Happy International Women’s Day, y’all.
Okay, look. I started doing some research on this day last night and, although it was all very inspiring and interesting, there was also just SO much text so I kind of gave up and will just move forward with the assumption that today was born to celebrate the fairer sex: our struggles, victories, similarities and differences, and the phenomenal women who both came before us and surround us today.
I, for one, quite enjoy being female. I see the dubious look on your face.
“She wears baseball caps a lot.”
“Yeah, her handwriting gives the impression that her testicles are just starting to drop.”
“Didn’t she make her parents refer to her as ‘Tommy’, after the illustrious White Power Ranger for like 3 years?”
True. All true, and fine points. But I think part of the beauty of this day is celebrating not only what it means to be a woman, but the fact that our generation has the freedom to explore that with little persecution.
So, today I am taking time to reflect on why I’m glad I was blessed with a fully functioning reproductive system. CHEERS FOR THE VAGINA, ALL-SEEING-DEITY-OF-CHOICE.
Men – if any of you take the time to read this post – know that this is not intended to make you feel even WORSE about not being a woman. I mean, you guys got the male privilege and we weren’t allowed to vote until, like, REALLY late, so suck it up please.
– I can have really long hair without even having to make concerted efforts to fit into one of the following two niches: metal head, unkempt surfer-slash-stoner-slash-image-conscious-hipster-wanting-to-appear-apathetic.
– There’s like, a whole week every month where I can walk into a supermarket and purchase a block of chocolate and a box of tampons and the checkout girl is going to just look at me so sympathetically like, “Oh, gurl, I know about it.”
– Actually scrap that, I can pretty much do that whenever I want, with or without tampons, and that girl is going to understand.
– Orpah Winfrey is also a woman.
– So is Jennifer Lawrence.
– There is a night every week dedicated to us not having to pay cover charge at bars and being handed free drinks.
– I don’t know about you but the last time I had to uncomfortably have my mother change my damp sheets was at like, age 4 (OKAY NINE, WHATEVER) when I finally kicked that whole peeing-the-bed habit. Sorry, boys.
– I get to incubate a human inside me for 9 months, give birth to it and then heavily guilt-trip it for the next 21 years.
– We have a plethora of anthems dedicated to having boobs (see: “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” by Cyndi Lauper, “Anything Ever” By Whitney Houston) that are played literally any time people are drunk and there is a woman in the room. These songs give us free licence to form a dance circle and point at the roof and hold hands and be really embarrassing and awful without any man criticising us because that would make him an asshole and there would be some sort of pack-murder.
– I cried a lot in The Notebook and nobody directed a derogatory term used to describe a homosexual at me.
– Mother Teresa was also a chick.
– Nobody has ever expected me to play a sport which will almost CERTAINLY facilitate the slow battering of my face by virtue of my genitals.
– I can (when I want to which is rarely) employ the help of make-up to make me look at LEAST 67% better and nobody is going to look at me like, “Wtf is on your face, man?”
– The First Wives’ Club.
– Thanks to tens of thousands of years of ridiculous misguided patriarchy people are still incredibly impressed when I’m mildly attractive and even slightly competent at something that uses my hands.
– Lena Dunham’s a woman.
– JESUS’ MOM WAS A WOMAN GUYS I’M JUST SAYIN’.
– If I cry a little in the restroom at a club some sympathetic soul will provide me with the hairbrush/tissues/tampon/mascara/lipstick/drugs/knife/hug/kind words/prophylactics that I require. (This one was supplied to me by a [definitely jealous] male friend)
– There is always like a 3% chance that I can get out of a traffic violation by smiling at a police officer. Okay, not me personally, no, but SOME WOMEN.
– I can look helpless and frazzled while some douchebag in a ute leers at me condescendingly and semi-benignly rolls his eyes as I seethe at his sexism and revel in taking the car park he was aiming for. (… Also supplied by male friend.)
– I cannot reiterate enough the fact that I have crying in my arsenal. Tears are Mother Nature’s gift to women. I don’t know a man that has failed a test at university, cried to a sympathetic male convenor and been allowed to re-sit it. I know several females.
– I can take control of how feminine I want to be like if I want to burp in front of people I will and shit yeah I’m 22 and those are hand drawn unicorns on my chest of drawers, unicorns are amazing.
– I can get drunk and kiss some pretty gross dudes and be safe in the knowledge that, until I want to deal with it, the criticism is very safely and firmly behind my back.
– I can also get drunk and kiss my friends if I want and that’s fine because LOL and YOLO.
– I can say “this is song is for ME” or “tonight is all about US” nearly every night I go out and not one soul is going to call me out on it. (Yeah, this one was supplied by male friend.)
– We have foolproof excuses to: not participate in high school swimming, not come to work today, not go diving with sharks, be really heinous bitches every now-and-then.
– I can’t pee standing up but at least nobody knows I’m pooping when I go into the stall.
– I can shop in the boy’s section AND the girl’s section. Suckers.
– Sex And The City.
– I don’t have to apologise to anyone for liking trashy music or movies or TV, and if I do: get bent, do you hate fun?
There’s a small list of reasons why I’m celebrating International Women’s Day HARD today, and I hope you are, too.
And all jokes aside, I want to comment further on why it means so much to me to be female.
Spending the latter half of my formative years at an All Girls’ School meant that most of my friends were girls, and it remains that way today. Though there is no shortage of talk about the negative aspects of female friendships (and most of it is true), I have been lucky enough in my life thus far to experience the connection between women in the most positive ways, and I have found the female bond to be something really special. There exists between women an understanding that I think transcends the relationship between men and women – and I do not know if this is the same for men, but I would not be surprised if it is, albeit in a different way. Perhaps what I’m referring to is a shared understanding that we are seen as the “lesser” sex, or traditionally have been, but the secret knowledge that that is not at all the case. My friends have been the centerpiece of my life and the apples of my eye and the moments that I have spent laughing and crying, comforting and being comforted by them have been touching and reassuring and lovely.
I am so glad for the women that came before us, who fought for more than they were given; they have allowed us to flourish, have allowed me to explore my gender identity and to exercise femininity in whatever ways I choose to. They have liberated women, teaching that change is healthy and it’s okay to be different – a philosophy that the world is still trying to grasp, and I think the most important one of all.
So today I thank the skies for my really awkward female body and for all the women in my life: most of all for my mother, who brought me into this world (and probably would not hesitate to take me out of it) and nurtured my every whim, never telling me that it wasn’t okay to play baseball or be called Tommy, but always telling me when that dress looked nice on me.