Monday Notes: Being a Woman: Facts and Receipts

Being a woman feels like being everything and nothing all at once.

            It feels like being the gender who bears children, but not being the gender who is protected while bearing children. Because any country that allows Black, American Indian, and Alaska Native women to be two to three times more likely to die during childbirth demonstrates a woman’s value with each subsequent death.

            It feels like choosing a lauded profession, like teaching, which in the United States is seventy-six percent woman dominated but not being heard, paid, or respected, while educating the nation’s children. Mississippi teachers, for example, are expected to live off of $45,574 per year. It’s no wonder eighteen percent of U.S. teachers work another job.

            It feels like wanting to subscribe to a power higher than yourself, while signing up for your own oppression if you choose to worship with one of the top two religions. Eve is praised for being the mother of civilization, while being condemned for initiating the fall of man. A study showed that while there are ninety-three women in the Christian Bible, they speak a little over one percent of the time. This isn’t surprising as there are still seven religious groups that don’t allow women to be ordained; Islam is one of them. These may not seem like big deals, but implicit subjugation can be just as harmful because it is an indoctrination of subliminal messaging by which one may shape a future life.

            It feels like living in India where the very idea of having a girl child is repulsive and unwelcomed, where throwing acid on women’s faces is such a common practice there’s a name for it. It’s called an acid attack. India leads the world in these intentional crimes against women. Likewise, women are more likely to suffer domestic abuse and rape, while the justice system oftentimes acquits their husbands.

            It feels like the government regulating your reproductive rights for population control as they did with women in China from 1979 through 2015; it was called the one-child policy. And even though the Chinese government now encourages women to have up to two children, having a girl child oftentimes leads to infanticide and abandonment because boy children are preferred. Consequently, China’s demographics are now off balance; there are thirty million more men than women.

            It feels like fearing one’s life in South Africa, where femicide, the intentional murder of women, is five times more than the global rate; in 2017, every eight hours a woman was killed…by her intimate partner. If a South African woman does live, then she is likely to be raped, as this country was once considered the rape capital of the world.

            Yes, I’m convinced. Being a woman is like being everything and nothing all at once, like being the seed of civilization and the unintentional cause of your own damnation. At this point, I just have one request: Prove me wrong.


Happy International Women’s Day. We have work to do.

109 thoughts on “Monday Notes: Being a Woman: Facts and Receipts

  1. Women carry a lot. It becomes even that much harder, as we begin standing up for ourselves in a “Man’s World.” I am Mojave Native and Black, and I think I have often felt like fight or flight was a part of my journey…being a Woman and Black and Indigenous, at that. I don’t believe Women support one another enough, where care and support are needed.I am learning to not have a made up mind, before I hear a Woman’s story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rae, thank you for saying this. Women DO carry a lot. I think we’re waiting for someone to give us permission to not carry so much, when “we’re the one’s we’ve been waiting for.”

      Thank you for sharing about your identity. I really cannot imagine throwing indigenous into the mix of an already complicated life in this society.

      What you’ve said is true (from what I’ve seen). Instead of supporting one another, sometimes we push each other back into the societal lines that were created before we arrived. Anywho, I like what you’ve made up your mind to do…it’s necessary.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. “We’re the one’s we’ve been waiting for.” This is a generational quote for sure! I agree. Thank you for your post. I feel these are conversations women are always wanting to have, and it takes lovely writing to start it. So I appreciate this. Coming from such rich cultures, has taught me a lot about myself, and a whole lot about this world….good and bad. I believe the more we continue listen the more we will support one another as women.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. My blogger friend in Australia was talking about Ms. Higgins who is speaking out against her rape that happened in the Parliament building. She is brave and it is generating a lot of discussion in that country. My summary of the case in a “My Fair Lady”like phrasing like “Rain in Spain” is The Shame is Brittany’s Pain is Mainly Mansplained. Women deserve freedom, support and to be heard.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. As much as women are raped around the world, you’d think we would’ve figured out something to do with men, who seem to not be able to control themselves and use their power for ill. Good for Ms. Higgins! That’s what we need. More bravery and authenticity.

      I love that summary, by the way lol

      Liked by 2 people

  3. This is such a relatable post! Sometimes, I think being a woman can be so stressful due to things like periods, but it can also be a blessing, I mean we can care for a fetus for 9 months which is incredible of the human body and I’ve heard it’s incredible! A great insight!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Janet, I agree. In my experience, because we’ve been taught to be quiet, then sometimes we also do it to one another as women…we perpetuate the same ridiculous idea.

      Thank you for the kind words; here’s wishing you all the freedom of speech you can handle 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I long for the day we can put our petty differences aside and work together, globally, for equality for women all over the world. I know I won’t see it, but I do long for it. Meanwhile, baby steps…..

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thank you for sharing and Happy International Women’s Day!!… unfortunately, with closed minded ideologies (along with male egos), women have not received the credit and praise they rightfully deserve… hopefully with today’s technology and change, that closed minded thinking will change for the better… 🙂

    “Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary” (Steve Jobs)… 🙂

    Until we meet again…
    May love and laughter light your days,
    and warm your heart and home.
    May good and faithful friends be yours,
    wherever you may roam.
    May peace and plenty bless your world
    with joy that long endures.
    May all life’s passing seasons
    bring the best to you and yours!
    (Irish Saying)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re welcome and thank YOU Dutch!

      I certainly hope so, and I hope either I or my daughters are here to witness a quicker shift. Thank you, as always, for the poem ❤

      Like

  6. Unfortunately, this post has to be written still in 2021. To be honest, I’m struggling with ‘days like these’. YES, it is important to raise awareness of the horrific actions ‘we’ still practice. Thanks to the feminist movement throughout decades, which started with brave women, more and more women speak up. Nowadays, fortunately, not only women do so. Yesterday, I watched the docu ‘Feminists. What were they thinking?’ on Netflix. An amazingly beautiful portrait of women advocating for equality and such important matters. The words of two women at the end of the docu I’ve written down and these resonates with me the most:
    “Saying it’s a women’s issue, an environmental issue….we can’t do that anymore. It still, again, creates division, hierarchies. It’s what patriarchy does.”
    “We better find a way to each other, we need each other. Because we are all on this planet and we are all in trouble right now”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing this documentary Patty. I’ve added it to my list. I agree about the separation. We need more inclusive conversations because anything you do to a woman, child, man, Black person, European one, etc., you do to yourself. This is a steep learning curve, though, and I think it requires a bit of mirror work.

      Anywho, I just wanna reiterate that I agree with what you’re saying.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Also I find it interesting about what you brought up with religion. Quite a bit of women I know ( myself included ) have taken up learning older what some may call pagan outlook. Possibly since Norse , African, Ancient Egyptian, and a few other pantheons see women and the feminine in a more positive light.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The patriarchal twist on the major religions is so blatant to me. I can see why people like you and others have gone back to what’s considered pagan…women could be anything (good/bad/evil/princesses/temptresses) all of it, which is a more well-rounded way to view human beings, in general ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Most definitely, I still like to read quite a bit about new archeological findings . It’s amazing to see how women in the ancient world could be battle tacticians( norse woman found with a sword and board game) , beer brewers and mathematicians in Egypt and Babylonia .

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Very true , even in Mexico , there were quite a bit of protests concerning femicide and violence towards women . Plus here in the states as you brought up the native american women have especially rough , with quite a bit of untalked about human trafficking. Here’s a link to an article . It happens quite a bit in the western United States .
    https://www.freedomunited.org/news/why-traffickers-go-after-native-american-women/

    Liked by 3 people

    1. This is interesting. I thought for sure the reason for choosing NA women would be because they wouldn’t be missed, but it turns out that they can look like anything and that serves people’s exotic fetish??? I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am.

      Thank you for sharing this.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Mic drop! I need to hear this spoken through speakers in a room full of people. I need to hear the words interrupts by snaps of fingers and the interjections of mmphs. This powerful piece carried a different voice, a different tune, a different character of a woman who has walked a different woman. Ain’t you a woman – heck yeah you are woman. Could this tone be the birth of a new woman – a different maturity in womanhood and in writing too? Whether it is or it isn’t I am here for it!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. You liked this one, huh? Lol I appreciate you goddaughter ❤

      "When I was a child, I spake as a child…" that was the spirit of this and a few other posts.

      Someone else commented on how my writing has shifted. But you know me. I fluctuate. Tomorrow, I'll be back to what some deem the opposite of being a grown ass woman.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep, I liked it! I do know that you’re fluid! I just like to acknowledge and embrace all pieces of you. And you know I’m always ready to celebrate something new and becoming as well as something positive resurfacing.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. What a sobering post. Sad statistics indeed, Katherin. Thinking about Adam and Eve – maybe the word “amen” was really “awww – Men! I do believe the world would be a more peaceful place if woman ran things.
    Just with our new administration, I feel a lot of hope – change is coming!! And we need a lot of it, for sure. But it is a good thing to have hope again.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. LOL I like that. It had to translate to that, with a big ole face palm. I agree. I think having a new admin has shown that more of us maintained hope the whole time, even if it was just half of us 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  11. A sobering and thought-provoking read. A long, long way to go. And the Covid pandemic is exacerbating gender and race inequality. The news today and yesterday, just two days:
    WHO report on 161 countries finding a quarter of women and girls abused by partners;
    a risible, insulting 1% pay rise for nurses in UK, another female-dominated profession (89% women and 20% black and minority ethnic here);
    pandemic causes a surge of discrimination against pregnant women and mothers;
    women still doing more than their share of housework… on it goes.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Eve was deceived by the cunning lies of Satan, but Adam sinned. Not only did he not protect his wife ,but he listened to her instead of obeying God. This began the cause of all the things you listed . Woman was formed after man and from man in order to provide him a proper companion for life that was like him but a little different. Unfortunately men today can’t decide if they hate women or want to be one. They abandoned their God given role . And too many women do the same and try to usurp the role of the man . Eve’s punishment for was that her desire would be contrary to her husband but that he would rule over her , which probably means that she would say “men, can’t live with em , can’t live without em! “. I’m sure some people won’t like these comments, but they are from the Bible .

    Liked by 3 people

    1. lol I’m sure someone won’t like them, but this part made me laugh, ” Unfortunately men today can’t decide if they hate women or want to be one” for some reason.

      Thanks for adding this comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. “a woman’s value with each subsequent death.”

    Thank you, Dr. Garland:
    Exactly!

    Unfortunately, and the reason I chose never to bring a new life into this world from the moment I began menstruating, 40 years ago, now, is that I cannot, unfortunately, prove you wrong, Dr. G.
    Not yet.
    But I have faith that the generations who come after us, hopefully, shall.

    Stay safe,
    -Shira

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Did you make that conscious decision SD? That’s interesting and I completely understand. If you cannot ensure a person who is a girl will be protected, then why even bother?

      I hope they will, too, but we have to be right there supporting them as best we can.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yup: actually, I think at first that it was a simple feeling of fear, and that I would never want to bring a child into my family or my surroundings, and then it developed, by the time I started getting pressure at 15, into an absolute refusal. When, at 16, I was in a situation of no choice, I decided that death was preferable, and that there was no way in hell, heaven, or on earth, that I was going to allow myself to get pregnant, so I stopped eating under the guise of a ‘fast for a closer relationship with the Lord,” and my periods stopped (this had happened unintentionally when I was 14, so I knew that my periods would stop if I didn’t get enough food). No one even noticed, and some even accepted it when I said that I was pregnant, since I’d not menstruated for several months. That spared me enough to eat again.

        After that, I made an oath to myself that I would not bring a life into this world, unless every girl could be sure not to have to go through what I went through.
        So, as you say:
        why bother, if you know that your daughters, or your sons, safety and even their own bodies cannot be protected?
        And yes, Dr. G:
        We have to be there supporting every child, and as many adults as we can, too, to make this a world that might one day merit bringing new lives into it.

        Stay safe,
        – S. Destinie A. J.

        Mphil! (damnit! 🙂 I guess I have to mention it sometime!)

        🙂

        Sorry, I hope that that was not too horrible.
        peace

        Liked by 2 people

  14. Happy women’s day to all of you independent beauties out there!✌🏻 And to you too ke ma’am 💕
    You’re really right about the fact of how people think about womens and girls in India and I’ve seen that, it literally feels like are you out of your mind!!
    But here also a lot of changes are happening and we think that by some years the old school thinking will just start going away. But being a girl or a women isn’t an easy task and men should respect that we face so many things in life that they can’t even think of!!
    We should be proud of ourselves no matter what others think ❤️

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Khushi! Happy International Women’s Day to you, too my dear! I hope that the world (and India) will improve and become a safer place by the time you’re an adult.

      I agree we should definitely be proud of where we are, while also remembering we can always improve 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I’ll give it a whirl!: ” Mississippi teachers, for example, are expected to live off of $45,574 per year. It’s no wonder eighteen percent of U.S. teachers work another job.”

    Isn’t salary relative to cost of living? For example, the average cost of a home in Mississippi is $126,000 vs the average salary ranging between $39,000 to $66,000 (salary.com) and compare that to the $79,000 salary for a teacher in Massachusetts and home prices averaging out to $474,000. So, in Mississippi, the price ration is two to one, where as in Massachusetts it’s over 5 to one. Mississippi teachers do well in that respect. Also, the average wage in Mississippi is $62,496.00, so teachers in that state are doing as well as most wage earners there.

    My cousin is a public school teacher here in Massachusetts and she also works a second job. But, that’s in the summer, when she has two months off and wants to make more money. She never works two job while teaching in the classroom.

    I do agree with the rest of the things that you’ve mentioned. It’s horrible, and they are crimes against humanity. What is going on in Tibet against Tibetan women, and what is going on in China against Uighurs, especially the females, should cause every nation to isolate China for their crimes.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I appreciate this comment Rob. Full disclosure: I did think about each state’s cost of living and I almost didn’t include teacher pay as an example, buuuut it is a problem. Oklahoma has a huge issue with their teachers working more than one job (during the school year); in fact, you can read about how their teacher strike went a couple years ago…it was primarily based on them not having a living wage.

      Thanks also for mentioning the other crimes…there could be a whole blog only focused on crimes against women.

      Liked by 3 people

  16. This is a very powerful post. And I feel the same that women are everything and nothing all at once. One would think in this day and age that a lot would change, but it has not change. Thanks for sharing this, Kathy.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting Pam! I’m glad you could feel where I was coming from. It’s like we’re praised and also denigrated and treated like trash at the same time…all over the world.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Equal rights on paper are not equal rights in practice, even here in the USA. It saddens and angers me that other countries treat women as second class. I was amused that China, because of their preference for boy babies, now has 30 million more men than women. Where do they think boy babies come from? The stork? Most women work hard and feel invisible. As I used to point out, nobody realizes how much you do until you don’t do it. Moms take a sick day and the well-oiled machine grinds to a halt; the whole household goes to hell in a handbasket. As for Adam and Eve and the apple, the tempter was different but the choice was the same. And they both screwed up, so they bear equal responsibility. Thanks for another great post, KE. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Joan, I read and re-read that stat like five times. You can’t make this stuff up. It’s like living in a dystopian film. They’ll probably create a rule allowing men to have concubines again to restore the population…let me be quiet. I don’t wanna give anyone any ideas.

      Thanks so much for reading/commenting. Maybe we’ll see a shift for the better.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Talking about concubines, Kathy. Since the men outnumber the women, would have to be the reverse – women having more men on their hands than they can handle. Did I read it wrong? 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      2. AAAAH! You’re right lol This could work out for women. Although, I don’t know of many women who even want to deal with more than one man lol

        But yes…I miscalculated/interpreted this lol At the same time, I’m wondering if this culture will figure out a way for men to somehow benefit :-/

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Wow … 30 million more men is a ridiculous number. Over-surplus is good when it comes to finances. What is China going to do with all those surplus men? I suppose more men for the nations lacking them, just wondering. Thanks for sharing the data.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Isn’t this a ridiculous number and unintended consequence of a ridiculous rule???

        You’re welcome. Thanks for spending so much time on the blog yesterday 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You’re right it is; just thought of that on your last comment.

        I enjoyed every second of it. Being away for a while and tried to catch up but got held up that one post – too good to rush over.

        Thanks for stirring the conversation. 🥰

        Liked by 1 person

  18. we are so powerful on the daily and control so much domestically but have no real say in what happens in our world that we helped create. its so crazy. this was beautiful thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Until women stop comparing and judging one another we are lost. I have had far more women be horrible to me than men. We must get past beating ine another up. We don’t bring ourselves up by bringing others down.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I totally agree that women should be more like allies for one another, but my experience has been different. Women have (as far as I know) been more like friend and allies. I also have to say that I can’t imagine a woman doing anything to me that would impact my life as much as what I’ve written here…but let me go knock on some wood lol

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know. It’s a little spooky sometimes how out posts and thoughts parallel each other. We both find a little nugget of something and kind of think about it and twist it around

        Liked by 1 person

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