What does being a woman mean to me? – #BestBootForward10

What does being a woman mean to me?

Woman

My first instinctive answer is that it means I am different. I guess this is because I was the only daughter in my family with two much older brothers. My mum had always wanted a girl, was unable to have one so adopted me.

As a young girl, I probably played more with boys than girls interestingly always creating myself a role so I could be part of their games.  I remember my Mum turning away the boys as I got older when they came to ask me to play out. I could not understand why but when I get my first period she announced to all the family that I had become a woman. I was upset that it was no longer deemed acceptable to play with the boys but it did mean that my Dad was dispatched to buy cake to mark this momentous womanhood. I have always loved the fact that my period was seen as a milestone to be celebrated.

I did not really think deeply about my place in the world until I became a teenager. My Dad said I just came downstairs one morning ranting and raving about various injustices in the world with the position of women in society being right at the top of the list.

I continued ranting when I went to Cambridge University where women were very much in the minority. Whilst other girls were seeking boyfriends, I was joining and then running women’s groups. I even invited some hapless blokes to come along to be educated! Back then I was so sure of myself in terms of opinions even if not so brave socially or boyfriend seeking wise. I used my womanhood as a reason to join a group where I knew they could not kick me out. Of course I learned a lot about women and the world through women’s group and those harsh facts just made me rant all the more infamously getting the porn removed from WHSmith for a whole day and  arguing we should not have the Sun in the common room.

In the advice world, I saw so many women in a state through mistreatment by men. Wives left with debts where men had signed their signatures. One woman in  particular is on my mind today from my early days as an advice worker. She was a victim of domestic violence and I could not work out why her hands were black and purple with bruises. I went home and Dad explained why. Police officers know these things that people who have not seen domestic violence don’t have to think about most of the time. I hope this woman is alive and living a positive life today. So many are not.

As a woman, I do not think I should have to conform to some media expectation of how I should look, how many hairs I should have on my bits, my underarms or my legs. I don’t actually trip over any of them you know!

As a woman, I wish some women would not reject the term feminism whilst we still have women killed every weeks in their own homes never mind on our streets. We have bigger battles to fight and we should join together until people of every gender and sexuality are treated with respect.

My mum’s hope for me was that she would have instilled backbone into me. That in itself says she knew I would have my own challenges as a woman and indeed we both suffered assault by men on the streets in our time.

My hope for my daughter is that she will respect herself mind, body and soul.

I am a mum. I am not always sure I should have become one as I struggle with many aspects of it. Having said that, I have released two boys and one little woman who have values that will ensure they do not abuse others moving forwards in life. And just possibly, that makes me woman enough.

 

 

Boundaries

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9 Comments

  1. michelle twin mum March 8, 2018 / 10:07 pm

    Definitely enough. I think what we do by raising our kids to be good and respectful citizens is an amazing thing and to be respected. Mich x

  2. Chloe @ Indigo Wilderness March 9, 2018 / 12:12 pm

    Ah! I love this post and you have touched on so many points that I feel the same about. Always an inspirational woman in my book and thank you as ever for joining in with this week’s #BestBootForward.

  3. Lauren @ Inspire Create Educate March 9, 2018 / 1:02 pm

    I don’t know a single mother who hasn’t struggled with aspects of parenting. Don’t compare yourself to someone else’s sizzle reel! #BestBootForward

  4. oftencalledcathy March 10, 2018 / 8:39 pm

    Any woman who raises the next generation of women to respect themselves and all her children to not abuse others has done a very important (and often difficult) job. You should certainly be very cheerful about your parenting successes x

  5. Becky Willoughby March 11, 2018 / 6:11 pm

    Its good to raise strong women who know how to make sure they are treated equally.

  6. Kirsty March 11, 2018 / 6:59 pm

    It’s great that your family had such a positive attitude about periods. I didn’t get cake, but I didn’t realise how lucky I was to have access to information and the things I needed, until I realised that there are girls who do not experience such openness or have families who prepare them for these changes.

  7. Old Mumma July 13, 2018 / 1:23 am

    Wow what a life you have led so far! I love that your parents celebrated your entry into womanhood, i hid mine as it was the dirty little secret in my family – single mum with 2 daughters go figure. #BlogCrush

  8. Helena July 14, 2018 / 5:33 pm

    I am sure you are an inspiration to many #BlogCrush

  9. Lucy At Home July 18, 2018 / 10:52 am

    This was a fascinating read. I’ve never really noticed the inequality of women until I started blogging a couple of years ago – with quite a traditional upbringing, I had just accepted my role as homemaker, mother, part-time worker. But reading blogs, I have become increasingly aware of how things can be different – how women can be more than homemakers (if they choose) and also how society is still making it harder for women than men. I have loved this new education and having my eyes opened. It’s great that you have been a part of it – setting up those groups and slowly changing the minds of society. #blogcrush

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