HerCampus writer Gabrielle Rick participates in this year’s HerCarnival. She involves herself in women-related activities to better her community. MADELYN JULE / SNAPPER

Gabrielle Krick
HerCampus Marketing & Publicity Director and Social Media Director

Being a woman means different things to different people, as gender is a complex and  multifaceted identity that intersects with other aspects of a person’s identity, such as race,  ethnicity, class, sexuality, and more. However, there are some common themes and experiences  that are often associated with being a woman. 

One of the most important aspects of being a woman is the experience of gender socialization,  which refers to the process of learning and internalizing the norms, values, and expectations that  are associated with one’s gender. This process begins early in childhood, as children are exposed  to gender messages and behaviors from parents, peers, media, and society at large. For girls, this  often means learning to be nurturing, emotional, and focused on appearance, while boys are  socialized to be assertive, competitive, and emotionally stoic. It is interesting to watch as this  changes with generations, and I look forward to a time where stereotypes on men and women  perhaps do not exist.  

Another key aspect of being a woman is the experience of gender discrimination and inequality.  Despite significant progress in gender equity over the past few decades, women still face  systemic barriers and biases that limit their opportunities and impact their well-being. This can  include lower pay, limited access to leadership positions, harassment and violence, and lack of  representation in media and politics. While we move in the right direction involving this topic,  we do still have so much more to accomplish.  

At the same time, being a woman also involves a sense of identity, community, and  empowerment. Women have a rich history of activism, resilience, and creativity, and have made  significant contributions to all aspects of society, from arts and culture to science and politics.  Many women also find strength and support in female friendships, networks, and movements,  which provide a sense of belonging and solidarity. There is nothing like a core group of women  that just understand each other.  

To me, each of these unique female experiences is as important as the next. Being a woman is so  much more than the struggles we have endured and will continue to. It is what we do with those  barriers that matter. It is the community we have built and the support we lend each other in the  fight towards equality. It is how, as women, we come together in difficult situations, rather than  shying away from them.  

Overall, being a woman is a complex and dynamic identity that encompasses a wide range of  experiences, emotions, and perspectives. While it can be challenging at times, it is also a source  of strength, resilience, and pride for many of us around the world. Being a woman is something I  am proud to discuss and I look forward to watching future generations of women continue this  legacy for us all.