Being a woman sucks. While I am sure that it is just as hard to be a man as it is to be a woman, it is pretty hard to be a woman in a patriarchal society that is bent on controlling and keeping women in their place. It is hard to be a woman knowing that our female ancestors have been oppressed and that reminder is ever present. It is hard to be a woman knowing that some people won’t ever truly see a woman as fully equal to that of a man because of systematic rules and laws that have been — and continue — to be created today. In this article, I want to share with you 5 most annoying things about being a woman.
The Reality of Diminutive Names
If you are a woman, then you have probably been called cute, sweet, and pretty. You have probably been called these so-called positive adjectives to describe your exterior appearance. You have also most likely been called a girl more times than a woman or female. From the moment of birth (heck, even before), girls and women are thought of as sweet little princesses and angels. If you’ve have had a daughter, then you have probably called her cute. While there is nothing wrong with that, calling someone cute or sweet too many times, without emphasis on what they are as a person, can be just as damaging as calling them by a bad name. Also, when you call a girl or a woman cute, then eventually it loses its intended meaning and it becomes nothing more but just a word that is always associated with negative stereotypes of the female gender.
While it’s okay to occasionally call a girl or a woman as being cute, it is just as important that we continue to lift and empower women to be more than just cute. Women are not cute little play things. Women are not just creatures of beauty but instead intelligent and strong people. From the moment of birth, girls should be not just called cute but instead people should use more empowering words to describe them. Don’t use adjectives which can be diminutive in nature to describe women and girls, because if you do eventually, they will start to believe that is all that they are: just cute.
The Expectation to Play with so-called Girl Toys
From the moment of birth, baby girls and baby boys are divided. There are separate clothes and toys. Each item is designated as either being for girls or for boys. Girls are expected to play with Barbie dolls, push baby strollers around, and dress up as Disney princesses. Boys, on the other hand, are expected to play with so-called boy toys, such as cars, trucks and trains. In fact, if you walk into the toy department of your local Walmart or Target, you will probably notice that the so-called boy toys and girl toys are separated. There isn’t a label that says they are exclusively for boys or girls, but there is a more subtle label on the packaging of boys or girls playing with the product. And pictures are definitely more powerful than words. If you see a picture of a boy playing with a toy car or a girl pushing a baby stroller, then you probably want to get your son that same toy car or your daughter that baby stroller.
While it is okay for boys to play with the so-called boy toys and the girls to play with the so-called girl toys, we should still not limit them. We should let them play with whatever toy they want. Gender is just gender. One way that gender is defined is by the chromosomes, XX and XY, and we should not let that dictate what we let our children do or play with as they get older. We should just let each child — regardless of gender — play with whatever toy they want. Boys shouldn’t be scorned for wanting to play with a doll. Similarly, girls shouldn’t be made fun of for playing “rough” or getting dirty.
Again, gender is just gender. Let each child play with the toy that they want. Each person — each child — is different. They are not their gender. But instead they are their own unique person. So, since they are unique, let them do what they want to do.
Not Enough Female Representation
Ever since I was younger, I noticed that there wasn’t enough female representation. In fact, even today, there still isn’t enough female representation in leadership roles. In most companies or branches of government, more than half of the positions are filled by white men. As a girl, it can be disheartening to see so many men in positions of power and not enough women. While I believe that we shouldn’t simply give a position to a woman simply on the basis of her gender but based on her qualification, we should still work toward nurturing girls of today to strive to be the best, so that one day, there will be more female representation in leadership and executive boards.
Not having the necessary female representation simply sets a low standard and girls grow up thinking that is all women are capable of doing. Watching women stay at home as housewives with an inability to vote for decades has contributed to this. Living in a country in which even the Declaration of Independence states that all men are created equal, has somewhat lowered the position of women in this country. If the Declaration of Independence states that men are equal, then why not women as well? Shouldn’t we change the wording to say all women and men are created equal?
Being Seen as the Emotional or Fragile One
In society, women are often seen as being too sensitive or too emotional. Women are often seen as being fragile or weak. Women are associated as people who break down easily and need more support. In contrast, men are seen as people who are strong, unemotional, and independent. These stereotypes still affect women today. By having these stereotypes define women, we are limiting women. We are saying that women are just people who are ultimately beneath a man and a second class citizen.
When you go through life with these expectations, then you start to believe that is what you are. Many women believe that they are emotional because society says that they are. Many women don’t believe that they are as strong, or can be as strong or even stronger than a man, simply because a man said that woman can’t possibly be. But I can think of instances in which women are stronger than men. Women have silently endured the tyranny of men in a patriarchal society. They have had to live with certain laws that are bent on controlling what a woman does with their body. And they have had to limit themselves because of what a man has told them. Bearing this in mind, a woman is not that weak.
The time has come that we stop seeing women as the weaker gender. The time has come that we must see women as equal to men, and girls to boys. Gender is just gender. People are all different regardless of which chromosomes you were assigned at birth. So, stop seeing women as weak because I guarantee that women are not. Women have endured so much more than men have ever had to endure. And women will continue to do so.
The Difference in Clothing
This is an issue that has always bothered me. The fact that a man can walk out in public without a shirt on, bearing the chest for all to see, and it is legal. But it is deemed improper, illegal, and immoral for a woman to do the same. A woman and a man have most of the same features. A woman and a man both have a chest. One may just have a bigger one and it may be called a different name, but it is basically the same. If a man can walk outside without a shirt on, then so should a woman. If a woman can’t, then it should be deemed improper for a man to do so.
The fact that there is this difference is so infuriating. Society expects women to cover up their bodies, but that they don’t expect the same for a man. From the beginning of time, women and men have always had different styles of clothing. Women were expected to wear dresses, petticoats, and clothes with laces. Men were expected to wear pants. Of course, times have changed since those beginning, and women are now allowed to dress more freely. But there are still a few things that women are expected to do in order to seen as beautiful or graceful, mainly the wearing of the bra or wearing high heels.
Women have to wear high heels (and ultimately hurting and ruining feet) so that they can appear taller, more elegant, and even more professional, while men can just wear shoes that are relatively comfortable. Women also have to still wear bras when out in public while men don’t have to. While bras are used to support the upper chest and are often seen as necessary, most women can agree that bras are not the most comfortable and many look forward to the part of the day when they can just slip it off at home.
There are just so many rules that women have to follow in terms of clothes that men don’t have to. In order for there to be true equality between the genders, we should eliminate those rules and let women wear whatever they want. If they don’t want to wear a bra or want to walk around without a shirt, then that should be okay. At the root, men and women are the same and should be treated as people. We should not pose restrictions against people simply because of whatever chromosome they happened to have been born with.