Real Women (The Extended Edition)

Yesterday I wrote a short rant about this mass marketed idea of Real Women. You can find it directly beneath this one.

On it, I received a lovely comment from someone who agreed but then sort of went on to say basically the opposite. Now the last thing I want to do is discourage people from commenting, I love hearing from you guys, it totally makes my day! But this friendly, supportive comment actually made me unreasonable angry (for which I kinda feel like an asshole, sorry!) because all it did was miss my entire fucking point.

My point was simple…

I do not subscribe to any of these ridiculously narrow definitions of what constitutes a real woman.

Her comment was equally simple…


Now, I think the woman they describe is absolutely one to be admired but I don’t think she has the monopoly on womanhood.
I am possibly none of those things, except maybe difficult to catch up to (but that has more to do with my incredibly short attention span and bad habit of losing my phone than any kind of feminine superiority).

I require fairly constant validation.

I am not comfortable in my own skin.

I am by no means someone who is confidently at ease with themselves.

That absolutely does not make me any less real or any less a woman.

I am a cis-gendered, hyper-feminine, girly girl with pastel lilac hair who could happily give Martha Stewart a run for her money and I am a real woman.

My girlfriend is a butch, ex-military, undefeated boxer who couldn’t be talked into a dress if it came with a million dollars and she is a real woman.

I have friend with an Adam’s apple, hormone treatments and (understandably as she was born in the wrong one) more body issues than Cosmo but that doesn’t make her any less a real woman.

I think this ideal, while nice, is both socially and psychologically detrimental. I don’t think someone should have to feel like they’re able to meet a list of criteria before they can claim their gender or the legitimacy of their identity.

If that ideal is the kind of woman (or person in general, really, [gender and self-confidence are pretty unrelated]) you aspire to be, then I wish you all the luck and happiness in the world. If it isn’t, then I still wish you the same luck and happiness.

But honestly, I think we had it right in elementary school when just be yourself was the most obvious thing in the world.

I do not mean to cause any offence or to seem like I’m attacking or belittling this commenter’s opinion (to which they are completely entitled to both have & share), I’m just sharing mine.

And my opinion is that ‘Real Women’ identify as women and that should be the only criteria on the list.

2 thoughts on “Real Women (The Extended Edition)

  1. I love everything about this post. Every woman is different in her own way and being a woman period takes enormous strength. We deal with so much both inside and out, but have to carry ourselves with stride and grace, and if we can’t, all of a sudden it’s an issue. Being a woman is a beautiful thing, no matter what you look like, how you act, how you don’t act…we should all be in this together. There isn’t a specific way to be a woman and be successful at it…you’re right when you say that we just have to be ourselves. We are who we are and that is being a real woman.


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