What does it mean to be a woman?

Being a woman can often seem like every action and expectation is contradictory, regardless of where you live. You’re expected to be street smart, but vulnerable. You will be stereotyped as either helpless or stubborn. People will ask you questions, then smile, and look to whatever man you’re with for validation that your response was correct. Yet at the same time, women are supposed to be strong and independent. But not so independent that you don’t want to get married and settle down – preferably while you’re still young enough to have children.

Being a woman means that because of these stereotypes and expectations, simple actions can be shocking, surprising, and have unintended effects. It means that despite ‘equality’ you will still have to work harder to prove yourself as capable. Once you’re seen as capable, you may lose any association as a woman or feminine, because apparently capability and femininity cannot be synonymous.

Being a woman means having immeasurable strength and ability. It means moving past stereotypes and expectations and embracing yourself despite them. It means not letting the weight of the world bear down on your shoulders. It means growing to your full potential regardless of stereotypes and expectations.

It means defying society.

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12 responses

  1. Pingback: Revisiting old posts and reviewing search terms | finding development

  2. A friend tweet the question what does it mean to be a woman? after my answer and waiting that others answered decided to google it and found your post! I feel you described it so good.. btw hate stereotype! sad that is the way the world is and cannot change it overnight, but can try to make the difference, right?!?!.
    thanks for sharing!

    • Sorry for the late response, I just wanted to thank you. Stereotyping is horrible and its unfortunate that it still happens so frequently. I do hope that things begin to change at a more rapid pace and for women in all countries.

  3. Great post. We need to stand vigilant at the door of oppression, inequality and complacency, but the world is changing and has changed so much already that it gives me so much hope for the future.

  4. This is so true and I love this post. Depending on where you are of course you experience these things on a different level of intensity. Its important to not forget that men also have certain stereotypes that they feel they have to give in to as well.

    Being a strong woman in a country that doesn’t accept it is difficult. I find myself being laughed at on a weekly basis every time I show initiative or want to do something that ‘only men can do’. I move past it, and end up surpassing them. There is nothing like that feeling of success when you know you just did something they never thought of or that they thought you could not do well – or at all.

    • Oh men have stereotypes all the time, and its sad as well. I just feel as though a lot of the stereotypes they face in everyday life tend to give them an advantage against women. Not always an advantage emotionally, mentally, or physically, but when compared to women.

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