What makes a woman a woman? Is it her ability to be a good wife? bear children? be a nurturer? Or neither? Womanhood is subjective for the most part. Some go by biology and some go by societal standards.
Marriage and motherhood
Two things that are commonly associated with being a woman are motherhood and marriage. A lot of value is placed on women who have achieved both, and less on those who have achieved neither. As great as success is, and as sexy as oozing confidence can be; if there is no ring on her finger nor any kids running around – she’ll still be pitiful asked questions like “are you really happy?” and “was this lifestyle a choice?”.
This is problematic because it makes women think that they need to achieve this in order to be “women”. And if not they’re somehow failures. Or to the contrary if it’s not something they inately want they’re either “weird” or “a selfish rebel” . The truth is wants and needs vary between each individual just like everything else and there is no set narrative.
Culturally weddings are seen as “the bride’s day”. A day where anything she says goes. The day she has been dreaming of since she was a little girl. At least that’s what we’re told. Weddings are a huge celebration of love and unity. And ultimately a new beginning for both husband and wife. But the emphasis on the woman perpetuates the idea that it is more of a significant event in her life.
Similarly, having little girls play with doll and cooking sets can also prematurely set up the narrative of being a mother and housekeeper. Perhaps if there was as much emphasis on women becoming property owners or entrepreneurs for example – the perceptions around marriage would change.
A woman’s purpose
The older women become the more they work towards finding their purpose. This is a hard process that takes time. Mostly because it requires a full understanding themselves, along with their passions and desires. But let’s not forget we live in a capitalist society so the need to make a living is also important. Unfortunately more often than not our true purpose takes a back seat to the everyday hustle of life.
Women come in many forms, shapes, and sizes. This is the beauty of womanhood. Though it’s hard navigating through a world where we are told what to do, and how to live. The core foundation of being a real woman is following a desired path – regardless of what society says, and living life authentically. This can be by being a mother, wife, or a career woman.
By the time a woman passes the age of 50 she already knows her purpose. It’s important to embrace this and not succumb to the pressures of society.