Recently in one of my classes, a boy told me that the only reason I won a classroom contest was because I was a girl. In a class of all boys, and the comment coming off in such an off-hand and surprising way, I was taken aback. Suddenly, I realized that no matter how hard a woman tries, or no matter how much she excels, it can sometimes be tied back to her gender. And not in a way that is beneficial to her, or even kind of right. This “gift” of being a woman had to make up for a male losing, a man falling behind a woman in the race to the top.
My friends and I often talk about how easy being a boy is. No need to give birth for hours on end and endure unthinkable pain. No reason to spend an hour getting ready to go out or go to a formal or even out to dinner. There are certain societal rules that only apply to females, and those rules often come with stress and worry.
But today as I reflect on my experience in that class, and my experiences throughout my short time growing up in a patriarchal society, I am glad I am a woman. Because throughout time, as situations like the Kavanaugh case have come up, it is sickening. But hearing the resulting outcry, the individuals in our world who were also too sickened to turn on the news or open the newspaper, showed me how many people are searching and advocating for change right along with me. The women who respond with the “Me Too” movement, the women who vote to make their voice heard, and the women who stand together in solidarity show me what hope looks like. Voices cannot be silenced when they believe in what they know is right.
So yes, I am glad to be a woman. Because the word ‘woman’ means strength to me. It echoes resilience and screams that it will not be silenced, no matter the circumstance or the individuals involved.