becoming woman, moving beyond “lady” and other labels

This is for the women who are tired but can’t verbalize why — why they can’t just live without being patronized, abused, assaulted, harassed or overlooked because they are women.

Even if it hasn’t happen, they live with the fear of it happening. This is for women who are looking to grow but labels — those darn labels keep them in a box.

Labels: Lady, bitch, hoe, thot. It’s all bullshit. They all limit the journey every woman deserves to take part in simply because the Creator breathed life into them.

It’s hard being woke. I’m constantly aware of the flaws of society because every day I encounter something that disturbs my spirit. Specifically, the challenges of growing as a woman have been weighing heavy on my mind and heart lately. This post is an explosion of emotions I’ve felt from a young girl questioning everything, up until now.

I prefer to be called woman. Woman declares my humanity and my femininity. It states that I may change as I feel and when I want. It’s how God intended for me to live and tells me to live. The other titles are man-made. They come with pressure — either pressure to live up to a standard that’s not realistic or putting up a façade out of fear of being called a degrading name.

Being a lady means you have class; you have standards; you don’t curse; you walk with dignity; you have grace; you are polished; you cover up; you’re soft and friendly; you cook; you smile and don’t frown; you wave; you are ideally Miss Universe. But that is staged. Even Miss Universe has to take off her sash at the end of the day.

who has time honestly?

who has time, honestly?

Ever since I was little, I learned how to be a lady; how to dress like one; how to carry myself as one. Ladies keep their legs closed and wait until marriage. I realized at some point that the idea of being a “lady” is to be desired by men. If you’re not a lady, you won’t have a chance at getting married.

Once upon a time, women needed men for survival. She needed to present herself as the best in order to be “chosen.” In 2015, women no longer need men to be provided for. A woman can be single and lead her own life and make her own decisions before ever meeting a significant other.

Unfortunately some men have not caught up with how women’s role in society has evolved. These men, as they are raised, pick up on this power and in turn believe they have control over a woman’s role and body. Some think they can still freely comment on how a women dresses, whether via stress harassment or within a relationship, without being checked.

Even the most intelligent man, may not be aware of how he contributes to oppression of women. Those who take the time to listen and understand the difficulties of women’s struggles without trying to judge are those who will help make this society better.

Now the traits of a “lady” aren’t necessarily bad, but no woman perceived as “good” is ever “just a lady.” Her story is usually deeper and more fluid. And her polishing should not be to please society.

The thing is, when you step outside of the box of lady, there are the names, hoe, crazy, easy, bitch, thot, just to name a few, waiting to suppress you. Mostly these comments are made by men who believe for whatever reason their own shit doesn’t stink.

“FAST” GIRLS

The limitations begin at a young age, whether it’s a girl wanting to play sports or wanting to be sexual. Anything that was once only allowed for the boys to do is often put off limits, otherwise the girl is “fast.”

From day one, you’re told if you want to have sex, there is something wrong with you. When in all truth, an adolescent female coming into her own self is naturally going to have these emotions. Calling a teen girl fast instead of educating her on her sexuality is wrong. Telling her to suppress it and just pick up a Bible isn’t going to work either. Let’s be real, many young women do get left with children and not the support needed to raise a child. But that girl or woman usually carries the burden and shame of having the baby.

Meanwhile, boys are taught to get condoms and keep it safe. They are given free rein to explore, but aren’t taught to respect young women and their right to choose whether they want to get involved sexually. And if a women does get pregnant, society is finally catching up with the idea that it is ultimately her decision to either keep the baby or get an abortion.

Being a lady won’t stop you from getting fucked over. There are many “nice young ladies” who fall into horrible relationships with men because they relied on the surface level bullshit to define themselves. They met a guy who gamed her by acknowledging those things, fed her the crap to get what he wanted and she is left with absolutely nothing to show for it.

On the flipside there are women who play the “hoe” role. Who aren’t concerned about love but know money will give them the wonders of this world and some. This is a form of power that some women use to their advantage and it takes a certain level of social mastery to keep it up.

Although that is not a lifestyle that I have chosen because I do want genuine love, I don’t think women who choose this way are dumb birds. There is only opportunity to live that life because men provide it, feed into it and dare I say enjoy the feeling of giving it. But once again, men aren’t shamed in the situation, the women are.

kicks are cool with me

Moreover, when it comes to “dressing” like a lady, my first thought is heels and a frilly, prissy dress. I used to believe straightening my hair also meant being mature and grown. I am unlearning this. Depending on the day and the occasion I will switch it up. I love heels but I honestly love kicks more. Some would probably call me a thot or hood rat for it but hey this is me. But I’m not here to live up to any pageantry.

I’m also really funny about showing my body off on-line. I have curves for days but it’s not for me. On the flip side I am not here to shame other women who choose to. Firstly, I don’t care. Secondly, that’s her body and her business. If that’s what makes her happy, cool.

BEING CALLED OUT MY NAME HAS WEIGHED ON ME

Someone close to me years ago said I was acting like a hoe because of something I had did. I was wrong. But in hindsight he calling me a hoe was absolutely unnecessary. There are two sides to a story. And my harms were no different than harms he had done, but never had it crossed my mind to call him a hoe. Was he more hurt because someone he loved did something he had didn’t like? Or was it more about his ego being shot because as a woman I’m not allowed to make “certain” mistakes?

A man has a right to feel some type of way. Men who take care of their business and are holistically healthy deserve someone who can match their efforts. But for some it doesn’t take much to degrade a woman when his ego is shot.

Calling a man a hoe is not as heavy as calling a women a hoe. Even if a man does take offense there is still society there to pat him on his back and say you’re free to frolic and sew your oats as you feel. “We support that.” A man can hoe it up but it won’t necessarily affect how he’s viewed in his place of work or school as long as he’s doing a great job at what he’s doing. As a woman that support isn’t there no matter how amazing she is in other aspects of her life. Instead of our choices being seen as something humans do, our value is often degraded.

Similarly, bitch is a term I’ve been called when I turn down a man’s advances. Mainly on the street by ashy Larrys who have low self-esteem. This also often viewed as complaining. If I stand in a room and am assertive enough to state that I do not like something, I should not be viewed as unladylike or abrasive. Men are expected to speak out, while women are expected to sit back and just enjoy the ride.

But, I have no desire to be agreeable with EVERYTHING.

THE GLOW UP!

The bottom line in all of this is that a woman should strive to grow and be a better, but not for others before she does it for herself. It has to be for her happiness and by revelation of whatever power she believes in. None of this can be achieved nor bought. I don’t care how expensive the shoe or bag or advanced the degree.

I’m at very great point in my life. I feel like I’m glowing up and it has nothing to do with a job, more money, man etc. I’ve been single five years, been at the same gig for almost three years, but I’ve been doing some heavy internal work and reflection since last fall. I had many low points along the way and wonder what people would think of me if they knew everything about me. I’d probably be called all of the degrading names, but none of them can hold me. You may see a woman of quality today, but it was those low points that helped me become wiser and stronger. And I will make more mistakes down the line, but I’m ready to evolve without these attitudes weighing over my back.

There is nothing wrong with exploring things that you’re curious about, whether it’s a field or activity that most women don’t partake in or buying your own house or traveling alone or deciding that you just don’t want to ever get married or have children. Although they challenge societal norms, none of those things really hurt anyone else. We only hurt ourselves when we hold ourselves back.

Patriarchy should not limit a woman’s right to exploring who she is and making mistakes along the way. As I said earlier, we are here to take on this process. It is the only way a woman can define when she is loving herself and losing herself.

Lady has its limits and so does bitch, hoe and all those other labels.

But woman is boundless.

****

Currently unbothered by your limitations.

unbothered by your limitations

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