Am I a Woman?

It's October 21, and the clock just struck 9:37 p.m. I should be studying for tomorrow's sociology midterm, but this has been weighing heavily on my heart for the last 24 hours. I recently analyzed a combination of specific films, articles, and personal experiences, and I have found myself to be very overwhelmed.

I am not sure if it is due to how I was raised, or the fact that I am very observant, but I have always done what was best for me, and did not ever really feel pressured to do anything-even if it was popular. If it is not right with my spirit, I am simply not doing it. With this being said, I did not fit in while growing up, and I actually used to think that something was wrong with me because I was different from the majority of my peers. As I became more and more secure with myself, I cared less about what other people thought of me.

While this all occurred in my high school career, I find myself facing these same issues, as I dissect society and appreciate the lived experiences of women, especially. As a budding documentarian who intends on minoring in Women and Gender Studies and Sociology, I am acutely aware of the portrayals of women in media. Why Is it that strong-willed women are illustrated as being heartless and unemotional, or anything undesirable, but women who rely on men are loving, fun, and cool? Why can't you be a well rounded woman who is strong minded? Why is it that you have to be seen as less than a woman for doing what you want?

This article was partly inspired by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's speech that she presented subsequent to being honored at the 2015 Girls Write Now Awards. She basically discussed that women should not aspire to be likable, but should aim to be comfortable with living in their truth. Obviously, you should not be rude and disregard people, because that is mean-spirited and uncalled-for, but being well liked should not be a priority. As women, we are subliminally taught that we have to deal with any and every situation or person that comes our way no matter how unhealthy it is for us.

I am a pretty happy individual, but I am fatigued when facing the reality that although I am comfortable with myself, my womanhood will always be defined in relation to men. We are socialized to believe that a woman has to marry, have children, or have a romantic relationship with a man in every stage of her life to be considered a woman. I do plan on marrying and having children, but women who do not want that for their lives should not be made to feel inferior.One of the main reasons why I chose to major in Television-Radio-and Film is because I need to use the platform that I have to tell the stories of women through our point of view, not through the male gaze. I truly do have high hopes that women will become more and more appreciated, especially since the world would be unable to function without us. With the prominence of social media, television, etc. I expect for there to be a substantial amount of progress in the near future.