I Am Not A Woman

By social standards I am a pretty lucky human being. I was born in a first world country well after World War II. Even though I am a Protestant, my religion does not matter in my part of the world. I am white, well educated, and speak more or less three languages next to my native one. I have travelled the world, have had affairs, loved and suffered from broken hearts and am now living in one of the most exciting cities in the world. I have a nice apartment I share with someone I love and which I can pay for without thinking about how to afford food or clothes. I am a really lucky person.

By social standards I am also a woman. I have a vagina and I am able to grow a child in my body. My brain is smaller than the average male brain, and I have been told on several occasions that because of my hormones I will want to care for children while most men have no such urges.

By social standards in other parts of the world I would have had no right to an education and would have been married for fifteen years by now to some man someone else chose for me. It is also likely I would not be able to write these sentences for my lack of education or permission to do so.

By social standards a lot of my male friends are told at a very young age that the face of success is a dollar sign. That the more money they make the more they will have achieved. That showing and talking about feelings, maybe even having feelings, is a sign of woman-like weakness.

By social standards, even though forbidden by law, I was recently asked at the final of three interview stages for a job “what my living situation is going to be like in two years”. The very same day a friend of mine was told at a different job interview: “Do we really need to talk money? You are married. I am sure your husband makes enough”. The male interviewer even did not hesitate to add, “If you think about having more children within the next two years do not bother to sign the contract”.

You know what? Screw those standards. Compared to situations people face elsewhere, this may be a first world problem. But the thinking behind it, common among men in power in Germany, reminds me of the Middle Ages. I am annoyed of people thinking, and willing me to think, in categories of black and white. Of women and men. Of rich and poor. So to everybody out there: there is a lot of grey in this world, and there is a basic human quality we all share. I like to be judged on being a human. So no. I am not a woman. I am just myself. Thoughts on that?

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