Wrestling With Life As A Woman

Comprising half of society but valued half as much.


Adyan Al-Shamri, Writer-East

“This girl is on fire!”

The ups and downs of life: Everyone has taken a ride on this roller coaster. People could feel these highs and lows for myriad reasons. Some could experience them based upon the area in which they live, their job, and even the gender they so happen to be. Being a woman is one of those roller coaster rides that this half the population perpetually themselves on. 

In society, it is evident that some people are treated differently than others because of circumstances–and being a woman seems to be one of those circumstances. Women have found themselves being the center of prejudice from both men and women. Mardi Waits, an Elkhart-East freshman, is no expectation. Mardi Waits is one of very few girls on the wrestling team,–a very male dominated sport–and has found that she has felt out of place. “In some cases, yes, I have felt different based on my gender. Since I’m a freshman, I’ve only really experienced this in middle school, but that doesn’t change my stance. I’ve always felt out-of-place when my team would have a meeting after the match in the locker room, which I cannot go into. The rest of the team’s mothers actually gave me the courage to tell my coach that we can’t meet in the locker room.” 

Society has ingrained these views of what is deemed masculine and feminine into life beyond athletics, as well, when all people want to do is what they are comfortable with. These standards of men being strong and women being more reserved and weak seems to be a universal experience for everyone. “A particular moment that made me realize that I wouldn’t be treated the same because I’m a woman was in elementary school,” says Ayelen Pichardo Hernandez, also an Elkhart-East freshman. “I vividly remember most of my teachers say something along the lines of ‘Can two strong boys help me carry this?’ It always made me angry,” she adds. “I would think to myself Why does it have to be boys? I’m strong, too!” When she would respond to this statement–wishing that she could also be seen as strong–she would find herself getting shut down by the teacher.

Even though women are seen as weaker than men, many women know their self worth and want others to know, too. Mardi Waits has personally found herself loving the “women supporting other women” culture. “I find the fact that girls can give each other tips and congratulate them on their successes against one another, while some of the boys just let the other guys do whatever they’re doing wrong.” 

Life will always be a rollercoaster. And, some people’s misconceptions about women make them “a real work of art.” However, women are stronger than what society tries to paint them as; it’s time people see them as the masterpieces that they truly are.