Voices: It’s not about shouting ‘we can do it all’ but the choice to do it how we like
The identity of being a woman has changed over the years but some of the stigma attached to it hasn’t. There are many elements used to construct particular theories on womanhood – however, these are at times subjective and not based on facts.
The construct of the identity of a woman can factor in things such as: age, body, culture, physical appearance, responsibility, emotional and intellectual ability. All of these factors bring a unique and at times complex discussion to the idea of the identity of a woman. The individual’s characteristics in themselves, display how multifaceted women can be.
I’ve found that the feeling and definition of identifying as a woman that arises in me has also changed over time. I can honestly say that the expectations of others, when I was in my twenties contributed to the lack of my own personal awareness of what it meant to be a woman. It has taken several years, new life experiences, and personal growth to enable me to understand and feel confident enough to move with my own vibe. One that truly serves me and the loved ones that I embrace to benefit from my existence.
The culture of empowerment that’s outpouring through education, business, and relationships is making a stamp. Without being derivative, but being owned by women for women. We are worth everything that we fight for and more. It’s too simple to classify me as a woman merely because I’ve had children or because of my physical body. There is so much more to being a woman than that. As a woman, I’ve pushed through life with the ability to nurture, with the strength to withstand challenge, with the ease to embrace laughter, with the heart to love and love again, with the desire to thrive, enjoying, and loving all of me.
All while acknowledging and accepting that I will change with time, physically and emotionally, and that’s okay!
Some may describe us beautiful women as complex individuals, but I see us as layered, unapologetic and powerful. To argue the fact that women’s presence has had a limited positive effect on society today would be to deny the historical and continuous pathways that women have forged and implemented to make significant progressive changes that benefit everyone in society.
Some of these important changes brought about by women include: freedom, equality, leadership, and safety. The resilience of a woman is undeniable, from the sacrifices many have made, to the ownership and celebration of our forever-changing bodies. The unity between us spans borders, a collective recognition that with the power of social media, has given us a much more powerful voice than we have ever seen before and is building a recognisable sisterhood. It truly appears that the days of being placed in a singular box to conform have slightly shifted.
It’s not about shouting that we can do it all, it’s about making it clear we can have the choice to do it how we like. Being a woman in 2023 makes me feel proud. Although there’s still so much more work to be done, our voices are no longer muted. I’m proud that we are learning the ability to be vulnerable yet assertive enough to speak out when we need help and support. I’m proud that we are demonstrating a refusal to feel ashamed or be silenced. We cannot be ignored!
So for this International Women’s Day: I encourage all women to take the time to build, love and nurture themselves first. That way we can embrace the beauty of feeling alive and purposeful, allowing us to be all the women we want to be.
Judi Love is an English stand-up comedian and presenter. She will be touring the UK with her show The One Like throughout this year