Womanist Wisdom: Why I Appreciate Being A Woman

On Monday evening, Glamour hosted their Glamour Women of the Year 2012 awards. It is an annual tradition that honors prominent women who are using their platforms to inspire a legion of others to follow their paths. Some of the 2012 honorees included Olympians Gabrielle Douglas and Allyson Felix, Girls creator Lena Dunham, superstar architect Zaha Hadid and popular actress Selena Gomez. The Glamour Women of the Year awards convenes ladies from all fields, generations and ethnicities to empower each other and share in the celebration; men are also invited, but as Newark Mayor Cory Booker discovered, most are relegated to serving the women laughs and appetizers.

The Huffington Post Women’s site captured the essence of the evening at a reception dinner. The reporters asked several honorees and attendees the question “What do you appreciate most about being a woman?”

The answers were astounding. Here are a few that touched me:

Sandra Fluke (An activist and law student)

“The incredible power that you’re about to see from women in this country. I was just working on something that I was writing today about how women and people of color and young people especially are about to have this amazing opportunity to shift the political conversation in this country for the good of all of us, toward more progressive policies, and it’s a really amazing and important time to be part of that.”

Lena Dunham (Creator and star of HBO’s “Girls”)

“…I’m really excited about the way that women are making themselves heard at this point in history.

I’ve never wanted to be not a woman. I’ve never literally had envy about one aspect of being a boy. Even when I recognized that there were things that were unfair about the male-female dynamic, I’ve never felt jealous. It seems like being a guy is boring. Being a girl is so great.”

Tyra Banks (Supermodel, burgeoning media mogul)

“That one day, if I had a child and I was on a desert island, I could feed that child, unlike a man could.”

Katie Couric (Journalist, host of “Katie”)

“I think we’re so much more versatile than men… I’m so tired of “The Year of the Woman” because I feel like every year should be The Year of the Woman, and it seems like we never tire of that expression. I feel that sexism is so five minutes ago. While it still exists, and women make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes, and there are still Neanderthal attitudes out there, I think for the most part people accept that women are as competent as men. And yet I still think we can celebrate our differences, too. I think we’ve gotten to that point.”

Gayle King (Editor-at-large for O, the Oprah magazine, CBS This Morning anchor)

“…I think that women are fearless. And when you put women in charge amazing things happen.

We are more nurturing, we’re better problem solvers without trying to be. We don’t have that macho thing that most men have. We really just want to get it done and we want to get it done efficiently. I admire that about us as women. Companies run by women, they’re better run, and women think of things that men don’t, something as simple as allowing people [time] off for their Halloween. Anne Sweeney told me at Disney that for the first time — no one had ever thought, You know, why don’t we let the people have the afternoon off just so that they can go trick-or-treating with the kids. Nobody had ever thought of that. That’s what I mean. We’re fearless and we’re willing to try new things. Always.

I love how women’s brains work.”

With the ongoing war on women’s reproductive health and our eternal fight against patriarchy, it was amazing to read what these powerful ladies admire most about their gender. It also inspired me create a brief list of reasons why I appreciate being a woman.

1. Women are the givers of life. Without us, procreation would cease to exist.

2. We juggle several roles in our lives (career woman, lover, wife, mother, friend, sister, aunt, etc.) and most of us never complain about wearing all of these hats. Women transition into these positions with ease.

3. Women are compassionate humanists, since many of us are driven by emotion as well as logic.

4. Every day, women are in the position to make history. Since men have accomplished so much, there’s room for the “first woman” in several fields. We’re still waiting on the first woman president! But every day I discover a woman that has set some historic precedent. It’s admirable.

5. We can be fragile and still convey innumerable strength.

6. Women are the ultimate balancers. Some of us have grueling careers that require long mornings, but we still have enough energy to love on our children and our partners.

7. We are fearless. We battle patriarchy and socially-constructed notions of femininity without wincing and confront evil when we’re harassed on the streets. Yet and still, we’re undeterred.

9. We uplift and empower each other. As a writer, reporter and blogger, I’ve found an amazing network of women that send me writing tips, encourage my work publicly and privately and give me an ear when it’s needed. That’s the true mark of sisterhood.

10. We are superwomen.

For the full list of Women of the Year honorees, click here.

For all of the responses to the “What do you appreciate most about being a woman?” question, click here.

What do you appreciate most about being a woman?

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