OPINION: Your definition of a woman needs to change


Audrey Korte

Women matched in Wichita for the third annual Women’s March in 2019 – Air Capital. Luisa Taylor (right) spoke at the rally after the march.

It’s women’s history month, and it’s time to redefine what you think a woman is. 

Women can be whoever they want to be. They can be astronauts like Sally Ride, the first female astronaut in space. They can be athletes like Serena Williams, one of the greatest athletes to ever live. They can be doctors like Rebecca Lee Crumpler, the first Black woman to earn a medical degree. They can be politicians like Kamala Harris, the first female vice-president. They can be stay-at-home mothers. They can be teachers like Dr. Jill Biden. They can be strippers and OnlyFans stars. Women can be anything and everything, and they still deserve all your respect. 

And yes, a woman can have a penis.

There is no single definition of a woman, and there shouldn’t be. Women are not defined by their clothing, or their hair, or their profession, or their ability to birth children, and certainly not by what is in their pants or on their chests. A woman is anyone who knows in their heart that they are a woman. There is no single mold they have to fit. 

Women’s rights have long been held up on the backs of trans women and BIPOC women. Society’s definition of a woman has centralized a uniquely straight, white and cis experience. When we refuse to acknowledge the experiences of women of color, queer women and trans women, we are not doing any women any favors. 

Honestly, I’m starting to grow away from the term feminism. I have always considered myself a feminist. If you’ve read any of my other columns in The Sunflower, it’s pretty easy to tell. But feminism shouldn’t be about any exclusively female or woman experience. It should be about everyone’s experience and freeing every type of person from the patriarchy’s limits. The patriarchy affects everyone. Men should be free to cry and have emotions and like boybands. Women should be free to participate in sports and never have children. People should be free not to align with any gender. No one should feel like they have to fit a societal mold of gender identity. Be whoever you want to be.

This month is about celebrating women and the things we have done for society. We have given birth. We have educated the masses. We have sent rockets to space. We have won 23 Grand Slams. 

I encourage everyone to celebrate the women in your life and the women who paved the way for our existence this month. But more importantly, I want you to remember the women who have been forgotten because they haven’t matched society’s definition of a woman: the trans women, the Indigenous women, the Black women, the lesbians, the non-binary people. History doesn’t remember them, but we will.