What does it mean to be a woman? Well, in most cases, having a double-x chromosome will make you a woman (not excluding women who may be born with an xy-chromosome combination, or any other combination of the two). So yes, being a women is compelex, even at the chromosomal level.
Being a woman can be both beautiful and awful. I love being a woman in a time and a part of this world where I have so many chances and opportunities. Where I can be who I am without having to fear retributions. Where I can study, work, drive a car, and wear what I want (to a degree); where I can stay single or get married, and if the marriage doesn't work out, can get a divorce. Where I could remarry after a divorce or after being widowed. A world where I can chose to have children or remain childless. Where I can persue a career inside and outside the home.
As this month the world remembers the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, a place or horrors for which no real words exist, I also remember that Germany was not always a place for women to be free.
During the Nazi-regime, the women's place was at home, as a homemaker and mother. Women with seven or more children received medals of honor; work outside the home was only acceptable if the husband was unable to provide for the family due to injury, desease, disability, or death. From a very early age on, girls were trained and brainwashed to fulfill their only duty to the Reich: to birth new soldiers for the Fuehrer. Female students at universities were berated for wasting their youth and beauty buried in books while they should be getting married and become mothers. In a speech at the Munich university, the Gauleiter (regional leader) went as far as to offer his adjutants as mates to the uglier students, should they have issues finding a husband.
We have come a long way from this time of terror, but in other parts of this world, women still suffer oppression, humiliation, and restriction. But there are strong and brave women everywhere, fighting for their natural right of equality, from Mahlala, who was attacked and nearly killed because of fighting for girls' right to education to the unknown women who get on the driver's seat of a car and hit the road in Saudi Arabia. And because of these women, who never give up, one day the world will be a place of equality for everyone!
This post was written as part of the Strong & Influencial Sisterhood project