Today, I claim my womanhood.

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Today, in different parts of the world, women are making their voices heard more than ever before. Whether it is the #Timesup #imwithher or #metoo movement, women across class, caste, income and race are banding together to claim their space in the world. And it’s about time! Under-represented, overworked, underpaid (assuming they get a wage at all!), and usually dismissed, women have consistently, and absolutely incorrectly, been seen in the context of maleness.

The woman is a mother. A wife. A daughter. A girlfriend, mistress, ball-buster – the list goes on. But we don’t think a woman is defined in context. A woman is. Because she says she is.

So, we asked Google – what makes a woman..

Here’s what Google autocomplete helpfully suggested for us, this Woman’s Day.

 

Everywhere we look, in media or in literature, at discussions over dinner tables and conference tables, woman are reduced down to two basics – their ability to please men (3/10 of the Google search results above), and their anatomy (6/10 of the Google search results above). We’ve clutched at the single straw of “what makes a woman happy” because we’ve chosen to believe this is actually about our happiness, and not Google’s auto-aggregation of millions of men’s searchs worldwide, who are trying to determine what our weak spots are, in an attempt to get into our pants. Ha!

So, where does that leave us?

Us. Transwomen, in India and across the world. Where do we fit, in today’s perspective of what makes a woman? For years, we were told to “be men” and “act like a man”. And for those of us who transitioned, or are transitioning, we continue to struggle everyday to be “woman enough”.

What is the correct answer to the question, then? What makes a woman, woman enough?

She does. She defines herself. She is enough, in and of herself.

Today, we claim in our bodies, be they as they are, in our souls, and in our everyday lives, our own definitions of womanhood. Listen to our stories, our everyday successes and quiet definitions of femininity, and allow us our space.

Remember, whatever your body, colour, shape, age, caste, creed or class – You are enough.
Happy Women’s Day!

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Neysara is a human rights activist and founder of TransgenderIndia.com. She is a strong believer in the power of awareness and knowledge as tools to help people, particularly when amplified through technology. Through her initiative, www.TransgenderIndia.com, she empowers thousands of transgender people across India with awareness and knowledge to make informed choices, thereby preventing them from being lured into sexual or labor trafficking in the name of culture or tradition. In India, transgender people are seen as sub-human, and trafficking of transgender people is not even considered trafficking, but a cultural tradition that is neither questioned by the state nor by the young persons that partake in it. Currently the information on the TransgenderIndia platform is translated into six major Indian languages, helping information break through socio-economic and language barriers.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Neysara,
    My name is Nisha and I am from Mumbai. I am looking for some help and assistance. I have posted on the talk or the discussion forum as well but I ain’t getting any response. That’s the only reason I am messaging you instead.

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