What it’s Like Being a Woman

On International Woman’s Day, it’s a reminder that woman can control their narrative.  However, though our perspectives are dynamic there will always be a force that tries to diminish our light. In a patriarchal society, women continue to break boundaries by being more vocal. Amidst chaos and backlash, women will continue to persevere and seek to inspire. So on this day, we honor womxn and their will to break glass ceilings. BG Aishwariya encompasses these statements in a poem.

[Read Related: 10 South Asian Women Worth Mentioning This International Women’s Day]

I’m Only a Woman

I’ve seen posts around saying, “She is not just a woman; she’s a sister, a student, a mother…” and so on.
But no.
I am just a woman.
I don’t need superlatives to describe me, and I don’t need my relationship with other people to define me.
I don’t need your adjectives or your comparisons.
Your supposed ‘oxymorons’, for example.
“She’s pretty but smart,” “Smart but athletic,” “Athletic but wears heels,” “Wears heels but isn’t insecure,” “Isn’t insecure but wears makeup,” “Wears makeup but likes to be alone”…
I don’t need your judgment.
You think I wear makeup because I’m not confident about my skin?
Hell no.
Makeup is an art, and if I choose my own face as my own canvas, who are you to judge?
If I can stare at myself in the mirror for an hour, trust me, I love who’s looking back.
And stop giving me crap for wearing heels, okay?
Sometimes it helps to add a few inches to my height so I can look over all the cynicism and be heard.
My confidence has been given a severe beating in this toxic environment, but I have the power to build it up on my own.
In any way, shape, or form I choose.
I do not work out for vanity.
And I certainly do not dress to impress you.
Everything I do is for me.
And do you agree with me when I say that confident women are seen as selfish?
My mother is a good mother because she wants to raise a powerful daughter.
Not because it’s her so-called duty.
I am a good sister because I want my brother to know that he has a non-judgmental best friend who will whoop any girl who breaks his heart.
I let my girlfriends cry on my shoulder because PMS is real, and during the rest of the month, we like to embrace the world around us and feel things.
I am a sister, but I am not defined as a sister.
I am a daughter, but I am not defined by my father.
We are all going to be graduates, not ‘girl’ students who were lucky enough to be educated.
Yes, it’s true, but if you want equal rights to be normal: Stop. Being. Surprised.
I am not a variable relative to your terms because your conditions do not apply to me.
I am just a woman because the word woman is powerful enough for me.

[Read Related: Mrinalini Chakraborty Talks Intersectionality and the Importance of This Year’s Women’s March]

Here is only one perspective out of many inspiring souls. The power in being a woman is understanding though there may be differences in thought, we are able to respect one another. On this day, we remind people that women are capable of compassion and are deserving of recognition. Happy International Women’s Day!

By Aishwarya Viswamitra

Aishwarya is the co-editor of Brown Girl Mag's Culture channel and also works as a science communicator, bridging the gap … Read more ›