So, what exactly is it that makes you a woman? Is it that X chromosome? Is it your reproductive system, is your breasts or is it simply a feeling deep inside?
Our goal at femSense is to accompany women through every phase of their lives. To be a reliable source of information and support in all areas of their fertility. One of the most fundamental questions for us therefore is what makes a woman feel like a woman? Is it her reproductive system, her biology or perhaps something indefinable but inherent?
Is it biology that makes me a woman, the fact that I have a vagina, a womb, and breasts? Is being a woman defined by motherhood or menstruation? If so, then what about women who have their breasts or wombs removed due to cancer? Or the many women who cannot or choose not to have children? Are they suddenly no longer women? Are they “lesser” women? Clearly, that is nonsense. So, biology can’t be the only answer.
And what about tomboys? We all know friends who were tomboys as children, who preferred to hang out with boys and play football. There are also plenty of grown women who prefer to work in a male dominated profession and spend most of their time surrounded by men. Are they not proper women? I think we can all agree that’s absurd. The most dedicated tomboy can still be completely comfortable being a girl - they just share their interests with boys.
Evidence that being a woman is as simple as a feeling deep inside can be found in the trans community. How do trans women define themselves as women in the absence of biological or scientific evidence? They know that they too are women but how do you explain that it is a feeling - that you just know? Maybe sometimes you don’t have to understand something to accept it. How do you explain why you are left-handed? You just are.
So, what did femSense users say makes them a woman?
Although we kept our survey very simple and very short – most respondents completed the survey in only one minute – the results were surprisingly revealing. A total of 427 women participated in the survey and huge 50% answered “I was born a woman and simply never questioned it” closely followed by “It is just a feeling I have deep inside, it’s my identity. I feel like a woman” (44%). The physical or biological attributes of being a woman scored less highly overall which would lead us to conclude that being a woman has much more to do with a sense of who you are rather than what you look like. It is something much deeper than biology.
Within the questionnaire, we also gave our participants the opportunity to express their own opinions on the subject of being a woman. Many of you used this option and shared some your personal views and experiences - thank you. We heard from a few women that they sometimes felt that as a woman they are not taken seriously. That they earn less money than men or feel like they always have to justify themselves. As women we already know that the world isn’t perfect, and life is not a fairy tale. We are constantly confronted by challenges which we strive to master but, having seen the positive language used by our participants, we are hopeful for the future. These are just some of the positive messages we received:
“I love being a woman, it’s really beautiful”, “I can give life”, “women experience the world more intensely and more colourfully”, “women know what is really important”.
To all the lovely ladies who took part in our survey – THANK YOU.