What Does It Mean To Be A Woman?

What Does It Mean To Be A Woman?

Despite the ridiculous expectations society has pushed on women, they remain strong and united.
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What does it mean to be a woman? From our past until now, women have been fighting endlessly to be seen as equal to men. Thanks to our ancestors, a woman's place in the world is very different than where it used to be. Despite all the advancements in women's rights, there is so much more that society must recognize has always been a set of guidelines that women are expected to follow from the moment the doctor declares: “it’s a girl”.

In the first couple of years her life, it will appear that being a woman is easy. She’s young. She is innocent. She believes that the world is this beautiful amazing thing. She can do whatever she sets her mind to because there are endless possibilities.

As soon as she reaches grade school, a young girl becomes conscious of her body. By now she has realized that if she’s too big, they will torture her by calling her a whale, but if she’s too small, they’ll call her anorexic. Each little feature will be picked out and dissected like a frog in a biology class. Her stomach should be flat. Eyebrows are always perfectly even. She will always smell of vanilla or some sort of flower. Her skin can never shine. Anything unique on her body that doesn’t fit into the standard of beauty society has set will classify her as unappealing until she gets botox or plastic surgery to fix it. Girls sit in their rooms dousing their face in blue eyeshadow and lipstick at the age of eight because they believe it makes them look more beautiful. Even when she gets older, this mindset will not change.

From the moment a woman matures, her body becomes sexualized. Her breasts get larger so that no one can stop staring at her chest while she stands in front of the class and attempt to give an admirable presentation that no one will remember because they were too invested in what was underneath her shirt. A woman learns to be conscious of what she is wearing. If she wears something covering up too much, she will be referred to as a prude or a goody-goody. On the opposite side, wearing something too short means that she is kinky and likes to mess around. Someone touches her without her permission when she wears her miniskirt and although she protests, the offender claims she was asking for it because of her provocative attire.

Because of this, she learns that the rules to sex are not much different than attire. Her chastity is irrelevant. Although a woman waits till she is comfortable with someone, they hate that she is such a goody-goody for waiting so long and that she is inexperienced. If she wants to experiment with her body most men don’t mind. They like the idea of enjoying her for half an hour and dumping her aside. Yet, they never cease the rumors that spread about her or the whispers between him and his friends as she passes by. Despite the idea that a man banging a bunch of chicks is considered a player, society declares that she is a whore because a woman sleeping around is improper.

Despite how hard she tries, her intelligence is unimportant. Society wants her to be smart, but she can never be smarter than a man; god forbid they feel inferior. On the other hand, if she is ignorant, people will use and abuse her until there is nothing good for her anymore. After all, a girl's worth is partially defined by her intelligence as well as appearance. Whether dumb or smart, there are expectations for her future that come from both. The empty-headed version of her will be working at a strip club. The school did not bother to help her succeed when a moronic man required attending to in the same fashion. He was more likely to flourish in society anyway. The expectation for the brilliant woman is more extravagant. They will expect her to become a world-class neurosurgeon or the first female president of the United States. In the fields, the idea of starting a family will be frowned upon.

Once a woman finally finds a significant other, she starts to think of having a family. Although it seems like a easy decision to make, there are many factors to consider. The first (and most important) is the fact that she will probably have to sacrifice her career. Once she gets pregnant, she will have nine months of agony filled with morning sickness, swollen feet and a human being eating half of her intake in food all the time. Then, she will take a couple months off of work on maternity leave, but her job is not always guaranteed. Often times a man will replace her while she’s gone since he was more reliable. Even if she does receive her job back, they may have taken away certain responsibilities and given them to someone else that way the next time she takes an ‘unnecessary’ leave from work they will still be able to take care of the important jobs. On a different side, when her and her significant other decides not to have children, society looks at them as a weird couple. Through the years of a person's life, it has been engraved in them that they must be married with kids in order to continue the family name or populate the earth for some odd and unknown reason.

All of this, and more, occurs during a woman's lifetime. All of this is what a woman has to suffer with knowing everyday. So: “What does it mean to be a woman?” It means to be strong. It means when life kicks you down and tells you you can’t do something because of your gender, you get back up and prove them wrong. It means you fight for the things you believe in, big or small. It means to show beauty, love and kindness when all you can see is evil and hatred. Being a woman is something take pride in. We have a lot to offer the world, therefore we hope it is ready to see what’s in store.
Cover Image Credit: Youtube

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No, I Don't Have To Tell You I'm Trans Before Dating You

Demanding trans people come out to potential partners is transphobic.
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In 2014, Jennifer Laude, a 26-year-old Filipina woman, was brutally murdered after having sex with a U.S. marine. The marine in question, Joseph Scott Pemberton, strangled her until she was unconscious and then proceeded to drown her in a toilet bowl.

Understandably, this crime triggered a lot of outrage. But while some were outraged over the horrific nature of the crime, many others were outraged by a different detail in the story. That was because Jennifer Laude had done the unspeakable. She was a trans woman and had not disclosed that information before having sex with Pemberton. So in the minds of many cis people, her death was the price she paid for not disclosing her trans status. Here are some of the comments on CNN's Facebook page when the story broke.

As a trans person, I run into this attitude all the time. I constantly hear cis people raging about how a trans person is "lying" if they don't come out to a potential partner before dating them. Pemberton himself claimed that he felt like he was "raped" because Laude did not come out to him. Even cis people that fashion themselves as "allies" tend to feel similar.

Their argument is that they aren't not attracted to trans people, so they should have a right to know if a potential partner is trans before dating them. These people view transness as a mere physical quality that they just aren't attracted to.

The issue with this logic is that the person in question is obviously attracted to trans people, or else they wouldn't be worried about accidentally going out with one. So these people aren't attracted to trans people because of some physical quality, they aren't attracted to trans people because they are disgusted by the very idea of transness.

Disgust towards trans people is ingrained in all of us from a very early age. The gender binary forms the basis of European societies. It establishes that there are men and there are women, and each has a specific role. For the gender binary to have power, it has to be rigid and inflexible. Thus, from the day we are born, we are taught to believe in a very static and strict form of gender. We learn that if you have a penis, you are a man, and if you have a vagina, you are a woman. Trans people are walking refutations of this concept of gender. Our very existence threatens to undermine the gender binary itself. And for that, we are constantly demonized. For example, trans people, mainly women of color, continue to be slaughtered in droves for being trans.

The justification of transphobic oppression is often that transness is inherently disgusting. For example, the "trans panic" defense still exists to this day. This defense involves the defendant asking for a lesser sentence after killing a trans person because they contend that when they found out the victim was trans, they freaked out and couldn't control themselves. This defense is still legal in every state but California.

And our culture constantly reinforces the notion that transness is undesirable. For example, there is the common trope in fictional media in which a male protagonist is "tricked" into sleeping with a trans woman. The character's disgust after finding out is often used as a punchline.

Thus, not being attracted to trans people is deeply transphobic. The entire notion that someone isn't attracted to a group of very physically diverse group of people because they are trans is built on fear and disgust of trans people. None of this means it is transphobic to not be attracted to individual trans people. Nor is it transphobic to not be attracted to specific genitals. But it is transphobic to claim to not be attracted to all trans, people. For example, there is a difference between saying you won't go out with someone for having a penis and saying you won't go out with someone because they're trans.

So when a cis person argues that a trans person has an obligation to come out to someone before dating them, they are saying trans people have an obligation to accommodate their transphobia. Plus, claiming that trans people are obligated to come out reinforces the idea that not being attracted to trans people is reasonable. But as I've pointed out, not being attracted to trans people supports the idea that transness is disgusting which is the basis for transphobic oppression.

The one scenario in which I would say a trans person should disclose their trans status is if they are going to have sex with someone and are unsure if their partner is attracted to whatever genitals they may have. In that case, I think it's courteous for a trans person to come out to avoid any awkwardness during sex. But even then, a trans person isn't "lying" if they don't come out and their partner is certainly not being "raped."

It is easy to look at the story of Jennifer Laude and claim that her death was due to the actions of one bigot. But it's more complicated than that. Pemberton was the product of a society that told him that disgust towards trans people was reasonable and natural. So when he found out that he accidentally slept with a trans woman, he killed her.

Every single cis person that says that trans people have to come out because they aren't attracted to trans people feeds into the system that caused Jennifer Laude's death. And until those cis people acknowledge their complicity in that system, there will only be more like Jennifer Laude.

SEE ALSO: Yes, You Absolutely Need To Tell Someone You're Trans Before Dating

Cover Image Credit: Nats Getty / Instagram

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10 Men That Will Change Your Mind About Hair Loss

It happens to the best of them, but these men look better with a bald head!

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Hair loss is such a common thing for men to face as they get older. As a society, I feel as though we typically frown upon it. This is probably the case due to the amount of hair transplants and hair products to stop hair loss and start hair growth. However, there are some men who can make the hair loss turn into a great thing because of how good they look bald. So, I have found the best looking bald men (in my opinion, of course!) and put them all into one list for your viewing pleasure!

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1. Will Smith

First of all, I am extremely bias because I believe that Will Smith is the best looking man on this planet (even my boyfriend knows this!). Second, Will Smith is not always bald, but when he is, he tops the list of all bald men. In his role of Deadshot in Suicide Squad, Will was rocking the bald cut and looked absolutely amazing while doing so. 10/10, would recommend.

Will Smith: Deadshothttps://batman-news.com/2016/12/13/deadshot-movie-...


2. Idris Elba

Once again, another man that is not usually bald but when he is, he sure does kill. Idris Elba is such a great looking man and has an even better sounding voice. What is better than a man with an accent that looks good bald?


Idris Elbaidris-elba-hairstyle


3. Dwayne Johnson

We all know that the Rock is a favorite among women. He is tall, handsome and has the big strong muscles. Not to mention he plays the sweet father role well and has a great sense of humor. But the most impressive part of him is that he can be bald and pull it off VERY well!

Dwayne Johnsonhttps://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/f...


4. Morris Chestnut

Such a beautiful man with an amazing smile. I am not sure how someone could not love the appearance of Morris Chestnut. Did I mention his smile?

Morris Chestnutmorris-chestnut


5. Shemar Moore

Another man with no hair that steals the show with a great smile is Shemar Moore. His bald head stands out in a great way and I think it would be impossible to have this type of list without Shemar on it.

Shemar Moorehttps://mymajicdc.com/3632803/see-the-photo-that-h...

6. Kobe Bryant

Not only is the MVP of basketball but he might be the MVM (most valued man) of the bald men out there! Once again, another beautiful smile. Not to mention, he's extremely talented.

Kobe Bryanthttps://www.kcra.com/article/nba-legend-kobe-bryan...


7. LL Cool J

A singer and an actor, representing the best of the bald men out there. Such a beautiful smile (are we seeing a trend here?) and an even better looking man. Could not leave LL Cool J off of this list either.

LL Cool Jhttp://comicbook.com/2014/10/29/ll-cool-j-says-hes...


8. Tyrese Gibson

Another man who can definitely give a positive view on being bald and losing your hair, Tyrese has been doing the look justice for a long time now.

Tyrese Gibsonhttps://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/tyrese-gibs...


9. Vin Diesel

We all know him from the Fast and the Furious, but let's recognize that he is a great looking man, rocking the bald head look. We love the movies and we love him. Go you Vin Diesel, keep rocking out and winning over all of our hearts (and eyes!).

Vin Dieselhttps://pagesix.com/2017/12/29/vin-diesel-named-fo...


10. Common

What common lacks in hair on his head he gains in facial hair. I swear he has one of the best beards ever. Also, those freckles? Hello? So cute!

Commonhttps://www.grammy.com/grammys/news/common-becomes...


Hopefully, after seeing as these wonderful men absolutely slaying the bald look, you'll think twice about hair loss (whether you're a man or a woman!).

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