Every International Women’s Day, messages and forwards give women reasons why they should be glad they were born women. I googled and found these common ones. Many of the reasons have to do with how women look and dress, and with how much they can give up.
Not linking and no offense is intended to anybody.
Updated to add: Many of the points of view I have disagreed with came from this post. I understand that sometimes we have points of views that are not the same and I hope this post is seen as only a discussion, the idea is not to hurt or offend.
I just want to discuss, why is it felt that women need reasons to like or be proud of being women? If these reasons were not there then would they not like being themselves?
Also, is it felt that they would have liked it less or more if they were men?
Which ones of these would you say should make women glad to be women?
1. Women can carry a life within themselves. Or women ‘have a special gift of motherhood’.
If a woman can’t or doesn’t want to be a mother, should she stop being proud of being a woman?
There’s so much talk of motherhood – one hears very little (almost nothing) about accepting that motherhood does change women’s bodies but women are to expected to look like they did not carry a life within themselves. Looking like ‘do bachchon ki amma‘ is not really seen as a compliment.
Also makes it look like parenting as fathers is a less joyful experience.
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2. Women have the power to turn heads wherever they go, even the ugliest!
i. Even the ugliest? Stresses on how women are classified by their looks, ugly, pretty, plain, hot, dowdy etc. Objectifies them.
ii. Why is managing to turn heads seen as a power? (Does it empower women, unless that’s what they do for a living etc.)
iii. This becomes the biggest reason for women not being able to step out of their homes in many parts of the world, also becomes an excuse to protect and restrict.
3. Women can wear prettier clothes! Salwar kurta, skirts, sari, lehenga, gowns and trousers.
In India mostly they can only wear what they are permitted to wear – modesty, fashion or the need to fit-in, take precedence over comfort and practicality.
4. Women can wear pants, men can’t wear skirts.
Maybe because men don’t need to. Men’s clothing is more evolved, generally more practical – weather appropriate, easier movements, roomier pockets, comfortable shoes, less embellishment to take care of.
Skirts, saris, corsets, dupattas and high heels seem to be preferred for looking a certain way (feminine, ladylike, trendy etc) than for comfort.
5. Little girls can get away with mischief, boys get blamed. (As in, girls break a window pane, boys get blamed)
i. How was good girls and bad boys stereotype created? Many Indian girls are not allowed to play games that would make them get darker, or take them away from helping their mothers with housework.
ii. Too high a cost to pay for being seen as innocent when one is not. Bad ethics too.
iii. ‘Boys will be boys’ eventually works to confuse boys and later men, by conveying that they may do as they please, because they can’t help it.
6. Where there is a cleavage there is a way.
Cleavage as a shortcut? There is a possibility of other cleavages around, leading to competition and then it won’t remain a shortcut. There is also the risk of the other party not keeping their end of the generally unwritten bargain. Unwritten bargains can lead to exploitative situations.
Also unethical, because those who are better qualified may not have a cleavage.
7. Girl Talk.
Sounds like women do have the social advantage here, but men do have friends and men talk too…
8. I like being a girl because all I have to do is swish my hips, flip my hair and pout and lo I am entertained by buffoons (men).
If the attention is offensive then it should not be in this list. And this could change when there are enough women in public spaces, freely moving about their daily lives, interacting with men.
If the attention was inoffensive, why call them buffoons?
9. A pretty smile can make us move ahead in supermarket queues and get unknown men to carry our groceries. Gal power!
I think being able to smile for small favors might work for men, women, senior citizens and children, anybody who is seen as charming.
10. Looking good is a gal’s right. /I love that we as women, are the beautiful sex.
Are women really better looking than men? Thin women or fat women; fair women, dark women; tall women or short women? If they are, then how does it improve the quality of lives they live? Does the need to look good restrict their lives and choices in some ways, how they eat, sleep, dress, move, have fun, marry, socialize etc?
11. Only women can wear high heels!
This is like saying only little girls in China had their feet bound, or only men can shave. Not healthy, restricts movement. Wearing should be a free choice, not an expectation.
12. Roomy bags!
Very convenient no doubt. But men do have pockets and brief cases.
13. I can always go up to men in a bus, sitting in the so called “ladies seats” and pull them out, but they cannot do the same to me even if I am sitting in the non-ladies seat which must be the “men’s seat”.
Would it not have been more fun to be a woman if women could sit on any vacant seat like everybody else, without fearing sexual harassment?
14. God created chocolate to soothe the female taste bud.
Chocolates can be enjoyed even as men and children.
15. Gals can cuddle a kitten/teddy bear without being commented upon.
Kitten or a soft toy should be fine to hug by anybody, but it’s true that women are more able to express certain kinds of feelings, like sadness, insecurity, happiness in a restrained manner, affection (within limits) etc.
16. Women can afford to cry in public letting out the pent up feelings, men can’t!
Sadly this is true, but thankfully this is changing.
17. Gold is a woman’s toy.
Gold is a good investment but real estate which has traditionally been men’s investment seems to provide excellent returns, is more difficult to steal and also becomes a shelter. Many women who have plenty of gold do not have a house of their own.
18. I being a girl have the power to melt the toughest and the strongest willed men and give them goose bumps and sleepless nights.
Not true. How do we see violent crimes against girls then?
19. Girls will always be daddy’s li’l princess at no matter what age.
Doesn’t apply to a huge number of girls. Some are not lil princesses and some are not even allowed to be born, some are killed, neglected, abused etc
20. Weddings are fun for women – clothes, jewelry, attention! Men are just props.
There was a time one needed weddings as an excuse to feast, shop, dress and celebrate, today it has become a reason for so much misery.
One can have parties and functions anytime, with the amount of money that is spent on weddings, massive events can be organised and enjoyed without the organizers (brides parents) being forced to take loans etc.
In India bridegrooms receive gifts, cars, cash, dowry, attention, ‘importance’ – how are they mere props? They even have more say than the bride in who they are marrying.
21. I can live through countless hormone changes, blink back my tears and still manage to smile to make my loved ones happy.
I hope if hormone changes are causing problems, then solutions are sought, support is got and tears are not blinked away too often.
And if there is a real reason to cry then it is not pretended away as ‘hormonal changes’.
22. I am born to multitask.
Multitasking has no gender. It’s only good if it helps you live a better quality of life, it’s unfortunate if it makes you take on more than you can handle.
23. I am the epitome of care, affection and sacrifice: a woman.
That’s a generalization and an unfair expectation.
It’s possible for both men and women to be caring, and if a woman is not an epitome of care and sacrifice, she is still a woman.
24. Women are generally not under pressure to be aggressive, and to prove they are physically stronger than anybody else around.
Men are under social pressure to act aggressive and to prove their physical strength, also to sometimes show they know better than other men. They can hurt themselves – even seriously harm themselves trying to do this.
25. Women have the power to save the family, tradition, society and culture.
And they are honor killed or honor-forced to sacrifice and save all of the above.
What other reasons have you seen women being given to like being women?