A woman in 2021
I love being a woman.
But sometimes being a woman is difficult. It has its challenges. I feel the pressure to be beautiful. It’s almost as if my value is linked to my femininity. I wish I could say that beauty standards don’t affect me, but even in 2021, I’m jealous of these women on Instagram who seem to come straight out of magazines. Still in 2021, I get called out on the street by men, even when I’m wearing a big winter coat, wrapped in three layers of wool. Being a woman often means going from beautiful to ugly if you ever refuse a man’s advances. Still in 2021, I’m afraid to walk the streets alone at night or be interested in a man who may turn out to be bad. Being a woman then or now is to run the risk of not being believed when we denounce inappropriate acts towards us, to the point when we may start doubting ourselves.
Being a woman is a lot easier than it was in 1881, but being a woman in 2021 still brings its share of challenges. Our condition has evolved and the problems are still present day and are hidden. Before the 1960s, women in Quebec did not have financial autonomy. Today we are independent, but there is still a disparity in salaries according to gender. Our independence has brought us the right to vote, more equality in the separation of household chores, and our involvement in politics, which was not acquired before.
Yes, I admit that there are many more movements advocating feminism than before, but as a woman, I still have this voice in my head that expects that one day, I’ll be as equal as a man — not because I live in a sexist environment, but rather in a society that still has a lot of work to do in terms of feminine conditions. If we take the example of what a certain former living American president said about women and the comments made by internet users, it is clear that our society has work to do. In this ongoing struggle to fight for our rights, we must be constantly strong and courageous.
Being a woman means being able to be powerful and confident. It means striving to achieve a strong female support system that encourages us to give the best of ourselves. To be a woman is beauty in all its colours and shapes. It’s having the choice to give life or not. It’s to be the master of one’s destiny.
To all women, you are seen and heard. Continue to be wonderful, to outdo yourselves, to dream and to report all the hateful acts. I invite all women – not only on March 8 for International Women’s Day, but also 365 days a year – to thank themselves. You are beautiful and great each in your own way.
Megan Brazeau grew up in Chelsea, but now lives in Gatineau, and is a student at La Cité Collégiale taking a program focusing on rehabilitation and criminal justice. She chose to do an internship at the Maison Libère-Elles, a women’s shelter, because she said she always wanted to learn about domestic violence.