Warrior Women: The Costs of Being a Woman
Updated: Apr 4, 2022
By Stephanie Kim, Editor-in-Chief
We all come from a woman. All of us owe our existence to women. A woman made the sacrifice to carry and birth each one of us. Women have fought for equal rights to work, vote, and live peacefully in general while literally birthing the nation. We push ourselves towards a brighter future while being pushed against by a system that was not built for us. The patriarch stays strong, while women continue standing stronger to be included. We no longer back down or allow ourselves to be repressed. Women’s History Month is to remember the struggles women have been through and to celebrate the accomplishments made. The month even started out as a single week in 1981 but was changed to the entire month of March in 1987–as they should have.
Women’s History Month (WHM) made me want to talk to other women about being a woman. I wanted to know what it’s like from others’ points of view and if they struggle with the same hardships. Coming from a family comprised mostly of women, I decided to speak directly with the ones in my own family. My family is made up of many strong, brave women and I was glad to get the chance to talk with a couple of them. I didn’t want many questions to steer any conversation, so I asked each one question: what does being a woman mean to you? I spoke with two women from different generations who gave unique perspectives on similar trials women face.
Starting with the one who has the most life experience, my grandma, Tammy Christopher spoke of the hardships of being a wife and mother. Having four daughters, she says, “As a mother, you are trying to do better than your mother had done. As a wife, you do the best you can.” She went on to discuss her past and how she views the world today telling me, “When I was growing up men talked bad about women working. My father always said women shouldn’t take jobs from men trying to raise their children–women should stay at the jobs that were for women. Women have so much open to them now it’s amazing what women can do.”
I also spoke with one of her daughters and my aunt, Linda Kurtz, who owns her own massage therapy business. She explains what it’s like to live as a woman, stating, “For much of my life being a woman meant living in fear, it meant feeling responsible for everyone and everything, it meant never being good enough, it meant being dramatic–because as a woman you couldn’t possibly feel so much without looking for attention. Being a woman represented a duty to always make yourself wanted by others but don’t you dare feel the wanting in return.” She goes on to talk about how she feels now by saying, “In this chapter of my life, being a woman means bravery in vulnerability, it means standing tall, being fiercely protective of the woman I’ve become and protective of other women on their own journey. It means a duty to never make my voice small as long as women and other marginalized people are not being heard. It means being a warrior of empathy, compassion, and inclusion.”
I commend these women for the courage it took to speak on this subject. Many years ago, words such as these could have cost these women their lives–and that’s something we all tend to forget. Being a woman means speaking up when you are silenced, standing tall when you’re told to sit, and fighting for a spot at a table you own. Women have come so far from where we started, but that can not be good enough. We must do better than those before us like my grandma tells and, as my aunt explains, we have to fight for those who still struggle to have their voices heard. It’s a long road to true equality, but we’ve paid our fines already–so now let’s collect those receipts.
Be thankful for the warrior women around you and if you are one, thank you.