I feel like this post wouldn’t have been written if it had not been for the U.S presidential election. It is something that I never really thought of until 4:30am whilst manically refreshing the BBC website waiting for one of the most historical moments to occur.
I have always identified as female for as long as I have known and I realise that since birth my life has been shaped that way- to be a ‘woman’. I am lucky enough to have a lovely warm home, enough food to eat and access an education, so really I have a lot more than a lot of other women in the world. Some days I do not feel grateful for it, but today I feel more grateful than ever – especially to identify as White British.
Since a very young age, I was given the old stereotypical toys to play with, dolls, tea sets and the usual Barbie dolls. However, I preferred to play with Lego and build houses and places for my bears and dolls to live in. This was different to what my Grandmother wanted. She always seemed to want me to be a ‘stereotypical girly girl’. She would constantly say to me that I need to learn skills, such as cooking, cleaning and sewing just to keep my future husband happy. I was never into that, I would only sew because I liked making little clothes and items for my toys to have. I was constantly making and changing things, developing my ideas further. I could tell this annoyed and disappointed her. I hated being a young girl because I knew that my future lay looking after people, mainly males, rather than pursuing my dreams.
I then continued through the UK education system. At the age of 11, and starting High School, I needed a new musical instrument to learn. I was adamant that I wanted to learn to play the saxophone. However, I was constantly told it was a Boy’s instrument, why would I want to play that when I could play the flute which was more dainty. I was not interested and continued to play what I wanted. Over time, and much practice, I was able to excel greater than the boys. I was able to play songs that they could not, however there were times I was not chosen to play those parts. I realise now, that it was not because I was a bad player, it was because I was a girl in a majority boy band. I hated being a teenage girl because all those negative comments about my appearance, and lack of feminity would continue throughout my life. Doubting my ability in myself. Doubting whether I would be able to achieve the same as my male peers.
Over the past 13 years, I have constantly felt ‘not girly enough’ or that ‘I should be more girly’ and that maybe ‘boys would like me if I was girlier’. Since then I have realised that I am not that kind of person. Yes I love having new clothes, wearing makeup, having my hair done, you know those stereotypical girl things. BUT I do enjoy boy stereotypical things a bit more, like Superhereos, Comic Books and eating massive dirty burgers. I have finally accepted that I am me, and that is okay. I am an equal to a man, and that is even better.
However, for many people, it seems that they are still in that stereotypical view that women are incapable. They are not able to achieve anything and are pushed to the side. People would rather have a misogynistic, abusing, racist and rapist male for president than a very qualified woman and that is very scary. So as a young adult, it has finally made me realise why I hate being a woman, and see the world for what it is …
I hate being a woman, because I know no matter what education I have, no matter how qualified I am for a job, a man is likely to get the job.
I hate being a woman, because you are still seen in some cultures to be a bad mother when you go back to work.
I hate being a woman, because no matter what happens we will never be equal to men, because of the society we live in.
I hate being a woman, because for everything we want to achieve we have to fight.
I hate being a woman, because I will never be considered as valuable to a man.
Life is not easy for a woman, but like any woman I am not willing to give up. If we unite together, and try to break down the stereotypes and remove all the evil misogyny in the world, maybe we will have a chance.
Really I do not hate being a woman. I hate the misogyny and hatred in the world.