Being a Woman in Society From My Perspective

This post I think is very special to me not only because it’s a part of my identity, but because it might open a lot of eyes.

So, here it goes. Being a woman in society can vary in each part of the world, but this is about my personal experience and what I’ve observed in the states. Growing up, my mother would always put me in pretty dresses and skirts. She would put bows and glamorous accessories in my hair and a boat load of gold jewelry on my sister and me. As I got older, my sister and I got into sports and my mother didn’t really like that we chose to be physical coming home with bruises and turf burn, instead of getting involved in dance classes.

When I got a bit more freedom, I paid even more attention to the interactions between women and men in my area and anywhere I went. In my neighborhood, when you reach an age where you go through puberty the grown men would whistle at you and cat call you like you were some type of animal. The creepier men wouldn’t even wait until you hit puberty; they would hit on you at any age.

As I viewed what happened to me, friends, family and women I didn’t know, it began to enrage me. Why did random and known men feel the need to talk to us like objects? Why did we take it the majority of the time? Why didn’t we speak up? When we did speak up, why wasn’t it entirely in the way we wanted to? I think we do so because if we speak our mind, complain, and tell them ‘no,’ we get labeled with “something is wrong with you.”

We are constantly told how to act, dress, speak and more. For example, if a woman is assaulted or harassed the first thing that is usually asked is “what were you wearing?” or “why do you think the person did what they did?” Instantly, they go straight to blaming the victim for just expressing herself through her clothing. Many people might agree with me when I say you can wear whatever you want as long as you’re comfortable in it and you like it. However, in the society we live in, it will always judge us if we seem different.

Many people ask me this question when I go to rallies and meetings about gender: “What does being a women in society feel like?” I usually say:

Being a women in society means working hard in a society that pays you less than a person who doesn’t do or put up with as much shit as you because of your gender and sex.

Having to constantly fear over or change your outfit several times so you don’t have to worry about it being too provocative due to your body type, or “distracting” the boys, or “asking” for someone to touch you without your permission.

Clutching your pepper spray down that dark sidewalk or speed walking to your building so you can avoid the group of guys that always want to take “care” of you.

Being conscientious of showing too much emotion anywhere due to your “period” or having too much of an opinion because that’s the “feminist” in you trying to come out instead of your actual thoughts.

However, being a woman in society means being raised by a single mother working two jobs to support your family.

Being a mother or a businesswoman and working hard at your job.

Being a woman is being able to say ‘no’ when you’re uncomfortable.

Lastly, being a woman in society is being able to do anything you put your mind to and choosing whatever you want.

Whether it’s for your body, career or life.