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What does it mean to be a woman in 2018?

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What does it mean to be a woman in 2018?

In 2018, all the old-fashioned ideas of gender have gone out the window. No longer do we have to conform to ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’; no longer is it blue for a boy and pink for a girl. Gender is today recognized as a spectrum, and we can choose to slot in wherever we so choose – or even reject the concept altogether. But today, if you do identify as a woman, what does that even mean?

2018 marks 100 years of women’s suffrage, and, evidently, attitudes of and about women have changed drastically in that time – politically, economically and socially. Since 1908, women have occupied a top position of power in almost every industry and we are now able to embrace a career, a family life, or both.

Yet while we’re met with much the same options and opportunities as men, sexism still pervades on a more insidious level. Once a position of power is claimed, the imbalance is re-asserted, with lower wages and, all too often, altered expectations. The weight of being the first, or one of the only women, in a certain position is enormous. And, of course, the devastating depths of harassment and intimidation incurred by so many women has recently been brought to the fore – and goes to show that ‘success’ does not preclude misogyny.

But at the same time, it is important to celebrate the progress that has been made. The ability to choose how we live our lives is a right that can’t be underestimated. While the horrors of the #MeToo movement were inconceivable, women’s retaliation has been immensely empowering. We are being encouraged more than ever to speak up about injustices, and with every generation that passes, more and more entrenched societal prejudices are being challenged.

Nowadays, ‘womanhood’ is rife with tension and paradoxes. There is both uncertainty and overwhelming solidarity. But, ultimately, being a woman is whatever you want it to be – and there’s immeasurable beauty in that.

 

Photo by Xan Griffin on Unsplash

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