Bleeding four or days a month has absolutely nothing to do with being termed a fully grown woman or a woman for that matter.
Menstruating has, for long, been used as the pillar in defining womanhood. I beg to disagree. A young girl of 12 years begins her menstruation today(thanks to genetics and the foods we consume) and we call her a woman? In what aspect is she a woman? Menstruating means she can get pregnant, yes. But has it come to that? Reducing womanhood to the ability to conceive and bring life into this world?
My bleeding is not enough to enable you brand me a woman.
What could a 12 year old possibly know about being a woman? Close to nothing, I presume. If you told her she is a woman I am certain that she’d look up at you with big, round, cute, innocent eyes and blink in confusion because she cannot comprehend your insinuation. She knows not the first thing about making decisions, being assertive, thinking as a rational human being, leave alone as a woman.
A woman is the embodiment of strength. She is expected to be a career woman and be a mother. To be dominant at the workplace but submissive in the household. To be stern but kind. To shoulder other people’s troubles and still stay strong in her own. To be strong physically but not so strong that the men in her life feel insecure. To raise a bunch of children and still maintain her performance in the workplace. A woman can choose not to cry now because she needs to be assertive. She can choose what to do, say she gets pregnant and the partner forsakes her. A woman can raise a child. A woman can create a schedule that fits her and make it work. A woman can choose to be a career woman or a housewife. A woman can make her own decisions.
Can a 12 year old do these things?
Can she decipher that daddy was just angry, not at her, when he unintentionally raised his voice at her? No. She will cower in fear and confusion.
A woman is a person who is able to make sound decisions, stand by them, tell right from wrong, be a functional social being and a responsible member of society, one who can exist on her own.
So please, enough with telling girls they are women the moment they start having cramps. Its because of this thinking that some rapists think it justifiable to dehumanize a girl and rob her of her innocence.
Lets know what we mean by what we say and no, talk is not cheap.
Talk is powerful.