What Does It Mean For A Woman?

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What does it mean to be a woman? This is a question that has been answered, debated, re-answered, and carved into constitutions all over the world. Though there are no limits to how this question can be received, I, and many others would agree, there is no correct answer. Women have been told what to be for centuries, and today, patriarchy is deeply rooted in society, to the point where it is legal for a woman to walk the streets topless, but implausible for her to become the prime minister, or president. These roles given to us, ones which state men must be loud and aggressive, and women must be tender and loving, are the stone pillars upon which stereotypes and prejudices are built. From among these, perhaps one of the most universally held stereotypes pertaining to women is the maternal instinct. The maternal instinct is what is known as the “natural”, maybe even compulsive, tendency to care for others. Women are thought to inherently contain this instinct, and are often met with contempt if they express no desire, or in some cases are physically unable, to reproduce. However, a gender group cannot be born with any sort of traits, as gender is a social construct, and we are socialized to behave in conformity with our assigned gender. Likewise, women are not born to be mothers, they are simply better socialized than men to take on nurturing roles (Brym and Lie 2012). Recently, my 26 year old cousin gave birth to a bouncing baby boy. So my entire family, being as
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