Neil Diamond had no clue what he was unleashing when he sang this song. He probably did not anticipate that some girls, and I among them, might not appreciate being categorized as girls and women. The offensive part is not the becoming, but the manner in which this becoming is supposed to happen.
Having been a girl for 25 years, I have found broadly two categories of beliefs in the society about my impending becoming a woman. The first category says that I will become a ‘woman’ once I am a mother. Quite possibly, this thinking has led to our current overpopulation quagmire, which we euphemistically term as ‘human resource’. To these people I will never be a ‘woman’ if I don’t have kids. I suppose my lady parts will fall out soon enough if I don’t rush to churn out kids from those parts!
The second category is less harsh, relatively. People of this category say that I will become a woman when a ‘man’ loves me. Man, huh? No ‘boy’ ‘man’ differentiation for the other half of ‘man’kind. As always, society did not put any clamps on masculinity. Such shackles are only meant for ‘women’, nay ‘girls’. I daresay, these people hypothesize, that if I am not loved by a ‘man’ my girly bits would wither away from lack of manly love.
To give my two bits’ worth, I believe that becoming a woman has got nothing to do with men who’ll love me or impregnate me, if at all! It is entirely my business. I thought I was a woman at 15, when I first rode the crimson tide. Then upon turning 18, I thought I was as much a woman, as I ever will be. When I lost my virginity, I sure as hell thought, that I had it made a woman! However, today, at 25, I still feel that every passing day I am more a woman than I was yesterday! As I learn to handle my hormones and myself better, I become more and more a woman. Maybe, womanhood is not a state that girls attain, but rather a series of thresholds that they cross into an ever-unfolding journey. Perhaps, different girls have different ways in which they become women.
All I know for sure is that society should not have such silly markers on what women were, are or will be, especially on something as feminine as becoming ‘women’. A lot more girls will be happy women then!
The author calls herself an espouser of women’s causes, unconventional, Englishophile, foodie, health and fitness devotee, reader, techie, writer, teacher, content developer, music buff, super heroes fan… 25 and growing.
Pic credit: Horia (Used under a Creative Commons license)