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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Real short stories from individuals when asked to describe a moment that defined their feminine experience 

Disclaimer: I understand that this is very limited when it comes to the scope of the feminine experience.

Black cisgender pansexual 21

I think I would have to say getting my period was the moment it really clicked for me. I was ten when it happened and I had to get the talk about what it meant for me. My mom told me I had to be careful now that I could have a baby. Me being in elementary school and thinking that I could get pregnant scared the hell out of me. Historical women of color have been forced to have children so being aware of that and knowing that it could potentially happen to me now was terrifying. Also being a woman to me is being a provider for not only myself but for those around me. As a black woman, I am seen as an object by many, as I am also seen as “one of the good ones” I have not experienced as much discrimination as those around me. That does not mean that I do not experience discrimination, the reality is quite the opposite. However, I do not allow those things to bother me because I know that without my culture and my presence as a black woman, the world we know would not be the same.

White non-binary lesbian 21

I would feel most in line with my femininity when I would get catcalled by men. The first time it happened was probably when I was about 12, and at first, I was angry and probably a little embarrassed. There was also a part of me that was like yes I am attractive to the outside world. I ended up sort of seeking that attention, not necessarily catcalls but the attention from men. That was what in the back of my head made me more feminine. Like I do not like that an old man would think I was hot but it would affirm what I thought people valued most as a woman. As I got more comfortable with my identity and dating people that were not men, I slowly let go of that. I tie my feminity to how men saw me, and I do not want men to see me anymore, so I feel like it is harder to find. I feel feminine now only through me being a lesbian because I do not necessarily want to be seen as a man but not seen as a woman either. 

White cisgender heterosexual  41 

I know this sounds kind of cliche but it was when I found out I was pregnant with my first child. I went to the emergency room because I was in pain and they asked me if I could be pregnant I said no (cause I was on birth control at the time) and I felt like I was not ready to be a mom. And they took my blood work and then they told me I was pregnant. There was just this rush and I was suddenly on this rollercoaster, I was happy but also worried. I was thinking about how there may be complications. During the pregnancy, I felt like I could always keep the baby safe when it was in my belly because it was safe and warm and once I had the baby I was so worried cause I felt like oh gosh I have to keep this baby safe in the real world now. Becoming a mother has been such a key moment in my life and so that is what I would say really defined my feminine experience. 

Asian cisgender heterosexual 21

When I was in middle school I used to dress more masculine (I would roll up my jeans and would wear button-downs) and people would think I was a lesbian. It was not that I did not like them calling me a lesbian, but I just was not one. So I started to dress in high school more girly, and I did not get those comments anymore. I started to dress more girly not because of others but my style changed and I also found myself drawn to the new trends in woman’s clothes. Now I feel like I can dress however I want. Because it does not matter what I wear whether it is masculine or feminine, as long as I feel sexy and confident in it. As I have grown I have become more confident in my feminine identity. 

I am a Junior interior design major with a minor in sustainability. I love hiking, mountain climbing, and traveling. I like folk music and watercolor painting. My dream is to become a sustainable designer for a commercial firm in Charlotte.
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