What It Takes To Be A Woman

Angel Lasona
Posted January 9, 2021 from Philippines
"Be your own advocate. Stand up for yourself and always remember to speak up."
"Be your own advocate. Stand up for yourself and always remember to speak up.": If you don't make your presence felt, you're going to be forgotten. It's in your hands. A lot of younger women feel intimidated and don't want to speak up because they're worried about repercussions. If you aren't willing to stand up for yourself when someone dismisses you, no one will care, and the world will move on, but you're going to constantly to think about that incident with the helpless thought of your inaction. (1/1)

Historically, women have been underrepresented in fields such as science, engineering, technology, mathematics and computer science. At the present, all over the world, women are shattering glass ceilings proving that a woman has what it takes to be successful in whatever endeavor she sets her heart into.  

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A WOMAN?

Growing up with two sister siblings, I thought I had a pretty good idea what being a woman meant. Looking back, it was pure joy sharing secret childhood crushes, exchanging garments at times and the usual teeny-winy bickering when it comes to doing household chores to menstrual tantrums and mood swings. Oh, how time just fly so swiftly! Those were nostalgic memories that I doubt my own daughter will be able to experience with her two brother siblings. I vowed though to be her mother/sister throughout the way. 

Presently, with the three of us all grown, each with own kids and a marriage to attend to, with different philosophies on how to go about living a healthy, happy life, I find myself wondering; " What exactly does it mean to be a woman?"

Being a woman is more than biology, and maybe it even goes beyond critically looking at gender as a social construct. Of course, there are a plethora of women (and men) who challenge me on this, and that’s fine, they’re entitled. But in my construction of reality, I choose to hold on to womanhood as sometimes similar but sometimes different from manhood. But with so many different representations of womanhood, who gets to decide what constitutes womanhood and what it means to be a woman? I think one of the unfortunate traits of human nature is that we feel a need to categorize people and this is evident in how we categorize women. We limit them and we say that she is, “that kind of woman,” and that kind of woman is categorized as one who is traditional or modern or a feminist or not a feminist or liberal or conservative or a virgin or a whore. The list goes on.

To me, being a woman, in the first place is being a human and recognizing the complexity that comes with all of that. Too often, we make people the sum-total of one characteristic or value that they may embody, and apart from the fact that people, believe it or not, are dynamic, they’re also complicated. Being a woman is a recognition of some of the weaknesses that you may be ascribed from birth and the uphill battle you might face in a less than perfect world. But it’s also recognizing the strengths that come with womanhood – the strength of your heart, your mind, and your body, which differ from woman to woman, which differ culturally. Being a woman means being strong, because you’ll find that your womanhood will need that strength, and when you let it, sometimes that strength will even find you. When you’re a woman, you take responsibility for your life and for what you want from that life. And you might be afraid, but you go beyond that fear to define your womanhood, and not allow somebody else to define it for you.

I enjoy being a woman, and I enjoy being the woman I am becoming. I especially enjoy challenging the notion that I can be put in a box. Some of it admittedly is directly from socio-economic and intellectual privilege and some of it is self-created. I am strong-willed, smartly independent, simultaneously sweet; confident most times but painfully introvert  and awkward at other times. Talking about having impacted others, well, I am more than glad to share what I thought I've become as a woman should be. I love reading, which to great extent I am happy sharing those thoughts through  delivering speakership to fellow women from the shelter and to those women inmates in the city. I love looking good in my vlogs and pages for followers where I share engaging vids as well as my colorful and charcoaled art pieces which significantly an added hues to my already magnificently colored world. I can be with anybody and may have an interesting conversation under the sun with some drinks in hand.  I am pursuing life as a mother, an educator, an artist, and an advocate, and I want to serve my community the best way I can. I want to be the best mom my own children could have,and a good wife to my better half, all the while maintaining my identities as child of God, a daughter, a sister, and a good friend. But I don’t think that any of this makes me a more special kind of woman or better than any other woman; it’s just MY own definition of womanhood. And though it may need some work, for the most part, and until further notice, I love it.

Yes, you....

YOU ARE A GREAT WOMAN.

Love lots,

Angel Lasona

 

This story was submitted in response to Her Power. Our Power..

Comments 10

Log in or register to post comments
Tamarack Verrall
Jan 09
Jan 09

Hi Angel,
I loved reading this! What a deep and celebratory, realistic and optimistic description of your own journey to understanding yourself as a woman. Not an easy path as you point out, all too many people are intent in putting us into boxes, and it takes confidence in ourselves to decide for ourselves who we are as women, and what we want to do with our lives, in a world in which we are too often told limits that are unjust, and don't fit. Fly, sister, fly. I love that you love living your very own sense of who you are, as a woman.

Angel Lasona
Jan 10
Jan 10

Dearest Tam,
Ohhhhh, I'm flabbergasted! There's nothing more nicer than to received such kind, encouraging words from a super empowered woman like you! Thank you dearest Tam, to soar higher is indeed a limitless dream for the fearless. I'm just so glad you're all there to push me through. God bless us. ❤️

Tamarack Verrall
Jan 10
Jan 10

We are indeed all together now, through our beloved World Pulse. You are a gifted writer! Much love.

Susu Mohamed
Jan 10
Jan 10

Dear Angel,
I am very happy to read your Story its very good that is a self-confidence if we are women we must become Humble patience Empathy because we are all Mam ,and important member for the community.

Angel Lasona
Jan 10
Jan 10

Dear sister,
Thank you very much for reading my story. Let's stay safe my dearest. ❤️

Nini Mappo
Jan 10
Jan 10

Dear Anglel,
Thank you for sharing your reflections on your own journey to womanhood-- the sweetness and solidarity of sisterhood, the beauties, the joys, the trials, the misunderstandings and mislabeling. As I read your story I had in my background the stories of all the sisters on World Pulse, and the image it conjures up of womanhood woman is to be bold, confident, vulnerable, resilient, and adaptable. Plush all the splashes of sass and laughter and fire, all merging up beautifully with the lines on womanhood that you share above. It is a beautiful picture of togetherness!

ESEZA MUKYALA
Jan 10
Jan 10

Dear Sis Angel,
I just applaud you for whatever you have written very clearly and it's a good thing you stated by talking about your way to womanhood. Indeed speaking out on one's own behalf is the best way to go as World Pulse states it clearly. Thanks for sharing with us dear Sis.
Eseza..... Lots of love!

Hello, dear Angel,

You are such a strong and beautiful woman! I love your reflections about being a woman, and you definitely live all these. I am amazed at how you handle your teaching career, marriage, motherhood, and your painting passion. Not only that, you are also a video influencer on YouTube. You've definitely modeled that a woman can do anything and everything she puts her mind into, and there is no stopping her.

There is no stopping you! Keep shining, dear!

Rojin
Jan 12
Jan 12

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. The thing that impressed me in your story is and I quote, When you’re a woman, you take responsibility for your life and for what you want from that life. And you might be afraid, but you go beyond that fear to define your womanhood, and not allow somebody else to define it for you.

May you continue to inspire and give courage to women with your story.

Cheers,
Rojeanne

maeann
Jan 13
Jan 13

Dear Angel,

Welcome back on sharing stories. We miss you here :) I so like what you said until further notice :) meaning they’re more things about you. I agreed to my fellow sisters, who send their love and encouragement. How they acknowledge that Yes! You are a WOMAN, as you define it as your own. You are unique, with all the talents you have. One thing for sure, you have a heart. Every woman can define or create things in life, but without a heart, all things are useless.