“What makes a woman a woman?”O
One of the more difficult types of questions I’ve been asked because, in all honesty, there’s no set definition. And that’s a good thing. How you define yourself as a woman is something personal (if you identify yourself as a woman).
We’ve obviously grown as a society. One that once accepted that women are weak, gentle, and unintelligent. Although slowly, but gradually, we’ve begun questioning the stereotypes around being a woman. We’re also finally recognizing that trans women are WOMEN. They’ve always been there, but we’re finally taking the steps to acknowledge them. I guess in a sense, being a woman is an identity, and if you internally identify as a woman, you are one. Why should anyone tell you any different?
I see strength and courage in being a woman. But I also know to be one comes with some baggage, but having problems in life is what makes it interesting…right?
People tend to assume you’re wrong about anything you say. Any facts you state are immediately questioned and not taken seriously. But at the same time, people expect you to be more serious. Any attempt at jokes or sarcasm are not taken as a joke and lose their comedic effect. Maybe, women aren’t seen as funny because their environment isn’t giving them a chance to be funny. Just a thought.
And let’s talk about the number of times guys have interrupted me in the middle of a story and thought nothing of it. It’s almost as if they think they have more of a right to speak over me.
It makes me confused. But it also makes me realize how similar men and women are, yet the pressure to conform to a gender role is what separates a man and a woman. As time goes by I see this line blurring…but not really. And a lot of it can be explained by sexism, social constructs, patriarchy, and power differences.
This idea of gender has become a no man’s land between activists, philosophers, writers and scientists. What makes you a man or a woman anyway?
The world around us is what shapes our gender, and in the end, we’re all individuals. I’m one type of woman out of 3 billion others.
But this is not to say at all that the experiences females encounter are not a part of being a woman. Of course, menstruation is a part this large yet very loose definition of what it means to be a woman. So is our hormones, being pregnant, giving birth, constantly avoiding sexual harassment, and failing to avoid it. The list can go on.
We’re also natural multitaskers and that’s beautiful. We’re not only a friend, but we can also be a lover, an enemy, we can be cute, tough, sexy, we can be a coworker, or a mom, or a leader, or just about anything we want to be. Because in the end, gender is an identity; what we identify ourselves with and our individual right.
It’s hard to say what makes a woman because I don’t initially associate my actions or my thoughts with my gender identity, I think of myself first as a human and what makes me a human. But the world around me sees my gender first and expects me to act in a certain way because of it.
For me personally, it’s a combination of my biology and the way I’m treated but the world that makes me a woman.
Hope you enjoyed this post! I thought it’s a great way to start Women’s History Month and get you to reflect on the events that have happened to lead women into the position they’re in today.
I would also love to hear your thoughts on what makes a woman a woman? It’s not something I thought about before this, and if you feel the same way, take the leap and write something on the topic in the comments below!