Three women are attempting to reclaim the epithet “woman,” a once disparaging and offensive term used to describe the female gender. The word, often used to remind the female gender that they are in fact neither man nor machine, has been turned into a positive, even optimistic phrase used affectionately among those it was once used against.
Many of these women have heard the epithet thrown at them from passersby, doctors, and close friends: “It’s one thing when it’s just some stranger, but your own gynecologist? It really goes to show what they really think of you, that no matter how accomplished you are, you’re still a woman to them.”
“It made me feel like someone who’s pregnant, waiting to be pregnant, or no longer able to be pregnant. Who wants to feel like that?” claims Suki Foltz. Now that she has re-defined the way “woman” is used among her social group, she notes, “I still want to get pregnant, but now I feel better about it.”
“We want to turn it around and use it in a way that doesn’t imply we’re lazy, incompetent fetus-ovens. Womanhood is actually a cool party that everyone wants to be at. Like a really exclusive gallery opening.”
Several women publicly high-fived, embraced, and laughed together, referring to each other as “woman” and “a bunch of women” to display their pride. Other non-women appeared intimidated, but were intrigued by the confidence these women possessed while using such a curious word.
This newfound attention from non-women comes with a price: When non-women approach them, Foltz notes, “We don’t know if they want to sleep with us because they really respect us or if they just think we’re cool.”