What is a woman?
I can define what a woman is.
And it’s not because I am a biologist.
What is a woman?
If you head to Wikipedia, you’ll see the following definition of the word woman:
An adult female human.
And if you head to the Merrian-Webster definition, you get this:
An adult female person (a living human
A person, by their definition, is alive. Interesting. By extension, by this definition, AIs could never be people. Let’s leave that for now.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines a woman as:
An adult female human being.
Dictionary.com defines a woman as:
An adult female person.
The Collins Dictionary states the following:
A woman is an adult female human being.
Nice! Very assertive. I like the Collins version so far.
What about female? Let’s go with etymology instead of a definition.
early 14c., from Old French femelle “woman, female” (12c.), from Medieval Latin femella “a female,” from Latin femella “young female, girl,” diminutive of femina “woman, a female” (“woman, female,” literally “she who suckles,” from PIE root *dhe(i)- “to suck”).
Yeah, most of the time I wouldn’t disagree. Hardy har har. Let’s just be honest.
I went one step farther and did *dhe(i)-.
*dhē(i)-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning “to suck.”
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit dhayati “sucks,” dhayah “nourishing;” Greek thēlē “mother’s breast, nipple,” thēlys “female, fruitful;” Latin felare “to suck,” femina “woman” (“she who suckles”), felix “happy, auspicious, fruitful,” fetus “offspring, pregnancy;” fecundus “fruitful, fertile, productive; rich, abundant;” Old Church Slavonic dojiti “to suckle,” dojilica “nurse,” deti “child;” Lithuanian dėlė “leech;” Old Prussian dadan “milk;” Gothic daddjan “to suckle;” Old Swedish dia “suckle;” Old High German tila “female breast;” Old Irish denaim “I suck,” dinu “lamb.”
There are many references here from way back when to breasts being food sources for the newly born. Check out the Lithuanian dėlė. That’s funny.
But then, what’s a male?
late 14c., “male human being; male fish or land animal; one of the sex that begets young,” from Old French masle (adj.) “masculine, male, adult,” also used as a noun (12c., Modern French mâle), from Latin masculus “masculine, male, worthy of a man” (source also of Provençal mascle, Spanish macho, Italian maschio), diminutive of mas (genitive maris) “male person or animal, male.”
Hmm. I don’t find this helpful. What’s the root here? Is it mal-? And if it is, why? And why does the male, but not the female etymology include a reference to animals? In any case, neither the female nor male etymologies make specific reference to humans. Thus, the word ‘woman’ is useful to discern between human females, and females of other species.
It seems to me, then, that if we compile these etymological meanings and definitions, we should all be able to agree that a good working definition of a woman is an adult (not a child), female (not a male) human (not another species or AI) being (alive). There you go Hipkins et al., even though it was a little, pre-formulated.
What is a woman to you? What do you see in your mind’s eye when you think of a woman? Boobies? Babies? Sarah Connor? Softness? Hardness? Cool hairstyles? Math geniuses? Vacuum cleaners? Sigourney Weaver? Baking? 50s housewife ads? Cars? Mom? Grandma? Sister? Wife? Wow. So many images! Here’s some Ad agency’s idea of a woman holding a cake. Boy, she looks so happy! It must be because of that amazing egg beater she used to make that cake likely made out of styrofoam because it’s a prop.
If you use the Brave browser and type in ‘woman’ and go to ‘images’, you get something that looks like this:
Kind of weird. I see some Hollywood females, and a lot of stereotypical beauty associated with women. Perfect skin, sculpted hair dos, perfect white teeth, a bit of bling. These depictions don’t really match what my mind goes to when I visualize a woman.
Apparently, when an AI was asked by a female human artist (who goes by the pseudonym ‘Supercompo’), to generate a representation of a woman, it generated “Loab” – the being in the image below. Eek.
Not my kettle of fishies.
What is a woman to me? My mind goes more toward anatomical drawings. Is that because I am a biologist? Or an artist?
I was originally going to use a piece from a Body Worlds exhibit by German anatomist Gunther von Hagens as an example of what I think of as a woman visually, but I decided it might be ‘too much’ for some. Body World exhibits allow the audience to see the inner layers of the human being (here, not alive), by utilizing a body-fluid-to-plastic replacement method called plastination.
He is a master in his technique. Truly. It should be a requirement for medical school applications to have seen, and studied, one of these exhibits.
I saw a Body World’s exhibit in Cleveland, Ohio many years ago as part of an HIV modeling conference and it was one of the coolest things I have ever seen. It was kind of surreal being there with the world’s leading HIV immunologists and mathematicians, let me tell you. We had a great time! It really was a bit alarming at first to see humans without their skin – animated – but not breathing. But like most things, you get used to it. It wasn’t any more difficult than seeing an autopsy. My fascination with understanding the inner systems of the living being really made my own getting used to it super fast. I actually could not imagine a better way to learn about how systems, like the circulatory system, flow. And from an artistic point of view, these very real works of art truly honor the implicit and explicit incredibleness of the human body – the systems that work together in such perfect harmony to allow the functioning visceral body to perform like the perfectly oiled machine that it is, for decades. From the musculature and lymphatics, to the reproductive systems: it is all exquisitely wonderful.
The differences between the males and females of the human species are quite clear when you put their bodies on display in this manner. Again, some people might find it a bit gruesome, but I find it intriguing. It also kind of makes you re-think anything and everything you thought you knew about death, but I think it’s good to re-think. But again, I decided to let my readers seek out his work on their own.
Happily, I also think of skeletons when I think of a woman/female in the context of discernment between the sexes. I guess this is the (forensic) anthropologist in me. From the more vertical angle of the female forehead and more sloping jawline, to the wide female pelvis, the differences between males and females are easily determined and seen (even with skin on!). One simply has to look at the forehead and jawline – no need to check out that pelvis!
The one on the right is the female. Notice the gynecoids? Especially in the pelvis? This is to enable childbirth. That’s what I imagine when I think of a woman, or a female, for that matter: something anatomical and inherently descriptive of form and function. Ultimately, females are the child-bearers. We are built for that.
Here’s an awesome skeletal interlude. Seems appropriate. Hey girl. Hey boy.
Here’s my best definition of a woman:
An adult female human being carrying two X chromosomes.
Humans have two sex chromosomes, namely X and Y, that form one of the 23 pairs of human chromosomes in each cell (46 chromosomes in total). Females (women) carry two X chromosomes, and males (men) carry one X and one Y chromosome. The X chromosome spans about 155 million DNA building blocks (base pairs) and represents approximately 5 percent of the total DNA in cells.
Is it just me, or do the chromosomes look like the Hebrew alphabet? I mean, aleph? Forget about it! And the number of consonants (22)? Interesting. Sorry, my pattern recognition thing went off.
So women have two X chromosomes and men have an X and a Y chromosome. This means that women inherit an X chromosome from each parent and men inherit a Y chromosome from their pa.
So this is yet another (genetic) layer that discerns the woman from the man. I think it’s a really important one. The binary aspect is also, noteworthy.
I still have to wonder if 46 + 2 is just ahead of us? “Listen to my muscle memory. Contemplate what I’ve been clinging to.” Maynard James Keenan musical interlude. Feel like it belongs.
Definitions, illustrations, Chemical brothers, Maynard and skeletons aside, I think that there are men, and that there are women. Males and females. Two sexes as the base. X and Y. Innee and Outee. The foundation. Binary in all its glory. Everything else is a ‘version’ of these two fundamental bases that inherently come with form and function. Having said that, I don’t know what it feels like to be anyone other than myself. So, I can’t possibly know for sure what it would feel like to be a woman convinced that I was ‘meant’ to be a male, born into a female’s body. But, I believe that if I was convinced I was a man trapped in a woman’s body, I would probably want to explore this privately and cautiously to whatever end there might be, and I would not push my beliefs, or my process, onto others. Especially not children.
I wanted to write this Substack because I am more than a little annoyed these days about the incitement being driven and propagated by what I think is endocrine disrupted madness, to create yet more division and hate towards each other on one hand, and to confuse and abuse our children, on the other. I don’t think mental instability is something to take lightly or something that should be weaponized. I think sources of disorders and ‘diseases’ need to be discovered, by discovery. And yes, I do think that endocrine disruptors are causing a plethora of hormonal and mental instabilities, and I also think that there are inextricable ties with both to the ‘health’ of the gut.
Besides what I think, I know that a violent loose cannon, is a violent loose cannon, no matter what it identifies as.
I wrote the above specifically in reference to a recent happening to Billboard Chris in Vancouver. You can see what happened here. Now I don’t know the entire backstory, but it’s hard to do anything but be outraged at the male who grabbed Chris’s throat after very repeatedly screaming “f—- you” at him like a raging loony-toon without provocation. I likely wouldn’t have been as cool as he was. I’ll tell you that. I want to make explicit here, the difference between someone of sound mind who may simply want to identify as a member of the opposite sex, and someone who is not of sound mind, aggressive, obnoxious, juvenile, rude, angry and violent. They aren’t synonymous things. I would also like to point out that all police officers are duty bound to serve and protect everyone. Not just people they think they should be protecting.
In addition to anger and frustration, mental health issues are raging these days, and this is no one’s fault. Estrogen mimics are EVERYWHERE. They are found in so many products that people ingest/use every single day, including water and hand sanitizer. Read this:
Estrogen is an essential hormone naturally produced in the body. Estrogen mimics are artificial hormones that have a different chemical structure but behave the same as estrogen biologically. Both types of estrogens can be found in many products we use every day. Birth control pills contain synthetic estrogen. Estrogen mimics are found in herbicides like atrazine, in parabens in many personal hygiene products, bisphenol-a and phthalates in polycarbonate plastics, perfluorinated chemicals in nonstick cookware, nonylphenol in detergents, and triclosan in antibacterial soap (and all of that hand sanitizer they are pushing on us).
I believe we have a real crisis on our human hands regarding endocrine disruptors and quite frankly, I think it explains a lot of things that have become ‘common’ in the past few decades. Such things as many of the hormone-related imbalances that we see every single day diagnosed as things like depression and mood disorders. I’m not going deep on this here but please do check out the Hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis. Safe to say, I believe that this is a significant problem and we need to start addressing it. I would go as far to say that I think that endocrine disruption itself is being weaponized against us simply by virtue of both its dominance, and our lack of acknowledgement of its dominance, in our environs.
Recognition of truth and reality matters. There is a growing problem these days with ability to determine what the truth and reality of a matter actually are. Social media makes it so easy to fall for all kinds of tricks and gimmicks. From fake riots to fake groups and movements, designed by agencies to inculpate the innocent and divide the masses, it is almost full-time work to discover who is who, and what is what. I tend to focus on individual behaviors for clarity and answers as to natures and motives. For example, meeting people face-to-face is very important for me. I feel I cannot possibly make a real determination about someone until I look into their eyes and feel their ‘presence’. I assume almost everything on social media is not based in reality. And here’s a scary thought: for the time being, we have it easy. We only have human imposters to deal with. What’s going to happen when machines or non-human imposters get into the mix? Have they already?
I think it’s really important to keep our wits about us when navigating the online matrix. It is absolutely full of traps. Traps to throw us into rages. Traps to make us ‘hate’ people and things that, well, we probably don’t. Granted, predators are very real and they should be outed. Propaganda and advertising is very powerful. No one is immune to it. The best way to resist it is not to watch it at all. In lieu of that (‘cuz it ain’t goin’ anywheres), we all need even more powerful tools to sift through the BS. 95% (if not more) of what we see is BS, I believe. I really do. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be allowed to see it. One powerful tool includes seeing with our own eyes. Another powerful tool is multiple sourcing – getting the exact same story from multiple unrelated sources. This is a big problem since media is inherently incestuous.
I want to now transiently examine the ‘transgender movement’ (‘activists’) and the way in which, well, the movement (not to be confused with individuals) is pretty much being shoved in our faces and down our throats at every turn lately – and not just on social media. This ‘movement’ is appearing in public settings and even more disturbing to me, in strange and inappropriate settings that are aimed at children. I am seeing a lot of irrational violence associated with these so-called activists, as well. Just to be clear, I truly have a ‘to each their own’ essence. What I do not have is a ‘to each my own’ essence: I do not push my beliefs onto others and I do not want others doing so to me. I don’t need anyone telling me that ‘insert adjective here’ lives matter more than so-and-so’s because, I already know that every life is sacred. It’s like Kid Rock said: “Black lives matter. No shit mother——er.” This is why I have been so rabid in the past three years about telling anyone claiming that I ‘must’ do anything, to kindly go to hell. Screaming ‘tolerance’ banalities at us whilst threatening to arrest us for defending our rights as sovereign beings with inalienable rights seems to me a little, insincere.
These ‘movements’, among many things, are tricks – imposed propaganda-style – to try to convince you that we’re all separate, different and in a big stupid constant fight. We’re not. Don’t fall for it. War gamers are devious. And their pawns are clueless. See them for what they are. Many of the victims of these tricks are the young. They need good role models and good guidance. Away from predators. It’s always been like this. Be a good role model.
I did choose to use the word ‘shoved’ in the previous paragraph because that is how it feels to me. I cannot imagine how kids must feel. Stay out of my bathroom, is the most succinct way for me to summarize my feelings about it all. From prosthetic triple Fs on a male school shop teacher (which my partner is convinced is a rouse), to strange pornographic shows aimed at children. I personally am not offended by it, per se – I simply don’t want to have anything shoved in my face. Not even kittens. Well, maybe kittens. But…
Children on the other hand, should be shielded from the sexual fantasies, desires and delusions of adult human beings at all cost. Without exception. It is depravity and criminal to force children into sexual situations. Children are NOT sexual beings. Also without exception, and by definition.
A little more on women. The other day on Twitter there was a photo of a bunch of men with bloody white underwear with subtext claiming that they can also have menstrual cycles. Males cannot, and do not, have menstrual cycles because they are not born with uteruses that shed their linings monthly. PERIOD. Pun intended.
Besides this confronting reality, I made the point on Twitter that I believe that no self-respecting woman would ever pose in such a way. The reality is that we, as women, have always been taught to be discreet about our menses, almost to the point of shame. At least that was my experience, and the experience of all of my friends. That was our reality. I mean, we girls all have a story of a teenage menstrual ‘accident’ that induced horrid embarrassment, right? Or was that just me? It was grade 8. Ironically, in light of this, I find it odd that we can’t just see menstruation for what it is – even at the onset: a normal and healthy female body function to allow for childrearing. By no means is menstruation something to be ashamed of, even if you do have an accident. But it’s kind of like shitting your pants (in a way): we have all done it, but we also try not to show people that we had this oopsie poopsie. Am I right? And if I may, the fact that a photo or ‘meme’ like the aforementioned exists at all is evidence of either: 1. an imposterous attempt to create discord (extremely likely) or 2. the existence of men who want to prove that they can be altered to bleed in some way and show us this alteration without really asking if we wanted to see it, and thus, in my eyes, proof positive of the definitive differences between men and women based on the former (ie: alteration).
I do firmly believe that mature and well-adjusted women would never pose this way. And even if there were women who want to flaunt their menses, I believe that it would have the same effect as 1: it’s just virtue signaling for attention – it doesn’t serve a meaningful purpose or amplify the essence of the being since yes, you experience menses, but you are more than your monthly. Personally, I’d rather pose with my Takayama Noserider.
There is so much that comes with being female that goes far and beyond the uterus and mammary glands that has its roots in the environment that we, as women, ‘grow up’ in. I could diverge to the nurture part of this point as opposed to sticking with the nature, but I am not going to. I’ll save that for another Substack.
I think the most important distinctions to make, besides the clear one between women and men, is between imposter and authentic. Media versus reality. Activists versus officers. Inciters versus protesters.
Ultimately my philosophy is this, do what you want, but don’t shove it in my face and tell me I have to like it or even put up with it. Especially if you’re preying on children. I have fought bullshit my entire life and I am not stopping now. I am woman. Hear me roar. And as much as many people would like to pretend that there are no lines to cross: THERE ARE.
I think I will close this article up and introduce my lovely readers to an exquisite female artist named Sevdaliza. I adore her as an artist and in her video below (I believe her to be a genius), she does a really beautiful job illustrating the many things that women are, and experience. Mothers, sisters, lovers, abused, adored, a fighters, support systems, nurturers.
And I must say, to maintain beauty, grace, dignity and power, inside and out, even whilst sitting in the cup of green sludge that can be her environs – this is some of what it means to be a woman.
To the men whom I adore: “If you truly want to share our pain and experiences, then support, protect and cherish us, and our children. We love you and need you.”
If you sense conflict coming from me in the words herein, it is probably because I am conflicted – between my own inner anger and my desire to rise above it.
So what is a woman? I am a woman: an adult female human being carrying two X chromosomes.
I do have to wonder though: Is nothing ever going to be just ours?