I Am A Woman

    c356w SoapboxI am a woman. I have the battle scars — okay, stretch marks (and stitches) — to prove it. (After all, pushing a very large (think huge watermelon) something through a very small opening (think small lime) in my nether regions should qualify.

    Get ready. Here’s me climbing onto my soapbox.

    I take offense to the continual, common and constant use of the term “girl”. It’s everywhere … in books, movies, plays, day-to-day speech.

    Men say it. “Yeah, I picked up this girl at the bar last night, didn’t get much sleep … know what I mean *wink, wink*” Excuse me, but if said man truly picked up a girl and did “wink-wink-ables” he’d be up on statutory rape charges.

    girl01_wWomen say it.  “Girl, you look divine.” “Girls night now.” (As for the latter, why not “Women’s night out”?)

    I have no problem with the passage of time. When I was born I had the monikers: newborn, infant and baby. By the time I started toddling around I became a toddler.. Somewhere around the age of 3ish (heavy on this “ish” since it appears the diaper effect and toddlerhood go hand in hand … or in this case, rump-to-moniker) I stopped being a toddler and became a girl.

    Frida Kahlo_wNow this is where I’m tempted to grab a bull horn! I left being a girl behind a long time ago. About the time I started acquiring boobs, curves and hair in places aside from my head. Women have curves, boobs, pubic hair, and active reproductive organs (menses being a fact of life).WOMEN do. Not girls. Women give birth.(Yes, there are rare occurrences of girls giving birth. Sad yes, but not a part of this soapbox speech.)

    I am a woman. In my teens and 20s I was a young woman. In my 30s and 40s I was a woman. From my 50s and onward I continue being a woman or mature woman.

    Calling a black man “boy” is derogatory and demeaning. Am I the only one who finds the insidious use of the term “girl” for a woman demeaning as well?

    Life is change. Ever flowing. Never constant. There are terms used to identify life’s passages. Referring to women as “girls” sends out subtle cues — to women and men alike. In reality it’s a diminutive. A put down. A subtle reminder (reinforcement of the idea) that woman require being taken care of. Cannot manage on their own. Are somehow “less than” men.

    Let’s get real. If I have to put up with regular hormone fluctuations followed by bloody messes on a regular and monthly basis, to say nothing of months of incubating and birthing new life, then I’ve earned the right to be called a woman. Even if I never birthed a child, by rights, by age, by biological and physiological passage of time and the changes to my body, I am still a woman.

    goddess01_wTo end my rant with a chuckle, here’s a short story: I did meet a woman — a mature woman — wearing a t-shirt which read: G.I.R.L. ~ Goddess in Real Life. And while some may wish for goddess stature, I for one am content being a WOMAN.

    Okay, putting down the bull horn and stepping off the soapbox.

    ~Photos are parts of murals found on public buildings.

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    Star H. - September 1, 2016 - 3:31 am

    Two thumbs way up … two mature woman’s thumbs!
    Demeaning and sexist language has no place in today’s world.

    Tana Bevan - September 1, 2016 - 9:59 pm

    Star, The thing I’ve observed is that once you tune into and become aware of it, you notice the demeaning and sexist language is insidious–it comes out of the mouths of both men and women which I find irritating. It’s in books, screenplays, scripts, t.v. shows, songs. Definitely a soap box worthy subject (IMHO). Appreciate the thumbs up!

    IR - September 7, 2016 - 12:50 am

    A matter very near and dear to my heart — I stopped being a “girl” when I turned 18. Thank you for writing about this!!

    Tana Bevan - September 7, 2016 - 6:26 pm

    IR~The insidious diminution of women has been bothering me for quite some time. It finally percolated to the surface and I was able to articulate my feelings on the matter. As far as I’m concerned, I’ve EARNED my womanhood, as have you. Touche’