How to Define a Woman


If you’re raising girls or boys, you have a tremendous opportunity to empower them. How you interact with them, your values, and your beliefs will help shape their character as adults. This is especially true for women, who often face more gender discrimination than men do. As parents, it’s vital to think about how you can influence your children so they can become leaders in the world and not oppressors of other people.

In a new documentary, cultural commentator Matt Walsh attempts to find out how to define a woman. He asks a variety of people, from transgender advocates to average men and women. Walsh’s interviewees have a hard time answering his question. Some of them even resort to circular definitions. Circular definitions are mistakes that reduce the meaning of a word to its literal sense. For example, if you try to define “nuclear power” by saying it is energy derived from nuclear sources, that’s a circular definition because the words you’re trying to explain (“nuclear”) are in the same phrase (“power”).

The problem with defining women in terms of what they look like is that a woman can be anyone who has a genital organ. The biological female body is organized around the production, storage, and delivery of eggs and the gestation of another human being. For some women, this isn’t enough, but that doesn’t make them any less a woman than those with a gynecological reproductive system.

It’s also important to note that gender is a social construct and is defined by individual experiences, expectations, cultures, feelings, and self-identity. For some, “being a woman” involves traditional femininity, while for others, it might involve challenging gender stereotypes or loving other women. It’s a complex issue that doesn’t have a simple answer, but Walsh doesn’t seem to realize that.

In his documentary, Walsh interviews a number of women who are upset that the media has a tendency to focus on negative stories about women. He’s right that this is a problem, but the solution isn’t to simply stop reporting on women. It’s far more important to teach children to be respectful of everyone, regardless of their gender or race.

One of the best ways to show your kids respect for all humans is by treating other people with the same level of dignity that you would treat a child. This includes saying “please” and “thank you” to grocery clerks, waiters, and other members of the public.

Throughout history, most religious societies considered women to be property. They were treated with consideration ranging from that accorded to an ox to that given to a treasured grand piano. However, despite the many obstacles, women are making significant progress in many areas of society. Currently, 21.9 percent of parliamentarians worldwide are women and 39 lower houses of Congress have at least 30 percent female representation. Additionally, ten women are heads of state and 15 are presidents of countries. That’s a huge step forward from the days when women were considered a plague to be eliminated.