I am a woman.
WARNING - if any part of the female reproductive process offends or grosses you out..stop reading. This post just isn't for you, sorry.
So being a woman means a lot of things. Some people think dresses, make up, gossiping or all sorts of socially defined "feminine" attributes. You know what being a woman means to me? Periods.
Did I just gross you out? ....why? Almost every woman - ever - has had to deal with them for the majority of their lives. It's one of the most common experiences across the globe - yet we are taught to hide it, be ashamed of it's consequences and generally try to involve as little people as possible in our plight. Again I ask, WHY? I honestly don't understand the sense of shame associated with this event. It's a monthly occurrence that we have little to no control over - and that actually can cause us a lot of pain and hardships. Yet there is a continual feeling of shame and secrecy that reinforced across generations, cultures and religions.
There are a lot of other things about the woman disposition that are taught to be less than worthy traits, actions and attributes. Ever heard the phrase "big girls don't cry"? Let me tell you, big girls cry - A LOT. You try not crying when you have a metric ton of hormones racing through you body at any given moment. Why is crying undesirable anyways? It simply shows you're feeling something strongly - whether it be pain, fear, happiness or sadness. We have been conditioned to link crying with helplessness - yet I cry almost daily and rarely feel helpless. Why are we taught to not let our bodies express the emotions that come so naturally to us? I could present the same argument for a myriad of female related traits - hospitality gets turned in to a homebody; our need for relationships gets turned in to gossiping mongering; and our love of beauty is warped in to vanity and conceitedness.
Not that this stuff doesn't happen to guys as well - I get especially angry when I hear people trying to make men in to hyper-masculine testosterone-bots. Men can be and act however they please, in whichever way feels most natural. As can women. Amen.
So what does being a woman mean to me? Periods. Because everything else I am is not defined by my chromosomes (thought it may be influenced by large amounts of hormones). I choose to be who I am, in whatever way fits me best. I define what being a woman means to me - no one else gets that kind of power in my life. And no one else can make me feel bad for who I am unless I let them.
And I don't.
I am a woman. I am self-defined and unashamed. I am getting off my soapbox now.
Photo: Picture of a woman.