Us women know we have to stick together. It’s a fact and one that is coming to light a little bit more in the wake of some massive movements that demand equality. However, there are still a bunch of things about being a woman that us women don’t tell other women enough. Okay, so if you’re a fan of Caitlin Moran then this isn’t so much of a problem because there is a woman that isn’t afraid to tell you like it is. But even she isn’t the answer to all the silent struggles faced by women everywhere.
Now, don’t get our intentions all mixed up and cross-wired because we’re not here to save the day and talk you through every big-slash-little ache that women feel and think they feel alone. Instead, what we’re going to (try and) do is tell you a few things about being a woman that most other women are too embarrassed/ashamed/worried/anxious to tell you firsthand.
Think of us at that oversharing friend that you are embarrassed to take to a restaurant but absolutely love hanging out with at home. That’s us. That’s who we are.
- Say The Word Feminism Proudly
Even now, with everything women have been through, ranging from the suffragette marches to the #metoo movement, we still seem a little scared to say the word ‘feminism’. It’s like we’re scared people will think we’re over-opinionated and about to launch into some crazed and passionate rant about how great we think we are, and how much better we are than others. In that sense, it’s similar to saying you’re an environmentalist or, to a lesser extent, a vegan. But the point is this: the world needs you to say these words with pride. The world is resting on your shoulders – it’s the legacy we should all try and leave behind – and that’s because feminism and environmentalism and veganism could all save the world.
- Don’t Be Scared Of That Woman Thing
As you can tell from this subheading, just writing the word period slightly freaks us out, and this seems to be the general consensus, even with women that are over the age of forty-two. How is this possible? Simple. Just because you are a woman that has been a woman for a long time doesn’t mean being a woman is a walk in the park. It doesn’t matter how many times you have faced the trauma of a period, it still comes as a total bloody surprise (excuse the pun). It’s not just the fact it happens either. It’s the fact you get really bad acne before periods, and that you don’t know when it is going to happen even though you kinda know when it is going to happen. Trying to explain all that womby-stuff to ourselves is hard enough, but to a man, wow, what comparison is there? Leaking a rank liquid – let’s say espresso coffee – from your bits, once a month, for the next three decades. Exactly.
- It’s Girlfriends Over Boyfriends
Let’s get one thing straight here: us girls would prefer to have deeper relationships with our boyfriends than our girlfriends, but it doesn’t work like that. It just doesn’t. Us girls have far deeper relationships with one another than we will ever have with a man and that’s because only girls know what it is like being a girl; the hardships, the exhaustion, the constant expectations we have to shoulder and live with. Girls can cry in front of other girls about anything and not get judged by some misunderstanding person that only has preconceived stereotypes to fall back on as a means of understanding. Girls can be open with girls. There is no judging one another or thinking we are being silly about something trivial. And that is something we haven’t been able to find with men, yet, or even a man. It’s a total bitch.
- Answering The Biological Clock Question
It’s the worst. It really is. But the worst part is this: there is no right answer. You could lock yourself away in a closet with a thick notepad, a pen and a torch for a week and still not come up with an answer that will please you or anyone else, especially now that most women aren’t having children in their (cough) “childbearing years”. But of course we aren’t. Right now, we do the childhood thing, go to school, go to college and then get a job to support ourselves financially and, at some point during all of this, we’re meant to be able to find a man that we can spend the rest of our lives with. Yes, that’s the simplistic version, but the detailed one is no better because, let’s be honest, not many of us are meeting men between the ages of 21 and 28 that are ready for that part of their lives. Men don’t want kids at the time we are going through our “childbearing years” and, if they do want them, they aren’t in a financial position to have them. Understand this and you can understand just how tricky this whole question is.
- The Humiliation Is Tiring
It really is. From the moment you became an adult – and sometime before – we have to endure getting wolf-whistled as we walk the streets, we have to put up with that weird uncle telling us we’ll be a heartbreaker when we’re older, we have to pretend to smile when people say we’re big-boned and all of it is tiring. But what is even more tiring is the fact nothing can help us. Not even fame and fortune, something we have seen with our female idols getting ripped apart in the media for doing nothing other than being human. “Ooooo, look how much weight so-and-so has put on” or “they must have gotten their eggs frozen”. It’s all total bull, as is all the leaked photos and sex-tapes getting put up for sale and whatnot. It’s as if being a woman is cause for humiliation a lot of the time and that, as you can probably feel, is absolutely knackering. As is all the stuff we went through above – from the delicate feminism thing to the biological clock thing. So, if you feel this way, don’t worry, we all do, and if we keep thinking like this then hopefully it will change.
- Stop Being Scared Of Being A Burden
This is another one of those painfully delicate parts of being a woman. It’s this idea that women should be more doormattish and less of a burden or, in all honesty, less of anything. Don’t follow this idea. In fact, shun with all of your might. You have every right to tell people what you want and how you feel and to ask questions. Men do and so should you. If you don’t then, the reality is, no one will know what it is you are after in life. It could be asking your lover to define what your relationship is or where they see it going. It could be asking your spouse to help fund your passion so that you can turn it into a legitimate business. It could be something as simple as asking the mechanic that just fixed your car to itemise your bill so that you can see why it cost as much as it did. And, come on, you’ve gotta ask your boss about your future at that company. These sorts of questions do not make you a burden, they make you an assertive human. They make you normal and reasonable and all of that sort of stuff.