Living as a Woman

I’ve never been one for pity parties over getting a raw deal over things I cannot control The fact is, others who have a prejudiced mindset will find anything to use against someone else, be it their race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender.

However, on that last point about gender, there are some definite challenges that women face in society, both historically and in the modern day. I should know – I have a lot of first-hand experience living as a woman. So, let me give you an overview of a few of the realities of female life.

It’s Expensive. Sanitary products and other hygiene items cost a bundle over the course of a year, let alone a lifetime. Plus, we have to pay GST on all these goodies, which are mostly necessities. Please, donate tampons, pads, and other women’s sanitary products to a shelter – they are desperately needed. As well, women are the victims of deadbeat fathers as much as their children, since most of those out-of-pocket expenses of raising kids now has to be borne by mothers. Poverty affects women and children in deep and far-reaching ways.

It’s Painful. I’ll say three little letters with which I am sure you are all familiar: PMS. In fact, women are more likely to have a host of other uncomfortable conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and various endocrine disorders because of our complicated hormone systems, like Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Come to think of it, us gals can cover just about every letter in the alphabet with our medical woes. Oh, and let us not forget nine months of pregnancy followed by childbirth. Enough said.

It’s Not Fair. Women in many jobs and professions are still not earning as much as their male counterparts, for the same work. Plus, childcare, which is often not subsidized, and its associated costs take another bite out of that paycheque.

It’s Dangerous. From domestic abuse to sexual assault, women are far more likely to be the victim of a violent crime than men. Most attacks are perpetrated by someone the woman knows, and many occur in the woman’s own home.

It’s Depressing. More and more women are being medicated for mental illness and psychological problems, particularly depression. If you are wondering why, just take a look at all the reasons I have listed above. Combine that with trying to live up to society’s unrealistic expectations of beauty, of being a superwoman who easily balances home life with a career, and just dealing with the stresses of day to day life; and you have a recipe for burnout or worse.

Being a woman has many positive and enjoyable points as well. I am also not trying to elicit pity for myself or my female counterparts. But we need to look at society and all of the elements within through realistic eyes. And the reality is, women have a lot of challenges to deal with that are uniquely ours.

Paula E. Kirman is a freelance writer and editor. She has nothing against men, honestly. You can reach her at: starvingwriter@hotmail.com.