The Real Woman? Who is she?

Is she the one who has three children, a husband, a house, a car?

Or is she the one who has her dream job, professional respect, and prestige?

Or is she the one who has a partner?

Or the one who is alone?

Or the one who has one child and no husband?

Or the one for whom material things are more valuable than emotional ones?

Are all of the above examples of women, or none of them?

If you ask me, all women, real and fictional, from the examples listed above, are real and self-realized women. But if you ask society – actually none of them are.

There are these unwritten rules, which I thought were specific only to a certain geographical area on our planet, about who (not to say what) a woman MUST be. nd don’t worry, I won’t list them all now, there was enough listing at the beginning of the text. Because either way, in patriarchal societies, in which we live, a woman can never fulfill everything she is asked to do, and she is always made to feel bad because she hasn’t achieved that something more.

Reading the book “Why We Matter” by Emilie Roig, I came across the astonishing fact that all over the world a woman’s identity is inseparably linked to her identity as a mother.

What does that actually mean?

A woman is only considered “complete?!” when she gives birth to her second child and beyond. By analogy, women who give birth to one child are “half-women,” and those who decide or cannot give birth to any – are not women at all. Yes, I felt like that when I read it.

It’s all in vain for us with all the technology and progress and other cliches when we persistently reduce a woman to her functional uterus.

I am a mother. I became one by choice and because I wanted to.

But I also don’t believe that women who don’t have children (for any reason) are less women than me and not worthy of that title. Just as I don’t believe that women who have more children are superior to others. We are all just that – women.

The saddest thing in this whole story is that the millennia-old patriarchy has convinced us that we are each other’s competition and that it is very acceptable, not to say desirable, to compare ourselves with each other with the aim of belittling the other.

It is not enough that legal and state systems put us in the ranks of second-class citizens.

It is not enough that men discriminate against us at every step, consciously or not.

No. We can do much better on our own, so sweet sister, let it out on your sister.

And why? To keep the system and values as they are?


I am not superior to anyone.

Oh, how much condemnation and contempt I had in myself for every woman who did not share the values I had at that moment in my life.

I have a boyfriend, and she doesn’t – I am better.

I am studying, and she isn’t – I am better.

I regularly go to church and fast, and she doesn’t – I am better.

My wedding had fewer guests – I am better.

I have a husband, and she doesn’t – I am better.

I am pregnant, and she isn’t – I am better.

My child is better than yours – I am better.

But also – she has a PhD, and I don’t – she is better.

She has three children, and I don’t – she is better.

She travels all the time, and I don’t – she is better.

I wasn’t better at anything, nor was I worse. But I was toxic to myself based on such thoughts.

Luckily, people learn while they live, and only when we realize what mistakes we make in everyday life, especially in relation to others, can we become aware of them and actively work on removing them.

And this didn’t naturally come to us, society teaches us from birth that we are less valuable and that only a certain type of woman is “worthier” than others.

Why are obedient women better than those who refuse to be silent? Why are those who are believers perceived as more modest than those who aren’t? Why is she who wears a long skirt worth more than the one in short shorts?

Can a woman really be reduced to just belonging to her husband, her family, taking care of the house, obeying the state and church, and motherhood?

Why is a woman who wears a hijab considered less valuable than one who proudly wears her shaved head?

What are these divisions for?

This is not a competition. Indeed, in such a narrative there are no winners except those who profit from such divisions all the time.

If feminism was supposed to bring something, it is (besides the right to vote) the right for each of us to decide for ourselves how we want to look, what we want to do, whether we want to have children, whether we want to formalize the relationships we are in, or choose to be alone.

I just want us to hear each other. And let’s stop valuing each other based on categories that are only subjectively relevant.

Enough is enough!

So I ask you, the next time you see a woman on the street or in your feed who is different from you in any way, stop that nasty condemning thought and don’t let it out, not even as a joke.

Because be sure that you (although perfect for yourself) are also the target of someone’s contempt, for the decisions you make every day and the way you live your life, and these things hurt.

We must and can replace contempt and envy with support and genuine joy for others.

Let’s change the narrative for once and for all, let’s support each other, because today it is perhaps more important than ever.