Succeeding in today’s world as a woman of respect and integrity is no small feat. The world offers deeply conflicting advice on what makes a woman more of a woman than another—an argument that’s flawed and demeaning to begin with—and although it’s sometimes easy to determine which suggestions are downright ridiculous, it’s often harder to suss out which ones are accurate. It’s impossible to distill exactly what makes a real woman, as every woman has the right to individuality. But in terms of respect, integrity and dignity, here are a few of the best qualities of real women from some of the most admirable examples.
Hillary Clinton is a politician, so she may not immediately jump out as the obvious choice to solicit this advice, “the American people are tired of liars and people who pretend to be something they’re not.” Honesty is an essential part of confidence, and they go hand in hand. People respect honest people, and honest women are the best women.
Oprah Winfrey has stated many things about her experience as a woman of color, and they are all profound and important. When she declared, “turn your wounds into wisdom” she wasn’t merely tossing out a platitude. Everyone must go through pain, tragedy and hardship. It’s what she makes of those experiences that make her a quality woman.
Life is difficult, but it’s also often absurd. “If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun,” stated Katharine Hepburn, who always had a zest for life. Finding the joy in the everyday things, taking opportunities to relax and being a little wild when the feeling suits will ensure a life well lived.
Society expects a lot from women, more than it does from men. It requires ladies to work harder for less pay, to fight for the rights naturally bestowed on men and to somehow maintain the home life while forging a personal career. “Being a woman is hard work,” sighed Maya Angelou. And she wasn’t kidding.
Challenges arise daily, and women must learn to meet them. There’s no room in success for complaining and giving up, learning how to adapt to changing environments, duties and expectations is vital. Dolly Parton pointed out, “we cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.” Women who put on a brave and ready face and meet the world’s demands are the ones other women will look up to.
Standing up for your principles and rights as well of those of your family, friends and loved ones is at the core of strong, self-respecting women. Susan B. Anthony spent her life fighting for her principles; she announced “we ask justice, we ask equality, we ask that all civil and political rights that belong to the citizens of the United States be guaranteed to us and our daughters forever. ”
There are many qualities that make a real woman, including confidence, integrity, a sense of humor and passion. But all women must look to each other, to their heroes and within themselves, and be the best they can be.