Sunday, March 08, 2015

Being a girl

Today is designated as the international women’s day. Just wanted to take a moment to feel in my heart what it has meant to be a woman in this life. Yes, there were downsides. Even though I grew up in a household where I had the same opportunities as my male sibling to prosper. But I’ll focus on the positive. On why it has also been a priviledge. No, it wasn’t motherhood, wifedom or daughtership that made it special for me. Those relationships allow others in your life to relate to you as a woman, and for you to relate to them. They are not about who you are in your own head.

I loved being a woman because of the depth of emotion I was allowed to feel freely and express vociferously. I could cry, laugh, sing as I wanted and no one expected a stiff upper lip out of me. She’s just being a girl, they would say! I loved being a woman because I could celebrate being spontaneous without self-consciousness! Change hairstyles, clothes, make-up, my mind - its called being flighty as a feather, being irresponsible. Its called, not being a man. I’m none the worse for it. I did not have to act tough, unless I wanted to show off. The men in my life were unfailingly chivalrous, opening my doors, carrying my luggages and happy to defend my honor with all the necessary flourish. Now, isn’t that lovely!?

It wasn’t until a bit late in life that I begun to realize, feeling loved and cherished as something delicate wasn’t all I wanted. I am educated, I can support myself, my shoulders are strong enough to support another physically, socio-economically, emotionally. Over the last few years, I have finally realized what a privilege it has been in this life to have earned this independence, particularly as a girl. I hold it quintessential to experience any other emotion with any degree of genuinity. That I can afford to be kind, that I can afford to follow the principles that inspire me, that I can love unconditionally without expectations is something dearer to me than life, because I am a woman and it could just as well have not been.

If you're a girl like me, reading this, I'd like to leave you with this thought: Next time they give up the seat for you, don’t accept it. Think about what you have within your grasp, not as the fairer sex who demand to be treated with honor, but as a towering strength that commands it.