What does it mean to be a woman?
I ask myself every day. Does it mean that I’m required to put concealer on every morning; concealing the number of hours I stayed awake, unable to fall asleep? Does it mean I can choose to dress conservative today with my long black shirt and loose fitting pants. Does it mean I can dress sexy tomorrow with my cleavage-bearing scoop neck neon shirt and mini skirt. Does being a woman mean ‘it’s okay if you can’t park parallel’ just bat your eyes and smile sheepishly? Is being silently rated by bystanders on a scale of 1 through 10 on a ‘hotness’ scale in the job description? – because I can do without it. Does being a woman mean I’m less of a human to man? – because I don’t remember too many women in History class. Does being a woman mean my discoveries will be overshadowed by those of a man? – because Rosalind Franklin only makes me feel nervous. I’m on edge because it’s not the same playing field little girls and boys are introduced to. I’m anxious because I constantly think of how I would explain the role of a woman and man to my possible future child/ren. I’m nervous, because what I see and hear outrage me on a daily, even hourly, basis. Why can’t we see only words and actions, and let physical appearance be an afterthought?
What does being a woman mean to me? It means I’m human. I make mistakes, but I get back on my feet when I fall. I try to make the world a better place by being a better person than I was yesterday. It means I’ve had rough days, but I acknowledge other people and their problems, and respect them undoubtedly. I try to listen more than I speak, and to compliment more than I criticize. Being a woman means I try. Is that different than from being a man? I don’t think so. What I put on my face does not define me. What I wear does not define me. What my name is does not define me. My actions and words, these are what define me.
And if you still do not understand, that makes me nervous.