Being a woman...

Let’s talk about women. Being a woman…knowing a woman…loving a woman. We can all relate to that. But what does being a “woman” in this age truly entail? What does it mean?

We women are powerful creatures, so powerful yet I don’t think we even realise how powerful we truly are. We are delicate yet incredibly strong at the same time. We are loud and fierce yet know how to listen silently and be there for someone. We are beautiful. And I am not talking about just outward beauty, inside each of us our beauty is so strong yet it’s so easily ignored. We carry the weight of the world on our shoulders, yet we always offer a helping hand to those that need it. We know how to cry, boy do we know how to cry. But we also know how to love so fiercely that it could explode out of us. We are a walking, talking vessel of every possible emotion there is to feel. And we feel those emotions so intensely.

Even as I am writing this post, I am writing it with so much emotion. Can I tell you why I am emotional? No. Of course not. But that’s just the territory that comes with womanhood isn’t it. We feel. Like, really feel. We have intense highs and deep lows. We can cry and not know why we are crying. We can feel so angry and pissed off but have no real reason for feeling angry and pissed off. We dissect every bit of conversation and worry ourselves about whether we got our point across correctly, or whether the other person thinks we are an idiot, or whether what we said upset someone. We scrutinise over what other people, mainly other women, think about us. About how we look, about what we said. About who we are as women. We take things to mean something else, we get upset by the tone of voice used, not just the words. We get upset if someone forgets to message us back, thinking that we have done something wrong, what could we possibly have said? Does that person hate us now? We obsess over how that stranger looked at us, do they think I look too fat/too skinny? Is my outfit choice wrong? We get hurt when our partner doesn’t give us the attention we want, when they don’t tell us that we look beautiful today. We look at other women and compare. We compare our bodies, how successful other women are compared to us. How other women’s relationships seem so perfect and argument free. When we look in the mirror, we see imperfections. Hang ups. Things we want to change. Add being on your period to all of the above and whoa, shit just got real crazy.

If there was a way to visualise a women’s thought processes and emotions for just one day. Scratch that, not even a day, an hour, I think men would be absolutely gob smacked and mind blown and wonder how we cope. I know for me personally, I can flip between emotions within a second. I can have a full on argument with someone in my head, and I mean really full on, over a scenario that hasn’t even happened, and probably won’t ever happen. I can overthink an event that happened or a conversation that was had, and overthink it so insanely that it consumes all of my thoughts and controls my emotions, to the point where it’s all I can think about and I’m officially obsessed.

It seems that with being a woman, you automatically get labelled into categories. You get defined by people as to what “kind of woman” you are. You wear nice clothes, show off your body and wear makeup? You’re easy, vain or a slut. You are successful in your career and really want to get ahead? You’re a bitch and two-faced. You’re reserved, quiet and keep things to yourself? You’re stuck-up, nerdy, boring. The point is, we are labelled. Like things. By people who think they know who we are just from how we look or first impressions. Why even give labels in the first place? Can a woman not be who she is without being put in a box? From working in bars and restaurants for the first few years of my “career” life, I had to deal with men. I’d get stared at in a real pervy way, I’d overhear men talking about my body. I’d get ass grabs by men old enough to be my father. I’d get drinks bought for me or get asked to join them after my shift. And that wasn’t just me, that was all women I have had the pleasure to work with. And I’m not just saying that only happens in the hospitality industry. It happens to women in all career fields. But that’s just the norm right? That’s what we women are here for, to be a good time for the guys, to be looked at, touched inappropriately.

Well I am calling bullshit on that.

I am calling bullshit on all the “men” (and I am using the term “men” loosely here as let’s be real, they are not men). “Men” who do not know how to treat a woman. “Men” who act like the tough guy by hitting on women in an inappropriate way but actually go home lonely and hating their lives. By “men” who thinks it’s okay to say comments, ass grab, wolf whistle at women like we are dogs. By “men” who need an ego boost so act like a total dick to get high fives from other “men” but by doing so, objectify the women in their lives.

Now please don’t get me wrong, this is not a, “I hate men” feminist piece. And it’s not about trying to say women are better than men. All of the men that I love in my life are wonderful. My father is the most incredible and wonderful man that I know. My husband too. My brothers, uncles, friends are all fantastic men who know how to treat women. The point of this piece is to talk about and praise women and what women go through, and have gone through.

A lot of female celebrities are using their platform to speak out against injustice on women. And there are a lot of movements now including the “me too” movement or the “times up” which are encouraging women to speak out about their injustices and stand up for all women. Whether it is harassment in the work force, equal pay, equal opportunities. Which is a shame really when we live in such an advanced world yet simple things like equality aren’t at the forefront. But it's great that people are finally talking about it. Bringing it to everyone's attention as enough is enough. 

I think it is such a beautiful thing when women come together, celebrate each other, support and help one another. When women can support another women’s success or relationship without being jealous. Because, really, we women are the only ones who know what each of us are going through. We are the only ones who can relate to each other, offer advice about certain things. And guaranteed there is another woman out there who is going through exactly the same thing as you right now. Since having my daughter, I love how supportive other mums are. Pre-pregnancy, I had the misconception that "mums clubs" were where women get together and secretly compare each others children and bitch about how other women parent. But how wrong I was.  I’ve realised that motherhood comes with amazing friends and women who can help you, who make you feel like you’re not alone and who can be that saving grace when times are tough. Because being a mother, we need each other. We need other mothers to relate to, talk to, vent to. We need other mothers who are going through the exact same thing, and those "mum clubs" are something I am so pleased to be a part of.  

Female friendships are so special. I feel like we connect with each other on another level. I am so lucky and so blessed to have a handful of incredibly special women in my life, some who we have been friends since childhood, and some who I have met in my adult life. And I can honestly say I do not know what I’d do without them. Having such special female friendships is a bond that will never be broken. You can tell all of your most secret thoughts and they will not judge you, they’ll probably tell you they’ve thought the same. You can ask honest opinions and not be upset by the answer. You can confide emotionally and feel so much better, like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. You can laugh so hard until you pee and cry over something so trivial. And the feeling of being another woman’s confidante, the person who makes them feel better, is equally as special.

So, as women supporting other women, let’s celebrate one another. Let’s be happy for each other’s successes and happiness. Let’s be an ear, a smile, a helping hand for a woman who needs it. Let’s love each other and stop comparing ourselves in a negative way. Let’s accept that we are all different, yet all experience the same things in this world so we may as well do it together. Holding hands. Smiling at one another. We women are incredible. Let’s never forget that.