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