Feb 16, 2020

Some observations on the differences between femaleness and womanness

A non-exhaustive list of what it means to be a woman:

Being interrupted more during conversation and at work; having a statistical chance of being paid less for the same work performed by a man; having one's pain not believed by medical professionals and taking seven years on average to have pain conditions properly diagnosed; having a high lifetime chance of suffering sexual assault; having a high lifetime chance of suffering intimate violence; having one's clothes and appearance relentlessly policed; spending more money and time than men to achieve a presentation that is considered professional; paying more for lower quality and less well-fitting clothes than men; being called on less in educational settings; having to overcome implicit, explicit and institutional biases about our innate abilities and talents in educational settings; being much less likely to have either celebrity or closer role-models who look and dress like us in positions, either professional, political or social, of power and influence; being offered predominantly sexualised role-models that emphasise our role as objects of desire for men than any other quality or capability; being highly unlikely to have role models of any kind who deviate from the white, able-bodied and youthful ideal of desirability; being expected to minister to men's feelings and either control, absorb or be blamed for violence performed by them; having to undertake the majority of child-rearing labour; being expected to perform more housework than men and being blamed, openly or implicitly, if the cleanliness, tidiness and aesthetic appearance of our living quarters do not meet the arbitrary standards set by our social milieu; assuming responsibility for the wellbeing and medical treatment of any children, adult men, or elderly people in our immediate or in-law families; being likely to have much lower lifetime earnings due to the burden of the above responsibilities; being likely to hold significantly less inherited or earned wealth than men; having a much higher chance of falling into old age poverty due to the above factors; having our testimonies of discrimination or abuse disbelieved by individuals and institutions; being held to a much higher standard than men when we perform journalistic, activist or academic work which aims to demonstrate and analyse the above list of disadvantages; being required to subordinate the struggle for the elimination of these disadvantages to political movements that include, and therefore prioritise, men; being punished and threatened with expulsion from our own political movements when we insist on the priority of our struggle for liberation as women.

A complete list of what it means to be female:

Producing, or having the kind of body with the potential to produce, the large non-motile gametes in sexually reproducing organisms.