15 Examples of What It Means To Me To Be a Woman
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15 Examples of What It Means To Me To Be a Woman

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15 Examples of What It Means To Me To Be a Woman

* Disclaimer: Yes, some men may also share some of the following experiences, but this is about my experiences, and I’m a woman - not a man. *

To me, being a woman means:

1. I was told to ‘never let your drink out of your sight’ in college more times than I was told to have fun or study hard. Friends told me to make sure I always poured my own drink and never set it down for fear of date rape drugs and tampering; family, family friends, even my counselor at home and the counselor I met at my University reiterated this until they were blue in the face.

2. It means learning from a young age I have to always have a buddy or walk in a group if I’m traveling at dark or in crowded areas because there are men who snatch girls and hurt them in places we were only supposed to talk about if we were demonstrating on a doll.

3. It means always being told to cover up, instilling in me a feeling of it being inherently shameful to be a woman since something as innocuous as my bra strap or bit of thigh was seen as indecent or embarrassing and something to hide away and cover up. For example, in being a woman with boobs and who decides to wear a bra, it is inevitable that the strap might be visible on occasion, and I don’t need to immediately scramble to shove it out of sight for fear someone might glimpse it and faint in pure astonishment. Who’d have thunk it. Note: not all women decide to wear bras and that’s just as great as women who decide to completely cover up.

4. It means walking with my girlfriends when I was 15 and having men in their twenties and thirties drive by screaming, “Nice ass!” “Look at those tits!” and “Let’s fuck!” just because they knew they could get away with it.

5. It means having my sense of safety in my small town shattered because I was so shaken that men could easily shout sexual come-ons and slurs at minors and no one was shocked or even batted an eye.

6. It means walking into a restaurant when I was 16 and having a car full of men in the drive thru holler at me to come over to their car while they shouted about how much they liked my ass and my boobs and lewdly described what they wanted to do to me. And it means holding in the rage and humiliation of that moment because there was nothing I could do.

7. Being a woman means telling a male close to me about being sexually harassed by the aforementioned men and his response in total sincerity being to “look at the bright side, at least they think you’re pretty.” …I’m sure I don’t need to explain the multiple reasons why that is, pardon my French, so fucked up.

8. It means having the warning to “always walk with your keys in your fist” beat into my head by teachers, articles, videos, and my self-defense instructor who taught me moves and strategies only to fight off male attackers.

9. It means getting pepper spray in the mail from my parents after I moved into college, “just in case.”

10. Being a woman means having other women tell me that “we have to watch out for each other” at parties or out on the town (or life in general) because there is an unspoken acknowledgement of a danger we are supposed to protect each other from.

11. It means being called a bitch for standing up for myself to a sexist and misogynistic professor because I was expected to “stay in my place” since women who step outside of their carefully curated boxes are a threat to the status quo.

12.It means having a female alum tell me about how in her time at university she was twice chased by men when she was walking back to her residence and wondering if that is going to happen to me too, and wondering if I will be as lucky as she was in getting safely away.

13. It means a perpetual fear for my safety, clutching my keys and my mace when I walk alone, locking my car the second I slide in, parking my car as close to the building as I can, being sexually harassed and cat-called, being told to “avoid getting raped” or “don’t get raped” like it’s my choice or something I can choose to avoid ‘letting’ happen, knowing I will have to work harder than male counterparts in my field, being told by men how and what I get to think and feel and what experiences I’ve actually had, and having decisions about my vagina, my choices, and my genitals made by sexist lawmakers.

14. It means hoping other women don’t have to experience these things, knowing that many women have already endured similar and worse, and knowing that statistically I, and millions of other women, will likely face more of these atrocities the older we get.

15. And it means that this article might piss off a lot of people because women who stand up for themselves and speak out about their stories are threatening.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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