How to Be A Woman


    After the controversy about my big boobs post, several readers mentioned that they had been struggling with feeling "like a woman" because of having small breasts. That led to many nights where I couldn't fall asleep, thinking about women and femininity. Obviously breast size doesn't definite femininity (Keria Knightley is one helluva woman). Then what does? Feminine looks? Feminine behaviour? Or rather what society decides is feminine at this point of history (by the standards of a hundred years ago most women of today's western world would be judged as quite masculine). If femininity is not in the body and clothing, is it about the "female" psychology? Are women psychologically different from men? How much is this due to the different upbringing that girls get? And finally, the big question: is femininity even something worth aspiring to?

    All these musings, now answers. Suddenly the face of one of my biggest female crushes appeared before me. I present Kara Thrace, or Starbuck from Ballestar Galactica:

    She's not pretty, she is not even feminine, and she doesn't even look like a cute boy (unlike Winona in Boys Don't Cry or Frankie in Skins). The only time on the show that she wears a dress she looks very awkward; and her looks are played down during the entire show. She smokes cigars, punches people and does nothing even remotely feminine (ok, apart from snogging Lee Adama and most other males around her). But she is badass. Tough, strong, reckless and funny. And has the best laugh ever. And that makes her very sexy. She is way attractive to me than conventionally pretty Boomer or even Number 6 (who is played by a gorgeous supermodel with legs for miles).
    The totally un-feminine Starbuck is a helluva woman.

So basically, here is how to be a woman:

You are a woman. It's up to you to define what that means.

   You don't have to prove your femininity to anyone. Or to prove your equality to men. Just be badass, intelligent, creative, strong, sensitive or whatever it is you want to be. None of this will make you more of a woman, nor less of one. Wear tons of makeup or none, dance ballet or take up kickboxing, wear flowy skirts with bows or jeans and t-shirts. None of this will make you more of a woman, nor less of one.

   End of story, well almost. I'd like to mention a book and film I loved that has everything to do with gender identity: Orlando by Virginia Wolf. It's an enthralling novel about a man who one day wakes up as a woman. Oh, and he happens to never grow old and lives for centuries. You can get the e-book for free here. There is also a nice movie version, where Orlando is played by the amazing Tilda Swinton. Go watch it.

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