On Being a Woman


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“… For all intents and purposes, I am a woman…” Bruce Jenner

With all the kindness and love I can muster, no, I’m sorry, but no, you are not. Being a woman is a rather complex thing. It is not a lifestyle choice. It is not even an identity. It is not a chemical concoction, a fine soup one can cook up in a laboratory. It is not be found in the way one dresses or in physical appearance. It is not something we can create surgically.

To go seeking an external solution for an internal problem is a tragedy because the more we try to pour those things into the abyss of our souls, the emptier we will feel. You cannot fix your inside by changing your outside. Nor should your outside ever be your “identity,” how you perceive yourself in the world. Who you are is deep within you, your true I-dentity resides there. It is your higher self. It is not to be found in the material world.

I don’t know precisely what being a woman is, it is a collection of experiences, it is wisdom gained from walking in those shoes, it is the scars we have earned. It is grief and suffering and angst and great joy. It is being charged with bringing new life into the world. It is struggling to love men, men who are not always so cooperative or loveable. Being a woman is a rather complex thing indeed, it is not a role you simply step into easily.

There are studies that indicate our brains actually behave differently, not in an inferior/superior context, but simply differently. Right on down the line to our very cells there is difference. Our muscle mass does not grow the same, we generally are not as strong as men, but we are far more flexible. We have a capacity for endurance that is greater. We have layers of fat that can fuel us during famines and cold snaps. We are more prone to survive our infancy then little boys. We are designed tough, for the long haul. We have to be, the world is not always a kind place. It is not the same kind of strength that men have, but it serves a purpose just the same.

One cannot simply “become a woman,” over a period of months. It takes a lifetime. What a strange world we live in when gender is presented as nothing but a social construct one can allegedly cast off at anytime, and yet also so profound it must be our very identity, The Thing that must define us. That is an illogical contradiction and it implies that one’s identity comes exclusively from others, from how other people perceive you. Stuff and nonsense. That is the path to nothing but misery.

So a troubled man is once again cheered on and praised as if he has found himself, as if he is terribly brave to have discovered his true self. But what of who he was truly intended to be? What of the one deep inside that he so vehemently rejects? Do we grieve the loss of the one he tries so hard to run away from?

Does love not compel us to sometimes say no? Is morality in the hands of people not a rather myopic thing? Where would one draw the line and tell a troubled mind, no, no, this is not the answer to what ails you. Today in the world we live in there are people who have body dysmorphic issues so severe, they actually have healthy limbs removed. There are people who seek a “disabled identity.” There are those who choose to be surgically altered to resemble animals. There is a whole world of crazy out there that people hardly ever see. Rather than looking at the chemical issues within one’s brain, we tend to collectively cheer these things on, as if we all worship at the foot of the cult of I-dentity.

For all intents and purposes…What intent and purpose??


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