Despite having more pain-inducing nerve receptors than a man, I endured childbirth, and then willingly endured it two more times. It's a good thing my body was built to be more flexible. Contrary to popular belief, women are not made of sugar and spice -- our bodies actually release more sulfur than a man's. My liver is smaller, so it has to work harder. Having estrogen means that my body will produce about 8 percent more body fat than a man's. And on top of that, I have less connective tissue and thinner skin, making my fat more visible.
I am perfectly made. I am woman.
I have an entire reproductive system in my pelvis. I have gonads. They are in my ovaries and they produce eggs. Every month, my unfertilized eggs dry up and leave my body through my uterus. About a week before that happens, I experience acne, bloating, fatigue, backaches, sore breasts, headaches, constipation, diarrhea, food cravings, depression, irritability, and difficulty with concentrating or handling stress. Meanwhile, a group of lipids called prostaglandins, cause me to have severe abdominal cramps for a few days. When my eggs are fertilized, I grow a human inside of my body over the course of about 280 days, and then I push it out and feed it with my boobs. I have some pretty amazing parts, but they do come with great risks -- some of those risks could lead to infertility, miscarriage or the loss of a child. We, unfortunately, don't have any special parts built to handle the unexpected reality of such things.
With or without child. I am woman.
For those of us who do not want a child, or additional children, we get to choose from a wide range of contraception, sometimes prescribed without important warnings that could save us from negative, life-altering effects. And then there's abstinence, which is a great choice for an unmarried woman, but not really a choice for a married one. There's the option of having our tubes tied or our husband's having a vasectomy, if they can be convinced that they can survive a weekend of pain and anguish. Or we can just be like Michelle Duggar, and maybe then we could have enough children to open up a small family-run carnival. The idea of having that many children is so far-fetched that it might just get you your own reality show. Not to mention, a choice to reproduce without any restraint would be made difficult by a world that is tailored for a family of four.
I make difficult decisions. I am woman.
I've got plenty of nerve and loads of endurance. I smell like roses, despite my sulfur. I have the thickest, thinnest skin you could imagine. I have fat and I have gonads.
I am not bitter. I am proud.
I am woman. Hear me roar.