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To ask what being female means to you?

(114 Posts)
Toorahtoorahaye Sat 23-Mar-19 19:47:12

Thought mumsnet might be a good place to ask as it’s mostly populated by women. I’ve always thought of being female simply as being the sex that the conceives, carries and gives birth etc. Seen this thread on twitter and the OP seems to be being vastly outnumbered in what i thought was a simple view of what “female” is. So wondered what it means to people here, how you would define “female”

Toorahtoorahaye Sat 23-Mar-19 19:47:27

hidinginthenightgarden Sat 23-Mar-19 19:53:15

I have the chromosomes that determined I was that sex.

BollocksToBrexit Sat 23-Mar-19 19:53:17

Periods and babies and having to do all the shit jobs.

PlumCakeChica Sat 23-Mar-19 19:56:32

Periods, boobs. Desperately trying not to get pregnant then, a decade on trying to actually be pregnant. Working in an all male team, maternity leave issues.
Breast feeding, hormones, tears. Bottom being pinched, boobs stared at, alright luv comments. Being proud of how much women have achieved in the last 100 years. Women’s hour on radio 4.

NoTNoShade Sat 23-Mar-19 19:56:49

When I walk the dog in the woods I have to be really aware of who else may be around.

SlackerMum1 Sat 23-Mar-19 19:57:59

Yep that’s pretty much my understanding. I don’t see defining your sex by your chromosomes and reproductive organs as reductive - I think that just is what it is. Reductive is thinking that means anything other than whether you menstrate or ejaculate.... like how you dress or your capacity to do complex maths....

noideaatallreally Sat 23-Mar-19 19:58:21

Hmmmm - not really thought about it as I have no experience of NOT being female.

I don't know really - is who I am just who am I am, or is it because I am female?

I guess it's the things that I do that I do ONLY because I am female. So that wouledbe periods, being pregnant and giving birth. Other than that I don't think anything I am or do is because I am female.

BollocksToBrexit Sat 23-Mar-19 19:58:57

I forgot one, not being listened to or taken seriously at the dr's.

lottiebel123 Sat 23-Mar-19 19:59:04

being wary when I'm walking alone outside
periods and smears and babies and breastfeeding and hormones
everyday sexism
being talked down to
having a vagina, instead of a penis

ILiveInSalemsLot Sat 23-Mar-19 20:02:03

my physical anatomy
My hormones
Giving birth
And all the stuff that comes from the above - the male attention and harassment, the tears, cravings, pain and joy

jjsmum84 Sat 23-Mar-19 20:05:17

Being strong, being in control of my feelings, emotions, body, being ambitious, not being afraid to say no, and just feeling proud to be a woman! For me it's not dna, genetics etc it's how I feel as a woman!

Prequelle Sat 23-Mar-19 20:06:41

I don't know what being a female feels like except the way society treats me for being female.

SexNotJenga Sat 23-Mar-19 20:07:05

Menstruation. Whoop de fucking do.

MamaDane Sat 23-Mar-19 20:07:45


Periods, first penetrative sex, pregnancy, miscarriages, childbirth and/or abortion, menopause.

Thingsdogetbetter Sat 23-Mar-19 20:07:46

Haven't had a period for 20 years, not able to have children and no wish to...... does that make me less female somehow? Or does my vagina and dealing with everyday sexism balance that out?

jjsmum84 Sat 23-Mar-19 20:09:08

COME ON LADIES......why are you all focusing on the negatives that come with being female, we should all be strong proud women!!!! ❤️

Spokk Sat 23-Mar-19 20:11:08

I’m told its something to do with having xx chromosomes, even though none of the pictures have even looked vaguely like xx. What I DO know is that being female is not something you can put on like an outfit. It is your existence.

RoboticSealpup Sat 23-Mar-19 20:13:57

Constant messages from men and wider society about what I should look like, how I should act and what I should do in order to be acceptable.

Babdoc Sat 23-Mar-19 20:15:01

Being female is simply XX chromosomes and female genitals. I don’t think it “means” anything to me, it’s just what I am - an adult woman.
I have no experience of being anything else.
No one can say they “identify” as female or male, as they have no idea what it feels like for other people either. We all simply exist inside our own physical bodies.
All the gender crap is just patriarchal stereotypes, which we feminists have fought for 50 years to get rid of.

Luckyduck88 Sat 23-Mar-19 20:15:17

Battling against my body after enduring a traumatic Labour
Being wary of men in various situations (travelling / nights out / catcalls etc)
Navigating my career in line with my bodyclock and mat leaves
Feeling uncomfortable in corporate situations in heavily male career field as a young relatively attractive woman
Fear of pregnancy throughout relationships in my younger years / at uni
Sexual abuse from so called Male friends

Those are what make me feel female

HarrysOwl Sat 23-Mar-19 20:17:09

Oooh this made me think.

Well my biology is female. My personality is 'me'. Something wider than gender.

Female attributes are socially constructed, I'm not feminine or masculine. I focus on being hard working, empathic, strong, capable and caring.

I'm incredibly proud to be a woman and feel we have a shared history and legacy of fighting for equality and recognition.

But yeah, periods suck.

RoboticSealpup Sat 23-Mar-19 20:17:21

Also, being pregnant, giving birth, breastfeeding and being the main carer for my babies, with all the associated effects on my career, home life and identity that came with that.

PositiveVibez Sat 23-Mar-19 20:25:16

I simply am.

I thought how amazing my body was when I bore a child.

Being a woman is so full of nuances.

I don't believe you can change sex.

I believe woman = human adult female.

I think it was Margaret Attwood who said (paraphrasing here) something like when a man goes on a date, the worst thing they think that can happen is they get laughed at. When a woman goes on a date, the worst thing they think could happen, is that they get murdered.

I don't go round thinking I could get murdered, but I do feel vulnerable in certain situations where I don't think men would.

OhHolyJesus Sat 23-Mar-19 20:26:14

Having a female body with the organs that can bear children and feed them, even if they don't do those things.

Growing from a girl into a woman I was and am still aware of how I am vulnerable to men. I have been sexually assaulted in various ways, starting at school by a peer, so aware of how my biology means I am at risk.

It also means I have to argue, talk and behave in a way men don't in order to be taken seriously, be heard and maintain a balance in my life.

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