What It Means To Be A Woman

March 8, 2023

I think if we asked, most people would have a range of anywhere between “making babies,” and “all powerful.” What I’d like to explore are the inherent qualities of being a woman. Where the myths and stories about womanhood stemmed from and maybe some misconceptions I see. Also honoring incredible women in history and what I take away from their existence.

Before I dive in I want to make note that when I refer to the term “woman” or “women” going forward I mean: all who identify as a woman, femme non-binary, and anyone on the glorious spectrum that is curious on my take on what it means to be a woman from my observations and personal experiences. Take it or leave it boo.

The very first thing I think of when I think of what it means to be a woman is connection. I think as children we all have a stronger sense of connection to the world, our own innate wonder, and our wild imagination that allows us to bask in the liminal spaces effortlessly without control. As we get older it’s the need to know and prepare that slowly severs this connection. In women, I believe that connection is like an umbilical cord, built in. A nagging truth that lingers right beneath the surfaces of conditioned lies we are constantly fed.

No matter how society shreds us, what they take away, or how they try to change our nature we still crave that communal connectedness. They teach us to climb over each other to fight for a position at the top, but other women remind us to fight for more chairs at the table instead. When we get over critical, harsh, or too judgmental it is other women who remind us that collectively we have bigger things to fight against that will require us all in unity. Even when other women have been brainwashed into harmful ways of life that threaten us all, other women remind us that we cannot let up the fight.

When they try to cage us, it is other women making sure we know the way out.

As a woman, one must think beyond oneself and consider the collective whole, drawing on the strength, resilience, and courage of everything true and brave in the world, including Nature aka the Earth. I don't think it's a coincidence that the Goddess Gaia birthed Nature, rather than Prometheus molding it like mankind out of clay. The connection of birth, women, and “the beginning or coming into existence of something,” isn't coincidental. We are attested creators.

Some have said that the concept of “Mother Nature” is patriarchal because it suggests the Earth is supposed to take care of us. That one could argue it doesn't leave room for how humanity is supposed to reciprocate in the relationship. However, this line of thinking is where actual patriarchal conditioning takes hold. Mother, as it stands in the dictionary means a “woman's relationship to her child or children”, also “to bring up with care and affection.” I dare ask, when did it become an explicit or implicit expectation that we have laid at the feet of mothers that they should not need, want, or require anything in return? Who crafted that lie to keep mothers caged?

Gaia, Fernanda Suarez

Gaia, Fernanda Suarez https://www.instagram.com/fdasuarez/?hl=en

Also, the story of Gaia is stated as this: She gave birth to nature, and so therefore she is the mother of it, she is not Nature itself. I think then the gift of Nature (the physical thing – Big N) was given to us to take care of but because it is in the nature (the inherent way of being – little n) of a woman to share qualities of Nature it is our connected force that is important in the fight to keep it alive. And that takes a village of people that recognize the fragility of what we have all around us. Don’t mistake what I’m saying for that women are responsible to clean up the mess. What I’m saying is I think only women can create initiative in only the way we can due to our connection between Nature and our nature.

Do we really think it's a coincidence that “nature” means both the phenomena of the physical world and the basic or inherent features of something? That’s the key, the basic and inherent features of the world around us are true, resilient, and brave. It’s also destructive and forgiving, it’s powerful and serene. It creates without apology, and it gives without recourse. We can maintain balance in nature by honoring the true nature of it all. I'll just say it then. Just. Like. Women. The connection between woman and Nature is strong, and it is in our nature to listen, not with our ears but our hearts. When we listen, we know, and when we know there is a power behind that has shaped pivotal happenings throughout history.

Women like Jane Austen for her prolific writing that pushed perspectives in a time where women were seen and not heard. Ada Lovelace in computer science in a time where S.T.E.M (Science. Technology. Engineering. Math) weren’t taught to women. Twice Nobel prize winning Marie Curie for her work in radioactivity and her cancer curing research, Maya Angelou for her writing, poetry, acting, and activism in empowering the African American community, and Josephine Baker for being the first African American woman to star in a motion picture and being the only woman speaker at the March on Washington in 1968. Sylvia Rivera and Marsha P Johnson who created STAR (Street Trans Action Revolutionaries), a home and family for young LGBT people in New York City after Stonewall in 1969.

Sally K Ride for being the first woman to travel into space and advocate for a greater focus on math and science for girls. Katherine Graham a Pulitzer Prize winner and one of the first female publishers of a U.S Newspaper, and Florence Nightingale for her work in modern nursing. Helen Keller for her writing and disability rights activism. Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie, for her art, activism, and continued pursuit of ensuring Indigenous voices and Native culture are known. Junko Tabei for being the first woman to conquer Mount Everest and at sixty-one pursued a degree in Environmental Science to educate for the protection of the earth.

Honestly this list could go on and on and writing these names out makes me tear up with pride in being a woman along side them. They had to be visionary in a time that practically no one embraced it. I hope you can see, women haven’t just showed up to help shape history, no, they quite literally had to battle for each and every single one of these historical moments due to the patriarchal views of being the “lesser sex.” And this is exactly why I’m demonstrating here that is has nothing to do with what we physically have and it has everything to do with a connection to a knowing.

The fight transcends our personal and current situations, and we must collectively walk into the flames to show the little girls of the future that we are fighting for their knowledge and nature, which should never be extinguished.

I wake up everyday and tell myself that if I don’t play “their” game very well, if I can look at myself in the mirror and know I’m participating in the truth of it all with the best of my integrity everyday that no matter what day it is that my story ends I’ll be proud of what I created here. I am beyond grateful for the community I get to stand among, and I am damn proud to be a woman. We are beyond the current capacity of the world we are living in and my hope is that this can not only remind you that you are powerful beyond measure but that you already belong. Connected. Unity. Together. Always.


Xx, Caitie


Instagram: @she_runs__wild


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