5 reasons why being a woman is fabulous!
Back in the day when I was a student and taking every Gender Politics course my liberal university could dream up, I got the notion in my head that it wasn't so great being a girl; that the world was kind of against us and life would be tough and I'd have to really fight to get ahead and be happy. And while I have nothing but respect for my strong, female lecturers who taught me some really important things about the world I was entering (and I have certainly met my share of chauvinistic men), 20 years on I don't agree with them anymore. I think it's really fabulous being a woman, and here's why:
1. We have more choices than men
In theory, men can choose not to pursue careers and stay at home raising the kids. In reality, not so much. Except for a handful of countries in northern Europe where it's normal(ish) for the dad to be the one hosting coffee mornings, in most places it's considered deeply odd for the male in the relationship not to be the breadwinner or at least bring in half the dosh. So, men are kind of stuffed. While for a number of us we women can decide whether we want to work out of the house or not, and nobody judges us either way. And that's pretty cool if you think about it.
2. We don't have to know how to fix things
I consider myself a fairly hardcore feminist (call me a lady' and I snarl), but give me a wonky toilet cistern (or a faulty lock or a leaky pool pump) and I turn into Scarlett O' Hara with ringlets and ribbons, unable to do anything but wave worriedly in the direction of the broken thing until someone else (usually the man I'm married to) fetches a wrench and makes it all better.
3. We're allowed to cry
Imagine growing up being told it's not okay to show how you feel. That must be really rubbish. I think society has done men a great injustice, and I'm happy it's slowly changing. Let's raise our male children to be okay with being sad, because sometimes a good cry is all you need.
4. We make human beings
With the tiniest amount of help, we women actually grow people. Now if that isn't some serious power, I don't know what is.
5. We get away with stuff
While my Gender Politics lecturers will be wondering how they got it so wrong with me, the truth of the matter is that we're much less likely to get beaten up in bars for being obnoxious; get given speeding fines if we're contrite, and more likely to win arguments if we cry a little. We are also the first to be allowed off sinking ships. For the most part, men are expected to tolerate any moodiness and/or irrational behaviour, illogicality and being helpless when it suits us. So, let's celebrate the fact that we actually lucked out big time. Just don't tell the boys. Happy Women's Day, all!
Susan Hayden is an acclaimed South African writer and blogger. Her articles have appeared in Cosmopolitan, Shape, Oprah, Women's Health, Marie Claire and the Sunday Times. She is also the author of a blog called The Disco Pants Blog