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There's a deleted scene from the movie 10000 BC in which the affable character Tic'Tic remarks to D'leh that Evolet will probably pretend to have a headache the first night they're together after he rescues her if he doesn't ask her how her day's been. This shows that terrible observations about the different ways men and women think have existed for thousands of years. Or it would if I hadn't made that up and 10000 BC had been in any way factual or even remotely interesting, which of course it wasn't. But if I hadn't ruined it by pointing that out, that may have been a good setup for my premise here -- that there are some legitimate differences between the sexes that cannot be overcome or understood. There are things men will never understand about the world of women. But there are reasons why. Come, let us understand humanity's myriad differences together!

4
Pads

ellyjonez

The vagina is a black morass of confusion. You can be a cyborg gynecologist and not fully understand that thing. If we had no standards on Cracked, I'd go into greater detail about the weird things I've seen on vagina-centric websites, but instead I'll say that, beyond the biology of the thing, it's really as hard to get a hold of as a unicorn.

Women menstruate. I learned this on a bus, you may have learned it elsewhere. That's fine. Ladies also require a method of dealing with this, and the result is the one-two sanitation punch of pads and tampons. Go, ladies! That said, I don't think any man, anywhere, fully understands pads. In fact, I'm willing to bet a lot of women don't. Have you seen the pad aisle in a store? It's fucking huge. How does that come to pass? How is there more than one kind? What the hell is the Poise pad that Kirstie Alley is trying to sell me?

The limit of my understanding, having been sent to purchase pads in the past -- if I were a more dishonest person, I would say it was for my beautiful fiery red-headed girlfriend, but I will concede it was actually for my mom -- is that there are a handful of different types that boil down to small, medium and large. Like drink sizes at Taco Bell, this is based on fluid retention. The big ones, you see, are for overnight, because when you sleep you're horizontal and the fluid levels even out, and tidal forces plus sphagnum cause excessive leakage. Or whatever. Medium are for business ladies and small are for chicks who have stuff written on their asses that we're not unsettled to read.

The reason men don't understand pads is pretty simple and can best be exemplified with the following graphic:

Logic dictates that a spill will require more or less effort to clean based on its size, but whether a dribble or a crotchy deluge, that small, medium or large should be able to cover it, and that should mean there's three kinds of pads. But good God, there's not three kinds of pads. Look at this screenshot from Kirstie Alley's house:

Poise Pads

These things start at 7.5 inches. That means, to start, they're gauged by length, not fluid retention, which means it's not about how much juice your tomato is making, it's how big your hothouse is. For real? And then it goes up to 15.6 inches. Are you shitting me? Over a foot? You need over a foot of hoo-ha coverage? What kind of lawless crotch circus are you carting around with you? Do you know what else is about 15.6 inches? A size 22 shoe. Shaq could wear that pad on his foot.

The Always website gives you the option to navigate to like five different products. Infinity, Radiant, Tsunami Drop-Kick, the Red Fist of Rage ... God knows what else, because I refuse to click those links. They're just going to lead to more links and we all know it. Everything in the world of pads is needlessly complicated, probably for marketing and profit-based reasons. It's set up to be far too confusing for a man who never needs to use the things and thus has no vested interest in understanding them. But for real, you can get them as big as Shaq's foot.

3
Dates

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If you're married, you should know your anniversary. Celebrating an anniversary may seem arbitrary, but if you place any value on your relationship, you're acknowledging that it had a set point in time when it began and you're celebrating that fact because you want to celebrate your relationship as a whole. It's a wonderful thing and you enjoy it and want to share it with the person you love.

There is no such thing as a two-week anniversary. That "ann" part in "anniversary" is taken from "annual," and the "iversary" part is Latin for "fuck a two-week anniversary." If you're willing to commemorate an event on a yearly basis, that shit better be awesome.

Men notoriously have trouble remembering important dates. There are probably numerous instances of Tim Allen making jokes about this. Oh no, I forgot my wife's birthday! Zoinks! Better get her a gift at the gas station! "Ha ha," laugh the soulless abominations in the audience. "Ha ha," laugh the vacant mouth-breathers around their banana pudding at home. "Ha ha," laughs no one else, especially you, because why would you be watching Tim Allen? Exactly. But that's not the point.

Ha ha ha! Wilson!

Men, even men with chromosomes more or less on a level with Tim Allen, are technically capable of remembering dates. We remember our own birthdays, we generally remember Christmas, we remember when we booked time off work to go see Guns N' Roses live and then Axl Rose freaked out and the show was cancelled and everyone had to riot.

Men have issues with those anniversaries, though for a real reason, in fact, not just bullshit I'm about to make up. It's because men remember things in a genetically different way than women. Look, I sourced it!

Dudes are better with spatial memory and facts. Trying to remember dates requires a whole different set of brains than what men have, so dates, especially dates they haven't had to remember since childhood, get pushed aside for facts about how many actors were hurt on set during the filming of Predator. Did you know they originally cast Jean-Claude van Damme as the alien, but he was too short? Ha ha, little Belgian!

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2
Toiletries

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The bathroom is slowly becoming a gray area between the sexes thanks to Axe, Old Spice and other companies that want men to sluice their ass cracks with products called things like Appalachian Prolapse and Minotaur's Vigilant Scrod. But the Old Spice Guy has a long way to go to catch up with the Avon Lady in terms of weird shit women keep next to the toilet.

There's certainly a cliche about women's bathroom products versus men's bathroom products, but we're not necessarily talking uses here. If women need vanishing cream even though we can still see them, so be it. Wrinkle cream for 20-year-olds, argan oil to keep your argans greasy, rejuvenating masks to try to live life like a Goa'uld ... whatever floats your boats, ladies. It's the volume that's confusing.

No one gives a shit about this reference.

A typical man, if he still buys his own bath products, probably has one bottle of body wash and one bottle of shampoo. Probably one toothbrush and one tube of toothpaste as well. One stick of deodorant and maybe a whole pack of razors. That's the entire universe of his bathroom grooming. Few women outside of prisons and Third World Christian missions have limited themselves to a single bottle of shampoo, however. You need shampoo fortified with vitamin E and amino acids, even though science tells us that neither of those things will have any biological effect on your hair at all. They might make it look shiny for a few hours, though. You need one kind of shampoo that smells like avocado and melon and another that smells of sea buckthorn and jojoba. Would you know what the hell sea buckthorn was if you tripped over it on the street? No. No, you wouldn't. Sea buckthorn could be a kind of sentient undersea penis monster. Don't bathe in it. Let it be.

The beauty industry exists because it has, over years and decades, convinced women that they need to look artificially good, even though they don't need to look good for a man, and they need to be perfect at all times, even though no one's perfect. And to be strong and free and fresh, they need to wear heels and lipstick and pants that slim you and bras that lift and separate your boobies, and somehow it's either all a man's fault or something we should deeply appreciate but never expect. Not ever.

Do women need so many creams and tinctures and ointments and lotions? Of course not, but the world is full of shit we don't need. I don't need Xbox and Netflix, but I'll take your hand if you try to take them away from me. But that doesn't mean it makes any sense to me. Or you. Or any women who have shelves and shelves of bottles and jars of goo at home.

1
Pants

If you look in a man's closet, or the cool, damp sack he keeps his clothes in, you'll probably notice he has blue jeans and maybe a pair of dress pants. If he's a terrible person, he has sweat pants. If his parents didn't love him very much, he has khakis. That'll be about it, though.

Ladies have a vast array of pants and buttocks-ensconcing fabric-based structures that defy logic. Sure, they have blue jeans and khakis and dress pants. But then what the hell are Capris?

Capri pants are not shorts, but they're not as long as regular pants. The effect of this is a pair of pants that are apparently the wrong size for you. Like you started to grow like Josh in the movie Big and your little clothes couldn't keep up with you. Why would an adult dress in ill-fitting pants? No one knows.

Tights can also be worn interchangeably with pants, at least in a woman's world. Try to imagine for a minute a place in which a man could put on a second skin of purple fabric that shows off every curve of his ass. Even the soft, summery outlines of his ass beard. Because you can see full-on crack in tights. And that under-bum smile. Any man deserves to be arrested for that sort of thing. But they're pants for ladies. I don't know what a jegging is, but I think Kardashians wear them. Harem pants and ankle pants and linen pants and Gauchos. Gaucho was not a Marx Brother. They're like shorter Capris, which is not to be confused with pedal pushers, which are also like Capris, but not the same length.

I would argue that the pants issue transcends gender, but women refuse to acknowledge it. For instance, if two women have the same pair of Capri pants, and one woman has legs three inches shorter than the other woman, but they are otherwise the same body size, are they still Capri pants when the shorter woman wears them, or are they now pedal pushers? Or are they Gauchos? If you lose your legs in an accident, are Capris just pants now? Why won't you answer me, legless hobo from Trading Places?

Finally free from the tyranny of pants.

So to summarize, men will never understand women's pants, because they literally cannot be understood.

That being said, never ever applaud a comedian who starts a routine about the differences between men and women. Because beyond the things I just mentioned, the only differences relate to nipples, film choices and singing voices. Everything else is a lie.

For more from Ian, check out 6 Obnoxious Old People Habits (Explained by Science) and 9 Awesome Places to Have Sex (And the Horrific Consequences).

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