, acute and late-stage HIV infection, and high viral load. Factors that may decrease the risk include condom use, male circumcision, antiretroviral treatment, and pre-exposure prophylaxis. None of these factors are accounted for in the estimates presented in the table.

      ^ HIV transmission through these exposure routes is technically possible but unlikely and not well documented.

      Source

      Patel P, Borkowf CB, Brooks JT. Et al. Estimating per-act HIV transmission risk: a systematic review. AIDS. 2014. doi: 10.1097/QAD.0000000000000298.
      Pretty LA, Anderson GS, Sweet DJ. Human bites and the risk of human immunodeficiency virus transmission. Am J Forensic Med Pathol 1999;20(3):232-239.

  1. The line that really resonates for me: “at every turn, women are taught that how someone reacts to them does more to establish their worth and goodness than anything they themselves might feel”

    I wonder if there is a way not to feel that way, a way to help my daughters trust themselves and and thwir worth more than another’s judgment.

      1. I’ll check her blog out! I’ve been thinking about the difficulty of solving any of this on an individual level. It isn’t so straightforward as just choosing something different for ourselves. For instance, for pay disparities, I’ve heard “women should ask for raises more” (yes!), but at the same time, women who ask for what they want, who speak up, aren’t treated the same way men do when they do that.

  2. I can’t wait to read the article and to share with my family. My sister and I both have a pelvic pain syndrome that no one seems to know, or wish to know much about. I have always believed that if I were a man, doctors wouldn’t dismiss my pain and that if men had to deal with a lot of the physical pain women deal with, there would be cures or remedies for it immediately.

    1. I think that is where half of the disregard of pain comes from. My doctors didn’t take me seriously until I was talking and literally doubled over in pain and could carry on the conversation. From that point on they took it seriously. Before that it was always, take some hormones, or try this procedure, or a heating pad should do the trick! I agree that if men felt what we feel every month 1. they would figure out the mysterious pelvic pain 2. the stigma around a vasectomy would vanish and women wouldn’t have to submit to crazy birth control contraptions and hormones (at least that’s how it is in my family-immediate and extended)

  3. I’m struck, once again, at how thoroughly women are marginalized in so many different ways in our society. I’m hopeful the awareness we’re experiencing now continues and expands. It’s frustrating to look critically at how women are treated and to realize it’s 2018. In some ways it could still be a hundred or more years ago. I wish we were in a society that really valued women instead of paying lip service to that notion.

    What’s been difficult for me with the Ansari story have been the women who are more inclined to be critical of Grace than Aziz. I had someone say to me something along the lines of “when does consent run up against the limits of biology?”, as though there comes a point when a man simply can’t stop himself. Which I think is ridiculous. If someone pointed a gun at a man having sex, I bet he’d find a way to stop. GRRRR.

  4. This article was fantastic. As a mother to three young sons (and no daughters), I am constantly trying to figure out how best to guide them through our culture and their relationships. The gender stereotypes they pick up on start early. It is such a challenge. So far (they range from 2-7), my husband and I have been (1) emphasizing empathy and (2) explaining unfair realities in our society. But, if anyone else has raised sons and has advice, I would love it.

      1. I have two young sons and am constantly tested when I set boundaries with them. I am often heard saying, “No means no when I say it calmly not just when I raise my voice.” And I’m saying it for typically stupid stuff like, no, you may not watch another TV show, no you may not have dessert tonight, no, don’t hit your brother. I find it frustrating –vexing!– that they don’t listen the first time. I know they are still young (6 and 3), but listening and following directions the first time is training for the more serious stuff.

        1. Molly, this comment really struck me. Just yesterday my 12 year old son badgered me all evening about getting more time on the computer. That’s a whole other issue all together, but today on our way to school I brought up this idea that he needs to accept “no” the first time I say it. I said that for now it seems like he’s just pestering his mom, but that in future relationships he cannot treat women this way and he needs to listen to “no” the first time and not badger the person about it. I repeated the basis of your comment to another mother of boys today and she also found it very noteworthy. Sure, it’s a bit of a leap to go from asking for screen time to sexual consent, but I think it’s a necessary point. Thanks for sharing such a thought provoking comment.

    1. I would love any insights as well. I have two young sons and I am constantly thinking about the balance between being a mother who would endure any discomfort for them (they are 3 and 6 months) while simultaneously preparing them to be thoughtful about gendered expectations to come. I think I can raise sons who are empathetic and kind. We do need to stop teaching our girls that they must sacrifice their comfort for boys. But how do I teach my boys that women do not exist to provide for their wellbeing when all their caregivers (minus dad) are female; teachers, babysitter, aunts, grandma, etc.

      1. “how do I teach my boys that women do not exist to provide for their wellbeing when all their caregivers (minus dad) are female”

        That’s a mighty important question.

        1. This! So much this. My husband and I have an atypical sharing of roles (I love to cook, so does he. He loves shopping, i track finances. He shovels snow, I rake the leaves) and it warms my heart that my daughter would be equally likely to ask either for food if she is hungry. But then school started and I feel like I have to constantly counter the woman as ‘secondary to decisions, primary to sacrifice’ model.

  5. I thought of sending this link to you so I’m glad you saw it and posted about it–so important and sad. I too have been crying about it today on behalf of myself and my three daughters. Both of my young adult girls struggle with severely painful menstruation and express how they wish they weren’t female, the world doesn’t care about our pain, an–even worse–that heaven must not either since God created women this way. I have no good answers, only a shoulder to cry on and my own tears to weep.

    1. Well, shoot. I just started crying again reading your comment. Your good daughters. They do not deserve that pain. And I can not worship such an evil sort of God. I have to focus on a God that hates this as much as I do, and demands of us as human beings to continually work to alleviate pain and suffering in the world.

  6. Wow. I haven’t even clicked on the article and I’m already deep in thought at how women are taught that their worth is gauged by the reactions and opinions of others, especially men. There’s this weird dichotomy where women are portrayed as weak and fragile, but yet it’s demanded that we endure a higher physical and emotional level of pain. It’s even instilled in worldwide cultures…sexual mutilation, rape, predatory behavior, extreme dress codes, even porn where the woman is specifically portrayed in pain. I can’t even start discussing where some religious leaders will excuse this behavior by explaining that women deserve it because Eve gave Adam the apple or that men can’t be trusted to control themselves. Please.

    1. “There’s this weird dichotomy where women are portrayed as weak and fragile, but yet it’s demanded that we endure a higher physical and emotional level of pain.”

      She goes into that a little bit in the article, and it’s spot on.

  7. Thank you for sharing this fantastic article. I have often said that the medical support would be very different if men were the ones who experienced child birth, breastfeeding, periods, etc. After having 3 children it is maddening to me how little support and even knowledge is out there regarding things that are so common (issues with weaning, postpartum hemorrhaging, intense pain that no one seems to have any interest in investigating or explaining beyond, “that’s in the normal rangel”). Even the common refrain throughout pregnancy of just focusing on a healthy child (and basically to dismiss your own preference or experience with childbirth because that is simply frivolous).

    Also, one question, is anyone else out there dealing with major anger that has increased over this past year and finding it to impact many facets of your life. My anger is now affecting my most important relationships…

    1. Katie: To address your questions about increasing anger, the answer is a definite “Yes.” I hear the same sentiment echoed by a lot of my friends. The majority actually. I feel like I have a better understanding of the Civil Rights Movement in the 60’s where African Americans were finally getting a voice and saying, “Hey this situation is wrong and needs to change.” And those it didn’t affect were responding with a sentiment along the lines of, “You people just need to stop being so unpleasant and just sit down and behave nicely.” I think we’re hearing similar responses today in regards to the women’s movement (not to mention the current leadership).

    2. YES! over the last 4 yrs, I was pregnant, gave birth, struggled w/ some PPD, struggled to parent a very colorful child, while continuing to fight for my place in a very male dominated work place/industry. And I feel like the anger/rage at everything ..small and large just keeps building every day, both at home and at work. I think it was further exacerbated by the 2016 election cycle and then this past yr of political horrors as well as all the sexual assault stories breaking. I spent over a decade doing the ol’ grin and bear it at work, and now I have to restrain myself from punching every guy in the face at work (and sometimes my husband ).

    3. Katie, I with ya! I’m angry and I’m unapologetic for it. I’ve had some difficult conversations with everyone from my husband, to friends, to coworkers – but I hope these conversations are the catalyst for change.

      I am an engineer working in the construction industry; it goes w/out saying that my work environment is very male dominated. In my 20s, it didn’t faze me; I found overcoming the gender bias to be empowering. Fast forward 17 years and I’m fed up with the mansplaining, ‘proving myself’, and inappropriate comments/compliments.

      However, I’m now empowered by age, experience, and confidence to speak my mind. The generations of women before me fought for the opportunity; I’m taking the opportunity to change the conversation and in doing so, hopefully change the experience for myself, my daughters, and others.

      Gabby – thank you for providing the platform for these conversations. I really love this community.

      1. I love your comment so much. I love how you described what it felt like in your 20s compared to how it feels now. I think we need a poster that says: I’m empowered by age, experience, and confidence to speak my mind.

          1. I love all these comments! Remember, anger is a starting place for change and realizing that it’s necessary. So, let that anger propel you to do good.

    4. I am angry ALL THE TIME now. It’s honestly been a personal struggle to manage it so I can be happy too. And then I also get angry that other people AREN’T as angry as I am, like if they could just share the burden a bit maybe I could carry less of it.

      1. I totally agree with Jessica @ Little Nesting Doll in regards to the anger!! Thank you for making me feel like I’m not all alone.

  8. Thank you for the link to the article.

    On a related issue to the topic of the article is something for years I have found appalling: in the newspaper in my city, when a rape is reported, the reporter(s) often note that the victim “did not sustain any injuries.” This often makes me want to fling the paper across the room! Yes, most like she was not beaten, stabbed or shot, but my guess was the physical act of rape was painful and likely some abrasions or worse occurred.

    I wish they would leave this sentence out [about no injuries] as I think it implies that there are degrees of what counts as an injury and seems to deny the reality that forced intercourse is painful.

    The inability of our modern society to acknowledge the reality of women’s physiology and anatomy, instead of relying on stereotypes and old wives’ tales is depressing. From scientific studies (most pharmaceutical studies don’t include women because of hormones and risk of pregnancy so most findings and subsequent recommendations for treatment are based upon male subjects’ responses) to professional career choices, to the range of physical abilities women can have, stereotypes about women get translated into standards that are hard to challenge.

    I think the younger generation is doing a good job of challenging what many of us have accepted as just the way it is, and I applaud their efforts to do so. The more women speak up and say this is not ok, the better things will be for all of us, women and men.

  9. Gabby,

    Are you familiar with the OWL program, Our Whole Lives? It inclusive, comprehensive, relationships-based whole life sexuality education. More than just “this goes in there” it looks at family structures, self esteem, identity, all of it.

    It’s been a boon to our family to open up conversations about bodies and relationships. Our daughter went through the K-1 program, her dad teaches 7-8). It was created via the Unitarian Church but our town (Oak Park IL) has a secular/unaffiliated program. I read a comment on a Bad Sex article where someone credited the program with them understanding very early on what being physical should (and can!) be like in a mutual partnership.

    I feel like normalizing/empowering/educating ourselves in and about our bodies from an early age, and about others’ bodies and families and rights and responsibilities and on and on! is something that should be at the tip top of all our parental responsibilities. Imagine a generation of kids who could grow up talking to one another, their parents, their friends, their significant others with care, intention, respect!

    1. PS: If you ever wanted to dig into sex ed/health program options, that might be a really awesome post for Design Mom readers to see/share how this stuff is taught in school, church/temple/mosque/etc, communities, families. I know the Oak Park OWL team would be excited to share how awesome the program has been here!

    2. I feel like I’m vaguely familiar with OWL. Maybe I read an article? I can’t remember. But it sounds amazing. I agree about “normalizing/empowering/educating ourselves in and about our bodies from an early age.”

  10. So glad to see grooming mentioned in this article about women’s pain. The pain associated with “basic maintenance” is something so many of us totally take for granted, often taught by our mothers, the same women who are the most dedicated to protecting their children from pain in most circumstances. I mean hair removal alone….hot wax, electrolysis, laser, burning bleach etc etc.

    I refer to the physical pain and the psychic pain of knowing our natural appearance in unacceptable, gross, and something to hide. (Like skipping swimming because you didn’t shave your legs)

    1. Over and over throughout my life my mother has said to me, “As my grandmother used to say – beauty must suffer”.

      UGH. That’s a perfect example of how I was unwittingly taught to just accept that my discomfort is normal.

  11. I’m glad the article explores endometriosis a bit, because even thinking about it enrages me. Here’s a painful, damaging condition that 10% (or more!) of women suffer from, but we know virtually nothing about it. We don’t even know its cause. And we’re certainly not investing in serious large-scale studies.

    Imagine if 10% of men suffered pain during sex, debilitating cramps for at least one week each month for 30 years. It would be a public health emergency with pharmaceuticals companies and universities pumping out study after study.

    1. Am I a horrible person that I didn’t know it affected AT LEAST TEN PERCENT of women? That’s so disturbing. It’s not talked about. Where is the ribbon campaign? Or the walkathon? Is the thinking that hey, as long as it’s not killing people we can ignore it?

    2. I’m glad the article mentioned endometriosis too. I’m 44 years old. When I was a teenager I had brutal periods. After a few years of trying things like the pill and naproxen (for cramps) my family doctor sent me to a specialist. This specialist told me that it was most likely all in my head but that he would perform a laparoscopic surgery to see what was going on. I was 17. He found endometrial tissue eveywhere. I was told I would never have kids and he sent me to another specialist to have the endo removed. The pain was better for awhile after that second surgery. When I got married I found sex to be very painful. Thankfully my husband was understanding and supportive. It turned out the endo was back. I eventually did have two wonderful boys. Since then I’ve had two more surgeries because of my endometriosis. The last one was this past October. Finally I’m pain free again and am so hopeful that it lasts this time. It is unbelievable that women’s pain during sex is not considered more frequently and taken more seriously.

      1. I feel so STUPID. I complained of severe pain for years, and even suggested to my gyne that maybe it was endometriosis, and was told it was just fibroids, and told to take naproxen which did nothing but take the slightest edge off the pain. It took spotting for her to finally schedule an ultrasound, at which point they found an ovarian cyst. Gynecological oncologist examined me, and said my uterus felt like a sack of marbles, and scheduled a hysterectomy (luckily I was 44, and had two children). During the surgery, she found endometriosis all over the place. I agree that it is unbelievable how this is ignored…even by female gynecologists.

  12. Oh man, Colin Dickey’s Twitter response to Sullivan had me in tears, I was laughing so hard. Always nice to get a break from the tears of frustration and the tears of rage.

    1. So good. Here’s the tweet in case anyone missed it. Be sure to click through to see the responses and a few animal world examples from Colin too.

  13. This is where Christianity has lost me. The Old Testament treatment of women. The story of Eve…To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.”

    We can rage at the machine..but it is pretty old and to me the greatest feminist act of my life was leaving Christianity because most of it is Patriarchal.

    1. Did you read the Barbara Kingsolver piece I linked to last Friday?

      There’s a paragraph that really struck me:

      “If any contract between men required the non-white one to adopt the legal identity of his Caucasian companion, would we pop the champagne? If any sport wholly excluded people of colour, would it fill stadiums throughout the land? Would we attend a church whose sacred texts consign Latinos to inferior roles? What about galas where black and Asian participants must wear painful shoes and clothes that reveal lots of titillating, well-toned flesh while white people turn up comfortably covered?”

      Your comment reminded me of it.

      1. I didn’t read the Barbara Kingsolver article. Thanks for the link! These thoughts really resonated “Patriarchy persists because power does not willingly cede its clout; and also, frankly, because women are widely complicit in the assumption that we’re separate and not quite equal. If we’re woke, we inspect ourselves and others for implicit racial bias, while mostly failing to recognise explicit gender bias, which still runs rampant. Religious faiths that subordinate women flourish on every continent.”

        Exactly.

  14. Wow. This article is everything. It really should be required reading. This line especially caught me: “In the real world, the very first lesson the typical woman learns about what to expect from sex is that losing her virginity is going to hurt. She’s supposed to grit her teeth and get through it.” This right here should be the new stepping off point when *really and truly* teaching our *children (not just daughters!)* about sex. We need to go beyond the necessity of relaying this information–yes, it will almost certainly hurt–into a deeper discussion about the pleasure/pain differences between men and women, and how to communicate this with your partner. So much to unpack and think about in this article. Thanks for sharing it.

  15. I feel like, at 51, I’m just waking up to all of this. I always considered myself progressive, and a feminist-but there’s so much of the “good girl” in my personality/upbringing that I have trouble, to be honest, in unpacking all of this. It makes me so angry that despite the “women’s movement ” of the 70s there is still so much there to do, and it is so much deeper than just getting women into the workforce or equal pay. Sigh. More reading, more thinking.

  16. Fascinating stuff. Someone just forwarded me this article regarding endometriosis and it’s treatment. I have several friends and a sister in law who have suffered severely through endometriosis and been ignored by many doctors – men and women. I found this article to be a fascinating discussion of it. Also, I do believe that men also suffer in their own ways as well that are often ignored. For example, men do more dangerous work, 93% of workplace deaths are men. There are studies that show that men are actually more sensitive than women but are forced to suppress their sensitivity. As the mom of two boys (and two girls!) I worry about our society’s current impulse to polarize and blame based on gender and all work together to move forward toward a holistic protection of every individual.

  17. Wonderful discussion! Have you read “Come As You Are” by Emily Nagoski? She presents some great research on how women’s sexuality differs from men’s sexuality.

  18. Larissa Phillips

    I’m an outlier here, respectfully offering another viewpoint…

    I didn’t care for this article.

    I completely identify myself as a feminist and always have, and was raised by parents who did what they could (with some missteps, lol) to raise my sister and brother and me without confining gender expectations.

    The gender discrepancies in the medical world, described here, are awful and shameful. I am so sorry that women have been in pain and have not been helped. That is infuriating and shameful on the part of doctors.

    But I feel this article is conflating facts, and making big leaps in logic.

    I don’t feel like I was socialized to ignore pain, and I don’t feel like my female friends were either.

    In fact, when I was growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, I think boys in general, were expected to be more stoic than the girls were. Girls were allowed to cry and skip gym, or sit with the teacher during recess, when something hurt. But when I was older, as an enthusiastic field hockey and soccer player in middle school and high school, I was proud of my bruises and injuries on the field. It was the opposite of what was expected of girls and made me feel tough and cool. (Public injuries inflicted in fair fights or on sports fields are very different from private pains.)

    (Incidentally, do you know that women who played contact sports growing up are more likely to fight back — and thus get away — when attacked?)

    When I first started getting my period and had terrible menstrual cramps, my doctor listened to me and prescribed a heavy dose of Motrin, which totally worked. Outside of the very first few times I had sex, I do not experience pain during sex and have never faked an orgasm. After both childbirths, I waited long after the prescribed six weeks to resume intercourse and experienced some discomfort at first but we were able to get around it through some creative positioning.

    In many talks about sex with friends through the years, I have not heard that “bad sex” means coercion or pain, as it says in the article, but rather too drunk, terrible kisser, wouldn’t perform oral sex, or just generally low-skilled in the art of lovemaking. If a friend had told me sex was painful, I hope I would have encouraged her to see a doctor. This is just an alien idea, that women everywhere think it is normal and fine for sex to hurt.

    I have been raped, and some of my friends have as well; I am not disputing that terrible things happen, or that misogyny is a part of our culture, or that women experience pain during sex, or that the medical industry (among many others) is disgustingly sexist.

    But this article loses me. It is like it’s describing an alien world. Are milennials being raised to be Stepford wives— hostesses in frilly dresses who grit their teeth through the most intimate pain, and fake orgasms to get out of painful sex? And can’t identify a crappy date and get the hell out of there? Do they go back for more? Sorry, I just don’t get this.

    My response is all over the place. Just wanted to chime in with an alternate viewpoint. And I hope this doesn’t sound like I am dismissing or disbelieving women’s pain; I am just trying to say that in my experience growing up and as an adult, this has not been normalized.

  19. Challenging topic. There are so many things talked about by this article which are not really relevant to a hookup situation gone awry. What defines a #metoo and what does not is truly an important thing to know. One person’s compliment could be another person’s trauma. Should men cease all compliments? They should certainly tread very lightly IMO. The lines between sexual harassment and sexual assault do not seem understood and defined. I know that I was never taught to pleasure any man nor was I ever taught that I was beneath them in any way due to my gender. I’m beneath a man in no way, nor am I above.

  20. Thanks for sharing. This article (just like the one about Grace) makes me so mad! I’ve never been much of an activist but I suspect this is how it begins.

    I can’t help but wonder if the writer and many of your commenters are straight, white women (like me). In the big scheme of things— straight, white, women are a privileged group. I’d love Design Mom to provide a forum for more women to share their stories (women of color, trans women, gay women). My hope is that any movement that emerges from this moment doesn’t leave any women behind.

  21. This article was a good and sobering read. The parts about the medical attention that women’s pain gets vs. men’s hit close to home. I’ve been trying for 2.5 years to figure out why sex is so painful for me (ever since giving birth to my son). For the first year I was repeatedly treated for yeast infections. After insisting the treatments weren’t helping I was treated for bacterial vaginisos. Nothing helped, and almost every doctor would say that sometimes sex after having a baby is just painful for a while. (Years later??) It’s so frustrating.

    I finally found a doctor who thinks it is vaginismus (I had never even heard of that before!) and is trying to help me, but it has been a long road to find someone who doesn’t just dismiss what I’m trying to tell them.

  22. I was on a flight yesterday and my husband pointed out (positively) that it was an all female crew (including captains). I immediately noticed that my body felt relaxed and taken care of, but also a bit edgy. It was so interesting to me that I had any response at all. My mom was a private pilot (in addition to my dad) but it made me think of how we grow up (when we have a good father and a lack of negative male scenarios anyway) to feel that the male will keep us safe, whereas the mother takes care of us.

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