“You throw like a girl.” Usually tossed around as a casual insult among young boys, it’s one of many derogatory comments that have unfortunately become common vernacular in our culture. It’s a subtle criticism, meant to imply the boy’s weakness or slowness, but it also speaks volumes to the young girls who inevitably overhear.
From a young age, boys and girls notice the differences between them. Much of this is cultural. We have pink and blue gender reveals. We dress our baby girls in twirly dresses and our baby boys in boots and hats. We buy bows for girls and trucks for boys. We know these things are merely products of our culture, and our society has grown tremendously in being slower to pigeon-hole boys and girls into roles and stereotypes. But at the same time we know that there is something that truly does set us apart from one another.
So aside from the apparent physical differences, what distinguishes us women from men? What does it mean to be a woman? And more importantly, why is it good to be a woman?
By pointing out the strengths of women I am not negating the fact that these characteristics can also be present in men. But it’s absolutely worth noting the specific ways that women are gifted.
Women are uniquely resilient. This fact is made clear not only by our bodies, which are created with the capacity to bear pain and children. but also by the example that has been set by women throughout history. The resilience of women has carried us into uncharted scientific and mathematic discovery, into offices of political power, into campaigns to fight for rights to vote, onto buses to fight for civil rights, and even into war.
Women are nurturing, creative, beautiful, and strong. We are naturally equipped with instincts, intuition, and a deep capacity for love. The compassion and tenacity of women has healed soldiers and the sick, started revolutions with pens and paper, fought for life and rights for all people, and raised awareness for diseases, poverty, and the marginalized.
We are mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends. We are CEOs, artists, professors, and athletes. We are unique from one another, but we share commonalities that inevitably unite us, weaving us into a camaraderie of women all throughout time.
From the women who came before us who paved the way for equality and fought for to enhance our world today.
To the women who are beside us right now, championing our successes and joys and upholding us amidst our hurts and failures.
To the women who will come after us, who will walk in the footsteps of the paths we have worn, who will see our empowering efforts and take leaps further than we could even foresee.
Women truly have the power to change the world. So let’s celebrate our intricacies and strengths. Let’s cheer each other on. Let’s champion one another. And let’s remind ourselves and each other again and again: It’s good to be a girl.