Women Are Not Men!

What is Woman?

Vacation

Somehow, they always seem to know when it counts…

After centuries of having this question answered for us, we have struggled to rise to the opportunity of defining ourselves. It’s become an individual project, each woman left to figure it out alone because the thing we all have in common is portrayed as our greatest weakness.

The primordial origins of what it is to be female have been weaponized against us so effectively that we are terrified of them. To even suggest that the potential to gestate offspring is fundamental to femaleness is controversial, and feminism has traditionally been about exploring all the other things women can do.

The legacy we inherited is strangely silent on the subject of motherhood. Implying pregnancy is a uniquely female problem automatically puts people in mind of conservative family cults. ‘Is a childless woman somehow less of a woman?’ comes the perennial question.

Of course not! Biology may not be destiny, but it is our common starting point. Our hypothetical ability to bear children is understood by those around us from the very beginning. It is the wellspring of the endless conditioning we all face.

Our assumed reproductive capacity is the rationale for misogyny. It is the foundation of the patriarchy we are fighting every day!

Feminism’s unwillingness to directly address this fact is its fatal flaw.

Radical feminism is supposed to be about getting to the root of female oppression. Yet, somehow, it’s unpopular to point out that the root of women’s oppression is our unique childbearing abilities. Men simply can’t do this, and they’re still fuming over it! 

A pregnant woman is a vulnerable woman, a new mother even moreso. Creating the next generation takes a lot out of you, and our male companions have taken disgusting advantage of this process.

But never mind suggesting we should be controlling that conversation. Maybe after we get parity in the Fortune 500.

I understand the gutwrenching, involuntary internal scream in response to, ‘Do you think you might settle down?…’ On top of the social suffocation that is Parenthood, kids have only become less affordable since people started asking me that. I get how plenty of other Pushing-40s have passed that off-ramp and not looked back.

But if we are really so enlightened, if we have cast aside the shroud of ignorance and revealed Woman as just as capable and intelligent as any man, we should be able to look honestly at who she is. Where we come from will always be part of who we are.

Little Girl Makeup

Someday, I’m getting out of this dump!

Maybe think of motherhood as women’s hometown. Some of us are happy there and stay there our whole lives, others leave early and never look back. Some of us yo-yo for decades before making up our minds.

At 20, I was a Leaver. I was way too focused on being a nervous wreck to worry about family planning. I probably should have, but I’ve always been determined not to be resentful of my son.

We are responsible for making choices, and I would never force motherhood on anyone who didn’t want it. It’s fucking hard! And if your heart’s not in it, please don’t bother.

But whether or not we realize our reproductive potential is strangely beside the point.

The very existence of that potential – our Hypothetical Motherhood – has been enough to justify thousands of years and millions of lives. Have a baby, don’t have a baby – I look forward to celebrating our freedom of choice when all women share it.

Sadly, that’s not looking likely anytime soon. Women’s liberation, our personal bodily autonomy, is out of fashion in the Western democracies. We’re being brushed aside, yet again, in favor of the latest iteration of Male Supremacy. Quelle suprise.

And we’re letting it happen because we’re too afraid to face who we are. Better to be erased from law and history than admit what a female is.

Men have no problem confronting their maleness, they assume it’s just how things are! They turn the thermostat down and get up and leave without a word, frustrated by the suggestion of alternatives. Men have written endlessly about what it’s like to be a man. They have expressed every possible permutation in loving detail, indulged in their darkest thoughts without a shred of shame.

The ‘male gaze’ is everywhere, many young girls absorb it and internalize it. I know I did. Again, we are isolated, separated into body parts and spread across camera angles.

What is Woman? Is it any wonder we don’t know?? Men feel perfectly entitled to their maleness, our intimate companions spread their hairy flatulence across the couch without a care in the world! The confidence of a mediocre white man truly is something to behold.

Patch Him Up

Don’t worry, you’ll get him next time!

But all the gender-bending going on has me imagining a different kind of swap – What if masculine traits made you look less intelligent, less competent? Why is a deep voice perceived as authoritative instead of dopey? Why is it what a fat bitch and not what a hairy neanderthal?

Because our social narrative says so. Being female is not a weakness, and birthing children sure as hell isn’t.

Women have had to be extremely adaptable in ways that men haven’t, and now our ability to go-along and get-along has been turned on us, too. We have been tricked into exchanging too much of ourselves for admission to a world that already belonged to us.

Soon they’ll be taking reproduction from us, too, and women will become the Neanderthals – A forgotten branch of humanity that contributed nothing of much importance.

We need to return to our roots if we want to nurture womanhood, but we’re too afraid to go there. The core of Women’s Liberation should be freedom to be womenand we don’t even know what that means! It cannot be simply to have a job, and not a penis. We are losing because we don’t know what we’re fighting for.

Women are not men. We have a different starting point that results in a different spin on life. If ‘woman is not a feeling,’ what is she?

It’s discouraging and not a little embarrassing that Feminism has no answer for these questions. Woman as adult human female is a bit circular, really, because what is female?

‘Of or denoting the sex that can bear offspring or produce eggs.’ I hate to get essentialist, but I am not the one who brought the conversation to this granular level. We didn’t ask for this role, but let’s give it all we got!

Women are the sex class that can produce offspring. We have to figure out what that means for our future, or let patriarchy decide for us. Again.

Comments

  1. Good Reason -

    Yes, this is absolutely right! But I despair of modern feminism ever fighting for motherhood or a definition of women that relates to motherhood. It is a treasure we treat as dross. Heck, now rich women outsource pregnancy to poor women! Until we value our potential to be embodied mothers, we will be erased. And I admit there would be some karma to that . . .

    • Martha Wendzicki -

      Liberation-To be free to be fully human in it's depth & breadth & let our differences from other humans in body & other ways- inform our lives and inspire us without other humans or ourselves seeing or using us as mostly lesser beings or objects or tools or resources for others.Sex & our different roles in reproduction has led to 1 sex - male- seeing themselves free to live their human potential while & by using the female sex to supporting that for them instead of females living their full human potential as well. Because they believe that bringing forth life means we should make all other lives except our own our priority. Mothers eat cold food because we serve everyone else first and ourselves last. Maybe we should all bring something to the table and help serve ourselves and each other so we all get a chance.Then maybe many could see Motherhood as part of our wholeness that informs who we are instead of restricting who we become.

    • Good Reason -

      I'm grateful you are doing this.

    • Brazen She -

      That’s what I’m trying to do, I started this blog to address this kind of thing and try to raise awareness of the giant blind spots that are like holes in our boat. Karma is about balance, I believe, and women have taken so much undeserved crap over the centuries that I think we’ll be in the black for a while yet lol

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