Today is International Women’s Day. And since 1909, people around the world have celebrated all things related to women on this day. And because I’m a woman, I thought I should reflect on what this means to me. To get started, I looked up the definition of women to make sure we’re on the same page about what the word means. Here is the definition from Dictionary.com:
Plural of woman.
1. An adult human female.
2. A female worker or employee.
So International Women’s Day could be renamed International Adult Human Females’ day.
These two things are supposed to mean exactly the same thing, but they don’t. Because when I ask other people what it means to be a woman, no one says that being a woman is being an adult human female. Instead, people say things like this:
- Women are nice.
- Women are good.
- Women are emotional.
- Women are wives, mothers, daughters.
- Women are patient.
- Women are the loving ones.
- Women are the forgiving ones.
- Women are jealous and mean to other women.
- Women are possessive of other people.
- Women are passive.
- Women are crazy and emotional once a month because of PMS.
- Women are babymakers.
- Women put up with men and their nonsense.
- Women only care about being popular and liked.
- Women only care about finding a husband and getting married.
- Women should be thin.
- Women should be pretty.
Do any of these words appear in the definition of women? No. Then why do we use these words to define who we are? And why would we ever use them to define women in general?
I like to keep things simple. So my definition of women will be the one that appears in the dictionary. And I commit to being exactly who I am so that it might encourage other women to be who they are–instead of what others expect or tell us to be. Hope you choose to commit to do the same.