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!