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What is a Woman?


By Mira Khatib

Is a woman a human? This was the topic of discussion in one of the events I heard about, at first I was shocked at the choice of topic, and then my shock turned to fury as to how degrading such a topic is and what it may insinuate. But once I cooled down and recollected myself, I took a step back and thought as to why such a topic is discussed in the first place.

Many times we come across common statements or proverbs, that we have gotten accustomed to hearing without giving much thought to such as:

A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.

A woman is like a flower: If you care for her and love her enough, you’ll have the honor of watching her bloom.
A woman is like an instrument, waiting to be learned, loved, and finely played, to have at last her own true music made.

A woman is like candy you need to cover her up to keep away the flies.

The list goes on from women being like birds, to gems to diamonds and so forth.

So I wondered; does this also apply to men? With some simple research I did in fact find a few proverbs that resemble men to cats that may run away from women, a novel that you don’t know how it will end, and to fractions but not much more. The main focus remains on women being things that they are not. And why is that? And why is there a need to explain women in such context resembling them to other things?

In my opinion such proverbs do more harm than good, taking away from what a woman really is and opening the way to discussions such as “is a woman a human?” In a time were women are fighting for their equal rights in every aspect of life, such proverbs however innocent they may appear yet play on the subconscious of people allowing women to be seen as “less human” in a way, something which is not acceptable or true.

Yes a woman is not like anything else other than a human being first and foremost with a mind, heart and soul distinguished by character and attitude hopes and dreams.  So next time you hear the phrase “A woman is like….” Just stop and say a woman is just like a woman no more, no less in all sense of the word. There is no need for unnecessary labels to add to the many battles fought by women on a daily basis to only prove that they are worthy just the way they are.

And as Charlotte BrontëJane Eyre  said “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”

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One comment

  1. Khaleejah Hassan

    Women are mothers wives daughters friends and much more. They are equal partners and share the burden of responsibility and they add a touch of beauty to everything they do or say. Viva to all women.

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