“The essence of a woman is motherhood.”. That was the most common answer that I would hear from beauty pageant contestants every time they were asked about a woman’s essence. For some reason, this answer didn’t always sit right with me.
Essence is defined as one’s core and most important qualities. Because of that, one’s essence is usually believed to be their purpose in a way; something one can’t exist without. Motherhood, although a beautiful and amazing thing, isn’t what I believed was the essence of a woman. Although it may be one, the core of a woman shouldn’t be dependent on their ability to give birth but on their ability to have dreams, pursue their desires, and be whoever they want to be.
I think believing that motherhood is the only essence of a woman may be caging. Not all women want to have children, and not all are able to— this doesn’t make them any less of a woman. Women shouldn’t be limited only to the few options that were implied to them by the past. They can be housewives, engineers, surgeons, teachers, astronauts, or anything else they want to be! It is only right that they define their essence or their core.
In many instances, when a young woman reaches her mid-20s, a lot of pressure is put on her by her family to have a child or get married. This happens all around the world. Although the intentions of the family may not always be bad, this pressure may result in negative outcomes. Because of this, it’s important to remember that each woman has her own timeline and that it is up to her if she will have a child or not.
If you are a woman who has experienced being told that you are less of a woman if you don’t bear children, please know that you are not alone. Your worth does not lie in the hands of the people around you, but in your own. Your essence can only be defined the way you want it to be.
To each her own.