by Rebekah Bishop

Only in 2022 would writing this be possible.  We have never before questioned what being a woman was, or had to so clearly define it as we do in today’s society.  This question, “What is a Woman”, has always had a clear answer before.  It has always been an adult human being with XX chromosomes.  It has been from antiquity just a commonly understood difference of the sexes, and yet, here we are in 2022 and the lines have been blurred.  And so, I sit here writing. 

Who am I?  Well, I’m an expert on being a woman. I have 42 years of experience on the subject, and I’ve had the privilege of living as a female the entire time.  While I am not a scientist or a molecular geneticist, I am still qualified to tell you what a woman is as I have had ample time to study the subject.  Unfortunately, some will say that does not qualify me to make claims on this topic as it is just anecdotal evidence.  I would say that anyone claiming that being a woman is a “feeling” is by definition using anecdotal evidence to define the term, and therefore they have no leg to stand on to refute what I’m saying anyway.

Our society has reduced womanhood to a set of feelings and a choice.  It has systematically tried to wipe out womanhood in its entirety.  It has made ridiculous claims that men can have babies, men can be women, chopping off body parts makes you a different sex, and playing dress up is the same as being a woman.  None of these claims are backed by anything other than an emotional response to manufactured trauma and mental illness.  And this is an affront to every woman who has ever lived.  It is demeaning and belittling.  And we as women should not, even cannot, stand for it.  We cannot be silent and let our nature and beings be so abused. 

What is it to be a woman?

Being a woman is, in its simplest terms, having two x chromosomes, but in reality it is so much more than that.  It is in our DNA that we are women.  It’s in every single cell in our bodies.  It affects how we think.  It affects how we view the world. It affects what medication works for us and which will have negative effects on us.  It is our physical makeup.  It is where our organs are and how they function.  It is how we relate to those around us.  It’s how we behave in general.  It’s our function in this world.  It’s our purpose.  It’s everything about us, and it can’t be boiled down to a feeling, or explained away by rebellion, or obliterated by men who want to destroy our very essence to appease their own reprehensible desires.  

No one, no matter their personal view of the world, can deny that there are in fact male and female people on this earth.  Without BOTH, we would not exist as a human race.  We would cease to exist.  BOTH are vital to our survival.  And BOTH are currently under attack socially.  And while manhood has been under social attack arguably longer than womanhood, it is not the main focus of my writing.  Men absolutely should have their own paper, but at this point I will only be sticking to one topic in this paper. 

I want to be absolutely clear.  The definition of being a woman is an adult human with two x chromosomes.  That is it.  That’s what it means to be a woman.  It has implications throughout our entire existence, but it is the exact definition, and it cannot be hijacked.  Everything else can (and most likely will) be hijacked by the feelings crowd, so I want to be explicit with my definition.  It is simple.  It is irrefutable.  It is scientific.  It is logical.  There is no way around it.  If you go to a doctor’s office and they ask your sex, you’d better give them your chromosome status or else all your treatments may hurt you or make matters worse. 

Organs are another way that we can look at a woman.  We have many similar organs to a male’s organs.  There’s the heart, the lungs, the liver, the kidneys and so on.  These are part of the human experience.  However, even these basic organs function differently in women than they do in men.  For example, a woman’s heart beats at a different pace than a man’s heart because a man’s heart is typically larger than a woman’s heart[1].  They require different blood pressure medication because they have different needs in their hearts[2].  Men and women have different lung capacity[3].  Digestion is different in the sexes[4].  In fact, even our gut biome is different[5].   Our livers function differently[6].  Kidney function is also different[7].  In essence, every single part of our anatomy is different.  Each has different ways of processing and functioning.  To say we are women simply because we have a uterus is to reduce us to our reproduction alone.  That is to remove what it is to function as a woman in its entirety.  We are women in our entire bodies, not just our reproductive organs.

Another obvious difference is how our brains function.  The Author Shaunti Feldhahn has put out two books called For Men Only: A Straightforward Guide to the Inner Lives of Women and For Women Only: What You Need to Know About the Inner Lives of Men.   These books delve deep into the function of the male and female brains and how they differ from each other.  Her research is not alone in studying this topic.  Not only is our ability to process and understand things different[8], but our actual brain anatomy is different as well[9].  According to Dr. Nirao Shah, MD, PhD, of a Stanford Medicine article from 1998, “I wanted to find and explore neural circuits that regulate specific behaviors. These behaviors are essential for survival and propagation. They’re innate rather than learned — at least in animals — so the circuitry involved ought to be developmentally hard-wired into the brain. These circuits should differ depending on which sex you’re looking at.”[10]  Diane Halpern, PhD, past president of the American Psychological Association and author of Sex Differences in Cognitive Abilities wrote in her first preface, “At the time, it seemed clear to me that any between-sex differences in thinking abilities were due to socialization practices, artifacts and mistakes in the research, and bias and prejudice. … After reviewing a pile of journal articles that stood several feet high and numerous books and book chapters that dwarfed the stack of journal articles … I changed my mind.”[11]  “Socialization practices are undoubtedly important, but there is also good evidence that biological sex differences play a role in establishing and maintaining cognitive sex differences, a conclusion that I wasn’t prepared to make when I began reviewing the relevant literature.”[12]  Even though the modern culture wants to create a scenario where we can smoothly transition between sexes at will, our bodies tell a different story. 

So we know that our physical makeup is inherently different, but I also want to explore the things that cannot be so simply defined by chromosomes and physiological differences because that is the main thing under attack.  That is the area that is so widely hijacked by the feelings crowd. 

Women are nurturers.  This is a generalized statement, but it is still accurate.  Women are much more intuitive and feeling as opposed to our male counterparts who are much more logical and reasoning[13].  Many studies have been done to show that our personalities are in fact different on a large scale[14].  But in general, we just know this to be true.  We see it in the fact that women are the ones raising the children.  Women are the ones who are more likely to be teachers[15].  Women are the ones more likely to call you when they know you just lost a loved one or just broke up with your girlfriend/boyfriend.  Women are the ones who are more likely to cook you a delicious meal to make you feel better when you are sick.  These are all generalized statements, but they aren’t wrong.  Women are more likely to just outright care.  That’s not a bad thing.  Men are more logical and think in a completely different way.  It doesn’t make them bad or wrong, it just makes them different.  And different is okay. 

Being a woman is not a feeling.  It’s not a way of dressing.  It’s not exclusively our reproductive organs that make us women.  It’s not boiled down to just the stereotype of a woman.  It’s in our blood; it’s in our organs; it’s how we think; it’s how we function; it’s our DNA; it’s every single aspect of our physical, mental and emotional being. To try to limit our womanhood to such superficial matters as boobs and a vagina and our tendency to want to dress in female clothing is to trivialize what it means to be a woman.  It’s demeaning and dismissive. 

Men cannot ever be women.  Period.  I don’t care what they wear or how they prance around or what body parts they mangle.  They will never know what it’s like to get their period for the first time or the hundredth time.  They will never know the feeling of a life moving inside their womb.  They will never have the inexplicable feeling of their bodies producing food for a crying helpless newborn.  They will never understand the overwhelming feelings of emotions that war within.  They will never be able to fully grasp what it means to be a woman.

We as a society have been so focused on the thought that men and women should be equal that we have made it almost evil in the minds of the public that we could thrive through our differences.  We each have a purpose and a design.  We don’t all have to be the same.  We are allowed to be different.  Not every woman will do all the stereotypical woman things, and that’s fine.  But the exception does not set the rule.  Women are in fact designed by our Creator to be the caretakers of the family and the support of our husbands.  If we as women stop taking on that role, then that role must be taken on by someone else and most decidedly someone less equipped to take it on.  We have then forsaken our purpose in pursuit of something less and left our purpose unfulfilled.  It is rebellion to our Creator and a denial of who we are and what we were made for. 

Why is being a nurturer or caretaker seen in such a bad light in the first place?  Why is caring for our families painted as slavery and drudgery?  Why do we pay people to care for our children and teach our children and we even praise those who do, yet doing it ourselves is seen societally as unimportant and backwards?  We have services that will plan and cook our meals for us and deliver them to our houses for an extremely high fee, and people flock to them so that they don’t have to do it.  And yet, a home cooked meal is all the rage, just as long as mom didn’t have to be the one to cook it, because that’s bondage.  Why is doing things the way that our Creator intended for us seen as wrong, backwards and uneducated? 

The Bible says in Genesis 1: 27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”  God designed each of us.  He created us for a purpose and we have a reason we are here.  I think that the push in our society to deny our purpose is in fact rebellion to God: rebellion to the fact that there is a God, and rebellion to His purposes for our lives.  We want to be the author of our own stories, and so to admit that we were created for a purpose that we don’t always get to choose, flies in the face of our independent and naturally rebellious spirits.  It came as a result of the fall in Genesis 3.  We want to define what it good and evil, right and wrong for ourselves, and we do not like that God has not given that authority to us.  So we as humans took that authority upon ourselves, and everything has been a downward spiral ever since.  Now, instead of submitting to proper authority, we assume it for ourselves.  Instead of remaining in the natural way of creation, and the purpose and design we were created for, we rebel and insist on being allowed to choose something different and lesser.  Even the word “submitting” is anathema to many women as it implies that we are not in charge, especially using that word in the context of submitting to our husbands.  And the truth is that this word has historically been abused and used to abuse women.  It is something that women run from, and understandably so.  However, just because someone has abused it does not make it wrong.  Just like the fact that some people use fire to hurt others does not make it evil. Fire itself is a very useful tool, so too submitting has been used to hurt people, but is still a useful and proper authority structure.   Abuse of an item does not mean we need to throw it out completely.  It means we need to learn to use it correctly.

We can’t throw out submission all together.  For example, we submit to our boss at work, and have no problem with that authority structure.  We all agree that there needs to be a boss, and not everyone can be that boss.  We agree that our boss needs to be the one who takes the full responsibility of the job and of the workers, and takes the blame when things go wrong.  When bosses try to blame their workers under them for not doing this or that, we call them out.  It was their ultimate responsibility to get the job done correctly and they need to take the repercussions of that on their own shoulders and not push the blame.  But when we examine that exact same God given authority structure in a household, people lose their minds. Man is the God given authority in a home.  He is the one who is ultimately responsible for the success or failure of a family.  He is the one who takes the responsibility and the discipline if things go wrong.  He is the one designed to hold that position.  The woman is designed to be the support.  She is in charge of the children.  She is responsible to raise the children up in the family name and teach them how to show honor and respect.  She is the one who teaches the children of God and His care for them.  The man is the one who enforces and encourages the children to obey.  The woman is the one who gently guides and teaches and leads the children.  The man is to make the final decisions as the ultimate responsibility is on his shoulders.  But the woman is to be strongly consulted and listened to as a partner and a loved one who has strong insights and authority of her own.  She is not the ultimate authority in the home.  The children are NO authority and should never run the home or make decisions for the family.  This is the structure that brings life.  This is the structure that raises healthy, well-adjusted and respectful children.  If we get it out of order, we will have problems.  Period.  That’s not to say that if you follow this structure, you will inherently have perfect kids, nor does it mean that if you don’t follow this structure, your kids are doomed.  But this is the structure designed by God to best raise children up in.  It’s the structure that best grows a healthy marriage and family.  And anything outside of this, no matter how good it is in the end, does in fact have major issues that will affect the family.  Truth be told, all families will have problems.  Even if we follow this authority structure laid out by God, we will have problems.  We can’t avoid it.  But following the authority structure laid out by God will give us the best starting place possible.  It will also teach us more about God Himself.  It is designed to reflect His character back to us as we grow, just as marriage and raising children is also designed to reflect His character.  We learn so much about God by following His plans for us in life. 

So a woman choosing to stay home and care for her children and family should be honored.  She should not be belittled and ridiculed.  It’s a tough job, and it deserves praise.  Her children should rise up and call her blessed.  Her husband should as well, and he should praise her.  Following God’s plan for your life is not an easy path, no matter where you live or what you do.  It will always be difficult because there will always be temptations to choose something that looks better, but in the end leads to a lesser blessing, and sometimes even a curse. 

I am by no means saying that women CAN’T work outside the home or SHOULDN’T work outside the home.  I’m not trying to shoehorn anyone into any strict role.  However, if our main focus is outside the home, then we are not able to fulfil the role we were created for, which is primarily to care for our families.  If we work outside the home but our priority is our home, we are taking off each time we need to do something for our kid’s school, we plan each day with the family as our priority and we put work as a secondary priority, we are doing it right.  At the same time, if we are “stay at home moms”, homeschool, and cook every meal, but our focus is on keeping up with the neighbors, being seen on social media as the cool mom, being seen by the play date moms as with-it and on top of things, and we are neglecting our families real needs to be seen by others, we are doing it wrong!  There has to be balance.  We need to focus on our families and what they actually need.  We need to be a healthy mom, mentally and physically, in order to be what they need most as well.  We should not neglect true health.  However, so many people think that having a career is what we need for mental health, and that simply isn’t true.  It very often is only selfish reasons that we get jobs outside of the home.  Because, let’s face it.  There is no glamour in being a stay at home mom.  There’s no praise or accolades for mopping the kitchen floor every day.  No one is going to give you a raise for getting 3 kids fully potty-trained.  And yet, we need to measure our success by a different standard.  If we are raising children to be respectful, honest, hard-working and loving human beings, we need to count that as success.  That takes a lot longer to measure than just one day or one year, and that’s hard on a momma.  We want that instant gratification of, “hey, you did a good job on that project” or, “here’s a raise for all your hard work this year.”  But life isn’t like that.  It’s continuing to do the hard work each day without the praise and recognition, knowing that it will in fact be worth it in the end.  And that’s where true womanhood shines.  That’s where we as women are the strongest.  We need to support each other and build each other up instead of comparing each other.  We need to give each other the praise and accolades we desire.  But most of all, we need to help each other along with being consistent and persistent in well doing. 

If you are struggling with your womanhood or the place God has for you, get with other women who can love and support you.  There are TONS of groups out there; you just have to reach out.  Get with the ladies of your church.  They want to support you.  If you are struggling with feeling that you aren’t valued, try studying all the ways that God honors women in scripture, which was counter culture to the way things were done in the day in which it was written.  He consistently builds women up and puts them in places of honor.  He praises them and gives them a name of importance.  He never abused women.  Jesus raised even prostitutes to places of honor.  He healed women and raised them from the dead.  He had women as His disciples.  These were completely counter culture.  What God doesn’t do, however, is compromise women or makes them feel less about being a woman.  He never made women feel that they were not good enough as women, and needed to become something else.  That, my friend, is true bondage.  The idea that you are worthless as a woman is slavery.  The idea that you need to become a man in order to be worth anything is misogyny.  The idea that women need to do everything a man does in order to prove ourselves as women or as better than men, that is what is truly evil.  Embrace who you are.  Embrace your womanhood.  It was specifically designed for you.  It is a place of honor and status.  It is good being a woman.