What is the first thought that comes to your mind? Think! Think!
I personally find this question to be very tricky. Recently, at an event someone threw this as an open question. All the women around started answering to their best knowledge. I was totally bewildered, after listening to the everyone. I was still entangled in my thoughts, perplexed on what should be my perfect definition to this one. Believe me this question haunted me for quite a few days.
I have been part of woman’s day celebrations from last couple of years. Have been reading/ hearing debates on What is Feminism? What does being a Feminist means? What Women Want? and so on. Honestly, all this has never impacted me, but this time it was different. I was looking for my definition of the perfect answer for this particular question.
What is The Essence of Being a Woman? Well this question gained maximum momentum when Sushmita Sen won Miss. Universe title. She articulated it so beautifully. Her wisdom, belief and personality made her the highest scorer by the judges in the history of the pageant. She very beautifully answered “Just being a woman is a God’s gift. The origin of a child is a mother, a woman. She shows a man what sharing, caring, and loving is all about. That is an essence of a women.”
Wow, she is sure winner and my favorite too. But this answer is not a hallmark of being a perfect reply. It’s like seeing from one side on the coin but what about the other side? I am still perplexed as this answer holds true to her unique self, her beliefs, her personality and all those women who share her perspective of being a doting mother. My dilemma is for all those women who choose to be single (by choice) or those who do not have children (for whatever reason) are they not God’s gift? Does this definition resonate with all the women tribe? Can we all whole-heartedly endorse it.
Also, there is another perspective to this. Why are we only discussing woman? What about the Essence of being a Man? I am sure this perfect definition by Ms. Sen can resonate with most of the fathers around. Then can we not put forward “What is the Essence of being a Human?”
Again, this is debatable. As we are talking about Essence of Being a Woman, lets discuss the most common ideology for this. Most people stand for “it’s the ability of a woman to multi- task and balance”. All women are blessed by nature and therefore capable of balancing both house and work life together. Let’s catechized this further by making such statements are we not stereotyping woman? Predicting what is their sole duty? To balance both house and work (even if she is career minded)? Also, a lot of men do multi-task between house and work. Is this again not the Essence of Being a Human.
I feel, its not one quality or a trait that makes you different from others rather it’s a set of distinct qualities or traits that separates you. ‘You’ includes your own values, beliefs, skills, talent, and being absolutely comfortable with your imperfections that defines the Essence of Being You.
The other day I bounced on this quote “Some of us are becoming the Men we want to marry”.
Again, stands true in this era of feminism. Most of the woman in their quest for equality try act, dress, behave, and be like men. Losing their true essence of Being a Woman.
True essence means the basic, real, most important characteristic, invariable nature which gives it its individual identity.
My take to this question is, that the ‘Essence’ is a journey in itself. To arrive at the best version of oneself whether a woman or a man. With age, experience, relationships, responsibilities, success, and failures this journey is unique for each one of us. Our own inner journey to discover the power we possess, to live a life where we are independent to take your decisions, make mistakes and say “My Essence of Being a Human is that I live a life full of everything my heart desires.”
I recently read the book “Palace of Illusions” by Chitra Banerjee Divakumari. The book is a masterpiece, remarkable narration of the epic Mahabharata narrated by Draupadi. A unique female way in which she sees her world and her place in it. From her fiery birth to being a Girl, a Woman, and a Queen. Draupadi, a rebel against the boundaries society has prescribed for a woman yet I can unapologetically say that “Yes, she had all the traits that defines the true essence of being a woman”.
Janelle Saar author of the book “The Essence of Being a Women”, shares that “The Essence of Being a Women is a message of inspiration, empowering women to live overflowing with an abundance of passion, love, joy, happiness, gratitude, and everything their heart desires. It’s a celebration of the power inside every woman!”
I am sure we all in sync with her definition. Another one which I recently read was “A combination of Strength, Balance and Compassion is the Essence of Being a Woman”. Yes, I quite agree with this one. But the most convincing one is from Nora Ephron, American writer and filmmaker. She summons it up well by stating that “Above All, be the heroine of your life, not the victim”.
I would like to surmise that I have found my perfect answer that “The Essence of Being a Woman is to Absolutely Love being Yourself”. A woman, maybe as a mother, sister, wife, lover, friend, giver, artist, doctor…. being feminine in your happy way.