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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)
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we all must unite together to kill feminism and womanhood. These are two things making this gender weaker and weaker because we are always thinking with separate ideas to develop We must stand by the side of masculine gender to equate ourselves at par with them or better than them
Let us join entrepreneurship for instant progress.
Dr Sushma Joiya Pandit
That doesn’t make any sense. Feminism is about women working together with each other and with men to achieve their potential. It doesn’t mean standing against men.
I think there are so many varied definitions and views on how people see feminism and womanhood that at times the reason why people fight while working towards creating conducive environments for women is the fact the people lack clarity on the concept. I agree with you Aparna that Feminism is working together and not against men. and that is what we need to propagate. 🙂
I think this is a very good point. Very many people in the U.S. hear the word feminism and assume a woman will be completely against the things that make a woman feminine. If a woman is for feminism, it doesn’t mean she can’t have a loving relationship and a family. It means that we are working for all of the women who feel that that is what defines them.
Very True!!. It is just one more restriction in a long list of silly “millstones” that society puts around a girl. She does not becomes a woman untill she is not defined in some ways by a Man.
But there are plenty evidences where a woman came into her own without special marital status. There was Queen Elizabeth who defied the conventions of her time and ruled efficiently without being in the shadow of a man. There was Jane Austen who became immortal through her novels and remained a spinster all her life.
Isn’t this an over-analysis of a non-existent problem? Because, seriously, no one really thinks much about labeling a female as a girl or a woman. I am 29 and it didn’t even strike me until I read this post. I call my girlfriends “girlies” and will continue to call them so till they grow old. I really don’t see a deal here, let alone asking, what’s the big deal. If you think you’re a woman, it shouldn’t matter what others think about it. And if you choose to be a girl all your life, it shouldn’t be affected by society either.
Hi, this feature was really helpful. Actually today that is 8th March( International women’s day) I was thinking about girls and woman. Suddenly a doubt got struk on my head. That when does a girl become woman. I am 24 now and searching for job. For me I didn’t know how to introduce myself, as a girl or a woman. According to my theories a girl will become a woman when she become a mother. But now after reading this I don’t felt so. Thank you for this wonderful feature.
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