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When you were a child , what did you think it meant to be a woman?

116 replies

BVP246 · 27/06/2021 00:43

everyone has their own view point on this

mine was to be loyal

OP posts:

RubyFowler · 27/06/2021 00:45

Definitely being a mum and wife. I don't think I knew any women that weren't.


GreeboIsMySpiritAnimal · 27/06/2021 00:48

I think it meant my mum. She was a working single mum, she walked fast in high heels, she wore strong perfume, and she could do anything.


LemonJuiceFromConcentrate · 27/06/2021 00:50

I genuinely don’t think I thought it meant any specific thing. Not trying to be arsey, though. But I can’t recall ever thinking of womanhood in those terms.


Athrawes · 27/06/2021 00:55

A grown up version of what I was as a child. I was a girl, I would become a woman. Nothing beyond that. I would be a grown up, maybe a doctor, maybe an engineer. Being a wife and mother never entered my head - my ideas were all about what work I might do to feed myself.


oxcat1 · 27/06/2021 00:57

I specifically asked my 3-yr old niece this question a few weeks ago. She says it's about having long hair and wearing dresses.

So that's all going well then Hmm


Ostara212 · 27/06/2021 00:59


I genuinely don’t think I thought it meant any specific thing. Not trying to be arsey, though. But I can’t recall ever thinking of womanhood in those terms.

Same here
As a teen I became aware of all the patronising assumption that all girls would want to be wife and mother though, and I knew I didn't.

I must have been lucky at school because I didn't realise being a woman would involve so many safety measures, at least not till I was about 16. We didn't have a school full of boys watching porn.

I never thought specifically "what does it mean to be a woman" when I was a child.

MyMabel · 27/06/2021 01:02

I don’t think I’ve ever thought about it, I still don’t. I’m just living for the day 😂


TellmewhoIam · 27/06/2021 01:04

Being in charge of a lot of things. And helping other women manage male violence.


EvilEdna1 · 27/06/2021 01:04

I think I knew didn't want to have a life like my mum who waited on my dad and her children. I didn't really have any other role models except from TV so I used to imagine I was either Cagney or Lacey. I had to toy gun in a handbag! I also used to pretend to be a nun a lot. Involved dressing up in old table cloths and pretending to drink tea. Didn't become either a nun or a cop! I imagined by the year 2000 I would be single, have a really good job and have my own flat. In fact I had a good (dull) job, a house and got married and the started having babies. Never became my mum though. Still harbour Cagney fantasies!


TellmewhoIam · 27/06/2021 01:06

Sorry to double post, but I vaguely believed for years as a child that growing tall and strong would be an option we would choose at some point. I intended to try for six feet.


EvilEdna1 · 27/06/2021 01:07

I also used to think that every woman would take a turn being the queen but was worried my Nan was old and not had her turn yet.


Ostara212 · 27/06/2021 01:09

It's not related to being a woman but I thought by late 20s, I'd have a great career, a fab car and house.

I have lagged behind my peers career wise - but even those doing really well have much less than they expected home wise, because house prices!

I did start my financial planning early and I knew, even in late teens, that I'd have more leeway because of not having children to pay for.


Ostara212 · 27/06/2021 01:09


I also used to think that every woman would take a turn being the queen but was worried my Nan was old and not had her turn yet.

Aww 😂

alexdgr8 · 27/06/2021 01:11

having to have to have children.
when i discovered that there was a step in between, so some chance of avoiding it, i was mightily relieved.
having to be stuck in the house, doing domestic drudgery.
seemed so unfair that men had a choice of occupations but women didn't.


BooksChocolateAndSleep · 27/06/2021 01:20

To be a wife and a Mum. My Mum never worked and had two failed marriages. To me being a woman was wife, Mum, housework, dinner on the table etc..

All very depressing!


Whistfulwisteria · 27/06/2021 01:24

As a child that had to do all the ironing for a large family of men and boys I knew that as a woman I would not be doing any thing like that ever again.


thinkingaboutLangCleg · 27/06/2021 01:31

I saw that women did boring indoor drudgery while men did interesting outdoor work - much more appealing to me!


TellmewhoIam · 27/06/2021 01:56

The women on TV when the grown-ups were watching included Margaret Thatcher, Corazon Aquino, Indira Gandhi, 'Flo-Jo', Mary Lou Retton, Bonnie Tyler, Cyndi Lauper, and Jane Fonda in her exercise video phase. There were also strong women in real life (teachers, nurses, lawyers, etc.). Men seemed to be violent, treacherous, entertaining, and/or useless. Holding men to a higher standard is a lesson I'm still learning, and very necessary; being their enabler isn't actually feminist. Thankfully weak pink femininity wasn't too much of a thing.


TellmewhoIam · 27/06/2021 01:57


I also used to think that every woman would take a turn being the queen but was worried my Nan was old and not had her turn yet.

^^ love this!

KimikosNightmare · 27/06/2021 02:02

Beyond being a grown-up - nothing.

I don't recall ever thinking about this.


DramaAlpaca · 27/06/2021 02:06

I was a child in the 60s/70s. Being a woman meant staying at home and looking after children and husband like my mother did.

Fortunately I was sharp enough to notice that it made my mother depressed and miserable.

I think I've demonstrated to my own children that being a woman isn't limited to being a reluctant homemaker. I was a SAHM for a while, but not a reluctant one, and then I took up my career again. It was important to me that my children saw me working just as hard as their father, with both of us pulling our weight at home.

I've also made sure that my children, all boys, are well able to cook, clean and fend for themselves. I'm not going to be responsiblefor handing over any useless males to future partners.


MadMadMadamMim · 27/06/2021 02:28

I thought I'd have bosoms and cool clothes, and be pretty and be able to do exactly as I liked and it would be wonderful.

I would be like Farah Fawcett Major or someone like that. Being a woman was glamorous.

It didn't quite work out like that. And I was never very pretty.

Fortunately I'm now old enough to be grateful for my brain rather than my body, but I still feel faintly wistful that I never achieved the glamorous stage.


AcrossthePond55 · 27/06/2021 03:03

As a young child in the early '60s it meant to get married and be a housewife and mother. Growing up, my mum encouraged us to get an education, but it was always tempered with the 'fact' that eventually we'd marry and stop working to stay home. That's pretty much the path my older sister followed. But I got caught up in the Women's Lib movement of the early '70s and learnt that life had much, much more to offer!!!


Justa47 · 27/06/2021 03:25


I used to watch “angels” on TV and dream of being a nurse.


NiceGerbil · 27/06/2021 03:27

Like a couple of other people I don't remember having any ideas about this at all.

I knew of course that it was usually women doing the housework. That there were calendars in shops with naked women. Page 3.

I knew that men and women usually wore different sorts of clothes etc.

But I genuinely never thought I'll grow up to be a woman, what will be expected, what will I do.

I always felt like s person inside though. I would feel actively annoyed/ confused when people seemed to treat me in a certain way due to my sex all the time.

I couldn't understand. I was a person why were they not treating me as one?

I never had a... Don't have the words. I was a person and I'd be s person all my life. The woman/ man stereotypes etc were just not relevant to me somehow.

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