Being a woman is punishing. Being a woman is a fine balance of pain and joy, of ugliness and beauty, weeds and flowers. Being a woman is experiencing adversity with a smile, and triumph with tears that wet pride-filled cheeks. 

Being a woman is underestimated, even by women. It’s an expectation not an option. 

There are many incredible qualities of womanhood. There are also many challenges. 

  • Being a CEO in a meeting with others where the men ignore you and speak to your male colleagues. 
  • It being assumed you’re the minute taker in the meeting, rather than the lead. 
  • Being called bossy, rather than assertive. 
  • Being told you’re intimidating because you’re productive, effective, and impactful in your position. 
  • Having men judge you for the way you look, rather than your intelligence, your tenacity, or the way in which you work. 
  • Having your emotions analysed and judged – if you’re empathic, you’re too emotional or out of control; if you’re angry, you’re aggressive – the assumption will always be made that you’re incapable because you show your emotions. 
  • It being assumed that you can’t work full time and be a mother. 
  • It being assumed you’re a bad mum if you do work full-time. 
  • It being frowned upon if you’re the breadwinner, working full-time and your partner taking care of the kids (often called babysitting unless you’re a woman). 
  • People making judgements on what you choose to not do with your womb. 
  • People questioning why you don’t want kids and being judged for not wanting them. 
  • Having your natural body cycle (yes, I’m talking about periods) used as a weapon should you dare show any passion or determination, to silence you. “Is it that time of the month, love?”
  • Pet names being used toward you, but not your male colleagues in the workplace. Darling, love, sweetheart – you name it, we’ve probably been called it in our professions. 
  • Don’t even dare being a woman in a man’s profession. The stereotyping, the assumptions, the bias, the discrimination. 
  • Research has even found a gender health gap in the UK where many women receive poorer healthcare than men.
  • Having to take precautions when out – carrying personal alarms, covering drinks for fear of spiking, doubting every male walking behind you in the dark – worrying you’re not safe.

When I set out to write this blog, I didn’t want to start with challenges, but this is our reality as women. Along with those challenges, women are also powerhouses, women are true warriors, we purr and roar, we’re equal measures of light and shade. Some of the best people I have ever met are women. 

When we think of women, many people think of pinks, roses, and the Eau De Femininity. When I think of women, I think of grit, determination, strength, emotional stamina, courage, and resilience. All mixed with empathy, gentleness, faith, hope, honesty and so much more.

Women endure, women bare teeth with smiles instead of snarls when faced with one of the many challenges listed above. 

Women work while bleeding, cramping, growing life and while having hot flushes. We’re stronger than we seem and braver than we let on. We’re fiercely protective of those we love, and our love is gentle, tough, loud, and silent. Our love is clear yet complicated – It’s brutally honest. 

Women have long fought for rights we should have always had; yet all we’ve ever wanted is equality. The inequality we face now is quiet but ever present. We endure inequality, stereotypes, and discrimination daily – which is why this blog isn’t hearts and flowers, it’s not mushy. It’s raw, it’s honest and it doesn’t fall into the stereotype of womanhood. 

Being a woman is being human, and then some. 


Before I sign off, I wanted to speak directly to women. I’ve met so many women that are so burdened by the inequalities of womanhood that even women aren’t treating other women how we deserve. I’ve met women who will tear you down to use you as a ladder. We need to do better. 

I have also met some of the most incredible and inspiring women that encompass womanhood without having been tarnished by their own challenging experiences.

  • The woman who knew when to stop, instead of enduring with the same inevitable conclusion. 
  • The woman who ate frogs with me (not literal frogs – I’m not into that). 
  • The woman who smiled at and applauded a fellow woman achieving great things.
  • The woman who helped me achieve great things. 
  • The woman who experienced domestic abuse yet used (and still uses) that experience to help others with her love, insight, tact, and compassion.
  • The woman who fought for her life with a smile and with a fierceness I’ll never forget.
  • The woman who celebrated another woman’s wins. 
  • The woman who sat in another’s sadness with them, so they weren’t alone. 
  • The woman who helped me express my needs when I thought it impossible.
  • The woman who called me out on my own nonsense. 
  • The woman who challenged my views with care and understanding. 
  • The women who raised me. (No thanks to my dad here.) 
  • The woman in the hospital who showed me kindness in my darkest moment. 

There are more moments I could capture here, but the essence of it all is: 

Women, celebrate women. Lift women. Empower them. Help them. Keep being all of the things I’ve outlined in this blog and more. 

If you are an ally, if you are in support of women. Elevate their voices this IWD instead of sharing your own. We need to be heard. 

And be heard we will. We’ll purr. We’ll shout. We’ll roar. 

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