What is a Woman?

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Graphic by Piper Pinnetti

Piper Pinnetti, Bullseye Editor-in-Chief

Originally published in the Bullseye Issue 2 newsmagazine

In a world of social chaos, there are women who stand still and are making the world a better place. At the end of March, we reflect back on National Women’s Month and exploring what it means to be a woman.

There are endless meanings of what it means to be a woman. For some, being a woman is being gentle and caring with her kids, or consistently being strong and independent with no kids. Others imagine an entirely pink outfit like Elle Woods and getting their degree while others are securing their camouflage uniform and tying their military boots to defend their country.

A woman is not defined by the way she dresses, nor by the way she acts, the only person who can define a woman is yourself.

For English and yearbook teacher Shelly Walston, she feels that a woman is a “person who identifies with that moniker. I think it can be any person. I think in our ever changing world, it is becoming more and more difficult to nail down what a woman is.”

In our evolving world, the fight for equality has continued after hundreds of years of females battling towards their freedom. In 1848, 300 women and men united together in New York to sign the
Declaration of Sentiments, a plea for the end of discrimination towards women and one of the first signature laws pushing for equality between men and women. 32 men and nearly 70 women would sign.

In 2020, women are still struggling for fair treatment. Walston believes it is the toughest challenge women have to overcome.

“Until women are recognized as being able to do the same quality of work for any job out there, there will always be inequalities of pay and respect for positions,” Walston said.

Walston also knows that all women must “keep fighting because this march towards equality is not over and we have to continue taking steps in that direction. Keep fighting.”

Maize South senior Alanis Stowell believes that women should, “keep fighting because this march towards equality is not over and we have to continue taking steps in that direction. Keep fighting.” Stowell also knows the social toll that 21st century standards take on our women. She thinks overcoming those societal beauty standards and being yourself is a greater goal beyond ignoring the demands for what a woman should be.

“Living up to your own standards and being truly happy with yourself is the greatest love we can give,” Stowell said.

Finding the unique beauty in yourself will give women a new level of confidence they previously have never felt, a divine happiness.

She believes that if it is not truly you, it’s not worth beating yourself up daily about the current make-up fashions and latest trends.

“I’d say never settle for anything less than reality. Perfect is overrated and there’s always a negative, but that doesn’t mean it has to overpower the worth of the positive,” Stowell said.

The toughest challenge for our women today may be in how we actually achieve the balance of peace within yourself. The ability to learn self love, all while balancing the way others judge and treat us each day is the daily battle we wake up to.