Real Talk: Why Are You Happy to be a Woman?

by Leandra Medine
March 8, 2014
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It was not without a smile that emerged direct from my gut that when I walked into McNally Jackson bookshop on Spring street this morning at 10:30AM on International Women’s Day, the first book to catch my gaze was one published in 2012 by Atlantic editor Hanna Rosin, titled The End of Men and The Rise of Women. 

The gist of the book argues that “women are winning the battle of the sexes,” which is to say that female performance in the workplace and beyond (important non sequitur/note: I just typed out Beyonce instead of beyond, had to go back and change it) is beginning to champion that of the archetypically prominent and dominating positions of our male counterparts.

You should read it, really, but for the purpose of this open thread, that is neither here nor there.

In celebration of this special day made for us, by us, let’s put the reading muscle to rest and get TALKING! Talking about what makes us happy to be women. And seeing as I’ve been engaged in an interminable monologue that you’d have to weather since 2010, today, I’ll open the floor to a discussion led by YOU.

So…who is it again, who run da world?

REPLIES
  • http://madamecouture.blogspot.com/ Emma Hager

    I love most everything about being a young woman, to be honest. It can be something as simple surrounding aesthetics in that we have so much more variety in our clothing choices OR it can be as complex as the unique bonds we seem to form with each other as friends and our mothers, grandmothers, and so on.

    I’ll never forget how awesome that little video was that Ms. Rosin did for the Atlantic that involved her husband, daughter and two sons. So cute!

    Also, I caved at bought Petra Collins’ ‘Period Power’ tee. Not exactly sure where I can wear it, but today seems like the perfect day to do so. Our day, we can be a little effing blunt if we please. (actually, I kind of like being blunt everyday.)

  • Ana Lu Garro

    I love the fact that we can do anything if we want to. I mean, we can be housewifes, bosses, singers, models, architects… you name it… and we’re damn good at it. Today I feel empowered and want to eat the world just because. Reading so many cool stuff about our day makes me feel happy because it’s the first time that I do spend a lot of time in blogs during this day. Thank you so much for being such an inspiration to all women out there! :)

  • guest

    I feel so lucky to be a women today, but also so sad and discouraged. It makes me so sad to see how divided we are. We are all trying to protect our freedom (ha I normally stop reading when someone pulls the “freedom card”) but in the process we tear each other apart. In the world of women today it seems like there is team Miley or team radical (insert feminist name here) and most women fall in the middle, we are so busy screaming at each other to put some clothes on, or to feel entitled to wear what we want that we miss the point all together.

    Since when did feminism become a dirty word? Its like girls think they are required to stop shaving their arm pits to appreciate women. We are so immune to the norm of our role models being half naked most of the time, we don’t even realize that it doesn’t have to be this way. (I am not discounting them, but lets expand the world of role models to those who wear clothes too) So enough with the fighting ladies. The media will forever tell us that women are supposed to dress and act a certain way until we do something about it. I am not even going to try and challenge this, instead lets create a new sexy. A sexy that celebrates and encourages women to reach for the stars (and not only in their acting or modeling career), a sexy that doesn’t involve every single chick flick ending in a quest to find love.

    Growing up a girly girl, living for fashion, I never really saw the problem. As I get older and consider having children of my own, I become afraid. I am starting to get why all these moms are angry at Miley, I mean would you honestly want your daughter to be running around in front of millions with no pants, shaking her ass, tongue hanging out like a dog? Or would you settle for the fact that there is a 1 in 5 chance you will be raped in the US? .. ok so the sexually assaults are really another issue…a MENS issue…but it still makes me so sad to think we have settled for this.

    I know this was supposed to be about why I love being a women, so I guess I would have to say this blog! I never imagined there would be a well respected fashion blogger (well respected is an understatement) who would have the courage to make a difference. Who is not scared to post something that many may feel attacked or offended by…It is ladies like you that bridge the gap and hopefully can encourage women to feel powerful and sexy…even when they are not wearing a thong.

    • the (un?)social butterfly

      Are you seriously saying you understand when women who “dress like sluts” are raped?

      We have not SETTLED for this, we have no choice, we are ABUSED and people like you still think it’s about shaking an ass and showing skin. Please check rape stats in Alaska, pretty sure women don’t walk around naked there.

  • http://fashionmusingsdiary.blogspot.fr/ Miss J.

    What makes me happy to be a woman is the limitless opportunities of having fun fashion provides!
    http://fashionmusingsdiary.blogspot.fr

  • Ana Lu Garro

    This is my second comment today but I just wanted to let you know that I wrote about you today on my blog. You’re a huge inspiration for me and that’s pretty much why I wrote about you today. I would love if you could check it out. :)

    Lu from Things&Crowns
    http://thingsandcrowns.blogspot.mx/2014/03/8-women-on-8th.html

  • Peak 25

    Woohoooo Happy International Women’s Day! Must read this book….

    http://www.peak25.com

  • Quinn Halman

    It’s really fucking satisfying

  • Andrew Rogers

    How about instead we both treat each other as equals then everyone is happy. Men sometimes forget that we are born from women and without them we would not be here but there is no need for sexism against women or against men.

    • anonymous

      How about we stop pretending that sexism against men is real, because it’s not. How about this trope about how “everyone should just treat everyone equally” which is usually said in conjunction with “there’s no need for feminism” is a crock of crap and is code for “I am able to ignore oppressive systems because of my male privilege and i would greatly appreciate if everyone stopped talking about them so that I don’t have to feel guilty about benefitting from them and the fact that I will do nothing to change it.”

      • c

        In Canada (not sure about other countries), suicide and homelessness are much more common in males than females (check out the stats). I’m a female; it’s about gender equality (aka feminism)

        • anonymous

          i dont even know what to say to you this is so beside the point…

  • Nadia Eskenazi

    Best thing about being a woman is bearing children .. I know it might sound corny but having life grow in you and then giving birth is the most impowering feeling on earth …

  • Jane

    The book sounds great. Just added it to my amazon wishlist :) xx

  • the (un?)social butterfly

    International Women’s day is not about being happy that we are women. It’s really about honoring the women that fought and fight so that all of us might someday, maybe, be a part of a society scored in gender equality.

    In the US, approximately 1 in 5 women (18.3%) and 1 in 71 men (1.4%) reported experiencing rape at some time in their lives. More data here: http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pdf/SV-DataSheet-a.pdf

    I don’t want to diminish the achievements we had, but I’m still far from celebrating. Women have more opportunities, but gender equality is a distant dream. Let’s not forget it and keep moving.

    • Jules

      Thank you for this link to the data! So many of us live in silence around rape and sexual abuse — its so important to remember we are not alone in our experiences or our fight for a more just world. Happy International Women’s Day!

      Another great resource: The Body of the World by Eve Ensler (a memoir of her fight for human rights and against cancer). Beautifully written and informative.

  • Sarah Mikaela

    There are so many reasons we should be happy about being women. I love the fact that we’re able to rise as strong, world changing politicians or activists and yet cry when watching the Notebook – it’s not that we feel more so to say, but somehow we’re more aloud to in our gender, and I think that’s amazing. I imagine that our counterpart must find it really hard in today’s society to truly show feelings without losing the masculinity defined by society and media that makes out the spine of their identity.

    Coming from Denmark I really didn’t ever think about feminism, because I felt 100% equal in the society I grew up in. However, having lived in London for a year now, since properly being introduced to feminism, I started shouting it louder and louder (I’ll let people finish their coffees, but afterwards..). I can’t stand the fact, that I have to be scared of walking home in the middle of the night, or think about that I need to bring footwear I can run in, just in case. It doesn’t have to be this way! Although I’m a huge fan of clothes (the more the better, really), I truly believe, that we should be able to walk home butt-naked and still feel safe. No one should ever feel like they own us, because we own ourselves fully; our voice, our sexuality and our bodies.

    We need to modernize our thoughts on women, men and feminists and keep challenging the ideas and thoughts brought to us by society and media. I think women are awesome, because we keep breaking those definitions of ‘how to be the perfect woman’ and redefine ourselves suitable for how the world should be. When we talk (thank you MR, you’re AWESOME!) the world changes, and I’m really just so excited to see how the world is going to look for the next generations to come. I think the best is yet to come!

  • Tru’ Lavina

    Frankly, I have some ambivalence about this ‘special’ day. The debate of whether women should be treated equal as men is outdated. We’re better at many things than men, we just forget to blow our own horn. We wait until this ‘special’ day and then it becomes a plea to be equal rather than a day to celebrate that women are in fact performing a lot better in the ‘new economy’ than men. Start-ups? Check! Blogs? Check! Social Media? Check. Are women still discriminated in big corporations? You bet. Is it harder to elect a woman as a politician? Well, there hasn’t been a woman President in the US to date, right? Time magazine recently reported that even Art Institutions and museums are lagging behind with women as leaders. Here’s an idea, rather than Lean In and adopt to the corporate structure (this pull by the way is a lot stronger in the US than Europe) why not Lean Out and go on your own? We’ve always had to work harder to prove our worth. We’ll do the same for our own little business. I say boycott big corporations to the point that it disturbs their gender balance. Why work for someone who’s not going to pay you equal pay when you can be your own boss? Work for yourself and one day our business will grow. That’s how we can shift the cultural gender imbalance. We create the working environments that we crave for. Working for myself makes me happy today and I celebrate it by wearing pink. Because I feel like it.
    http://www.trulavina.com

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