On becoming a woman

When does one become a woman? I am confused, because the rite of passage keeps changing on me.

First they told me I would become a woman the day I had my fist period. I was ten and thought I had pooped in my pants. When my mother finally told me what was happening with my body, I didn't feel womanly. I felt like a freak. I had boobs already and really, really, really liked boys. The nuns would call my house and tell my parents that I should be playing with dolls instead of thinking about sinning. I wanted to play with boys, but did they want to play with me? No. Did I feel more of a woman because my cycles had began? No. I felt cursed.

I figured I would become a woman the day I lost my virginity. I spent that night awake in bed thinking, "Why in the world do people even like sex?" and "I could have done that with a tampon." Was I more of a woman for that? I don't think so, and if I was, I was a disappointed one.

Then I was told I would become a woman the day I got married. In that case, I became a woman twice. The first time I was dressed in pink and the groom's parents were bare feet. We had no place to live and he turned out to be a drug addict, so not much womanhood there. The second time we married by a waterfall in Brazil. He wore his Marine Corps uniform and I wore a short dress; a girlie bride dress. The ceremony was romantic but almost entirely in Portuguese, a language he does not speak nor understands, so he is still not so sure what he agreed to and signed (a perfect scenario, if you ask me). Our celebrant was middle eastern and had an Arabic tattoo on his hand, which I noticed half way through the ceremony and prayed (in silence) that if he was a terrorist that he didn't explode until we were pronounced husband and wife. Did I become a woman that day? I was too tired and drunk to notice.

And now I am pregnant and for the first time in my life I was sure I could say, "Hey, I think I am a woman now. There's nothing more womanly than carrying a child in a womb, right?" Wrong.

Some of those tree-hugging, self-righteous, knocked up, and hormonal females I have met think you have to have a natural birth (no drugs, no doctors, no modern science to facilitate the birthing process because, God forbid if bad, evil science is trying to help us feel a bit better) to be a real woman.

You know what? In the next life I will come back as man, because all you really need to be claimed as such is a penis.

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