What Makes a Woman?

What makes a woman?

Is a woman defined by the success with which she has raised her children? Is a woman defined her intelligence, or lack of, when compared to a man? Is she defined by the number of catcalls she receives on the street, or whether she has hair on her body or not, or whether she wears bras, has piercings, dyed hair?

Is a woman defined by whether she was born of the female sex or not? Is it her chromosomes? Is it the fact that her organs are smaller than a man’s?

Is a woman defined by the consistency in which she obeys her husband, or by her ability to suppress her own ambitions in order to let a man bloom? Is a woman someone who lives her life for the acceptance of men? Is a woman always someone who works in fashion, beauty, cooking, cleaning?

And at that, what makes a man? Is a man defined by his ability to pretend he has no emotions, and that no relationships can affect him on the same level as a woman? Is a man defined by how quickly he can shout “no homo!” after saying another male is attractive? Is a man defined, and valued, on how he treats a woman? What is true masculinity? Is a true male one who has no weakness, no vulnerability, no shame?

Think about it. What makes us who we are? Because I surely hope it’s not our stereotypes. Men have emotion, they cry and feel things just as deeply as women. Women are engineers, scientists, mechanics, mathematicians, soldiers. We are not what society says we are, and what I find so amazing is that their are so many exceptions to our stereotypes yet we still perpetuate them because we cannot fathom that a human can have more dimensions to them than the ones we have assigned them already.

I simply cannot comprehend, despite thousands of discussions and debates with others, why women have been thought of as second-class citizens for so long. We have existed as long as men have. We have evolved alongside men, alongside other animals, for as long as the human race has ever existed. Whether you believe in God or not, Adam and Eve existed alongside each other in the Garden of Eden. Why are women oppressed? What is it about us that is still causing us to be oppressed?

You cannot say it is because we are less intelligent, or less capable of making relevant contributions to society. I can prove you wrong. I can say, look at all these female scientists, engineers, mathematicians. Look at all these women sparking change and curing diseases. Look at these women working at CERN, look at these women starting businesses and saving lives. You cannot say it is because we are weak as we are more susceptible to emotion, because I know boys who are so sensitive I have to tiptoe around them to avoid hurting their feelings. You cannot say it is because man was chosen, because it is survival of the fittest and the man has already won, because to that I say, here are the women, and we still exist.

So what makes us, really? Is it the innocence of our actions, our intentions with others? Is it the anatomy of our bodies, the mechanics of our minds? Or is it what other people tell us that we are, that we should be?

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